Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Boy, a Dog, and a Giraffe

Because life is just better with these three things.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Men in Black 3 Review

We're now fully immersed into the summer blockbuster season, and we've got some heavy hitters ahead.  Many of these films are hoping for their shot at knocking The Avengers off the throne as the box office king.  I don't think it is going to happen, but it is going to be fun watching all the movies try.  We've got some pretty major epics lined up.  This week we have a sequel of a film that was rather mighty at the box office back in 1997 (we'll just ignore the second one).  The original captured the imaginations of millions of movie goers, and became a genuine pop culture hit.  But can that same magic be repeated in 2012?  Can the same actors, storytelling, and structure attract a modern audience?  More importantly, is the movie really worth your time and hard earned cash?  I am going to tell you over at the Collective Publishing Company.  I'll let you know if Will Smith still has it, and if Men in Black 3 is something we can enjoy in 2012.  After you read the review, let me know what your thoughts of the movie are in the comments section.

Remembering My Five Days as a Single Parent

I recounted my five days as a single parent on this blog already.  My loyal readers already know that I survived and things went really well.  And if you're a first time blog reader then sorry for the spoiler.  But I really do think my five days of single parenting was an important experience and has caused me to have even more respect for all the full time single parents.  They're amazing.  I am pretty sure that I wouldn't have been able to survive past five days.  In today's "Dad's Eye View", I look at some of the major reasons that I did survive for five days and some of the important things that I learned from the experience.  I know you read about my experience on the blog, but I do talk about new things over there.  I promise.  After you read my tale, feel free to leave some comments over on the site.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

5 Months Old

Today is Everett's 5 month old birthday.  The best way to celebrate is pictures of pure cuteness.

Friday, May 25, 2012

That's My Boy

I don't think there is anybody that has ever thought to argue the fact Everett is my son.  It would be the most convoluted and oddest soap opera twist if somehow Everett ended up being the son of a Tibetan monk or something.  Like I said, there isn't any dispute.  I thought, why not offer up some solid evidence anyway?  In today's "Dad's Eye View", I list the many things that I have in common with Everett.  Once you've read it, you'll realize how much he is my boy.  Check it out, and then share some of the common traits you have with your little cherub.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Previewing the New Fall TV Shows

I realize summer isn't even officially here yet.  You probably aren't in the mood to start talking about the fall.  It is going to be here eventually.  When it arrives, it will be serving up a piping hot batch of fresh TV shows.  Most of these shows will probably end up being huge flops, and disappear from the schedule before the new year.  I am sure there will be at least one or two hits in this new batch.  In today's Collective Publishing pop culture column, I preview some of the big new shows that networks are praying will lure in massive ratings.  I also throw in some predictions on how successful I think they will be, and even guess if it will be worth your time to check out.  Plus I'm snarky, because what is a preview without some snark?  Go check out today's preview, and let me know what you think about the new batch over in the comments section.

New Parents; Old Habits

I hardly remember what my life was like before Everett.  It seems like I must have had hours and hours of free time where I could run through fields of daisies and feed paprika to armoured otters.  I know I was busy before Everett, but I can't fathom how I could have been.  It really is a new life once you become a parent.  There were a lot of good things that I did before I joined the parent club.  Many of them are the type of things that I should keep around and still try to practice.  In today's "Dad's Eye View", I look at some of the things we clung on to and kept in our lives after Everett arrived.  Check those out, and then over in the comment section let me know the things you refused to let die after your bundle of joy invaded your life.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Geeky Type of Thing That Made Me Cry Tears of Joy

My Crosby tribute is now the ninth most read post ever on my blog.  Almost all of you are likely asking, "So what?"  This is because you're well-adjusted and normal human beings that aren't obsessed with things like page views.  But I am not blessed with that kind of normal, but instead cursed with the kind of geekery where I care about such stats.  Not only care, but they can even emotionally move me.

But why am I emotionally moved by Crosby's tribute being the ninth most read post ever?

