Consistency is Key

…and my key doesn’t seem to fit.

Once again, I’ve let the blog go unattended for months over a year. I have no excuse. I just lost interest and felt like I had better things to do. I mean, I did, but I could have easily made time to write a few words on here.

So what all have I been up to? I’ll try to go chronologically, but that’s a long way back. Honey, please don’t get mad if I leave something out. It’s late. I’m tired. Love me.

  1. I was transferred to a new location at my work. It was a lateral move, so no loss in pay or position. I didn’t know anyone in my new area, so that was a bit of a social test for me. I can happily report, though, that I’ve now met pretty much everyone and have moved up to a lead position.
  2. A couple months later, my wife and I found out that we were pregnant with our 3rd child. It was a bittersweet moment, as I was super tired when she told me, and my reaction was far less than desirable. I’m not proud. I have since worked very hard to prove to her that my reaction was not true to my feelings. She has forgiven me and said that I’ve succeeded.
  3. I got a Facebook account. My wife and I had been sharing a Facebook account for years. We decided to split our account because it was getting very confusing, and some of her friends wanted to discuss personal things, but weren’t comfortable talking to her with me also able to see what was being said. I always avoided looking at the conversations that she told me to ignore, and to this day, I still don’t know what any of them were about, but I don’t blame her friends for being unsure.
  4. I finally finished reading the Harry Potter series.
  5. Our little Veda was born! She was the smallest baby by far, but she came out in style. I’ll spare you the details, but just know that the nurses hadn’t experienced a birth like Veda’s before. I’ll admit that I was a little nervous about having another baby, since Atlas was so much work for his first 6 months, but Veda has been a fairytale baby. She’s calm, easy-going, happy, and super cute! Her smiles could melt any heart. I’m excited to see her personality develop as she grows, but I don’t want her to grow out of this stage.

Okay, that update was much longer than I anticipated, so I will leave my current events post until another time. I promise it won’t be like my previous disappearance. I’ll post it within the next few days. I’m really excited for it, as I’ve had some revelations and personal growth recently.

Until then, have a great day and hug those you love.

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Halloween and NaNoWriMo

Hey!

How are you doing? We just finished removing our Halloween decorations. I wonder how long it will take Eva to give in to her urge to decorate for Christmas. A few years ago, we already had our tree up and decorated! She’s nuts.

Anyway, on Halloween, we had some friends come over for a party before we took all the kids around the neighborhood. The party was fun, with some amazing homemade food, and everyone seemed to enjoy the conversations. Half of our effort went to keeping the kids fed and occupied, so they wouldn’t keep begging to go Trick-or-Treating.

After we finished eating, we took the kids outside to get ready to go. It was raining, so the adults grabbed umbrellas, and the kids didn’t care. On one hand, it’s not fun to walk in the cold and rain; on the other hand, there were far less people than usual, so the houses handed out more candy!

Our costumes this year didn’t have a theme like we usually do. Talon was Mal from Disney’s Descendants, Atlas was an astronaut, Eva was a wolf, and I was the milkman.

If my costume doesn’t make much sense, let me explain. Eva insisted that she and I have a couples outfit this year. After looking through several, we decided that I was going to be the milkman and she would be the pregnant housewife.

At one point, I asked Eva if I could change my costume, but she said, “Absolutely not. Then I would just be a pregnant wife. It wouldn’t work.” So I moved on. Then, a couple days before Halloween (after my costume had already come in), Eva decided that she couldn’t find the right outfit to make her costume work, so she was a wolf. I just shook my head and moved on. Sometimes, she drives me crazy.

As one of our friends put it, we were a “…scandalous pregnant house wife wolf who had a astronaut baby with the milk man.”


In other news, I started NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which is a personal challenge to write 50,000 words of your novel in November. That comes out to 1,667 words per day. I’ve been writing, but I’m far from keeping up with the pace. I’ve written just over 2,500 words, when I should be over 18,000.

