Happy Birthday Avery! One Year Old

Mmmm... Sand. Avery At The Beach It is so hard to believe that my baby girl is one year old today. 🙁 Life flies by so fast. I can remember when I was a little boy and it seemed like Christmas would never come. It took forever to get here. Birthdays were the same way. My parents and grandparents would always tell me to slow down. The older you get the faster life goes they’d say. Yeah right! They’re just making that stuff up to scare me. Guess they were right after all.

A year ago I was visiting the doctor because I’d had a headache for about a week. Of course I would soon find out the true meaning of the word migraine and have since learned to hate the word. A week after that we were back at the doctor for a routine doctor visit/checkup for Aubrey. She was having contractions pretty close together so they sent us over to the hospital to see what was up. The doctor there took one look at her and said, “Nope, you’re not going home today.” A couple of hours later we were introduced to Avery Noel Franzone, 8lbs 15oz with tons of dark brown hair and a perfectly round head. 🙂

Avery All Tuckered Out

Well, this is our last child and so it marks the end of a time in our lives. It’s always sad to see times pass that we cannot go back to. There will always be those “good times” that we reminisce about and long to have back, but we simply cannot go back in time. We have to just be thankful that God allowed us to have those times and keep the memories alive. It doesn’t make it any less sad though… at least for me.

If you read yesterday’s post then you know I’m on the prowl for a new job, so I’m not sure I’ll be working from home much longer. I’m so grateful though that I was able to spend so much time at home with Avery during this first year. It has made such a huge difference in our relationship and she is truly Daddy’s little girl.

Ragan, my oldest daughter finished her last day of the first grade yesterday. She received the Gold Honor Roll Certificate for having straight A’s all year long! She also received a character certificate for being Respectful. I’m so proud of her.

My son finished his K-4 class last week. He is on to K-5 (Kindergarten) next year. He’s already spelling and reading three and four letter words, counting and doing some simple adding. Every teacher that I’ve talked to that has been with Gavin tells me how sweet and kind and polite he is. I usually reply, “really?” (j/k) I’m very proud of my son.

I tell you what… I am one lucky guy. I have three of the greatest kids on the planet as far as I’m concerned. Not to mention the most drop dead gorgeous wife in the universe. 😉 I am truly rich beyond my dreams. Now if I could only find a bank that would convert that into currency for me…

Coed Baby Showers… Who Said We Wanted To Come!?

I have three children and we had three coed baby showers. I have friends with children. Yep. Coed baby showers. Guess what. We didn’t want to be there! We? It’s the men I’m referring to. I did some research on the topic and all of the guides and so called etiquette says pretty much the same thing. All written by women I’m sure (yeah, go ahead. Bring on the comments!)

Baby showers that have both men and women attending are growing popularity. Many expectant fathers, male friends, uncles, brothers and soon-to-be grandfathers welcome the chance to be invited to a baby shower. And why shouldn’t they be?

WHAT!? Are you serious? That’s a bunch of woman talk. I’m sorry to offend any of the ladies out there, but I’m a man and I have to represent my fellow man here. In fact this topic came up whilst having lunch with three of my male cohorts this past week and we all agreed… no, we don’t want to be invited to the stinking baby shower!

First, couples baby showers tend to be oriented more around family and friends, talking and catching up than around playing games and indulging in the silly traditions that women tend to do at showers.

Ok, that sounds good in theory, but guess what? It never happens. Never. Every single one that I’ve been to includes the silly traditions. Yes I have tasted the baby food to guess the flavor. I have been buzzed and giggled at because I said the word baby. OK, this is not Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.

Also, the food takes on a bigger role when men are present, so be sure to plan a good menu!

This was brought up in our conversation of particular interest to one of my close personal friends. His view point was an interesting one and that was of the host/hostess giving the baby shower. Now you would think giving a coed baby shower would exclude cucumber sandwiches and petit fours (leave it up to the French to come up with a spelling like that. It took me half an hour just to find it!). Obviously you would want to move towards more man friendly food. This however is usually not the case. Instead the petite lady foods are kept and man food is just added as an after thought. What is the problem you ask? Cost! That’s the problem. The host has to pay for the extra food.

