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February 29, 2004

Leap Year

Since today is Leap Day, I thought it would be appropriate to post a couple of pictures that involve leaping... These were all taken at the belt test on Friday night.

Well, the first one doesn't really involve anyone jumping up and down, but this is a site all about being a father and, without these two, I wouldn't be a father, so you will have to indulge me.

As I mentioned in my last post, the instructors do a demonstration during the belt tests. It usually involves a lot of very complex jumping kicks that, in reality, no one but the masters will ever be able to do.

For lack of a better way to put these out here, here they are:

Master Justin - Double Front Kick
Master Justin - Jumping Split Kick
Master Justin - Jumping Snap Kick
Master Justin - Really High Kick

Master Johnny - Quad Front Kick
Master Johnny - Triple Kick

Master Ryan - Really Big Leap

Now you know where Noah is learning his balloon killer instincts.

February 27, 2004

Stress

I had a stressful evening tonight. Not really that I felt a lot of stress for myself... I felt a massive amount of stress for Noah.

Here is the deal... I have built up an expectation in my mind that Noah is going to do a great job every day at Tae Kwon Do. He doesn't always do a great job, but he has fun doing it. When he does do a good job, I let him know. When he doesn't do a good job, I usually don't say much. When he completely screws around during class, I let him know that he will have to do better the next time.

Now, one side note before I go too much further... One thing that I never really took in to consideration is that Tae Kwon Do is really the only place that Noah gets to interact with other kids close to his own age. He is in a daycare, but he is the oldest kid there. The girl that is closest to his age is only about 18 months old. The others are infants. So, when I really see Noah messing around, he is usually playing with some of the other kids.

Anyway, tonight was belt testing. Noah was testing for his orange belt. As soon as all the children got up there to warm up, I started feeling stress. Noah just wasn't listening. He spent most of the time staring off into the sky. When he was addressed individually, then he would answer and start doing things, but not until then.

When it came time for the actual test, Noah did OK. Grand Master Kim was pretty understanding with Noah and had him work on some thing by himself and Noah did pretty well with them. He then had Noah sit down while the rest of the students worked out. Unfortunately, he didn't sit still very long and started roaming. One of the junior instructors came over and kept him company through the rest of that test.

Then came another 2 hours of testing, which I will admit is a long time for any child to sit through, but it just bugged me to see Noah up and roaming around during parts of it.

He did manage to break his board again, with a little help. That was a real high point for him. Hey, whey I broke my board tonight, it was a high point for me.

I am going to keep taking Noah to Tae Kwon Do as long as he wants to go, which he says he wants to do . Hopefully he will start to concentrate a little more on class when we do go.

February 25, 2004

Neurosis

I have proof that, in some cases, children are a product of their environment.

Misty is afraid of spiders. Well, she is afraid of everything creepy crawley. And then, there is our daycare provider... She is afraid of pretty much everything.

Anyway... This morning, there was a spider crawling on the wall in the bathroom. I had noticed it earlier, but I figured that I would leave well enough alone. It wasn't hurting me, so I wasn't going to crush the life out of it.

When Noah came in to brush his teeth, he saw the spider. He took one look at it, shrank back and made sure I was aware that it was there. I told him I knew it was there.

"Daddy, its a spider."
"I know. Its just sitting there."
"But, its a spider."
"Yes, I know. Is it hurting you?"
"No... kill it."
"Nope, if you want to kill it, you do it."

So, Noah went and got a shoe. Of course, it wasn't one of his. It was one of mine. He then held the shoe at arms length and waved it in the direction of the spider. Not like he was actually trying to hit it, just waving it.

It was hilarious to watch him. I am sure that, if the spider wasn't worried to death about getting blow off the wall from the breeze that the shoe was creating, he was probably laughing to death.

Noah just kept swinging that shoe like it was going to save his life. I just laughed, turned off the light and told Noah it was time to go downstairs.

I checked this afternoon and the spider was gone. I am sure that it moved on to less dangerous pastures.

At least it will be less breezy.

February 23, 2004

Relegated

I knew that it would happen eventually, but I don't think I was completely ready for it. I have been relegated to being Noah's father. Not that I haven't been Noah's father before... its just for the first time this weekend, I was just Noah's father.

