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Showing posts from 2009

Look to the Left, Look to the Right…

I must admit, nothing made me feel more proud than watching my wife and our daughters open their gifts Christmas morning. See, I’m a simple man, and if you want to laugh at me, go ahead. But Lynyrd Skynyrd had it right when they wrote the song. My Dad passed along that mentality to me long before the song ever came out. But that is the generation I come from.

Between August being one daughter’s birthday, our Anniversary in September, our other daughter’s birthday in October and mine, and Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s, and then my wife’s birthday (HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY, BABY), then Valentine’s Day, I have learned one major thing: SHOP EARLY LOL. I refuse to be one of those clueless guys walking around the mall the day before a major holiday. So I start shopping/collecting, sometime in June/July. So I have anywhere up to 6 months of anticipation for my wife to open her gifts. I try to get a variety of gifts based on funny, personal, romantic, e…

The Princess And The Frog

So this past weekend we, as many parents did, took our daughters to go see Disney’s “The Princess And The Frog”. Without exaggeration, this has become my number 1 favorite children’s movie. Yes I am aware of all of the “controversy” that surrounded this movie.

First off, it featured a Black, Female Leading character (she’s not really a Princess, but go see the movie, and that will be covered), who wasn’t the typical Damsel in Distress. Funny, people had their underpants in a wad over how Disney would handle its first African-American Princess, yet no one has seen the subtle slide Disney has done over the illustrious years. Ever notice all of their minority female leads have NEVER needed to be saved, and actually did the saving for their male counterparts?? Don’t believe me: Esmeralda from Hunchback, Pocahontas, Mulan, Lilo AND her big sister, and here we are with Tiana. It is usually the Caucasian Princesses that need a man to be complete. Interesting…

But having 2 daughters, I was so …

I think I am scared to be a good parent…

No seriously, I am. I have heard some qualified and non-qualified people alike tell me I’m a good parent, and others tell me that I’m a bad parent. The girls will, completely on their own, just say, “Papi, you’re a good Papi”. My wife tells me all of the time that I do a good job. To be honest….I don’t know.

I know parenting is (and I am just speaking in the simplest terms) like being a Point Guard in Basketball or a Cornerback in Football. Even with the designed plays you’ve practiced over an over again, even with everything you have read, and everything you told yourself, you are still pretty much “Read & React”.

In a basketball game, a Point Guard’s sole job is to lead the team on the court. They are to not only see what is happening in front of them, but to see the entire court, and anticipate what will happen next. They don’t score a lot; they make their teammates better and put them in position to score.

In a football game, the Cornerback’s job is to read the QB. To an…

Time to Focus On Giving Thanks

The season we all have loved since we were children is here!! Having a birthday in mid-October always meant something extra to me. I’d only have to wait 2 more weeks for Halloween, and a month and a half, it would be Thanksgiving, and ultimately, I would be rewarded in a couple of months by a visit from Santa!!!

This will mark out first Thanksgiving and Christmas in Louisville (yes, I grew up here, but my wife is a native Floridian), and I find myself so excited for the girls. I am truly giddy at the prospect of the girls experiencing their first snowfall sometime this winter. I love that Damary and I can get the girls some pajamas with footies on them to wear Christmas Eve night, as they sip some hot cocoa with marshmallows (hot cider for me, I HATE chocolate lol).

As a parent, this time of year seems to reenergize my soul. Now on the “other side” of the fence, I feel even more special about the holidays. Now I have a direct hand in making the holidays magical for my daughters. I can h…

My Wife, My Inspiration

So my wife isn’t perfect, but here’s a surprise, who walking this earth is? But every single coach in any sport I have had, and my Father, my personal hero, has reiterated one thing in my head in all of my 37 years. Showing up to the game is 90% of the battle. Think about it, most people fail not, in the middle of some hero is effort. They fail because they out THINK themselves out of even trying!! Not my wife.

Damary will be the first to tell you that she isn’t the most optimistic person in the world. But when it comes to teaching the girls, she never blinks at encouraging them. She never discourages the girls from believing that they can do whatever they want to. If the girls (as kids so often do) get down and say they can’t do it, she encourages them to always try first.

If I am the leader of the household, then she EASILY is the heart and soul of our household. If our family were a basketball team, I am the head coach, but Damary is the player that is the inspirational leader of th…

Random Fatherhood thoughts from the dome

So our oldest lost her first tooth on Monday night. We discovered it was loose on the way back from my brother-in-laws on Sunday. Actually I discovered the permanent tooth starting to come in, and felt the other tooth really loose.