It means that my tribute to my beloved cat was viewed by more people than movie reviews, tributes to celebrities, opinion pieces on major news events, and basically, almost everything I've ever written on (except for eight other blog posts).  The memorial of my cat is one of the most read things that I've ever written.  For me, that is probably one of the coolest ways I could ever honour a cat that did a very fine job of bringing small joys to my life.  I'm going to miss him, but I am happy his life was read by hundreds of strangers.

There are three specific reasons that I am really happy the Crosby post got so many views.

1. The higher views are going to allow the Crosby post to rank higher on Google.  It will start being seen as an authority on things "Crosby".  The Crosby post has also been linked to by several sites, which will also cause it to do well in page rankings.  Why is this cool?  Well, I get a kick out of the post being read by people who were searching for information on a musician or hockey player.  It makes me giggle that it will be discovered by people who never had any intention of finding out about him.  I warned you that my happiness can come from odd and geeky places.

2.  Crosby's tribute was read by many people who never ever met him.  It was read by people who didn't even know he existed until he passed away.  This was a cat that most of these people had no emotional connection to, but they still cared enough to want to read a tribute about him.  This proves to me how valuable and wonderful pets can be.  People were able to relate to my family's loss, and they cared enough that they wanted to read about one cat's life.  This shows that I had a certain bond with strangers.  These were people who realized a pet isn't just a pet, but really is a key part of family.  The Crosby tribute was my third most read tribute to a deceased living thing, and the other two have the huge advantage of being linked on major mainstream sites (and being about well-known figures).  There is something cool about a cat garnering more attentions and views than almost every other celebrity and major figure that I've honoured on my blog.  The tribute still gets a fair amount of views on a daily basis, so it may even surpass the ninth spot.

3.  Cat's don't get fancy memorials.  Pets don't get funerals.  It just isn't considered something accepted in our society.  There really isn't a lot of ways you can honour your beloved pet.  This tribute was my way of paying respects and showing love to my cat.  A cat that showed me hours of affection.  A cat that lifted my spirits numerous times.  I owed it to him.  This blog post was a memorial and his funeral, and my way to send my cat off to the big counter in the sky where he'll eternally snag chicken wings and put holes in plastic bags.  It is pretty awesome that this tribute was then read by so many people.  My cat has been immortalized on the internet.  His memory will linger in the minds of countless people.  That makes me happy.  I did the best I could to keep the memory of Crosby alive, and it has paid off.

I am also touched that the Crosby tribute has been linked and shared by several websites and people.  I am very thankful for the many condolences.  I've loved the many stories that people have shared about either Crosby or their own cat.  It has made this last week much more bearable.

Thank you everyone once again.  Thank you for making the Crosby tribute one of the most read articles that I've ever written.  That is way too cool.  Or at least, it is cool for a big geek like me.

Once again RIP Crosby.  Exactly one week ago we had to make a very difficult decision, but we will always love and miss you.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Wife is Home, Which Means. . .

That after five days of being apart, I'm inclined to spend my free time with her.  I'm going to abandon the blog for the day.  Please don't take this too personally.  I love you guys.  I really do.  But I just love my wife a lot more.  So, she wins.  As she always does.  You enjoy your holiday Monday, if it is a holiday Monday for you, and I'll see you tomorrow. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Different Responses to Fireworks in the House

It is the May long weekend, where we celebrate forgotten royalty by blowing things up.  It is just how things are done here in Canada.  Now, Emily was gone so we didn't contribute to the sky explosions this year.  But we definitely heard them.  As it seems everyone in the city decided it was a perfect evening to make loud noises when sane people want to go to bed.  As an aside, we always did our firework displays as early as possible, but then again, we also didn't always do them on the permitted weekends -- so, I should probably not stand on this soap box for too long.

