Thursday, June 25, 2009 baby girl.

It seems that lately Avery has entered a phase most call the "Daddy Phase". I am going to call it the "Mini-Me Phase." This part of the childhood stage is an interesting one that in my life is filled with mostly love, but there are times when I would really like some alone time (I had a frustrated moment a couple days ago and all she wanted was to be close...I had to step back for a moment and remember that this is totally and completely out of love). It is an interesting time for me from two different perspectives. The first is the personal feeling of unconditional love from my little one. She pretty much only wants me to do everything for her, baths, bedtime, kisses & hugs, etc... She seeks me out in the house to just give me a kiss on the arm or give my leg a hug. When I sit down, she only wants to sit next to me, or on me. If I'm working in the office, she wants to sit on the desk just left of me on the desk and just be near me. Yesterday morning, I woke up with her head in the crook of my neck as if she couldn't get close enough to me when she came into our room in the morning. It's the most amazing feeling in the world to experience how much love can come out of this little one. It makes my heart swell every time she tells me she loves me.

The part that isn't so great is that I sorta feel bad for Michele. I feel like when Avery says she wants me to do something that it digs in a little with her. I know that deep down Michele knows this is a phase most little girls go through, but I still feel bad sometimes. I read her blog this evening about this subject and I know she gets it and sees to positive in it but still... I think the thing Michele needs to know is that when I stand back and watch Avery interact with her, love pours out of her for Michele as much as for me...She loves her so much, Aves is just going through a phase.

I will live this up for now because, I know that someday just for the simple fact that they are both girls, I will be a boy and that will make a difference. Right now I'm just Daddy.

I'll take it.

I know it's been a while...

Hi everyone! I know I have taken a serious hiatus from blogging but it seems that life has been a bit crazy over the last few months and will be for the next several months. Let's just do a quick summary what has been up and then we will pick right back up where we left off. First things first. Bookie baby #2 is going to be born in 4 1/2 weeks! Since last I wrote I have also lost 25 pounds, had the death of a colleague/mentor teacher from the intermediate school, finished out my school year, built a swing set/play area for Avery (check out Michele's blog about it), did a backpacking trip w/ about 25 fifth/sixth graders, took a vacation to great wolf lodge (check out Michele's Great Wolf blog about that also), and finally completely emptied out the basement and I'm currently finishing the basement (studs/done, ceiling frame/1 more day and electrical, then insulation, drywall, final plumbing, doors, carpet...and done)...gotta get it done before the baby arrives, and finally helping as much as I can for Michele. These are the major things on top of all the smaller things that happen in life.

I just wanted to let you all know that I'm still here...I've just been really busy. I will probably blog about some of the items above but I wanted you all to know that I'm still here...just trying to live life.

Take care all...I'll blog ya soon...hopefully.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Projects!

Hey everyone! I know I have been MIA but I'm back and ready to lay some more info on you. I don't know what the deal was but for the last 3 or 4 weeks, I have just felt like doing nothing. It seems that everything was a chore. Kind of a funny thing to say after posting my blog about "Just Do It", but well, life catches up and sometimes I guess sitting is ok. It's not that I haven't been doing stuff...I have just felt super tired. There have been some productive moments though. We actually trimmed this nasty crab apple tree in the back yard so that the kids could run around it and not hit any thorny branches (and I have the scars to prove it). I cleaned the Garage and we are ready for our spring/summer activities. I think I'm at a loss but hopefully things will pick up and I can get out of my super tired slump. It probably doesn't help that school is starting to wrap up and things are getting super busy.

Hopefully I will get around to another blog soon enough.
Take care everyone!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Life Catches Up.

This evening I said something out loud to my wife so that I could be held accountable for it tomorrow. I was driving home from a fun evening hanging out with the Tenneys and was thinking to myself, "I really need to be healthy. I have been putting off exercising for a long time but more recently, I have put off getting on our new elipitical for a solid week." My mother-in-law gave us it after finding one on craigs list (she had been looking b/c we had mentioned we were looking possibly for something to put downstairs to motivate us). Now I'm not going to go into details about how morbidly obese I am (we all know I'm not Mr. Skinnybones) but, I am going to say that something in my life has to change or I won't be here as long as I should.