The Tooth Fairy came to visit and left her a card and a whooping 5 bucks. The Tooth Fairy assured me this was the 1st time going rate. She was so excited to see her cad and box (to see if the tooth was gone).

That has NOTHING to do with what I am writing about, just wanted to mention that about our oldest daughter and how she is becoming a big girl!!

My point today is I need to do better as a Dad. While I don’t think I am a bad Papi, I just think I could and will do better. Damary and I just worked out a weekly time where there will be Papi-Daughters time. Yesterday I took the girls to McDonald’s play place (their favorite one) and we played and ate, and just talked. Mostly I listened. I have noticed that when you get some alone time with your children, the…

My Prayer to God

Dear God,

Thank You for waking me up and giving me another day. I am most certainly aware I am not owed today, just because I made it through yesterday. I also want to thank You for waking Damary, Ayanna, and Annabelle up, so we could enjoy one more day as a complete family.

Thank You, because you have carried me through the darkest of times in my life. Those times I both physically and mentally gave up, and had nothing left. Those times I didn't care to live, because I thought I was too lowly for Your love. You carried me, and gave me purpose and vision. You held me up until I had the strength to get up. You knew better things, beyond my hopes and dreams awaited me, and still do.

Thank You for reconnecting with so many people I thought lost to me. People from when I was a kid like Don S; Rhonda C; Tammy; Demond (Andre). People from High School days like Leroy (Roy) H; Becky S; Dawn J; Joe G; Chris H; Chris G; Rebecca S; Becky W; Chris S; Eric C; Hell, my entire St. X Brothers; My ol…

Parenting is a NEVER Ending, Humbling Lesson

So my wife and I have noticed a recent change in our youngest personality. Annabelle has been more vocal and defiant lately. But not defiant like the “terrible two’s”, more defiant in a subtle way. I have noticed that my wife has been losing her patience more with her lately as well, which leaves Annabelle just standing there screaming and crying.

So this past Sunday, the day after my birthday, I tried something different. Ayanna and Damary were napping downstairs when Annabelle woke up from her nap. She came downstairs and asked me to put “Robin Hood” on in her room. I asked her if she wanted to watch it down here, and she looked at big sister and Mami sleeping, and said “No”. I asked her if I could come up and play with her in her room. She lit up and said “Yes”.

So we went upstairs, and I put “Robin Hood” on and then sat down on the floor. She got out her big sister’s Hannah Montana Uno Cards and proceeded to give me the Blue and Green cards and she kept the Red and Yellow…

Talent really does skip a generation or a.k.a. How NOT to be a Psycho Dad

So our daughters are closing in on the end of the first cycle of Cheer Class for them. And I am in utter amazement every week. For Annabelle, since she is still young, it is a time to run, play, and flip her way right to a nap. And please don't let me sarcasm take away from the fact she has improved leaps and bounds since the first class, and the smile on her face for a personal job well done is well worth any amount of money being paid for the classes.

But Ayanna is the one, who after the first class the teacher made a point of stopping me to ask how long Damary and I have had her doing gymnastics. I told her not at all, and that this was her first class, formal or otherwise. She kept telling me how much of a natural she is and how talented she is. We tried telling Ayanna, but she's just happy to have fun.

Now here we are 9 weeks later and Ayanna is well ahead of the curve. I will admit, as a proud, but grounded Father, I am skeptical when people give the girls compliments. Sim…

Being A Child, Being A Parent...All At The Same Time

Happy Friday Everyone!!

So my birthday is in little over a week, and I find myself sorely missing my Dad, like I have every year for the past 14 years (he passed away on my 22nd birthday…this year marks the 15th anniversary of that). But as the girls are getting older, and on the verge of the beginning of self discovery/testing independence, I feel like I am in the, proverbial, eye of the storm as far as the dichotomy of emotions.

I am happy that I have been blessed to see another year. Another year as a Husband, and a Father. I am also sad, because Even though I will be turning 37, I am still new in the Parent Arena, and my Father’s wisdom and anecdotes would have been GREATLY appreciated. If nothing else, to have a senior member of this Fraternity to share stories with. Plus, my heart aches for the fact I never saw him as a Grandfather (wow….that was a lot harder to type/put out in the universe….wiping eyes now). I know he would have absolutely ADORED Ayanna’s thirst f…

Parenting Team Supreme, or How To Break Your Spouse Down

I do feel like I should give a disclaimer on this: Anyone in a single parent household; or a military household where one parent gets deployed (by the way, please tell them I said Thank You for defending our freedom); or households where one parent does a lot of traveling; this blog probably won’t include you.