Anyway, call me mushy and sappy, but the fireworks made me think about the dearly departed Crosby.  I had visions of him running down the stairs, and hiding in the bathroom, which was the farthest place from the loud noises.  Then he'd eventually run up to me, and bury himself in my lap.  Maybe the fat of my thighs muffled the noise?  I loved being his protector from the fireworks.  It made me miss him even more tonight.  I'll admit that I get pretty close to my pets, and probably miss Crosby more than many humans that have passed away.  The fireworks weren't all sad, because I also like the memory of being the source of comfort during the torturous firework attacks.

Speaking of attacks, Summit responded in a different way than previous firework displays.  We was running all around the house and checking every single window.  He kept on checking up on Everett.  It seems like Summit actually thought we were under attack, and maybe thought the baby was the reason for this assault.  He also wanted to go outside quite a bit.  I assumed his plan of retaliation was to bark into the sky, and maybe try to scare away the loud noises.  I decided we had enough noisy disturbances for one night, and kept him secure inside.

As for Everett?  Well, he slept through the entire thing.  I was worried he would wake up, and burst into the symphony of tears.  He didn't even flinch.  This is likely the huge advantage of living with a beast that loves to bark at anything that he may see moving out the window.  It appears fireworks are not worthy of my son's time, and is mere background music to his sleeping.  I love that he is such a deep sleeper.

So, that is my family's response to the fireworks.  And I also want to note that it is now early Monday, and the damn things are still going off.  I am really glad my son loves his deep sleep.

Did anyone shoot off fireworks this year or take part in any other long weekend festivities?

Not to Jinx Myself, But It Looks Like I Survived

Emily will be home a few hours after midnight.  This means that I've already completed all the "single parent nights" and now I just have a few hours of the day as a single parent.  I am happy to announce that it was about a hundred times less stressful and hair pulling crazy than I assumed it would be.  This is a good thing, because I like my life having minimal stress and I really don't have much more hair to pull out.  I'd consider the experiment a success, and would actually not be too afraid to tackle solo parenting for another few days in the future.  Though, it isn't something I want to be a regular occurrence, and would be more inclined to something a little less than five days.

The parenting experience went fine, but I also know there was a lot that I didn't do.  I mainly concentrated on baby, dog, and my writing work.  Even in the case of baby, it was all about making sure he was fed, happy, and loved.  I didn't try to bathe him, because I don't have faith in my solo bathing skills, and I don't think Everett is ready for a foray into deep seas diving.  Our tub isn't really designed for one person to bathe the baby, or at least, not when that one parent is me (both my wife and sister-in-law have done it solo).  Though putrid odours aren't emanating from my son, and I did make sure he wore clean clothes, and I did keep his face, hands and bum clean.  I did a decent job of succeeding at the bare minimum of parenting.  Since for the most part I was doing it entirely alone, I am happy with my job.

Again, this reminds me how amazing single parents are.  I totally have a new respect for them.  They are warriors and saints.  I think it is absolutely amazing that single parents are able to raise excellent children.  It is outstanding work.  They have my utmost respect.  I have a dream baby, but I know I probably couldn't have done much more than five days.  Even then, I had grandma come for a visit one night, and had Everett go play at grandma's house yesterday.  I probably would have been a wreck today if I didn't have a small break yesterday.  So yeah, my mom rocks too.  I am sure many single parents really appreciate their family and friends -- or at least, I hope many of them have some kind of support.

Things went really well.  Everett slept through the night on 3 of the 4 nights, which are three nights more than I expected.  Even when he woke up in the morning, he usually went back down for 2.5 more hours after being fed.  He was a bit more hit or miss with the napping, but this is also a concept that we're only starting to turn into a regular thing.  We had got into the habit of allowing him to sleep on our shoulders during the day, but now want to start getting him to associate his bed with where all sleeping is done.  He did end up napping well on Wednesday, and surprisingly, he is napping super well today.   I thought after 5 days of Christopher brand parenting, he would be a mess, but he is actually probably at his most content and happiest today.  Part of that is probably due to the fact I am no longer trying to ration food, and so he is always eating as much as he wants now.  We totally underestimated the amount of breast milk he needed.  I ended up getting a pack of formula yesterday, and so we've gone crazy with the feedings since.  Even the miscalculation never ended up being a catastrophe, and Everett seemed to always get enough food.  So, it seems like the single parent experiment was a major success.