When you organize the guest list, try to keep the number of men to women as even as possible. You don’t want the father to be the only man there!

There are two possible scenarios here.

  1. You are the father and you are the only man there. Be happy for your friends and gladly take one for the team. They’ll thank you later and will all buy you a beer… or even a six pack. That will surely make up for the time you did.
  2. All the men do show. Here’s your strategy. All of you make a beeline for the garage, backyard, den or game room to talk about football, cars, motorcycles, internet… whatever. The important thing here is to stay with the pack… there is safety in numbers. If you have to make a beer run then use the buddy system. You don’t want to be cornered in a room full of women gawking at baby stuff all by yourself. Trust me… you won’t survive.

You’ll also want to make sure that the couple opens their gifts together. Since opening the gifts tend to be the biggest event at baby showers, they should both be a part of it, not just the mother.

A-hem. A resounding… WRONG! This is baby stuff. We don’t care. All the baby clothes look the same to us. We do not want to look at baby diapers or baby wipes warmers. Baby bedding… no. Baby quilt… no. We really do not want to sit through an hour of oohs and aahs and giggles. And yes, it does take an hour, because someone has to record every stinking gift and who it came from because the thank you letters have to be sent out later. One more thing, ladies. If you want this precious moment recorded on video for years to come… tripod. It’s easy. You set it up, press record and walk away. Your husband does not have to stand there for an hour getting a shoulder cramp just to capture the whole thing.

Suggestions From The Men’s Corner

So, Jonathan, what would you suggest? Well, I’m glad you asked! If you really want to involve the men in your life with this happy event try this. Let them have their own separate gathering. That’s right. You have your baby shower thingy in whatever girly manner you see fit and do not involve the men except for the setup and destruction… I mean breakdown of any heavy items that need to be moved.

Then let the guys all go out to eat hot wings and watch a game at the local sports bar. Or maybe they could go together and charter a fishing boat for the day. Perhaps there’s an Ultimate Fighting Champion fight that they’d like to all watch on their buddies new widescreen hdtv. Heck, just leave it up to them. I’m sure they have a thousand and one ideas of things they’d rather do than go to a baby shower.

All quotes in this article came from BabyShowers: The Ultimate Planning Guide

So how did I do? Any comments from you ladies? The men? Didn’t like what I had to say? Please feel free to voice your comments below. I’d love to hear about it. Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

In Loving Memory : Sydney Franks

Sydney Horseback Riding

Sydney Franks was in my son’s Pre-K class this year. They had an unusually small class so all of the kids were very close. She had a heart transplant at a very early age, but nothing got her down. She had a smile that lit up the room and a laugh that warmed your heart. My son was quoted as saying that, “she looks very pretty in pink.” Sydney has gone home to be with the Lord now and so while the heavens rejoice at her homecoming… we are all silent and speechless.

Sydney with Mommy and little brother

Our deepest condolences go to the Franks family. I have three children of my own, including two daughters and a son and I cannot fathom the depths of emotion that I would be feeling under those circumstances. Please know that there is an army of people who love and care for you and are praying around the clock for you.

It is always hard to know exactly what to say when there is a loss of loved ones. Especially the loss of one so young. So instead of saying anymore I will just let a few more pictures say the rest as we remember Sydney’s beautiful life.

Hugging “Miss Lori”, Sydney’s teacher.

Sydney Hugs Miss Lori

Gavin and Sydney

Gavin (my son) and Sydney.
Listening in class.

img_1110.jpg

img_1359.jpg

You’re in Jesus’ hands now, Sydney. We will miss you.

Crazy Family Photos

Just so you know… it’s not just me. My entire family is crazy. Here is the proof.

collage-2
Click on the collage to view the entire wacky album

We were getting the kids ready for bed Thursday night and got to playing around and being goofy. Ragan started making funny faces and showing everyone so I told her to let me get a picture of it. Well that started a trend and we all got pictures of our funny faces. Well, except for Avery of course.

Anyway I love chances to be silly with my kids. I can be such a serious dad and feel like I’m always on them to “be careful” and “do things right” and “blah blah blah”. It’s good to be able to break free from all of that and just have some fun with your kids. If you can commemorate the event in photos and post it on your blog… even better! Then they can point it out to you years from now when you’re an old codger.