I think this past weekend’s birthday party for our oldest, at Chuck E. Cheese is the catalyst behind this blog. So as ½ of a WONDERFUL Parent team, I go to bed thanking God for being blessed to have such a wonderful (if not stubborn at times) teammate in this journey called Parenthood. And we have been blessed to have kids that, for the most part, are very good (as good as a 3 and 5 year old can be), and love us and each other (things I don’t take for granted, as well). I notice, more and more, in 2 parent households, that usually one parent is the scapegoat.

I am just wanting to bring some of this to light, because if you read this, and find that you fall …

“Mental North”

This time of year, I have so much going through my mind, having this blog to write in is so helpful to me. I hope it can be helpful to others as well.

Earlier in my Facebook status, I mentioned that I need to find my “Mental North”. It is my own term I have used, but it comes from some valuable life lessons my Dad gave me (God rest his soul). I hope I am able to pass them along to my girls to help them in stressful times.

I was never in the “In-Crowd” (I knew plenty of people who were, I just wasn’t/never have been, that cool…and I’m okay with that). I have always sort of been an outsider…I believe the term my teachers used on Report Cards, was “Unique” (kind of like that ash tray we all made for our parents in pottery class in 3rd grade). So often, as a kid, I was stressed. Daily life stressed me, and facets of home life weren’t any easier for me at all. We all have our crosses to bear.

When I ran to my Dad (who seemed to never falter under any circumstanc…

Beginning of October, Beginning of the Fun Times of the Year in the Queen Household

So today marks the last day of September. And tomorrow begins October, and then the celebrations are in full swing around our house. Already, we have celebrated Annabelle turning 3 (God bless her) in August, and mine and my wife’s anniversary in September (I even remember the time of our first kiss as Husband and Wife), now in the next 5 months things get fun and time seems to pass quick. October: Ayanna turns 5; I have a birthday too in there lol; Halloween (“Great Pumpkin Patch” on DVD gets dusted off!!). November: Thanksgiving (I make a MEAN bird…haven’t decided how I’m cooking it this year. Last 2 years I smoked it, and it was DAMN good). December: Christmas, New Year’s Eve. January, New Years, My wife’s birthday (SHE’LL BE 30!!!). February: Valentine’s Day (yes, this time of year, because time tends to fly, I have already obtained my wife’s Valentine’s Gift. If not, I’ll look up and find myself like those poor miserable guys wandering around like zombies, days before V-Day). So y…

This is where I should be typing something cute....I got nothing

Ugh….

Ok, I’m giving my self the rest of the day to complain/be negative. And this is the easiest, quickest way to get it out of my system.

So since this whole high diastolic blood pressure number which no one can REALLY explain why my heart, at rest, is working so hard; another side condition has happened. I started seeing a small pinhole blind spot in my vision (if I am looking straight ahead, it is upper right side), and a curve flash of light on my left side (like half of a parenthesis). And it is only in my left eye, and it is constantly moving with the normal movement of my eye. It has been driving me nuts (more annoying than anything). So last appointment, my PCP set me up with an appointment at the Eye Care Institute to go and have them check me out.

So that was yesterday, and I fully expected to go in and they poke and prod around my eyes and then tell me this is some temporary condition that will heal itself….or here are some drops, use these for a week, and you’ll be fine. Of …

It isn't pretty, but it is how I feel

So sometimes I wonder, as a man, as a husband, as a father, do we get the love and support we should? No, I am not trying to start any fights (especially in my own house), but in general, if you are a woman reading this, is there a lot that you put on your lover, boyfriend, husband’s plate, and he does such a good job at balancing it, and you, you just have come to expect him to “dance upon command”?

I hear/read a LOT of women say there are no good men (that is a blog I will cover next time….I have theories about that, that need to come out), but what about the men that ARE good? The Aaron’s, Tito’s, Seamus’s, Brian’s, Namon’s, Damon’s, Carl’s (just to name a few). The guys, who regardless of their past, or how they got here, are doing a damn good job. Yes they are married, or in committed relationships, but let’s examine what happens when a women gets said “good man”.