Like I said, I am not begging to try this for five days again anytime soon.  A lot of that has to do with the fact I am one sucky husband, and I prefer being close to my wife.  Five days is a long time to be away from my love.  I am now counting down the hours until she is back.  Of course, it will also be nice to have her around to help with Everett again.  It really is just her company I am looking forward to the most.

I've survived.  Or at least, I am several hours away from surviving.  Unless there is an alien invasion or we're attacked by a pack of wolves, it looks like I will remain healthy and alive once these five days are up.  That is always a rather grand thing.

How has your weekend been?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Streak is Broken

Everett did not make it three nights in a row where he slept until morning.  He ended up waking up at about 2:30 last night, but luckily, he went to back to bed without much fuss once I got some formula in him.  I was looking forward to being able to brag about how I got him to sleep through the night the entire time I was looking after him, but that is now completely ruined.  Now, I'll just have to brag about how he didn't drive me to insanity, but that is partly because we don't have a car (Emily took it) and society really frowns upon babies being behind the steering wheel.  I really don't need to throw a bunch of parental "faux pas" out there, because I'm sure I'll do enough of them just fine over the years without even trying.

My sanity is intact, though I am incredibly tired.  This is with Everett being the dream baby.  I started wondering why I was so wiped out.  I then realized that even though Everett has been clocking about 8 hours of sleep a night, I haven't.  I haven't gone to bed when Everett goes to bed.  I put him down and then try to do some pay copy.  This means that when Everett wakes up at 5:00, I have about 5 hours max of sleep.  I've also woke up a few times in the middle of night, probably because my baby is subconsciously worried I'll miss my child's desperate cries for sustenance.

Everett has gone to visit grandma now.  So, I am obligated to once again give out a mighty cheer to grandparents that live in the same city.  It is a wondrous thing.  Something we rarely take advantage of, especially considering how willing they are to take him.  I'm glad for it today.  As much as things have been amazing, it is nice to get a small break from my little cherub.  It also allowed for some serious Summit and daddy bonding time.

The milk rationing epidemic is officially over.  I caved in, and asked the grandparent to pick up some extra formula.  So, now Everett can chug away, and I don't have to worry about deciding if juice or Coke is better for a baby to drink.  I love when disaster is averted.  This is also a disaster that I'd never have been too worried about 10 years ago.  This is a good thing.  10 years ago Christopher wasn't really in a healthy daddy zone.  Let alone was I someone who'd even know where to get formula for a hungry baby.

My brain is a little mushy, and so I think I'll end things here.  I'm alive.  That is a pretty important thing.  I'm also eagerly looking forward to the return of my wife.  Partly because it is much easier to be a parent when you have a teammate, but also I just really miss my beautiful wife.  I think such feelings are good when it comes to a healthy marriage.

Hope your Saturday has been magnificent. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Day Three of My Five Days as a Single Parent

Because the high traffic of the past few days shows you kind of care enough to hear about it.

Everett made it 2 days in row when it comes to sleeping through the night.  Or I made it two days in a row where I sleep through his tormented cries.  But considering he doesn't wake up a soppy mess of tears, I'm assuming it is the former.  I hope so, because I'd rather not get the "Negligent Parent Award" -- since that is the worst parenting award in the world.  But it does mean I'd be the most solid sleeper in the universe.  I am happy to feed Everett at 3 in the morning, even if it means I spend 40 minutes bumping into furniture and accidentally frying the encyclopedia.  Why would I fry an encyclopedia?  Well, why would anyone want to drink breast milk at such a ridiculous hour?  Some things in life just don't make sense is the answer here.  I would do it for my son, but I'm glad Everett seems to be handing me a giant break.

Everett is sleeping through the night, but he didn't go to bed as easily last night.  He also didn't really nap.  This is why you ended up hearing a lot less from me yesterday.  I had pay copy, and I needed to use my valuable "Everett distracted/napping time" for those purposes instead.  Napping was not an appropriate Thursday activity, so my time was minimal.

