Mike and the moms group

  Conjunctivitis was the cause and a day suspended from daycare (due to illness) was the effect. Secondary effect – dad (me) had the day off from work.   This was a Tuesday. You know, one of the mid-three days (Tuesday-Thursday) that don’t have the terrible negative connotation of a Monday or the insurmountable high of a Friday… It’s just Tuesday. Most workers are at work and by 9-ish the streets are relatively clear.   Clara had conjunctivitis, which is apparently a contagious eye infection of sorts. She didn’t have a terrible fever or cough that could wake a bear in December, no, contagious eye infection. Seemed minor to me, so I approached the day as if it were a Saturday where Monica had to work or hit up one in the seemingly endless stream of wedding/baby showers. Clara and I’d be flying solo and the day’s docket had only […]

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Is greed killing our water park?

  I’m a 30 year-old child when it comes to certain things (sand volleyball, road trips to the beach, days at the zoo, walks to the splash pad, park activities, certain workouts, …, and a day at the water park). Meaning, I get so excited these things are coming up that I often annoy those around me with questions, lists of possible things to do, and a generally high energy level in preparation for the desired item. My family and friends use the phrase, “Calm down,” abundantly in those situations.   So, when The Cruise Director (brother-in-law #1) told me that The Groom’s (brother-in-law #2) bachelor party would start with a behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo and day at the water park, anticipation spiked early and often.     Monica and I have a season pass to the zoo but that doesn’t get us backstage to interact with the animals. […]

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Saving lives is a thankless job

  Ask anyone that knows me well and they’ll tell you I don’t mind exaggerating a story here and there – “Taking the liberty,” as I call it. Not here. Not this post.   I wrote a post about people watching mid-way through our summer vacation and thought I’d seen all I needed for content… Wrong. The day after I finished the article, this happened:     I always wanted to be a lifeguard – probably why The Guardian and The Sandlot are two of my favorite movies (one deals with saving lives at sea and the other has a great lifeguard scene). I’ve lived by the water for short periods of time but was never able to pull the trigger. Nonetheless, I consider myself pretty competent in the water. SCUBA certified, I enjoy free diving, swimming for exercise, and just about any other water-related activity.     Knowing all this, the following […]

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The art of people watching, and what are they saying about me??

  How many activities can keep you entertained for an entire day and not cost you a penny? I have no idea, but I know of one  for sure. The art of people watching is a skill Monica and I have worked toward perfecting for close to a decade now, and the beach trip we took this month ramped up activities in a major way.   To people watch is to observe our fellow humans in their natural environment and take stock of how we behave and interact… The results have been shocking.     The fact that we had a watchful eye – well 4 watchful eyes – at the beach led to us witnessing the rescue of a girl who got sucked out to sea in a rip-current, a brawl between 8 apparently wasted college buddies during our 7 am run, the tumble of a wind-tossed umbrella toward […]

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The ‘play date’ – how guys in their 30s make new friends

  I look back to college and remember a time when grilling out with the fellas, having ‘a’ beer, and enjoying some game/sporting event was a regular occurrence. We didn’t need a reason to start that process at 1:00 in the afternoon… It was Saturday and that was reason enough.   Anything was on the table: philosophy, religion, politics, sports, and thoughts about why Florida was a better spring-break destination than Virginia Beach. Great times and next to zero responsibility.   Fast forward 12 years and the situation is slightly different.   We’re saving up for a few projects/purchases for around the house and although a grill is rapidly approaching the top of that list – we’re not there yet. The stove works though, so we’ve got that going for us.   There is still beer in the fridge, but thankfully Busch light (no offense to my friends still on […]

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Happy Mother’s Day

Hi team! We know that momming can sometimes be a thankless job. So for all the moms out there – especially those closest to us – “thank you!” Thank you for showing us the lines when we step outside of them, thank you for being a friend when we need one, and thank you for showing us what it is to be a strong and loving woman. -Mike

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Sometimes you have to setup a breast pump with your mother-in-law…

This is a 99% true story (my memory isn’t what it once was so that accounts for the 1%).   Monica and I were getting steamrolled by the lack-of-sleep train that was Clara’s first few weeks of life. We had the unique and seemingly backwards situation that I was afforded 12 weeks off from work while she had about 6 to play with. Breastfeeding was going well, Clara was eating pretty regularly, and Monica was starting back to work. (Yes fellas, ‘breast’ will be used frequently in this post.)   We had done our prep work before Clara was born – you know, put up the crib, washed clothes, figured out the car-seat (or so we thought)…     Another thing we took care of was ordering the breast pump from our insurance company. It came in the mail and quickly found its way to a closet. Things were moving […]

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The real survival guide for new dads (3 of 3)

  This our third and final installment of The real survival guide for new dads series. If you’ve missed our first two – feel free to check them out here (first) or here (second). Otherwise, let’s read some entertaining stories and maybe learn a thing or two.   The fourth trimester. The first few months after your baby is born are often referred to by this moniker – and for good reason. Positives during this time included: Monica wasn’t vomiting any more, we got to meet our beautiful daughter, and… you know I can’t remember too many details but things were looking up. There were a few things to keep an eye out for though…   I hate you means I love you? Postpartum is legit. So legit, in fact, that postpartum depression is shown to severely affect 1 in 7 women in the subsequent months after birth (1). Take ‘severely’ out of the equation […]

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The real survival guide for new dads 2

  This is a continuation of our The real survival guide for new dads series. If you’ve missed our first installment – feel free to check it out here. Otherwise, let’s keep this parenting train moving. Just a heads-up first though: this post is a bit heavy on some of the darker realities of parenting – poop, pee, and vomit. If this affects you, reader discretion is advised.   Babies excrete fluids, solids, and some weird combination of the two.   One thing you need to know up front is that babies love to spit-up, throw-up, at times projectile vomit, pee, and poop. They don’t seem to care whether it’s in a diaper, on the carpet, in your hair, or … in your mouth (yea, I wen’t there – story to follow). Because all of these things can happen frequently there are a few points to cover.   Let a nurse walk you […]

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