When a woman opens up her heart to a man, it is magical, no other way to say it, nor do I take it lightly. But there …

My First REAL Dad Dilemma....Please Help!!!

Hey Everyone,

So this morning, I stayed home with Ayanna because she was sick (turns out she has an ear infection). Well, I took her to the doctors, and since she is getting bigger (and it is like 3 miles away) I let her ride in the front seat. Well, when we get to the doctor's, I went over to open her door. After the doctor's appointment, we were waking to the car and I went to open her door. Then Ayanna, looks at me and says, "Papi, why do you always open the door for me, Annabelle, and Mami?". I then said, "Because I love you all and that is what a Papi should do." She takes less than a microsecond to comeback and say to me, "But you always tell me and Annabelle that we are big girls, and Mami is a big girl, and how we can do whatever we want and not ever give up trying. Well, then we can open our own doors, right??"

My mouth came open, but nothing came out. How am I supposed to explain to my wonderfully bright 4 year old the fine balance…

Happiness, pass it on!!

I have got to get better about posting these…

Hey World!!

So last Saturday, the girls started Cheerleader Classes. At first, they were shy and scared to go in and do it. Once Damary (being the Mom that she is) calmed them down, they completely forgot about being scared (aren’t children wonderful for life lessons!!!). They tumbled and jumped their little hearts out. The instructor asked us if Ayanna had ever had classes before and we told her no. She said Ayanna is REALLY good and a natural. I think Annabelle was the youngest in the class (they are in the same beginner’s class), and she did well too.

Ayanna took to doing the tumbling part like a fish in water. She only had to be shown once how to do them (and there were front and reverse tumbles) and she was gone. Every once and a while, the girls would look through the glass and wave to Damary and I. I kept rubbing Damary’s back as I welled up with so much pride, and excitement for them.

More exciting news is that Damary has gone back …

A Celebration of Manhood, My Daughter turning 3, and Heart working hard!!

A Celebration of Manhood, My Daughter turning 3, and Heart working hard!!

This morning while I was in the shower, I was listening to The Steve Harvey Morning Show on I Heart Radio app through my phone and every show starts with some uplifting moments for you to take throughout your day. This morning topic was “Congratulations On Being A Man”. He talked about the REAL Men who are good Fathers to ALL of their children; providers, by more than just money, to their wives or girlfriends. The Men who refuse to accept negativity around them. The Men who want better for their children. The Men who want to be leaders and heads of their household. The Men who know how to be sensitive.

He then went on to talk about how if you can’t wake up everyday and be thankful for where you are in life, then you are just wasting your life, which is God’s greatest gift. Even if you are in jail, please believe that whatever got you there could have ended your life. He spoke of having a responsibility…

I need to hear from Mom's and Dad's!!!

So I know it’s been a while since I blogged, and I apologize. It’s been a fast moving past couple of weeks.

So I have random things on my mind (who doesn’t??) that I want to get out over the next few blogs. Today’s topic is health and my confusion over mine.

So I went to go and donate plasma this past Saturday, and Sunday diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure was high. My reading was 148 over 113. I got home and started doing research. High systolic (the top number) or both numbers being high is more normal. The top number is your heart pumping blood out to your body; it is basically how hard it has to work to sustain you, as a person. So if you have high cholesterol, blocked arteries, high sodium intake, stress, etc, this is where it is showing up. Like if you have a car, and you run it place to place, but never do an oil change, it will run hot.

But diastolic is your heart at rest. Like having the same car sitting in your garage, not running. Research, after research I have done, n…

Independence Weekend..or how to survive your own personal Revolution

So summer is in full effect and a holiday weekend is upon us. Fireworks and grills will be firing up all over these wonderful 50 states.

So I look forward to the new month that is upon us. It was a VERY rough June for me (just one of those down sides was losing my Gram), that even saw me really sick last week (ask my family the last time they saw me that sick. Hell, I think that was the first fever I’ve had in like 5 years).

So I am VERY excited over the prospect of July. I woke up today, did my EA Active workout, weighted myself, and I had lost another 5 pounds over the last week. I am almost under 240, and have NO clue when I was down this much. Maybe when Damary and I got married. Other than the obvious holiday (or excuse for us Dads to play with fire and gunpowder), but Damary and I have big plans over the next couple of weekends. Our first cookout, and a family trip planned, which we are sure the girls will simply LOVE!! Don’t worry; I’ll have more details when it gets here.