So back to the car, I'm sitting there waging a small war in my head about exercising and I finally blurt out, "I'm getting on the elliptical machine tomorrow." I then proceeded to explain that I needed to say it out loud so that someone knew what I should be doing at some point in time after I got out of work. I am activating the "Just Do It" policy tomorrow on my exercising. My goal is 3 times a week. I'm not going on a diet, I'm making a life change. I'll eat better portions and exercise, I am eliminating Coke or the "dark master" as my friend Jamey calls it. I will have great weeks at this and I will have bad weeks at this but I'm making a positive life change and if I don't lose weight here and there who cares, as long as I can feel better physically than I do now. I know that tomorrow when I step off the elliptical, I will feel great and I just have to tell myself that as I start going up to change into my workout cloths (personally I found that that was harder than the workout most days). About 7 years ago I lost close to 80 pounds. I can do it...I've done it before.

I will start there. So now not only does my wife know, but the whole world knows (or at least the couple of people who read my blogs). I'll keep you posted here and there on how it's going.

Take care everyone!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Just Do It - Not just for shoes anymore.

This past Wednesday I was speaking to one of my colleagues at the Intermediate School and somehow we got on the discussion of procrastinating on projects and other things (like exercising). He said to me, "you know what Chris, I have a friend and he says to himself when he thinks of something that needs to be done, 'Just do it' and attacks whatever it is with a vengeance right then." We went on discussing how busy we are and how it just slides to the back burner and created a couple excuses for know, things like family, job, being tired. The thought stuck with me all day though and by the time I got home from work (and felt more tired than usual) I was standing in the kitchen after dinner looking at 3 or 4 "projects" that have been sitting for at least a month if not more. I stood there for a while looking at each thing and waged a war in my head. All I wanted to do was sit down but instead I said, "just do it." I started with the most intense project and worked my way down. Within an hour I had taken care of stuff that I had built in my head to be days worth of work. I felt relaxed and it felt amazing. It was almost like a drug.

Over the past couple days since "the incident" I have come home every day and tried to do at least one little thing that needs to be done eventually. It has put my mind at ease and I feel accomplished instead of feeling like a lump of fecal matter. I think that overall we don't see ourselves as a disappointment, but feel a little disappointed in ourselves when we let whatever it is, sit. We will let it slide, but somewhere in our minds it's taking a toll. We don't always realize it, or can't put our finger on why we feel something, but I think we do feel it.

So today, try to "just do it" with one little thing and tell someone what you did. You may find it gets contagious to you and your friends.

On a side note, I told my colleague the next day what happened and he decided that that evening was his night to get on the "Just do it" train. Good for him.

Talk to you all soon,
Chris (the recently accomplished)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I Love My Wife

Last night was Valentines day and Michele and I decided to go out. If any of you know our situation right now, we aren't exactly rolling in the $, but we are making it work. So about a week ago when we discussed going out, we shuffled though our cup of cards and found two gift certificates that we had forgot about. One to the Cambridge House, a cool little bar/restaurant downtown Grand Rapids and we found a gift certificate to the movies. SCORE! The date was set. My wonderful Mother-in-law came in and took Avery for the evening and we went out. As I sat across from my wife I found myself staring at her and thought, "I am the luckiest guy in this place. I have found my soulmate." We both know that we aren't perfect but together she makes me perfect.

