A Dad, A Blog, and The Mouse In The Attic

As a dad, I realize there is nothing that is beyond my area of responsibility. Changing diapers, not a problem. Cooking dinner, will do. Replacing the kitchen sink, consider it done. Changing the oil, what’s next. Eliminating the mouse in the attic…yeah I guess.

I’ve killed spiders, mosquitos, ants, chased away the stray neighborhood cat, and threatened the bird that kept flying into the damn window. This was the first time I had to eliminate a furry creature. Yes, mice carry disease, bite your stuff, reproduce like, well mice, etc. But, this mouse had a personality.

I tried everything to make his stay, (I’m assuming it was male), as uncomfortable as possible. I kept going up into the attic. I strategically placed the poison that sends them in search of water outside the house.

He kept coming back.

One evening, I thought he was finally gone. Then, in the wee hours of the morning, the scurrying feet graced the topside of the ceiling. I told my wife, no worries, I put fresh poison out. This won’t take long.

I didn’t pay attention to it for a day. Then, while writing a blog post, there it was. Directly over my head. As if he knew I was right below. His scurrying was like non-verbal mocking. I cursed the mouse as if he were the nemesis of my life. I simply wanted him to leave.

I saved my draft. Signed-out of WordPress.com. I went to bed to ponder the future of the mouse in the attic.

I will spare you the grisly details. Just know the end of the mouse involved him caught in a trap, squirming and squeaking a heart-wrenching squeak. His end was quick as I had no other choice. Plus, I couldn’t listen to the squeaking, thinking how horrible I was. Oh the humanity.

One day I will tell my son about this, as he was completely oblivious and more concerned with seeing just how many toes he could fit in his mouth at the same time.

There is no rest for us dad’s. We do it all. Rest in peace mouse.


The Computer Crashed? Now What Does Daddy Do? A Musing For Sunday Morning

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned how our computer crashed. I realized just how dependent we as a family, have become on our computer. Life revolves so much round our gadgets, especially the home computer.

One doesn’t realize how much gets done with the computer. Banking, connecting with friends via Facebook and Twitter. Daddy has a good old Goodreads account too. In our ongoing effort to save money, I look for new recipes constantly online too. For example, this evening I will attempt to make penne alla vodka for the first time. At least if that doesn’t work, I’ll still have vodka. I digress.

Once the computer went down, many emotions ran through both my wife and I. What do we do? How do we get this fixed? Damn Windows 7! I wish I had the above mentioned vodka last week!

Fortunately, we have a neighbor and friend whose livelihood comes from fixing computers. So when we happen to run into each other because of the kids a day after our computer went down, it was providence indeed.

I was immediately put at ease when I asked our friend, “what do you know about Windows?” His response, “everything.”

Needless to say this Sunday Morning Musing is coming from our newly restored desktop. Many thanks to our neighbor and friend. I also am grateful for the true sense of community we have with our neighbors. Lately our daily lives are bombarded with negative ideas and tragic realities. The sense of friendship and community we are fortunate to have where we live is refreshing to say the least. And maybe life should revolve more around people rather than our gadgets.

And one more thing, if you haven’t backed-up your computer, do it. Think of a computer back-up as health insurance for your computer.

What Inspires You to Blog?

What inspires you to blog? I asked myself this question today. Driving home in the pouring rain, squinting to see the red brake lights in front of me, this is the thought that came to mind.

I had to back track on my thoughts. There is more to this question than I ever imagined. I truly gave myself pause. Here at The Evolving Dad I blog mainly about my experiences with fatherhood. I write some poetry, and try to speak about my aspiring writing career. However, all of it stems from my daily life. That is my inspiration.

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant”

-Robert Lewis Stevenson

In recent weeks I’ve learned some friends are expecting their first child. Another friend got divorced. Yet another friend just got engaged. Sadly, I attended a wake to mourn the loss of a long-time family friend. This is life. This is my inspiration. For all our technology and interconnectedness, we easily lose sight of the events that comprise our lives. Each of these events I described write the individual histories of the people I know.

To say that family and friends are the most important things in life may be cliché. But stop for a moment and ask, what if you had no family, no friends? What would your life be then? I wrote in the Daily Prompt the other day the most important people in my life are my wife and son. It is true. Little A was the immediate inspiration for this blog. But as I go on, I realize all the people around me, the relationships I have and try to foster give me “material” to write about.

