With big brother out of town, my youngest is the only child. This doesn’t happen to often but we are going to enjoy the time.
My son is incredibly fortunate to have a godmother that wants to take him hiking over the weekend. Securing the carseat felt normal. Giving goodbye hugs in front of the house I began wondering how his camping trip would turn out. But watching them drive away in the distance made me wonder when did I become so emotional. I couldn’t help but wonder what he would do if he woke up scared in the middle of the night. Quickly I realized I needed to let go and have fun with My Precious who was waving frantically in my arms. …
I’ve needed to be strong for my children, my wife and my family. When I look back at forged memories, I’ve found I over complicate issues. Sometimes a complex or difficult problem can be solved with something simple.
Months back when Uncle Josh was visiting, the two of us decided to play a trick on MJ. At the time, she was about 18 months old and Uncle Josh and I reverted back to our childhood for a few minutes.
Uncle Josh and I look quite similar.When we want to look a like, we can look pretty similar, or at least I like to think I look like J-Smooth. The kids say we look the same. After all Uncle Josh is live and in person a handful of times each year. They see him often in the computer and that be confusing when Uncle Josh shows up with cupcakes.
Over the past year you’ve grown so much. It’s so hard to believe you are 2 years old already. I feel like you began walking only a short time ago. Looking back at pictures, it’s easy to see you’ve been walking and talking for months.
I enjoy looking back to see all of your progress. The fondest memories are full of your spunky personality. It was best most a month or two ago. You, Jackie, & I were walking through the library. The Bruff Family Library Rules didn’t apply to you for some reason. …
The first step to solving a problem is admitting you have a problem. Hi, my name is Chris. I am creating a monster. At night My Precious cries for someone to comfort her. With my busy schedule, I don’t get to spend as much time with her during the daylight hours as I’d like.
At night time, guilt piles on hard and lightens with each step I take toward her bedroom. Within moments, I’ll pick her up or climb in bed snuggling close with her pink zebra. Every night like clockwork she’s up at 11pm and 1am waiting for me to visit. Should I leave her be? …
Recently I teamed up with an incredible mom blogger from down under. She runs All Things Mom Sydney. I was given the unreasonable task of writing a letter to my mother in 350 words. It was difficult because I’m pretty wordy and my mother encompasses more than 5 paragraphs. With that being said, I narrowed my focus. I wrote what I should have told her year ago.
I know I don’t tell you this enough so here goes. Hamburgers.
Mother, I miss you cooking hamburgers. It’s cliché for people to tell stories about mom taking care of their needs at home. All that is true and more. Let me tell you why “hamburgers” is important to me.…
The night before my precious MJ went to daycare for the first time, I should have felt good, relaxed and prepared, but I wasn’t. I was as nervous as a germaphobe at a buffet. If I didn’t have to go to work I would have turned around and brought her home to hang out with me for the day.
As I am writing this, I am shaking my head at being one of those obsessive parents. Hovering and thinking their kid is different than everyone else’s. For some reason, I think all parents have one thing in common. They all think their child isn’t common. I am no different. …
Having an older sibling is tough. Older siblings take younger siblings toys, they assume younger siblings always want their leftovers, and older siblings usually get their own way. This is completely relatable to MJ and her big brother Jackie.
Pink Frosted Donut
A few weeks ago, we were going to visit grandma in Connecticut. Naturally, Kim and I stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts before we made the 2 hour trek to down. Kim got her usual iced coffee. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get Jackie his “Special, special,” of chocolate munchkins. Instead, we got him a strawberry frosted donut. MJ and I split a bagel as we bounced down the highway. …
It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyways, my wife is the greatest. I’ve known her for thirteen years and every year is better than the last. Like every couple, we’ve gone through our ups and downs but lived to tell the tale. A few highlights of the past thirteen years include getting married, driving cross country, buying a house, 2 kids, changing careers, and lounging on the couch watching TV.
Since the first day I met my love, she’s been easy to talk to. After all, when we first met I did all the talking (surprise, surprise). As time went on she did more talking. Kim told me that she’d heard all of my stories, which was only partly true, so I began telling new stories with more play-by-play detail. More recently I’ve heard my wife tell me, “It’s a good thing you have kids. You get to tell all your favorite stories again.”
Rather than sharing my favorite story of Kim, I’ll share one story of how she knows more than I do. Please bear with me while I set the scene.
On a typical weekday, my love walked into the house with a few shopping bags. I was sitting on the couch while Jackie and MJ were watching PJ Masks. Kim stood in front of the TV and Jackie and I said in unison, “You’re in the way.”
