Monday, January 31, 2011

My cup runneth over

Really busy.  Just paid bills online.  Whew!  The hoops you have to jump through and the firewalls!

Had another Financial class tonight -- I'm keeping on it -- though it's tough to get the homework in.

I think we're all feeling overwhelmed at how much stuff has to get done before the baby and how much stuff will have to get done after the baby.  Doesn't help that pledge drive is next week.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Decided... kinda

Well, we're kinda decided... sorta anyway.  Tried to apply for St. Thomas More today but ran into an online registration hangup. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Nearing a decision

The nice thing about deadlines is that they force you to make decisions by a certain time.  That's probably the bad thing about deadlines too. 

The preschool question has been weighing heavily on Tracy Lyn... at the weigh in at the doc's office she was a full three pounds heavier.  No, she doesn't follow this blog regularly, why do you ask?

I told her at least we are 100% sure she is ready for preschool.  She loves all the classrooms she has visited.  We think it's between St. Bernard's and St. Thomas More... and I told her I'm leaning towards St. Thomas More.  Since I told her that I could sense I great relief. 

Stay tuned... the decision will be finalized tomorrow.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Be not afraid of being good

There's a whole lotta problems in this ol' world.  I could spend the rest of my life trying to name them all.  But there would be a whole lot less if people had the courage to be good.  Be not afraid!  Live a life of heroic virtue!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

No beard, no cry

I shaved my so-called beard today.  I guess I'm just not a beard guy. 

T'was my greatest effort and success as far as facial hair goes.  In fact I couldn't use a razor or an electric shaver because the forest of follicles was too thick... the bark of each beard hair too strong.  Good thing my Titanium trimmer had a beard trimmer thingy.  I then picked up a generic three blade razor thing called Wilkinson Sword at Walmart.  Half the price of the Schick Quatros or Cincos and the blades are refillable.  They shave good too!

Sad thing is nobody seemed to notice my beardlessness today.  Not even an "oh, hey, you shaved!" or "hey, babyface!" or "is your chin undergoing chemo?"  You'd think they'd say something or at least do some sort of sign language.

As for me, I noticed.  I looked at the man in the mirror today and remarked how much younger he looked - at least two years.  Now I think I'm going to kiss my wife without pricking her.  It's been awhile.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Here I thought Teresa's entire life has been preschool... since she has yet to go to school.  We now have two days to decide whether or not to register to preschool which just so happens to be in a school.  Ironic.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Then again...

Today, a few minutes ago, while I was doing the dishes, the thought occurred to me that going back in time could really do some damage to the timeline of things that already happened.  So... maybe I will invent a way to go back in time but decide that it's for the best not to do so.  Wow!  So not only do I invent a time machine but I have the will power and integrity not to use it!  We still haven't figured out the schooling thing yet but I feel a lot better about the future in general.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Where's the future me when I need him?

We're still trying to figure out whether or not Teresa will go to a Catholic school.  Actually I should clarify.  I think we know she should go to one and we would like it if that were financially possible for her to go to one.  My question is, is it even financially sustainable?  If the numbers work out this year, great.  But what about two years from now?  Or four?  I don't know.

But I have come to one conclusion -- I clearly haven't figured out time travel in my future lifetime or I surely would've come back in time to tell myself which way I should go or at least give the present me stock market tips.  So not only am I still concerned over the Catholic/public school question, add to that the sorrow of realizing that my time machine project will ultimately be about as successful as my washing machine repair project. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Not sure if I like my facial hair, but it's growing on me... oh, and another thing.

As you know I'm attempting a beard.  I say attempting since it's turning out to be more of a goatee or a Vandyke

The vote is split between my girls.  Teresa likes my whiskers.  Tracy Lyn doesn't really mind until we smooch.  Actually Tracy Lyn really doesn't pay all that much attention to face.  Last time I attempted a beard she didn't notice until I mentioned I might shave it off. 

Now I haven't noticed any change in my personality since donning a facial facade per se.  I thought I might be folliclely influenced.  Most bad guys have mustaches I noticed.  Most depictions of Christ have him with a beard.  And there's a very fine line between a Hilter and a Chaplin 'stache. 