I’ve read many blogs covering everything from sports to cooking to leadership, all take inspiration from something. All are good in their own ways. Asking yourself what inspires you, to not only blog, but to pursue anything in life, is a question of the soul. I think many of us just might be surprised at the answer.

So what inspires you?

Daddy Dilemma

I look at the clock throughout the day in my office hoping for a certain time. While I’m busy from the moment I set foot in the door, until the moment I leave, I constantly look to see where the hour hand lay. If I daydreamed, I’m sure my mind would be filled with an ominously loud ticking noise throughout the day.

Once quitting time comes, I race down the hall and out the door. Down the cigarette-butt covered steps and around the corner. I streak through the parking lot, barely waiving to the cleaning crew strolling in for their daily routine. The sun light already dim. I jump in my road salt stained car, (living in the Northeast this is a fact of life), I turn the ignition, put the old vehicle in reverse, slowly back out, shift the automatic to the D position and I’m off.

35 to 40 minutes later I’m pulling into my driveway. I hop out of the car, and scurry up the front steps. As I step on the porch I can hear my reason for haste: Little A. Maybe its a scream, maybe a cry, today it was a yelp of joy as he was playing on the floor with mommy.

I open the front door and there, to my delight, is a smiling eight-month old. A few teeth on the top, a few on the bottom, but a smile full of joy and glee nevertheless. Almost instantly he’s done with mommy and looks to me as if we haven’t seen each other for years. Daddy’s home!

His smile lights up my world like no other. Nothing else matters at that moment. Not the person who cut me off going through the tolls, not the conference calls, the emails, or the burnt coffee I ingested on my way to work, (and nearly spilled due to said evil driver that cut me off). At that moment, Little A is truly everything to me and my world.

After playing on the couch, on the floor, and carrying the little guy around the house because he won’t let go, my yearning to blog creeps into my head. I want to go and blog. I want to write. But I want to spend time with my son. For all my blogging about how important spending time with your kids is, I find myself wanting to do something that takes me away from him.

True, I have written posts with him sitting on my lap. I will say while this was relaxing, his new ability to slap the keyboard changes that. I can’t say how many revisions I’ve made to rather short posts because of said keyboard slapping.

Why do I suffer this dilemma? I would think it’s a no brainer. Time with Little A versus blogging: Little A wins every time. Yet, I still find myself blogging away. You may ask, how are you writing such a long post now? Little A finally realized daddy was right and he needed a nap. But my dilemma will return. It does everyday. I will continue to blog. For this is something I need to do. But, I hope I can find a daily balance. If I can find the balance, I think this can be a lesson to Little A as he grows. Maybe I can make this blogging thing a parenting tool. Just, maybe.

Daily Prompt: All About Me

The Daily Prompt asks: Explain why you chose your blog’s title and what it means to you.

This one is pretty easy. I chose The Evolving Dad because that is just what I am. Once I became a dad I realized life was different and I’m changing everyday just as much as my little guy. My thoughts, my priorities, my actions are all “evolving.”

Not to mention, I am an aspiring writer. As anyone who is a writer or a blogger knows, writing is an evolution. We are constantly learning more about our own style and writing ideas. So I thought not only am I an evolving dad, but I’m an evolving writer too.

In the end, the title means to me that I will never stop growing. No matter where life, my family, and writing will take me. I will continue to evolve and grow.

The Versatile Blogger Award

versatileblogger11Once again I find myself truly humbled and floored for being nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award. A sincere expression of gratitude to the Geeky Book Snob for the nomination. Now the rules state I need to nominate 15 other blogs I follow or recently discovered. Well, I’ll be honest, I don’t follow that many and haven’t had the time to seek out new blogs and new civilizations (had to throw in the Star Trek). So I’ll modify and do my best.

The rules also state I need to tell Geeky Book Snob 7 things about myself. That is a little easier so here goes:

  1. I have an awesome kid that is my hero.
  2. My family inspires me.
  3. I love sports.
  4. I enjoy reading.
  5. Blogging has been a very rewarding experience.
  6. I love history.
  7. Finally, I really don’t know what I’m doing with this blog, but it seems to be working.