Now, I know my guy friends are probably gagging right now and thinking of how they are going to give me some serious crap, but I'm not saying that our life as a couple is always perfect. There are some times when Michele and I probably could ring each others neck...probably her ringing mine more than the other way but still, it happens. I just think that we have figured out one of the secrets to attempting to stay healthy as a couple and that is...talking to each other. I know...simple...but it seems to me that I have seen several marriages seriously suffer due to the lack of this simple action. We need attention from the ones we love and they need the same. Of course us guys are a bit different on the talking front, but each person needs to express themselves or the deal is going to go south at some point in time. There is a ratio of "not talking about it" placed against the duration of time that passes that you "don't talk about it" that equals the severity of the final confrontation of the subject. Don't think you can just sweep it under the rug...the subject, whatever it is will come up eventually. Discuss it early on (and tactfully...very important) and maybe there is some awkwardness/uncomfortableness that is over pretty quick after that, or attempt to discuss it after a 7 year buildup and see how that goes. I'll take a short awkwardness/uncomfortableness for a couple hours as apposed to never being able to work it out due to layers and layers of built up issues.

I want to spend the rest of my life with Michele. She told me last night that I am the cheese to her macaroni (we both know it's from Juno) but still cute. I will do whatever I can to make our lives happy and healthy and I will continue it today by declaring that I love this woman through thick and thin. I will always try my best to keep the lines of communication open with her and I know she feels the same.

We have talked about it.

Talk to you all soon,

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sick of it!!!

Well here we are, in the beginning of February. I'm just going to say it. I'm sick of winter. There, it's out. I'm not one of those people that just hate the snow, I think it's cool and enjoy some activities out there. The problem is that this winter has been so damn cold that winter activities have been slim to none. I have found myself on numerous occasions lately daydreaming of the warm sun beating down on my face as a refreshing breeze blows. I miss the beach, I miss the warmth, I miss the low gas prices (house, not car...heating a house is expensive...that is the new home owner in me still dealing w/ the sticker shock of my gas bill), I miss mowing the lawn...what, am I crazy!!! Today the sun is out and I thought to myself..."yes! It's warm out" and walked out to discover it is only 12 degrees.

We actually had a conversation with our friends the Tenneys and have agreed that from now on, each year we are going to plan a warm winter outing at the end of January or beginning of February and we will go to a hotel where they have a water park or something along that idea. Something like the Great Wolf Lodge or maybe at some point in the future a trip someplace warm (we will start small though). My batteries are drained and I could use a recharge. I think my family could too. We will have to see what can be done.

Sorry this blog is blah-tastic. Hopefully there is greener grass ahead...literally.

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Teacher In Me

I know that Michele does Friday Quotables (1 & 2) but I have my own little funny story to share in regards to this little guy named Cal that she does daycare for. I hope it translates as well to this blog as it did in real life.

A couple days ago I came home from work and headed towards the office/spare bedroom to drop off some mail. As I entered, I heard the gruffy voice of 4 year old Cal, "Hi Chris" (his voice reminds me of Charlie Brown). He's chillin' on the bed, both hands behind his head watching some Backyardigans. I use the bathroom in the office and come out and Cal says, "I think I need to go too." I say ok and he walks by and closes the door. He says something through the door which I didn't quite understand and I say "what?" and it turns out to be something along the lines of don't go anywhere. I figure he's pooping and may need some backup.

A little part of the backstory is that a couple of days prior to this I overheard Michele talking about how she is working on Cal's wiping skills...something along the lines of make sure you wipe twice (this was actually revised recently).

So I hear the door open and look in and Cal looks at me half naked and says, "I need you to wipe me." I remember Michele's comment and tell him that I know she has been working on this with him and he should try. So standing up, he grabs one square and wipes but lets just say it's not an in-depth wipe and the square comes out clean. He throws it in the toilet and starts closing up shop. "Whoa, whoa, whoa," I say and tell Cal, "you need to wipe better than that and really get in there. Here I'll talk you through it." So I take him through some steps.

"First you need to get at least 3 squares and fold them up. Second, you are going to have to squat a bit so you can really clean where the poop comes out (I know, gross but it needs to be said). Third and finally, wipe and throw in toilet. Repeat at least 2 or 3 times until there is no poop on the paper." He does this just as instructed and is finished. He flushes and half naked jumps around and yells, "CHRIS!!!!! YOU REALLY ARE A TEACHER. WOW!" And on this day, both my bachelors and masters degree in education were officially confirmed.