Today was the big game.  Once again the RCIA class came through despite meeting during the last quarter of the NFC Championship game... To me, this proves it.  They are Catholic.  C'mon, they missed two Packers playoff games!  We, however, will not be meeting during the Super Bowl. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Here's to the real deadbeat dads

Here's to the real deadbeat dads out there.  I'm not talking about the biological "dads" who leave their women holding their babies and a grudge... they do not deserve the title "dad".  Substitute a "u" for the "a". 

I'm talking about all the guys who work their butts off trying to make ends meet.  The dudes who try to keep house and home from falling apart and never miss a mortgage payment.   The men who feel dead-beat tired and will do it all over again tomorrow and the next day and the rest of their restless lives.  They are the true deadbeat dads.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Back in the saddle of a couch

Hey Daily D fans, I have great news to report!  My dad is home from the hospital!  Teresa and I brought him a Packers snuggie and I card that only Teresa can interpret.  He's very glad to be home and didn't seem to have any of the narcolepsy that he had in the hospital.  He's back on solid foods as well.  We picked up some cheese pizzas for supper.  I'd say the thing giving him the hardest time is his knee that he hurt the day before the surgery.

Today I also made up for all the dishes I didn't do due to my visiting hours.  Oh, I'd say it took me a good 3 hours to get them all scrubbed.  Amazing how it just takes maybe 20 minutes a night or... 3 to 4 hours if you let them pile up for a few days.

Beard update:  Well, I'd say this is the thickest or at least the sharpest it's ever been.  Sharpest according to Tracy Lyn whenst I try to kiss her.  Thickest for me yet still on the transparent side.  It needs more opaqueness.  I tell you the temptation to shave it all off is very high.

The big Packer-Bear game hoopla is at an all-time high.  The stakes are higher than a butcher shop on Mt Everest (Yep, that's an original) yet I think the very fact that people are investing so much time/energy/importance on it just kinda makes me think how really insignificant it is in the whole scheme of things.  I mean it's just a game, people!  Anyway it's kinda cool that our RCIA class will meet during the middle of the game... and knowing that I won't even be able to see the outcome of the game live also takes the "importance" out of the game for me.  'Course I'd really like if the Pack won!

Okay, I think you're caught up with all the news that's fit to Schmitt today.  And for those who tune in for the contest, I almost forgot to post tonight.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fast Post!

Quick post - Tracy Lyn is in bathroom - thinks blogging is taking me away from doing the dishes... and I don't want to do the dishes tonight... so I blog in secret!  Better go! 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Visiting Hours

Well, today was quite the day.  It was packed and oddly so.  I'm trying to think of a clever follow-up to that sentence... How 'bout It was packed and oddly so... like an elephant's trunk in the candy store.  No, that makes no sense.

Well, I visited my dad in the hospital today.  He seemed pretty weak and pale in the morning.  He was walking with two nurses at his side.  But he still had his sense of humor and was pretty jokey.  He kept calling his morphine heroine. 

Then I visited a few hours in the afternoon.  His color was back but he kept drifting in and out of sleep. 

Then I watched Lulu's kids in St Vincent's cafe while she saw dad but then we all went up to see him.  And then mom came.  Then we left and I helped her pump gas since she hasn't done that in years by herself.

I think he'll get better but being stuck in the hospital with literal sucky tubes coming out of you has to be... sucky. 

I got the long-awaited camera today and wacom tablet -- both on the same day but I haven't even had the chance to open either. 

Okay, time to snooze.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


My dad had his own way of telling people about the upcoming surgery.  He told me by saying "If someone hates my guts, they're gonna have less to hate."  He told Linda by saying, "The doctors told me I have too much guts." 

This morning he went under the knife... which is what the doctors have to do when you're under the weather sometimes.  They had to remove some of his intestines.  I'm taking tomorrow off so I can hang with him in recovery.  I guess they'll be monitoring him for gas.  I can't miss that.

When I was a kid I'd mess with ants.  (This may seem like I'm off on a tangent but Chicago bear with me.)  I'd destroy their ant hills, with my shoe, with water, with additional sand.  The ants would immediately start rebuilding their hill.  Over and over again.  I thought that was so funny but isn't that what we all do?  Whenever something bad happens, we don't give up -- there's a spirit in us that strives to get back.