The point of the challenge, though, is not so much about making the goal, but to focus on writing your novel. And it’s worked! I’ve been writing far more than I’ve written before. Most of my novel attempts only result in a few hundred words before I lose momentum and motivation. Granted, a few hundred and a couple thousand aren’t far apart, it’s still a big accomplishment for me.

I’ve always wanted to write a novel. It’s been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. I’ve started several times, but planning all the details always got in the way. With NaNoWriMo, you are encouraged to send your “inner editor” on a month-long vacation and simply put words on paper. It’s been really hard for me to fight perfectionism, but sometimes you just need to tell yourself to shut up.

I read the intro to my book after finishing the rough draft, and boy is it rough. I’ve never written so sloppily (by my standards), but It’s a rough draft. I found that I always try to turn my rough draft into a final while I’m writing it. NaNo has really opened my eyes, though. It’s helped me realize that writing a long text requires a lot of work and many revisions. It can’t all be done at the same time. Patience is key.

That’s all I have for now. What have you been up to? Anything interesting happening in your life?

-Ryan

Being a Stay-at-Home Parent is Easy

…if you only have to do it for two days.

Bachelors for a Weekend
Bachelors for a Weekend

Eva took Talon on a weekend getaway to the Garth Brooks concert in Portland, while I stayed home with Atlas. We had a lot of fun and bonding time. I even took care of some chores, so she could come home and relax a little.

We started the weekend with and empty house. Literally. I woke up to an empty house, less Atlas and me. I was expecting to get a goodbye, but I’m betting that Eva wanted me to get some extra sleep, which I really appreciate.

Anyway, I woke up to Atlas making some crazy noises. I think he was yelling at his stuffed animals, then consoling them. Weirdo. So I got him out of bed, changed him, fed him, yada yada.

Then the magnitude of my ignorance began to shine through. I thought, “Eva left me this list of housework to accomplish, so let’s get started on that!”

[Stay-at-Home Parents, this is the part where you get to chuckle and nod because you know what’s coming.]

Atlas was having a good ol’ time playing with his toys, but just as I was about to start a task, he was right at my feet or undoing whatever it was I was doing. If that didn’t work, he would get into whatever mischief he could find.

The thing that baffles me is that if I was doing nothing but watching him play, he was a perfect angel that wanted nothing to do with me. Trust me, I tested it.

Speaking of perfect angels gone bad, what’s with dirty diapers? When it’s full of pee, he lets me change him like it’s no big deal. But if it’s full of poop, he kicks and squirms and makes it nearly impossible to clean him without getting it on something. It’s like he’s on a mission to get it on as many things as possible before I can finish.

I tried to finish as many things on the list as I could, but I wasn’t very successful because I had to wait until he was either taking a nap or having a bottle. After I laid him down for the night, I took a movie break and decided that I should work on a “Welcome Home” present for Talon. It took me a couple hours, but overall I was happy with it. I’m not sure if she liked it yet, because I was asleep when they got home. Here’s a photo of the finished project. It randomly blinks bright/dim/off, but I couldn’t get a video in the right format to show you.

Cloudy With a Chance of Dreams
Cloudy with a Chance of Dreams

The next day, I tried to get back to cleaning and crossing things off the list, but Atlas was a little more needy. I just don’t know how any one person can accomplish so much during the day with a child constantly at their side or destroying what was just done. And yet, my wife does it every single day. Thank you, My Love. So much.

In conclusion, I went into the weekend with a semi-realistic notion that I wouldn’t be able to finish much on my list of chores, and came out with a much better understanding of what Stay-at-Home Parents have to deal with every single day. I know my experience wasn’t perfectly accurate because I didn’t have to do it for more than two days (day after day would really add up), but I now have a tremendous amount of respect for any and all Stay-at-Home Parents.

Thank you for working so hard with no pay to keep our home and family looking and feeling somewhat normal.

-Ryan

P.S. I purposely capitalized “Stay-at-Home Parents” because I respect them that much.