Drinking lots of breast milk was the activity for the day, though.  We're definitely going through the breast milk at a rapid pace.  We do have the formula as back up, but this may be a formula and breast milk free zone by the time Sunday night arrives.  I wonder if Everett would be open to trying out juices or gum away at a banana.  It is a soft fruit.  Gums should be enough to mash it into a fine paste, so that he can eat it.

I ended up having to feed Everett around 4 ounces of milk just to get him to finally sleep last night.  I tried putting him down, and was rewarded with a symphony of tears.  Eventually, I went to the old standby of breast milk, even though I'd just fed him quite a bit right before.  It got him to sleep and at this point, it seems like I may not need to worry about having enough milk for the middle of the night feedings.

We're holding up well.  I'm doing about as well, as I could have dreamed of as a single parent.  Definitely not something I ever want to take on for full time basis, but it looks like I'll still have my sanity after five days of single parenting.  I've been able to stay on top of most of my pay copy, even though yesterday was harder since Everett seemed to want to be entertained for most of the day.  I can't even chew and walk at the same time, let alone perform an elaborate comedy routine for my son while also finishing work for clients.  I also assumed I wouldn't get as much work done, so I planned ahead for this.  Everett seems content and fed.  The dog has been looked after and kept happy.  I would call the whole thing a success.

You just have to ignore the fact that I've completely neglected things like chores or eating well.  But sometimes you need to make sacrifices.  That is further proof that I am not cut out for this whole living alone with baby thing.  I definitely send high praises to the magnificent parents that succeed at it.

I also have to send out thanks to grandma, aka my mom who helped out last night.  It is a wondrous thing living in the same city as a grandparent.  She gets some quality grandchild time, and I get to finish up pay copy without a baby sucking my shoulder.

There you go, that is your Day 3 status update.  I've made it to the halfway point, and I haven't lost any more hair or attempted to jump out a window.  It has been a good day, indeed.

One of the Truly Great Relationships and a Thank You to Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine

In today's "Dad's Eye View", I look at the relationship between Everett and Summit.  I think it is important that the pets get to interact with the baby on a regular basis.  It helps avoid possible jealousy, but also allows them to get closer with the child.  This philosophy has definitely paid off for us.

I usually write my columns about a week before they're published.  You will notice that Crosby gets mentioned in today's column as if he is a fine and healthy cat.  That is because he was.  The illness struck Crosby really fast, and at the time I wrote this column, I had no clue Crosby only had a few days left.  It was really hard rereading this column.  But Alyson at Pregnancy & Newborn was kind enough to allow me to dedicate today's column to Crosby.  I am very grateful for that.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Formal Public Thank You for All the Condolences

I threw in a "thank you" in one of my posts yesterday, but I wanted to make a more focused "thank you" post.

I am really touched by the amount of people that sent me condolences and words of encouragement in regards to the passing of Crosby.  It is amazing that people have been able to relate and tell me their tough stories of pet loss.  IIt is great to have people that don't trivialize the loss of a pet.  There are many who agreed with me that pets are family, and that losing them can be incredibly painful.  I appreciate the sympathy, and it has helped my own grieving process.

I'm also touched that my tribute to Crosby has been read by so many people.  The views are significantly higher than anything else I wrote over the last few months, and it is quickly becoming one of the most read articles on this blog.  It makes me smile that the exploits of Crosby and my memories of him are being read by so many people.  It has actually lead to me being emailed by people that I don't even know.  Sometimes it is nice to get sincere thoughts and support from people you don't even know.  It is fun to think some other people can laugh over the craziness of Crosby, and have memories of a cat they never met.  He is a cat worth being known.

I thank the people for passing around the tribute.  I thank everyone for their kind words.  It has meant a lot to us.  We loved Crosby very much, and he is going to always be missed.

I Survived Night One

Actually, "survived" is not the right word.