My mom wonders why some people get cancer over and over.  Was it something they ate or something they didn't do.  Me?  I think people just get cancer just because.  There's no New Age reason as to how.

Why do bad things happen to good people?  Well, God permits it for a greater good.  That's really not the reason I did that to all those ant hills back when I was a kid, but I trust God knows what He's doing.  I'm sure the Israelites weren't so gung ho about going under the knife for the greater good.  I'm sure they would have preferred some intestinal surgery instead.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The quietude of a winter snow

There's something to be said of snow... maybe a million somethings.  Now I prefer a little happy sun symbol on my weather forecasts much more than the white flakes on most days.   You see I have what they call a compact car... I've seen bigger golf carts.  The car doesn't agree with sloppy snowy roads and it usually doesn't win the arguments.  They say the only argument you win is the argument you avoid having.  That's my driving philosophy when it comes to winter driving too... I avoid it whenever I can.

Some things are unavoidable.  And one of those somethings is driving in snow in winter.  Ironic, I know.  I drove into work without a flake and had to venture back in a flavorless slushie... though it kinda looked chocolaty. 

I don't get paid by the word so long pontification, short, we often don't like the things that slow us down whether they be the weather, or they 15 mph compact car in front of impatient SUV, or an injury or an ailment.  The real beauty of those things is that they do slow us down.  I love standing out in the snow covered intersection... nary a car on the road thanks to a foot of the white stuff keeping everyone immobile.  The quiet of it is potent... good for the soul.

So thank God for the snow.  Thank God for that little, compact green Focus moving so slowly ahead of you.  Take a minute to read the license plate.  ONGSUS.  Focus on Jesus... Amen!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Catholic schools, weak?

Tracy Lyn and I are at a crossroads or at least a roundabout -- which in many ways is even more confusing than a crossroads.  It's decision time for Teresa's schooling for this Fall.  We need to decide by January 30th if she is to go to an expensive Catholic preschool or to the free public alternative (enrollment deadline: this Thursday).  But, like I said, this is a a roundabout... maybe we should hold off on four year old preschool and wait until kindergarten or perhaps enroll her in some other classes instead of preschool -- dance, music, art, etc.

Okay.  If money wasn't an object (or obstacle), I think the natural choice would be the Catholic school option.  Thing is, they are pretty expensive, especially compared to free public schools.  $1125.   Another thing is, are they truly Catholic?

I went to Catholic everything through high school.  But despite this Catholic schooling, I wasn't well schooled in the most important part of a Catholic education, the Catholic Faith.  High school was even a little New Age-y.  Sad.

What's the main difference in the curriculum between Catholic and public?   In Catholic Pre Teresa would be read Bible stories, taught Christian moral values, have prayer and basically be able talk about God.   Now to me, that kinda thing is priceless.  But is it worth $1125?

Most of our Catholic friends don't send their kids to Catholic school and if they had, they thought it really wasn't significantly Catholic enough... that teachers not being Catholic themselves or teaching things quite contrary about the Faith.  And I understand that we cannot simply leave Teresa's formation up to her teachers.  First and foremost it is our responsibility as parents.

Is the answer homeschooling?  Not for us.  Tracy Lyn is pretty sure that's not her calling.  And I ponder if all the well-formed parents pull their well-formed kids from the deformed Catholic schools, we won't have any Catholic schools left.  Case in point, the Catholic grade school I attended has since closed down.  Now they rent out the classrooms to the public school system.

I think you can tell my bias.  I'm leaning towards the flawed Catholic school system if we can possibly swing it financially.  I think being able to pray and talk about God in school is worth the steep price and as Catholic Christians we must expect to make sacrifices.  Hard ones.  If our Faith is worth dying for, it's worth paying for, even dearly.

The final decision is going to take more prayer and discernment... there's no doubt about that.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Stay-at-home Saturday

It's not often that I get a whole weekend off from work.  It's a harvest moon kinda thing.  I gotta say it's kinda nice.  We got to spend the whole day together as a family and just stay at home and enjoy each others' company.  And you know what?  I think we like each other.