“I know.” Kim responded while she picked up the remote and turned the volume down.
Jackie simply moved closer to the TV and I readjusted myself. I knew what I was in store for. We were going to be playing an exhilarating round of:
“Guess How Much I Got This For!”
Kim started pulling shirts, pants, and skirts out of bags. By the time the next commercial began I was a little surprised we were still playing the game. Little did I know Kim had saved the best for last.
“I went Target when MJ was on 9 months old.” she said. “I saw these shoes and I knew there were so cute.” Kim put her hands in the bag. I leaned forward on the couch expecting her to pull something out.
Kim saw I was interested. She put a hand up like traffic cop and I knew I shouldn’t ask any questions or move any closer. She was running the show. Kim continued. “I just couldn’t justify buying those shoes for MJ yet because she wasn’t walking plus they cost $30.” Motioning over to MJ, I saw my precious go from smiling to RBF. MJ’s no fool, she knew we were talking about her.
“Well, I kept my eye out for the shoes and knew if I came back in a few weeks the shoes would be marked down.” I leaned back to peer over her shoulder towards the TV. PJ Masks was due to come back on in any moment. She was losing me and she knew it. Once again Kim’s hand began digging in the bag. I leaned forward again only to be stopped by the traffic cop.
“Now that MJ can walk I’ve been on the look out for the perfect shoes. We are going on the cruise to Bermuda and I knew the perfect shoes were out there.” I try desperately to steam a glance towards the bag. “I went back into Target.” I look at the bag again and then over her shoulder at the TV. “Guess what I got for $6?” I don’t need to look over her shoulder to know that PJ Masks is back on, I can hear the music.
King Arthur pulled the sword from the stone. Brandi Chastain went to the ground and screamed in triumph. Put those two together and you’ve got a clear picture of Kim pulling the shoes she bought for her daughter. With all the hubbub I knew the shoes were special.
I thought about getting off the couch and decided to stare at them from my vantage point on the couch. The beige/nude colored shoe with a flower pattern cut into the shoes. I couldn’t help but wonder, “How in God’s name would I ever be able to match those shoes to the plethora of non-flowered outfits in her closet?”
The laces up the front that looked to be made out of ribbon. With a wicked smile Kim turned the shoe to the side and I was completely perplexed.
There is a…zipper?
“What do you think? Wasn’t that such a bargain?” Kim asked. I was speechless. My mind raced with ways I could try to incorporate the shoes into the rotation. It is hard enough trying to put together a girl’s outfit that wasn’t bought as a prearranged outfit from the store. No way I’m getting laughed at for bringing MJ in public with those shoes on. Who needs laces when your shoes have a zipper or vice versa?
Kim replied to her own question. “I guess your not as excited as me.”
I could bore you with details as how I tried to show that my excitement matched hers but I didn’t bother. She’s known me long enough to know I had no idea what the big deal was. I hadn’t been privy to the knowledge that these shoes were such hot ticket items in the first place. Nonetheless, I was interested in seeing how they’d received by everyone else. The shoes had laces and a zipper (why do they need both?).
Low and behold, people love the shoes.
I Bring MJ In Public With the Shoes On
A few days ago I had my typical issues with trying to dress my daughter. I never know what top goes with what bottom. With girl clothes there is always a stray flower, bumble bee on the butt or sequin beads stitched in that ruins the matching game. I eventually found a pale pink top with a light green pair of shorts for her to wear. Naturally she had no shoes with both colors. The outfit wasn’t winning. To make up for it, I threw on the zipper-laced shoes because it would detract from the outfit I had chosen.
MJ and I were going to her early intervention class and you’d never believe what two different mothers said at two different times. “Wow, MJ, you look like a watermelon!” Yes, I was dad shamed. I totally forgot shoes were not allowed to be worn in the Mat Room. The moment we left the Mat Room and transitioned, I threw her zipper-laced shoes on faster than Usain Bolt runs down the track. Two different moms said, “I love those shoes. Where did you get them?” Some where, Kim was giving herself a pat on the back for picking out such adorable shoes.
Clearly my wife knows what she’s doing when she goes bargain hunting. I’d be lost without her. If it were left to me, my kids would walk out of the house dressed like fruit. My wife’s greatness shouldn’t be boiled down to her excellent choice in footwear. You should see the true message hidden in between the lines. Greatness is doing the little things repeatedly instead of looking for the knock out punch.