Survived implies that things may have been grueling or that my life was at risk.  Things were the exact opposite of life threatening and grueling.  There we actually ridiculously easy.

It seems that during that secret chat between mommy and son, Emily must have told Everett that "daddy is completely useless in the middle of the night, and so it is in your best interested to take it easy on daddy past 10 until early morning."  Everett then took this to mean sleep from 9:00pm to 5:30am.  Which means, Everett slept through the night for the very first time in his life.  He decided to do this while I am pretending to be a single parent.

Have I ever mention how amazing my son is?

My wife actually predicted that he may actually be able to sleep through the night while she was gone.  Everett sleeps right beside Emily, and she believes he can smell her.  Or at least, smell his milk.  He may be waking up throughout the night to get a snack.  Since he didn't smell any snacks during the night, he decided to just get some sleep instead.  It seems like a strong theory, because he did just sleep for the longest period in his entire life. 

This wouldn't be the first time that he acted differently because he senses his dinner is near.  There has been times where I could tell Everett was getting hungry but still being patient, but once Emily enters the room, he'd burst into tears.  "Why are you home but not providing me dinner?"

Speaking of Everett's dinner, this appears to be the only possible complication we may run into during this five day experiment.  We have six jars of breast milk, and Everett already has vanquished over a jar and a half.  We do have formula as back up, because we always knew the breast milk was likely not going to be enough.  I tried the first bottle of formula this morning, and he was a little less than impressed.  He sort of gave me a face that screamed, "What is this toxic waste you're trying to pretend is my milk?"  He ate it.  It took a lot longer, and he stopped for many breaks.  Breaks that consisted of him complaining and spitting out the formula.  He obviously had enough food that he was satisfied with going back to bed, though.

I've now passed the 24 hour mark of single parenthood.  I am still alive.  This was about the best case scenario, so I'm pretty pumped about that.

Anyway, since he is asleep, I should use this time to do some pay copy.  Just in case I need to buy more formula.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day One of Experiencing Life as a Working Single Parent

Emily disappeared for five days at about 6:00 this morning.  Don't worry; it wasn't the act of an evil wizard.  This was a planned five day departure from the boys.  When I say boys, I am including Everett in this group.  Now before you wonder what kind of mom leaves a four and a half month old baby with a working husband, let me add it was my choice to stay behind.  Due to what Emily is doing, it made the most sense for Everett to stay with me if I was planning to remain here.  I have client work that would be easier to do here (not necessarily less distractions, but at least the type I am already used to seeing), and I was confident I could manage with Everett for a few days (all the pressing work has already been completed).

So, was I right?

It appears mommy and son had a secret meeting while daddy was asleep.  They must have agreed that Everett was going to try to make life as easy as possible.  I've had about fifteen hours of "single parenthood", and it has gone about as smoothly as I could ever wish from any all-powerful genie.  The bottle feeding has gone amazing, which is really a treasure because any reader of my dad column knows that hasn't always been the case.  Everett has been happy all day, and even went for two naps, and is now asleep for hopefully a few hours.  I also got almost all the work I planned to do today -- which is impressive, considering I resigned myself to the fact I'd end up getting a little behind.

The single parenting thing is easy.  Of course, I've now jinxed myself.  And I've also only done it for a measly fifteen hours.  This is probably what would be considered a dream day.  You should ask me how I'm doing when Sunday arrives.  I've also only looked after Everett, took care of the dog, and done writing work.  This means I've neglected other things like eating well or cleaning the house or doing chores -- or any other things that a real single parent has to do.  I never want to be a single parent, because I'd probably wither away after six days.  Luckily, I only have to do it for five. 

I've also haven't done a night yet.  This will be coming up.  I can handle the Everett that only wakes up twice in the night, but there is no promise I'll get him.  Plus I don't have a breast I can just pop into his mouth, but rather I have a bottle that I have to get ready.  I'm usually pretty useless when I am woken up in the middle of the night.  We will see how that goes.  Hopefully, I don't end trying to feed my son a can of Ginger Ale by mistake.