We also got to enjoy the Packer game together and there wasn't much not to like... beating the Falcons 48 to 21... and we're advancing to the NFC Championship game!  Even better - I have next weekend off as well!

Teresa doesn't know too much about football but she does know when the Packers get touchdown.  We all yell TOUCHDOWN PACKERS!!! and I throw her up and down in the air.  I think she just might be a Packers fan.  I guess this is how they get started.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Oh, man it's the 11th hour post again.  I know this keeps some Daily D readers on the edge of their seats to see if I miss... but there's always tomorrow.

I remember a couple days early on in my daily blogging foray that I'd be all snug in my bed and all of the sudden I'd remember I forgot to post.  Usually those entries are the so-so ones.  Even Tracy Lyn complains they're sometimes on the boring-side.  But one man's boring is another man's well, that wasn't so bad.

Today I got up before dawn cracked the cold winter night.  Went into work in my designer grunge... and I rose from the ashes of my burnout.  Had to design two ads from scratch(disk) and a couple other things before 8:30a -- when Tracy Lyn had to go into work.  I don't know if it was my grungy designer outfit, the Bohemian scruff as I try to garden a beard, or the quiet of an empty office but I was on fire.  There is a fine line between being on fire and burning out. Kinda funny... but not really.

So... well, I think that'll do today.  Tomorrow is another day that's knocking on the door.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I'm mighty tired tonight but they are all flat.  This is not uncommon in the creative realm or race car driving.  Both experience the occasional burnouts and blow outs.  Being a designer they're not as dramatic but I think they're just as hard to recover from.  So tonight I'm going to call it quits early so I can get up early and call it starts so I can beat a few hanging deadlines at work before Tracy Lyn has to go into work.  I planned on having a pun on retiring early tonight and so on and so on but yeah, it's time to go.  Here I come, bed!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

May u live 2 c the dawn

This just in... my brain:  "May u live 2 c the dawn."  Yeah, it's a flashback from my Prince daze.  As many of my friends know I was a big fan of Prince.  So much so that I just refrained from writing the typical artist formally known as... (insert joke here).  Yes, I've been to a Prince concert or two... or ten.  All jokes aside he was a great artist in the musical sense and there was a lot to admire him for creatively... not so much for his choice in heels.

I say that I was a Prince fan in the past tense since his lyrics and antics just aren't as equally admirable.  It's just not something I want to pass on to my kids.  I'm a bit concerned that Teresa's favorite color is purple.  But she doesn't like when it's rainy outside so maybe it will cancel each other out.

But back in the day I was all aboard the purple boat.  And the captain had a funny way of writing that would shorten words like "to" to "2" (was "to" really 2 long?) and "see" to "c" and "you" to "u".  And yes, this was way before the dawn of texting.  One phrase he'd continually use on albums was May u live 2 c the dawn.  And yes, that's what popped into my head a few seconds before starting this blog.  Short story long.

There's been many a time I can't wait for a certain day to happen.  Kinda like Christmas when I was half my height and a quarter of my age.  Or, more recently, our wedding day... or, more so, our wedding night.  Time can't go soon enough until that particular special day.

When the Star Wars trilogy was on Empire and we all knew the next sequel would be years away, I'd remember praying "Oh, God - may I please, please live to see that come out!"  Now I project that on other people.  Not Star Wars, but that they might live to see all of their grandkids being born.

But really the real dawn we're all hoping to experience won't happen until we die or, to put it more heavenly, until we r born in2 eternal life.  And it's all due to another Prince.  May we all see that dawn someday.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Time flies when you're getting old

William Shatner had a funny string of tweets regarding his age.  "You know you're old when you fart dust."  I wonder if, as he was tweeting that, the thought crossed his mind -- I'm getting too old for this.

That thought crosses my own mind.  Sometimes I find that thought shooting out of my mind at other people -- that dude's getting too old for that!

I have been warned by plenty of old people over the years that the older you get, the faster time flies.  That concept really appealed to me since I thought it was based on the premise "time flies when you're having fun."  As the years go by I have reached new heights of joy but also have come to wrestle with a sumo of tough times.   And those years do seem to go faster and faster with each passing year.