I know, that is an odd statement, so let me explain it.

This weekend, I heard my father introduce himself as Noah's Grandpa. Well, that's true, but what about me? You know... the guy who had been your son since as long as you have been a father... Then, shortly after that, actually addressed me as Noah's father. Not as a description; it was in place of my name.

I have always known that it would happen someday. I knew that there would be a day that I went from being Matt to being Noah's Father.

At least I still remember my name. Its... uh... just a second.

Oh, well. Nevermind.

February 22, 2004

Mr. Attitude

Noah had a major chip on his shoulder tonight. He was tired and very cranky.

I can't tell you how happy I was when it was time for him to go to bed.

Now, its my turn...

February 21, 2004

We Survived!

We survived the Polar Bear Plunge! For a short period of time, I wasn't sure I was going to, but I'll get in to that shortly.

The water was 41 degrees and the air temperature wasn't much warmer. The sun was shining and there wasn't much wind, so it really didn't feel all that bad.

Originally, Misty wasn't going to be able to go with me, but some of the things that she was test weren't going to get cut over until later today, so she was able to come out. And, she even took the plunge with the rest of us.

We got there about 10:00 and we had a class out in the park near the beach. The temperature, the muddy ground and the leftovers from irresponsible pet owners made it a little difficult to get in to it, but we ended up having a pretty good class. After the class, the USA Tae Kwon Do Polar Bear Plunge Team (I know, long name) figured out how many people were actually going to take the plunge and how much money we had raised. We had 16 people that made the plunge, the youngest being 4 and we raised around $1,400. Not too shabby.

Noah didn't take the plunge, although he really wanted to. He watched us make the plunge and then admonished us when we were done for "being crazy".

When it got close to the time to make the plunge, we all lined up in front of some police tape. Misty and I made sure to pose for a before photo. After all, we had just signed wavers that said we could die from this.

Then they started to count down... At that point, I kind of got lost in thought somewhere between telling myself that I was insane for doing this and telling myself that it was for a good cause. I came back to reality just as the guy with the megaphone was telling is to go.

I ran in as fast as I could, yelling the whole way. I got to about waist level before it hit my brain that the water was really freaking cold. I'm not sure if I tripped on something or if my legs just decided to stop moving, but at that point I fell in the water. I was still yelling at the time. Let me tell you, landing face first into really cold water with your mouth open is not a good thing. That and the water tastes really, really bad. Anyway, I turned around, hoping that someone would get a photo of me so I could prove that I had actually done this. If you can't tell from that photo, that is a look of utter pain on my face.

Then, it was definitely time to run back to shore. The funny part about it is that once I got up there, I really didn't feel all that cold. I am really glad that it wasn't windy.

Anyway, Misty and I decided that we had better get an after photo to prove that we had actually gotten wet.

So, I did it and I lived to tell about it. And, next year, we are all going to do it again. Noah, too.

It will be fun... Really.

February 20, 2004

P-p-p-polar B-b-bear P-p-p-plunge

There is something seriously wrong with me...

Tomorrow, it is going to be 40 degrees at noon tomorrow at Shawnee Mission Lake. The lake is still covered in ice.

I am going to jump in to it tomorrow. Out of my own free will. No one is going to be chasing me in.

Can someone tell me what is wrong with me?

I am on a team sponsored by USA Tae Kwon Do and I thought it sounded interesting... I actually volunteered to do it.

Believe it or not, I was actually looking forward to it. Now that it is a day before, though, not so much anymore. I think I was good up until the point I read that you have to sign a waiver saying that, in case of death, your family won't sue them... Death? They didn't say anything about dying when we first signed up for this. Oh well, you only live once. Hopefully past tomorrow...

It is for a good cause, though. We are raising money for the Kansas Special Olympics.

Pictures will be taken for posterity sake... I'll probably post them up here so you can share some of the pain that I am going to go through tomorrow.

February 19, 2004

Torture

Noah isn't potty trained yet. It is driving Misty and I nuts...

We have tried asking him.

We have tried begging him.

We have tried rewarding him ever time he goes.

