It’s been an eventful year. Gone in the blink of an eye, yet, somehow, each moment felt like a day.
Henry was born.
I quit my longtime job as an executive producer at Fox news to write full-time from home.
We moved from Utah to Pennsylvania.
We fixed up our new house until it feels like we’ve been here forever.
Serge went on tour in Europe with his old band, Marah.
We made new friends.
We miss old friends.
Henry went from amoeba-like newborn to toddling grinner and Violet went from toddling grinner to chattering kid.
We are blessed. Can’t wait to see what the new year holds. Another baby? Perhaps, my friends. Perhaps.
Hope you enjoy this year in review as much as I liked putting it together.
In Mama’s Good Guts 1 of 12Whole galaxies get whipped up in mama's good guts and there is no telling whether he's gonna want pancakes on the morning of his first day of school or what book he might end up reading up in the jet the first time he flies over the rough dark sea. Down in there, mama's hot gravy seeps into his veins and rolls up into his tiny heart and then out again, rollercoastering life all up and down his world. - Dad.
Shooting Out into the Lights 2 of 12I hope his little eyes are rested now. Because pretty soon he's gonna be shooting out into the lights that don't stop until the end. Hospital lights over your sweet new face and headlights coming around the corner to pick you up at 7 in the evening on a Friday night and the neon lights of Manhattan and the flashing lights of the cop pulling you over. The lights on Christmas trees sparkling off the glassy blinks of someone he's falling in love with down the road. - Dad.
So Tired it Hurts 3 of 12You know that feeling? When you're so tired it actually hurts? When you're so tired and the babe - God bless him - gets to snuffling and snorting for the billionth time and sitting up to check on him and readjust his damned pacifier seems like the hardest thing in the world? It's that feeling that caused me to pull him up onto bed with me where he sticks his little face right into mine and is the only human in the history of the universe who actually seems to enjoy my morning breath! He loves it. Turns his sweet face right into mine and inhales like he's in a perfume factory, sighs contentedly and then BAM. He's asleep. - Mom.
And So It Goes… 4 of 12I'm up every couple of hours at night to feed Henry, check on Violet, the usual drill.
Serge sleeps through the whole thing. He has the baby monitor on his side of the bed but I think AC/DC could perform a concert in the baby's room and Serge wouldn't hear a thing. Wait, no. He'd be up air-guitaring within seconds of the first notes of Back In Black.
What I'm saying is, AC/DC = Serge would wake up. Baby crying, no dice. - Mom
He Doesn’t Want Me to Shower! 5 of 12The boy, he doesn't want me to shower. I suspect he has some sort of internal barometer that senses the minute I step under the hot spray of water. The barometer trips a mechanism that, in turn, jump starts an alarm that signals Henry to cry.
Happens the same way every morning. Henry drops off to sleep. I mean, the kid appears to be dead asleep, y'all, so I distract Violet with a DVD and tiptoe to the shower. Was that him? Nope, just my imagination. I undress and wait, was that him? I creep back into his room, naked boobs swinging in the breeze, but he appears to be sleeping contentedly although I now think he's playing possum at this point, probably giggling the minute I leave the room.
I breathe a sigh of relief and step into the shower. Ah, yes. Mama loves her shower. Pretty much the only alone time I get. I have just soaped up my pits when I think I hear his cry. I turn off the water and stand there, dripping and listening. Again, must be my imagination. I shave my pits. But I'm not enjoying myself, my whole body is a jangle of nerves, listening for and expecting the cry. I scrub my face and still, nothing. Hmm. Maybe I'll get an entire shower this morning.
I have just worked the shampoo into a fine lather in my hair when I hear it for certain. - Mom
In Search of Greener Pastures 6 of 12Moving has, is and always will be a nightmare of epic proportions. Can you imagine two dysfunctional, confrontational, emotional and irrational assholes such as us packing and loading a moving truck? Exactly. Oh God, I'm hyperventilating. Just one sec while I breathe into the paper bag I keep in my nightstand for just this kind of situation.