At this rate I expect to hit 50 in the time it took me to reach 25.  That's a joke I think.

It'll be strange to look back in 15 years at this entry and the old me might chuckle at 35 year old me and think how young I was.  Or maybe I'll be too busy to bother with blogs at all.  Too busy farting dust.

Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm in a seven step program

My name is Damien and you already know that I'm organizationally challenged from a previous post.  But I also want to come clean on another problem.  The kissing cousin of Disorganized and that's "bad with money."

No, it's not that I'm mean or abusive to money in the physical sense.  As you know I just got a cozy new wallet to keep my green comfy.  But I find that my money and I are always soon parted.  Now even a fool can see that that's a problem... and coincidentally so can I.

And here's another confession, the easy kind since it's not about me:  My wife is also bad with money.  Together we make quite a team but not a very financially sound one.

Thankfully we're on the good side of terrible.  We  actually have really good credit scores but we desperately need help managing our money.  Today we took the first step... of seven steps in the 7 Steps to Becoming Financially Free small group study through St. Bernard's.

I really wish they taught this stuff in grade school or at least made this kind of course mandatory before getting a credit card but better late than never.

First step:  Over the next four weeks we'll be keeping track of everything we spend.  "Even spending time with my daughter?" I asked.  "No, just keep track of spending money."  I said, "time is money."  They had no cents of humor it seems... I had to sit in the corner.

You can probably tell I'm kidding.  But that's the thing about numbers... they don't kid.  Numbers are serious stuff.  Maybe that's why we're intimidated by them.  Maybe that's why we use colors and shapes and cute kids pictures in marketing.  They sell more gum than the four out of five dentists who recommend Trident their patients who chew gum.  That just leaves us to wonder about the one dentist who doesn't.  Do you see those numbers on their website?

Well, it's time for me to get serious.  We have another baby on the way and I want all our kids to be good stewards of their finances.  We gotta learn so we teach our children well.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

God versus Packers

Today was the day in Titletown, USA.  Every tv and radio was set for the Pack's big Wildcard Playoff game versus the Eagles.  It just so happened to be the day for our RCIA group to meet (during the big game) and to go through a welcoming rite at the evening Mass as part the process of initiation.

Now initiation for fraternities sometimes have extreme hazings as a part of their initiation into the group.  But what a cruel and unusual hazing for these catechumens and candidates... who are also part of the Packer's faithful... a true test: God or the Packers?

Guess who won?  Well, the Pack won their game (unbeknownst to us) but we had a full class attendance at RCIA... and no one with a radio wired in their ear or a mini tv stashed away.  I was impressed.

Back in the day converts coming into the Catholic Church had a much more intense process of initiation including exorcisms and public confession.  I think this rates right up there with that... and you know what?  That is awesome!  A true test of what's really important.  What's even cooler is that we passed!  Go, God!  Go!

Now if it really was God versus the Packers, we know who'd win but that sure would be a confusing game...  Both teams would have big G's on their helmets.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Confessions of a disorganized man

I don't do drugs.  I don't drink.  I even quit second-hand smoking a while back.  But I do have a terrible vice.  My name is Damien and I'm a disorganizedaholic.  While I'm on the road to recovery, I've misplaced the map.  It's somewhere in the backseat.

Being an artistic type, "messy" is kind of expected of me.  Actually all those other vices listed above are also kind of expected, so give me some credit.

So I've been trying little by little to get better not only for my sake but for my children's.  And my children's children, etc.  Not that I'd misplace Teresa or the baby, I haven't yet, but that they'd inherit my sloppiness.  I think it's not genetic, but I believe it to be contagious.

There's no nicoclean patch to help me get there.  I must go cold turkey.  The cold part is easy in Wisconsin.  I'm half way there.

Friday, January 7, 2011

TGIF and so much more

Today is Friday to which is the only day of the week that even an atheist thanks God for.  It just so happens to be "daddy-daughter day" for me and Teresa.  (I hate calling it that because it sounds like I'm a divorced guy and I get custody on Fridays.)