We have tried coercing him... "Big boys go in the toilet..."

We have tried appealing to his ego... "Your butt will look smaller if you stop wearing diapers..."

So, we are going to try a new approach... We are going to torture him.

OK. OK. Before you call the police, I'm not going to stretch him on a rack or pound bamboo shoots under his fingernails.

We are going to take the mental torture approach.

Before I get in to the specifics of what we are going to do, let me tell you my reasoning behind it. Noah has been around for 1199 days. If you figure an average of 8 diapers a day, that is 9592 diapers. If you assume that there are approximately 50 diapers per package, that is about 192 packages of diapers. If you figure that the average cost of a package of diapers is $20, that means we have spent $3,840 on diapers. That is enough to make anyone take drastic measures.

So, here is our drastic measure. Noah has been asking for a bicycle for quite a while. So, Misty and I went out and bought one for him. We are going to put it together so he can see it. Then, we are going to put it on a shelf so he can't ride it. We are going to tell him that he can have the bike when he starts using the toilet.

I know... It is almost evil. And I am sure that there are some of you that think we are mean.

Then again, I am sure that some of you think you would have thought of it first.

February 18, 2004

The Ladies Man

I have related in pasts posts that Noah is a flirt. Tonight, he took it to an all new level.

There are three little girls that go to Tae Kwon Do that Noah likes quite a bit. Their father and I work together. Misty and their mother do Tae Kwon Do together. We all have gotten together before and just hung out. As soon as we walked through the door, the girls grabbed Noah and took him upstairs. We didn't see him for hours after that.

Tonight, I was going to belt test at Tae Kwon Do. Noah and Misty came up to watch me and Halston, Veronica and Ginny were there. Veronica and Ginny were busy keeping Noah occupied until after my class got over.

At that point, Noah started talking to Master Justin and he encouraged Noah to go give Ginny a kiss. He did. Kind of.

A few minutes later, he came over to me and told me that he kissed Ginny and he was going to do it again. He ran over there and gave her a huge kiss and then ran back to me cackling the whole time. Everyone was laughing, so I guess I don't have to worry about a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Man, I can already tell that we are going to have our hands full with this kid.

February 17, 2004

Little Red Car

Misty's car is in the shop and she had to rent a car. Her first choice was a black Pontiac Grand Am. She didn't get that one, but that is a different story...

What she ended up with was a red Chevrolet Cavalier. It is very tiny. Very, very tiny.

Anyway, as Misty was leaving for work this morning, Noah looked at me and said, "Look. It's the Big Red Car. Like the Wiggles. Only smaller."

For anyone who isn't aware, The Wiggles are a group of four crazy Australians that sing and dance along with a green dinosaur that eats roses, a giant purple octopus that leads a big band, a giant dog that has a small harem and a pirate with a feather for a sword. Part of The Wiggles schtick is to get into what looks like a convertible VW Bug and drive around and sing about their big red car. Noah loves these guys... I don't hate them, which is more than what I can say for Barney or the Teletubbies.

So, now Noah loves that little red car. I am sure that he is going to be broken hearted when we have to take it back. I can't wait... That car is too tough to get in and out of for me.

He will get over it.

February 16, 2004

Attention Deficit

Noah had a serious case of attention deficit tonight.

Noah went to two Tae Kwon Do classes today. Misty said that he did pretty well in his first class. The second class was the family class... All three of use went. Misty and I got a pretty good workout. Noah wandered.

It was quite frustrating for me.. I have seen him do so well. On top of that, I think that Master Justin got a little frustrated as well. He is too nice to ever say anything, but I could see it.

I have to keep telling myself that he is only three and what he can do as a three-year-old is pretty impressive.

Now, along the lines of pretty impressive... Noah has joined the ranks of some of the greatest balloon killers in Tae Kwon Do history. Unfortunately, he doesn't really have a lot of weight behind these impressive jumping kicks and has a tendency to bounce of the balloons.

I think he likes it when he bounces off of them and I don't complain much. It keeps the balloon budget down.

Weekend Review

This weekend was pretty uneventful. We really didn't do much, just kinda vegged out.