Those times we've moved in the past? Just me, Serge and Max. Now - two cars, two kids, two dogs - it's like Noah's Ark, you guys. Except we could really use a giant boat to get us and all our shit to our destination: Green Acres. Not only is the actual move looming on the horizon, dogging us like a serial killer honing in on his victims, but we have yet to figure out exactly how we're going to make this move happen. - Mom.
Airpwane Over Dare! 7 of 12My daughter is half a year from three now and she talks a lot. We'll be in the Honda, cruising down the road towards the Home Depot or the beer distributor and she'll be back there in her seat all strapped in, the summer gushing through the window/making her curls medusa, and out of nowhere she'll holler,"AIRPWANE! AIRPWANE! OVER DARE! IT"S AN AIRPWANEOVERDAREOVERDAREAIRPWANELOOKANAIRPWANE!"
And sure enough me and her mom will lean out over the dash and look up in the sky and see some jet high out over the world, dangling from a cloud.
"There it is!," we'll say.
"AIRPWANE! DARE IT IS! OVER DARE! IN THE SKY!," Violet will say.
Her Kiki 8 of 12She dubbed it a "kiki" when she was around a year old and the term stuck. "Kiki?" She'd request with big eyes and a grin. "Where's kiki?" She'd place her little starfish paw in mine and tug. "Mama, where's kiki? KIKI, WHERE ARE YOU?" She'd shout as we'd begin our thousandth search that day for her binky. "Dare he is! Dare's kiki, mama!" Then she'd pop it happily in her mouth and sit contentedly watching her Wonder Pets or Fresh Beat Band.
Her kiki comforted me as much as her. Once chubby, unsure legs are long and strong, wispy hair now thick and curly, but somehow, as long as she sucked on that binky she was still my baby girl.
Hell Comes Calling 9 of 12Fear wells up in me all the time and I try not to let it show, but I know I suck at that and my wife would confirm that. You can't keep your kids from falling down off shit or splitting their lips open on the very tables we set up to hoist their small dinners toward the heavens. Bees are gonna find that soft skin and they are gonna be fucking excited as hell when they hold their asses in the air and wave 'em around and then send the stinger home some early evening when you're all relaxing out in the yard, putting flowers in the dirt and feeling all good about yourselves because you're such a quality time family and look at us out here digging in Mother Earth together but not in some dirty hippie kinda way but more in a Beekman Boys vibe and aren't we just so....BAM.
The kid gets stung. Hell comes calling.
I can't stop it. I can't stop anything, really. - Dad.
Cailful, Boots! 10 of 12"Why don't you give Daddy that cool cow and I will help him down the steps while you come down on your own because you are a big girl and you can do it, Violet!"
"BE CAILFUL BOOTS!", she hollers as she slides her tiny ass down a step. And then another.
Boots is Dora's monkey friend. Duh.
"I got the cow!", I assure her after she gives him up to me to sherpa down the morning slope.
"CAILFULBOOTS!", she says.
We slip our asses down from one carpeted step to the next. Same as we did yesterday. Same as we'll do later this afternoon.
At the last step, I turn around and watch her descending just behind me, concentration smeared all over her face like her jelly gets. - Dad.
Stegosaurus Heart 11 of 12"Daddy Daddy Daddy! Ook whot I found!"
Her eyes are glimmering as she shoves the plastic fella at me.
I put the wine on the side table under the old Ikea lamp. I pick it back up and take a sip. Then, I put it down again.
"Whoooooa! Looky there!, " I say. "You found the long lost dinosaur, huh??!!"
She's beaming, rotating the thing in her tiny fist a little, so that he seems to be dancing at the sight of me.
"Yeah! I foun him I foun him! Stegsawris!"
The way she says it/ the way she says Stegosarus/ I watch her lips in the seconds leading up to it, knowing she will say the word. Stegsawris. My baby girl. Oh man. - Dad.
Beewee Howaday 12 of 12For Christmas, Serge gifted me with a bunch of Billie Holiday records. I drop the needle on 'em most days. Light candles and vibe myself back to the 1930's. Violet too. Look mama! She'll point to the records and say, "It's Beewee Howaday. She so byoo-ee-fow".
Beewee Howaday ain't got nothin' on you, kid.