Coincidentally Fridays are also the days I usually throw out my back.  Chasing around a three-year old is a lot more of a workout than I usually get at work.  Nobody at work ever looks me straight in the eyes and says "Chase me!" and then runs off.  And if they did I probably wouldn't pursue... but when Teresa does so in a busy department store I have little choice.

Stay at home motherhood is my wife's full time job and it never ceases to amaze me that this profession is kind of looked down upon in our modern day.  Like I said, it is so much more work than so-called "work".  It's much more a vocation that really gets little, if any, vacation.  But the benefits for Teresa are amazing.  My girls have really bonded since Tracy Lyn has been a SAH Mom.  And I can't tell you how often Teresa will mistakenly call me "mom" during the day.

When Tracy Lyn comes home from work on Fridays, I admit I welcome the break from Teresa.  But the same doesn't seem to be the case when I get home.  They'll greet me but Teresa still sticks close to momma and momma to her.

When Teresa went to day care and Tracy Lyn and I were working full time, Teresa would come home really tired and, as a result, crabby.  She'd play a little and go to bed.  That was our interaction with our daughter.  And she was so much more a daddy's girl back then.  When Tracy Lyn lost her job, it was a bummer... but it forced us to get Teresa out of day care.

Truth be told Tracy Lyn's calling wasn't to be a graphic designer, it was to be a stay-at-home mom but sometimes you can't answer a call if you're on the other line, thank God she got disconnected.

Oh, and Thank God It's Friday... for beautiful daughters and amazing mothers.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

When you bomb, you bomb

I confess, I bombed yesterday.  No, not in the traditional sense of massive destruction, but in the sense that I got my first case of blogger's block and the clock was ticking.  I was in the eleventh hour and I had to post something.  Anything. 

My blog really bombed yesterday but it was far from dynamite.  It blew and I was blue, too...because I knew... it blew.

But isn't this the age of Command + Z (for you PCs out there, lose control, gain command), of photoshopping out the beauty bumps (a.k.a. zits) from our photos?  And the thought did cross my mind... to get to the other side.

I even revised the whole thing in my mind and let me tell ya, it was a lot better.  But in the end, I decided to leave it as is.  I accept it and I think I learned a thing or two.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I just learned one thing.  When you bomb, you bomb... accept it and move on.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Endless possibilities

There's never been a better time to be a creative.  What do I mean by "creative"? 

A few years back, before I graduated college, I attended the Chicago Advertising Federation conference for young designer-types.   It was a networking opportunity with Chicago's finest (designers) but I've never really been good a rubbing elbows -- it's as uncomfortable as it sounds. 

I did get to tour the Frankel design agency.  It's now called something else as part of a multi-corp synergistic conglomerate.  But at the time of my tour it was just Frankel.  It was orange.  It was beautiful. 

We toured the different departments of the agency.  It was all pretty cool.  Designers and production artists warned us not to become designers and production artists.  The art director was pretty cool.  But cool doesn't cut it. 

What was freezer burn was "the creatives room".  Something about the very atmosphere was different.  I can only describe it as surreal and tech wonderful.  When they sensed our presence they all turned around, waved almost like they were in slow-mo and gave a quiet, fulfilled smile.  They seemed so  "at one" with everything around them but I guess that just goes with the title, "creative".

I'm a designer by trade but a true creative at heart.  The wonderful thing about this day and age is you don't have to work for a big agency or super conglomerate to have the resources of a creative.  With research and ingenuity, you can create with the best of them.  Animation, video, interactive, digital... oh, the possibilities!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A sight for sore eyes or even unsore ones

Today was a big day.  True, it had 24 hours like all the rest, but within one of those hours we got a really great preview of Baby Pumpkin.  The earlier, smaller ultrasound was like a movie teaser.  This was a full-blown trailer but it didn't give out the spoiler as to what gender the lil' pumpkin is.

When we tell people of my generation that we're waiting until the birth to find out the baby's sex, most think we're crazy that we're waiting.  But we're romantics.  And people of my parent's generation think it's pretty cool we're waiting for the big reveal.

So what can I tell you about Baby Pumpkin?  Well, the little rascal is a mover and a shaker.  Tracy Lyn would probably describe him more as a drummer.