So as…

Happy Father's Day!!!

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FATHER'S DAY!!!

So this makes my 5th Father's Day, and I must say it is a nice feeling. I think Dad's are a little different (okay a LOT different) than women. For Mother's Day, it is generally understood the focus is to pamper Mom. To elevate her onto a throne and pedestal (and yes, Mom's you deserve it, I firmly believe that). But with Dad's it's a little different, and hard to explain. Let me try.

I'll use baseball as an analogy/example. Whether a pitcher pitches a shut out or a no-hitter, or when the last pitch is thrown in the World Series, ever notice, even though all of the attention, accomplishment, and spotlight is on that that pitcher, he runs to one person on the field. Every time! It is the Catcher. You know why (and no, I am not just partial because that's the position I've always played, even in pick-up softball games lol)? Because, as some of you may know, the Pitcher and Catcher are known as a Battery. Negative, positive, existing…

1st 30 Day Challenge COMPLETE!!

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Above is me when I started the 30 Day challenge exactly 30 Days ago today. This was after my first workout.









This was me halfway through the 30 Day Challenge. Notice the difference in the arms and the toning. Clothes started feeling loose on me.


This is me after the last workout of the 30 Day Challenge. I have lost almost 5% BMI, and about 3 inches from my waist. Not bad considering I had it on Easy Setting. Next 30 Days, Damary and I are going to do Custom and Preset workouts. Then we'll do the 30 Day Challenge on Medium. So I will continue to monitor my progress. The one thing Damary and I talked about is how this becomes addictive. How much fun it is for us to do it together, and how it is only asking 30 minutes 4 times a week. I would love to see anyone else's before, during, and (kind of) after pics and hear their experiences. I am glad to be making this positive change in my life, as well as continuing it. These small changes in the picture may mean nothing to you, but to me, …

It's 4 AM...so, LET'S BLOG!!!

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Hello Everyone!!

Ok so today was my Gram's wake. It has been a long day, and I was so proud of my daughters. Ayanna and Annabelle spent 8 hours at the funeral home today and were such good girls. At one point Annabelle, who was sitting in my lap asked me, "Papi, this is Heaven because Grandma Brown is over there." And she pointed to the casket. I thought it was the sweetest thing ever.
This entire week has been so up and down for me. I interviewed and got a new job, which I start on Monday. My Gram passed away. I received a RIDICULOUS amount of stress from a group of people that are old enough to know better, but are so intent on being selfish and putting on a show, that is is unreal. and my Gram would SOOO not be proud.
So I know I haven't talked about this is a while, but the EA Active 30 Day Challenge is working well for my wife and I. I posted pics of the workout I created. Well I have 2 more workouts I created. One is my Bball training and the other is what I …

R.I.P. Gram.....Thank you

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Above is a picture of my Gram and me, from my first Christmas. I was a little over 2 months old. From my Twitter, Facebook, and My Space updates, all of you know that she passed away around 10:oo PM on Tuesday June 9th 2009. She was 91 years old. Alberta Brown (my Gram) was survived by her 1 sister, 5 children, and 5 grandchildren, and I can't even count how many great-grandchildren. I know I am not including extended family in that, but I'd be typing for days. As some of you may know, Gram was always an important person in my life. The two people who have ever loved me unconditionally, always, are now in Heaven: my Dad and now Gram. As a kid, I never fit in. I was never in the cool club (still not), I was never picked first for anything. I always felt different from everyone, and that something was wrong with me. Well my Gram helped me to understand that being different isn't bad. And with patience I would see that being different is what people of character h…

Good Days and more EA Active Fun!!

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Hello Fatherverse Inhabitants!!



Ok, so today some AWESOME news came my way. I interviewed for a job that would benefit my family on so many levels. One, it is a well paying job, and two, it is in the same building as my, Beautiful Wife. So that means we can carpool and save money on gas, and the daycare we picked out for the girls when we moved to Louisville, is close to our workplace. So getting this job would mean SOOO much more for us.



Well 10 minutes into the interview, she told me how well I presented myself. I have to admit, going into the interview, I was "in the zone", or what I like to call, focused like Kobe. I had done my research on the company, I had mentally run through the interview in my head many times, and knew I would leave the interview leaving everything on the table.



Well, I was the first of 3 interviews and was told I would find out later tonight (my interview was at 4:30). I got a call around 7:30 telling me that I GOT THE JOB!!! I have spent so much of …