The end.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Letter To My Daughter

January 21, 2009

My beautiful daughter,

Yesterday I witnessed history in the making. You were there also but you are only two years old and don't understand yet. As you sat on your moms lap watching, as she cried tears of pride you asked "what's wrong mommy", and the answer was nothing, absolutely nothing. Everything was right yesterday, the wave that was created by this rock in the pond will ripple forever throughout our American history and I hope effect ours, and our future generations lives. The inauguration of a black man as the 44th President of the United States Of America was a large step towards a world I could only hope accepts all. Yesterday I felt national pride in my heart that I don't know if I have ever felt. It wasn't the kind of pride that come out of tragedy in September eight years ago. It was natural, raw, uninhibited pride in the people of our nation, the kind that inspires people to do great things. The feeling that anything is possible. I wan't with all my heart for this man to live up to his words more than any president I have lived through. I hope that you and I in four or maybe even eight years look back at yesterday and say this was the start of a brand new day in American history. I have hope for our future and some day we will talk about yesterday and what it meant to me and what it has done for you.

I love you Avery,
Your Daddy

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Being Pregnant

If you haven't heard yet, the Bookie family is expecting. Well I guess Michele is expecting but none the less we are all involved in the physical (as in how Michele is effecting our physical environment) and the mental aspects of the whole process. Not as directly as Michele but as we all know, our physical being effects all other physical entities in the house. Probably some of my blogs now will be in regards to pregnancy stories. Hopefully my wife won't kill me for things I say because sometimes they are funny even though she may disagree, but my viewpoint is this...if Michele can talk about me farting or at least alluding to me farting on her blog, than some things are fair game on my blog. Notice that I say, "some things." I am a smart man and I know where the line is...or at least enough of a line to keep me completely out of the dog house. Just know that if you see something one day and it's gone the next, the M.C.C. (Michele Communications Commission) has visited and sent a disapproval letter. In all seriousness I think it will be fun to talk about some of the stuff that is going on from my perspective. When Michele was pregnant with Avery there are some classic stories that came about, so maybe this time we can share them as we go. Most of them revolve around what Michele calls I.P.B. (Irrational Pregnancy Behavior), and a large chunk have to do with whether or not she has eaten within the correct time frame (I think I'm going to blog about a couple from when she was pregnant with Avery because they are pretty friggin' I think that will do it for now.

Stay tuned kids! I will talk to you all soon.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Little Girl

Michele and I have been trading who gives Avery a bath or who puts her to bed for quite a while. There are the occasional nights where one of us will do a double duty but for the most part we split this as much as possible. Lately if I do story time and the rock to bed it seems I can't escape the room without her waking enough to beg that I "yay down" with her. In her most adorable plead she says "please daddy" and works up a little drama. Now I know that I'm already wrapped around her finger and I know she knows this too but I love this very small but wonderful piece of snuggle time that we share. More than not I fall asleep in the bed, but before we do fall asleep she asks me to "dough uner daddy" which means lets pull the blanket over our head which she thinks is hilarious, or she moves in close and puts her arm around my neck and acts like she is sleeping by doing the stereotypical snoring sound. This is mixed in with multiple kisses either on my arms or my face and sometimes she rubs my face (I think she is trying to do the face tickle that I do sometimes to get her to sleep). I realize that mostly I just love the fact that I am a comfort to my daughter. She feels safe with me and she wants nothing more than some quality time with just her daddy. Most days this is the only time we spend just us and I cherish every moment. When she starts to settle down she turns her back to me and edges her butt up against me so she can make sure I'm there and soon after her breathing becomes very slow and deep and I know I can slip out of the bed. More than not I don't and I stay, "just a few more minutes for you and I" I think and we sleep. Usually I get a little tug on my toe from my wonderful wife and I go and snuggle with my other love. I am truly a lucky man. Life is good.