Now you've probably noticed I slipped and wrote a "him" in there.  Well, that's the hunch/guess/intuition we're leaning on.  That comes from Teresa.  Before she first heard the baby's heartbeat, she was convinced she'd have a sister in a few months.  As soon as she heard the Doppler, she looked at us and sighed, "that's a boy... I'm having a brother." she said.

The gender really doesn't matter that much to us.  Or at least to me.  My wife said the same thing last time but when the doctor announced that it was a girl my wife squealed with such delight "IT'S A GIRL!"  And Erik and Pete already have a gender bet going.  Erik is giving Pete 2:1 odds it's a girl since he doubts my capacity for producing a boy.  Yeah, that's Erik.  Not sure if Pete doesn't have the same doubts but it is 2:1 odds... so for that, thank you, Pete.

It's a very weird thing to go into work in the morning and then go to an ultrasound appointment and then go back into work.  Alex mentioned that the baby is just three months away.  Wow!  Well, I loved the teaser and the trailer, I can't wait for the premiere.

Click here to see slide show of ultrasound pics.

Monday, January 3, 2011

How to live before you die

“Live every day as if it were your last, because one of these days, it will be.”

Steve Jobs mentioned that quote at a commencement speech he gave a few years back.  And I heard that talk entitled "How to live before you die" for the first time a couple days ago and it's staying with me... haunting me in a friendly ghost kind of way.  So, yeah, it was a good speech.  Check it out for yourself here before you die.

I sometimes find myself in a rut.  No, not the deer kind of rut but the unkind kind.  I forget how precious time is and how limited it is.  It's quotes like that that stick with you can stop you in your tracks, turn around and give your daughter a big kiss or take the time to feel your wife's belly for the baby to kick.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Living in before or How to get to after

Now of all the things I did today, channel surfing was by far the least exciting/fulfilling.  But I'm pretty good at it and if you don't use it, you might lose it.  The proof of this is how often my channel surf board goes missing.

I caught an interesting wave that really pulled me in.  It was an infomercial on a set of exercise dvds.  What really grabbed me was the before and after pics.  I'm a sucker for those!  And these weren't the kind of before pics that have terrible lighting/no makeup/posed at a deceptive angle, they seemed honest-to-goodness (though individual results may vary) against the after pics.

Anyway the price for the dvds wasn't $999, $599 or even $399 but it was well over my $19.95 comfort zone.  That's not the point.

The point is right at this very moment, you are a potential "before" and you have the potential to be an "after" someday.

That's a very exciting thing.  Especially for a disorganized guy like me and a disorganized girl like my wife. Oh, there's many a Kodak before moment in our house.  And that's how I'm going to approach each messy, chaotic nook and cranny.  I'll target a bathroom drawer, take a before pic, have at it, "move that bus" and take an after pic.  Just a little thing I thought up a few minutes ago that might make a great TED talk someday.

Now I can't let today's blog entry go until I mention that the Packers are in the playoffs thanks to cleaning up the Bears on the very frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field (3 degrees with the windchill).  Go, Pack!  Go!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Today is the first day of the rest of your year

01.01.11  What a binary way to start the new year!  I have a good feeling about this year.  I'm expecting my AT&T bill to be officially corrected in March.  We're also expecting a new baby in April... and that's just two out of 12 months.

And more good news!  Did you hear the Aztecs are saying they think they got their calendar mixed up, so the end of the world (as they know it) might not happen in 2012 after all.  It's good to have a contingency plan.  Prince was wrong about 1999 but he can still sing about Purple Rain especially with all the environmental problems we have -- Purple Rain has never seemed so relevant.  And while the lyrics about actually wanting to see us bathing in Purple Rain are a bit cryptic, at least they aren't literally talking about crypts.

We need to especially enjoy this infant stage of the New Year.  It's the babymoon!  Remember how fast 2010 grew old?  There will be challenges in 2011 to be sure but let's enjoy the brand new baby smell before we get a massive oil spill, a wiki leak or a dirty diaper.

There's 365 days of possibility and today is the first day of the rest of your year... or if the Aztecs are right, the rest of your life.