Now for the nominations. I’m going to do this in pieces. That means, since I don’t have the requisite 15 right off the bat, I’ll make this an ongoing process. So here is my first nomination for the Versatile Blogger Award:

Brandon Bored, I find this blog inspiring and honest.

Again, thank you Geeky Book Snob. I truly appreciate the recognition. I hope I can continue to entertain.


Relaxing As a Dad

Earlier I posted some suggestions on ways to relax as a new dad. I discovered a new relaxation method that was staring me in the face: Writing a blog post.

Yes, writing a blog post is an excellent way to relax. Writing in general can make one calm down. The ability to place your thoughts on paper or a screen can truly have therapeutic results. As an aspiring writer, I find this helps in several more ways:

1) Posting frequently improves traffic to one’s blog. In the end, aren’t all us bloggers looking for traffic?

2) Writing is a craft. Creating quality blog posts helps me to improve my writing skills.

3) Blogging is a craft. Improved writing skills helps me to create quality blog posts (see number two above.)

4) In my attempt to make a blog people actually want to read, writing posts leads to…wait for it….writing more posts. I get new ideas as I write current posts. This is truly an awesome cycle.

5) Like writers, bloggers can get writer’s block. This can lead to stress and who needs more stress? Especially with a six-month old at home. So writing the blog posts and knowing I’m creating and adding to my blog eliminates that stress. Again, awesome.

6) Finally, and for me the most important, I can sit at the computer with my little one and create posts. Fortunately he doesn’t squirm as much yet and he is intrigued by what he sees on the screen. For this dad the aspiring writer, I’m able to pursue my passion for writing and spend time with my child. Truly awesome.

Does writing help others to relax?

Sunday Morning Musings: Writing Procrastination

As I’ve said before writing is a challenge. Writing is very challenging when I find myself procrastinating. Life, of course, is busy. Work, family, household chores, and now throw in juggling holiday celebrations, when is a dad going to write? But procrastination?

The bigger concern I have now, is my procrastination. I loathe myself for doing it. The truly disturbing thing, is I don’t know why I’m doing it. I wonder if I’m concerned over getting stuck. You know, the proverbial writer’s block?

I do know one thing, I find myself being concerned about enough time to write. I’m afraid of finally sitting down, starting to type, and then a I hear a cry from Little A. Or it’s time for dinner, or I simply just need some sleep. I also find irony in writing about writing procrastination.

Blogging is very important for any writer. I firmly believe this. Blogging in of itself is a craft. I find I learn something new about not only blogging, but my writing style each time I post. Yet, sitting at the keyboard, typing away, a little voice inside my head says “you should be working on your other writing projects!”

In my last post, Ernest Hemingway’s quote spoke of pouring your heart out when writing. At least that is my interpretation of his words. I guess I will simply have to take his advice and some of my own, and buckle down.It’s like college all over.

Does anyone have good suggestions for overcoming writing procrastination?

WordPress.com Is Great For Dad The Aspiring Writer

In my last post, I alluded to the challenge of writing. As many parents out there will agree, the kids have a way of taking over daily activities. Blogging and writing in general, is one such activity that can easily take a back seat to junior. This is why I like using WordPress.com.

WordPress.com allows users to create a blog in a quick, simple, and creative way. Just check out Freshly Pressed and some of the thousands of blogs you can find on WordPress.com. Of course if you’re reading this, there is a good chance you’re using WordPress in some form already.

I have not used WordPress.org, but I’m sure for those with a little more time, and some working knowledge of CSS, WordPress.org is the preferred method. For someone like me, I enjoy logging in, and just writing. For me, blogging is the simplest, most raw outlet for writing. Why? Easy, you can just write and within seconds of hitting publish, potentially millions of people can share in your thoughts.

Now, from the dad perspective, the ease of using Wordpress.com allows me to focus on Little A (which he appreciates very much as he babbled to me the other night), and I can focus on the words I write.

This is not to say I don’t enjoy building the blog and trying different widgets. That in of itself is half the fun. Maybe, just maybe, one day I will build up enough courage to strike out on the self-hosting platform. I said maybe. I suspect Little League, soccer, piano lessons and who knows what else…oh yeah, homework, may get in the way.

On a side note, the writing of this post was interrupted by one bath, one bottle, a rather full diaper, 30 seconds of continuous air freshener spray as a result of the rather full diaper, and 45 minutes of convincing a certain five-month-old he needed a nap.