I think we all really needed it. The next few weekends are going to be pretty busy. I don't think we have anything real big coming up this week... Just work and Tae Kwon Do.

Back to the grind...

February 13, 2004

Hellooooo, Daddy

I made it home from Saint Louis in one piece. It is a long, straight drive and I was glad that I was the passenger.

As soon as I walked in the house, Noah came running; yelling "Hello, Daddy!", the whole way. Talk about a warm welcome.

If there is anything good about traveling, it is coming home.

February 12, 2004

Daddy, Come Home...

I am 250 miles away from home tonight. I called home around 8:30 to talk to Misty and she told me that Noah had been asking about me. He was still awake, so she put him on the phone.

The first thing that he said was, "Daddy, when are you going to come home?"

Those words make me feel really good and make me feel really bad at the same time. I like it that Noah misses me... It makes me feel wanted. But I also hate the fact that he knows that I am gone and is missing me.

It is all a part of the job, but sometimes that really sucks...

February 11, 2004

I want Mommy...

Tonight, these were the funniest words that I have heard in a long time.

Misty has been grumbling quite a bit recently about how Noah has been wanting me to take him upstairs.

Wednesday is Misty's TV night. For some reason that I do not understand, she likes to watch The Bachelorette.

Tonight, when it was time to head up for bed, Noah looked at me and said that he wanted Mommy to take him upstairs. Fifteen minutes in to her show, she got exactly what she had been complaining about for the last couple of weeks.

She waited until a commercial and took him up. The whole time, I was sitting downstairs laughing.

I think this qualifies as a "Be Careful What You Ask For!"

February 10, 2004

You Heard It Here First

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

OK, folks. You heard it here first. Or second, if I have talked to you about it already...

After talking it over with Noah, he and I have decided that we are going to go to the Oklahoma City Tae Kwon Do tournament in February next year. The reason that I want to go is because I want to use the next 10 months to get into shape and then be able to prove that I am in shape. Noah wants to go because he wants a trophy.

I am putting this out here because I am going to need all the help I can get in training for this. Between now and January 2005, I need to drop 40 pounds and increase my stamina. I am going to work as hard as I can, but I am going to need help.

First of all, if anyone sees me stuffing my face with anything that I don't need, feel free to remind me of the end goal.

Secondly, anyone who sees me slacking when it comes to Tae Kwon Do or any other training that I am doing, remind me of that, too.

Here are the basic stats... I currently weigh 220. I want to get to 180. Body fat is 26%. I want to drop that to 10% - 12%. I know, it is a lofty goal, but it is one that I think I can hit.

As for Noah, I am sure that he is going to do fine... He is working hard and will only get better over the next year. He is already practicing.

Oklahoma, here we come!

February 09, 2004

Embarrasment

You know, when I was younger, my parents used to delight in pulling out the photos of me whenever I brought home a new girlfriend. They always ensured to get out the ones that were the most embarrassing as they could.

So, I got to thinking... Why wait until Noah is older?

With technology on my side, I can start putting all kinds of pictures up here to make sure that he has to seek counseling about his crazy father.

So, with that, I thought that everyone should know that Misty and I are raising a little rockstar.

I am going to try to start putting more photos up here. That assumes, though, that we start taking more of them

Ki Hap

In Tae Kwon Do, the Ki Hap is very important.

Whenever you kick or punch, you are supposed to Ki Hap. A Ki Hap is a yell. I'm not sure that it really matters what the yell sounds like as long as it is forceful. The main thing is that it is an intimidation factor. It also makes sure that you are exhaling when you are exerting force, which is very important. If you don't, you could pass out.

One of the things that Noah has a real issue with is remembering to Ki Hap when he kicks. For the most part, Noah does a really good job with his kicks, but he just forgets to yell.

This morning, Noah and I had a little time before we left for day care, so I suggested that we practice kicking. We didn't get out the kicking target; I just had him kick my hand. He was getting the basics of the kick down, but he kept forgetting to Ki Hap.

I reminded him several times that he needed to Ki Hap. He kept telling me that he knew, but he wasn't doing it when I told him to.

Finally, I told him that he had to Ki Hap or we were going to stop kicking and go ahead and leave...

