Growing Pains

Lily & Jen as the coast
Lily & Jen at the windy coast

A week from today Lily will be seven months old.  It’s hard to believe that much time has gone by already.  That was one of the many things people would say to us before she was born.  “You won’t believe how much time flys when you have kids.”  Well, they were right.  And we haven’t even gotten to the real big stuff yet, like walking and talking.  She isn’t crawling yet, but she still manages to get around a little bit by rolling and scooting around on her back.  She jabbers up a storm and, fortunately, the novelty of screaming seems to have worn off.  Yesterday she was in her crib, supposedly napping, and I crept into her room and laid on the floor and just listened to her jabber and coo.  It almost sounds like she’s singing sometimes. 

This week starts a period of transition in the house of Ando.  Tomorrow Jen officially goes back to work as an elementary school teacher.  Before and after Lily was born we tried to come up with some way for Jen to be able to stay at home with the baby as much as possible, whether that would be working from home or working different hours.  We knew she would have to work doing something.  That’s part of the price for living in the most perfect weather anywhere.  It ain’t cheap.  Not without sadness, Jen signed on to teach this next year and tomorrow she has to officially report for duty.

It’s been hard for her, these last few weeks, as she prepares for school, takes care of the baby, and prepares to have to leave her in someone elses hands for most of every weekday for the next nine months.  There have been tears and anxiety, but also a realization that this is part of God’s plan.  We’ve been trying to focus on the positives of it, rather than the negatives.  Maybe the biggest positive is that we’ll be able to pay our bills.  But as the baby related stuff goes, it will be good for Lily to learn to interact with other kids and she’ll get to have some fun and make some friends besides mommy and daddy.

As hard as the transition is going to be for Jen, the blow will be softened by the fact that Lily will actually be right on campus with Jen.  The Lord has provided through Jen’s school childcare for most of the day, up until 1:30.  We’ve enlisted the grandmothers and great-grandmother to fill in those last couple hours of each day, a task they were only too eager to volunteer for.  I was able to change my work schedule around so that I’ll be able to get off work at noon on Fridays and pick Lily up on my way home and have some nice father-daughter afternoons.

On the whole, while it might not be the schedule that would be our first choice, God has been good and provided us with pretty much the next best thing.


Homecoming, Home Depot Signage, and Other Nonsense

Lily on the plane with her aunt Doreen, aka NanaI’m happy to report that Jen and baby have returned from Colorado safe and sound.  By all accounts a good time was had by all  They enjoyed their time with the family there and while they were away I only missed two baby milestones; Lily’s first foray into semi-solid foods and an honest-to-goodness laugh.  Oh well, I was bound to miss something anyway due to my jet-setting, rat race lifestyle.  Oh right, I’m home by five everyday and never work weekends.  But honestly, I’m not bitter.  Lily brings plenty of joy to be shared with the whole family, so it was nice that those who live far away got to experience some of it too.  Hopefully she’ll have an amazing first left for my sister and her husband when they come up to visit in a month of so.  Thankfully, Lily was a very cooperative addition to the friendly skies, as she slept on the plane pretty much the whole time they were in the air, both coming and going (Is it bad form to use the slogan of a different airline [ie. “the friendly skies”] than the one you flew when talking about it to others, especially if the experience was mostly pleasent?  Is that robbing them of the good word-of-mouth advertising they’re entitled to?  Just in case it is, let me rephrase that last bit.  Lily was an excellent airline passenger making it easy on Jen to be free to move about the country.  There, I feel better.)  I’m glad to have them home.

You may recall a post last week and my mention in that post of a project I was beginning while the girls were away.  Jen reads my blog somewhere in the neighborhood of only once a year, so I felt fairly confident that I could talk about the project here with little fear of her getting wind of it.  However, just to be safe I didn’t mention what the project actually was.  This was a wise decision on my part, because wouldn’t you know it, Jen happened to access Life of Ando the very next day.  Not to read it, mind you, but only to find a link to Ask a Ninja of all things.  When I talked to her on the phone later that evening, she questioned what my project was.  I was able to downplay it, I’m pretty sure without compromising my integrity, and not let on that I was actually installing the dishwasher that had been sitting in our garage for the past year.  Leave it to a woman to try to spoil the surprise.  Fortunately, she never figured it out, and doubly fortunate that I didn’t burn down or flood the house in my attempt at home improvement.  She was genuinly shocked when she walked through the kitchen after getting home Saturday night and saw an installed dishwasher and she was probably even more shocked that it actually worked, though she was good enough not to say so.  What a wife I have.  More on this at a later date.  I video documented the whole procedure so look for that soon on a YouTube Friday near you.

During the installation process I made a couple runs to Home Depot where I noticed two signs there I thought were interesting.  Thanks to the greatest invention of the past 50 years, the cell phone camera, I was able to capture these signs of the times and share them here with you.

Has political correctness gotten so out of hand in this country that it even effects our fowl.  We can’t just call chicken wire chicken wire anymore?  Were the turkeys getting their feelings hurt?  What’s next, poultry nuggets?  Mmmmm, doesn’t that sound good?

Now, I’m no marketing expert but I always thought advertising increased savings would be a better tool for attracting customers.  Or maybe they just need a comma.

And for the “other nonsense” I offer this bad, yet relevant joke:  what has four arms, four legs, and is all wet?  My old dishwasher.  Ba-dum-cheeeeee!

One last thing, if I was a celebrity I’d be sweating it right about now.  With Tim Russert and George Carlin kicking the bucket in the last week and the well known and documented fact of public figures always dying in threes, I’ve never been more relieved to be a nobody.

It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! Its…

“Superman!  No, wait.  I think that is a bird.”

“Are you sure?  Looks more like a cloud.”

“Nope, no, its definitely a bird of some kind.  See the legs?”

“Oh yeah, you’re right.  What is that, a crane?”

“Maybe.  Or is it a heran?”

“No, I think its a pelican.  Look, you can see its jaw, gullet thingy hanging down.”

“Noooo, its not a pelican, look at those long skinny legs.”

“Then what’s wrong with its beak?”

“I think its carrying something.  Wait a minute!  Is that a…”

“No, it can’t be.”

“But I think it is.  What other bird carries something like that?”

“Could be a carrier pigeon.”

“No, you idiot, its way to big.  Its obviously…”

“A stork!”

“Yes!  Its a stork.”

“Where’s he headed?”

“Looks like over to the ol’ Bauer place.”

Yes boys and girls the stork is headed toward the ol’ Bauer place.  I’m sure to most of you regulars this isn’t really news, but for one reason or another its taken me a long time to mention it here on the Life of Ando.  Which seems odd since there are few things, if any, that will happen in the actual life of Ando that will be more exciting and life of Ando altering than this.  We received the good news in June and Jen is just about to start her fifth month of the pregnancy.  So far things are going fine, the occasional migraine headache notwithstanding.  The Mini-Me (or Mini-Jen) is due on February 12th, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.  If the baby comes on time, we’re naming it Abe, boy or girl.  Just kidding.  Only if its a girl.

Now that the cat is officially out of the bag and running around the blogosphere I’ll be sure to post updates on any significant happenings.  In the meantime, have a look at this picture and pray very hard that the doctors do in fact let me handle the child after the birth.