He looked me right in the eye, kicked as hard as he could and Ki Happed as loud as I have ever heard him.

He missed my hand and kicked me right in the shin. I can't prove it, but I think he meant to do it.

Go Ki Hap though. Nice bruise, too.

February 04, 2004

Daddy's Boy

Noah is a Daddy's boy.

While there is a certain sense of satisfaction that goes along with that statement, I can tell you that it can be a pain in the rear.

First, Misty isn't ecstatic about the fact that Noah would rather hang around with me that spend time with her. This includes sitting on my lap and doing the bed time ritual.

Second, there is the whole diaper changing thing. That's right, Noah is still in diapers and guess who he usually wants to change him. That's right... Dear Old Dad.

Third, as you already know, Noah isn't on my happy list list at the moment and since he has gotten over being mad at me, he assumes that I am done, too. To tell the truth, I am done being mad now, but I couldn't get away from him last night.

The pendulum has swung back and forth between Misty and I being his favorite and I am sure that it will swing back the other direction sooner or later.

When it happens, I am sure that I will be back on here complaining that I don't get enough Noah time.

Until then, I will enjoy it while I have it.

February 03, 2004

Thief!

I got a call from Misty on the way home from work today. She told me that Noah had gotten a medal in Tae Kwon Do. She wasn't sure what it was for because there were a lot of kids there today, but Noah had gotten a medal.

I was really proud. Noah has been doing very well and I figured that it was another way for the instructors to let him know that he was doing a good job.

When Misty went to Tae Kwon Do, I made sure to remind her to ask Master Justin and Master Ryan why they had presented Noah with the medal. When she got home, she told me that no one had actually given Noah the medal.

My pride quickly dissolved into disappointment and we confronted Noah. We asked him who had given him the medal. He told us that he didn't know. We asked him if Master Justin had given him the medal. He said no. We asked him if Master Ryan had given him the medal. He said no. We asked him where he got the medal. He told us that he picked it up.

We told him that he couldn't do that and that he was going to have to take it back and then the fit began. Originally, we told him that he was going to have to take it back tomorrow, but after some quick discussion, we decided that he needed to take it back tonight. He does only have the attention span of a three year old, after all, and would most likely forget what had happened before tomorrow.

We took him back up there, all the while telling him that he had done something wrong and that he needed to tell Master Justin and Master Ryan that he was sorry for what he had done.

When we got in there, Master Ryan came over and took Noah into the office and told him to sit down. Noah came right out and told him that he had take the medal and that he was sorry. Ryan let him know that he was disappointed and that he can't take things that don't belong to him. Then he had Noah do four pushups. After we were done with that, I gave Noah the medal so he could give it back. He handed it back and apologized again.

As we walked out of the office, Master Justin came over and Noah immediately told him that he was sorry and that he wouldn't do it again.

It was a learning experience for all of us. Hopefully, Noah learned not to take things that don't belong to him. Misty and I learned that we really are getting the handle of this parenting thing.

Oh, yeah. We also learned that we need to start locking up the valuables.

February 02, 2004

Little Plumber

I got to relive my youth, through Noah, yesterday afternoon.

There are many times that I can remember working with my father around the house or fixing the cars. It isn't like my job was really all that important. I handed dad tools or helped him lose, er..., find parts.

I had a job that had to get done yesterday. We had a toilet that was leaking and I needed to replace the tank parts. Misty was gone for the afternoon, so I put Noah down for a nap, grabbed a wrench and a screwdriver and got to work. I had just gotten the water shut off and disconnected when I heard Noah climbing over his gate and heading downstairs. Since I was draped over the toilet getting ready to take the tank off, I didn't hop up and get him back to bed.

Noah came in to the bathroom and asked me if he could help. I did try, although halfheartedly, to get him to go back to bed and finish his nap. He insisted on helping.

So, Noah and I spent the next hour or so working on a toilet. Noah handed me wrenches and screwdrivers and tracked down bolts and washers. He was on cloud nine. He liked it when we turned the water on and the toilet didn't leak anymore. He was especially happy when I told him thank you for helping.

Now I know that there was more to me helping my father than handing him tools.