I'm alive.  This was all I was really hoping for.  I'm glad that I've done fairly well for Day One.  Or the truth is that my son has been absolutely magical on his first day without mommy.  I'm glad he has taken to the bottle and handled my more unorthodox style of parenting.

On a totally different note, I want to thank everyone for their kind words and support over Crosby's passing.  It has meant a lot to us.  It is great to know that I have such awesome readers, friends and family.  I of course, already knew this, but it is nice when it gets confirmed.

A Kind Collective Publishing Gesture

As you know, my The Avengers review is posted on the Collective Publishing site today, and I would love for you to check it out.  The site has also decided to post my tribute to Crosby, which is a fine gesture since he wasn't close to anything known as a mainstream figure.  I appreciate that his exploits get to be read by a larger audience.  I just wanted to publicly thank Diane for posting the tribute and allowing her readers to check it out.  So, thank you.

Addendum to Crosby Tribute

As you probably know, Crosby was put down yesterday.  I wrote a tribute to him, because that is how I process those type of things and I also feel a great cat deserves something like that.  I ended up leaving out something rather important from the piece.  I mentioned in the tribute that I was glad we were able to take pictures of Crosby and Everett together, so that Everett could see them when he gets older.  The problem is that I ended up getting a brain fart and leaving those pictures out of the tribute.  So, here are a few pictures of the two brother together.

Once again. I love you and I miss you, Crosby.  RIP.

The Avengers Review

Based off how much money The Avengers has raked in, almost all of you have probably already seen it.  Maybe one of you is still on the fence about watching it.  Maybe you were waiting for my thoughts on this blockbuster.  Well, you can stop waiting.  I've posted my review over at Collective Publishing.  Go check it out, and discover what I think about this film.  Then give me your thoughts on it over in the comments section on the site.

The Things I Celebrate as a Parent

I knew parenting was going to be an amazing endeavour.  I also had a pretty good idea it would change me in many ways.  I didn't know how much I would celebrate some of the "small things" in parenting.  I put "small things" quotes, because these events only really seem small if you're not a parent.  I would have considered them not worthy of celebration a year ago.  Now, they're the type of things that make me want to throw a giant parade and shout for joy.  In today's "Dad's Eye View", I mention a few baby feats that totally thrill me now that I'm a parent.  Over in the comments, let me know what are some of the major baby feats you celebrate, or if you're not a parent, just gush over my son's cuteness.  Either works for me. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

RIP Crosby: My Lap Will Never Be the Same

 Before Everett and Summit, our baby was Crosby.  He was our first son.  He quickly became an important part of our family.  We were never "cat people."  We always wanted and planned on having a dog.  Our friends needed a home for a cat, and we agreed to at least look after him for the short term.  After about a month with him, it was decided he was now part of our family.

I said we wanted a dog, and before Summit, we need something to fill that desire.  We ended up treating Crosby a lot like a dog.  We taught him how to sit.  We got him to wait for his food.  We even tried to take him for walks.  We were successful at the first two, but the walks always ended up being "watch Crosby roll around in the dirt, then he forces us to carry him home."  But we always impressed people with our cat that would sit and wait for his food until we said, "Okay."

People were a little less impressed by his habit of biting through bags or stealing chips from their hands.  Crosby liked food.  He really, really, really, really liked food.  To the point he bit through almost anything to ensure it wasn't food.  You learned pretty quickly that you don't leave cheese, buns, or plastic bags on the counter unattended.  Or actually, unless you have quick reflexes, watching over it didn't really help either.

It was an annoying habit.  A habit that drove me crazy when he decided to sample the nipple to Everett's bottle.  But right now, it doesn't seem so bad anymore.  I just grabbed myself some ice cream, and it actually broke my heart to not have Crosby jumping up on the counter and swatting at my hand so he could get a taste.  I'm up here at my computer with food nearby, and he isn't begging.  I miss it.  It sounds funny, but even the absence of the less adorable traits can make you miss what you love.

We knew Crosby was really sick when he refused to eat this past weekend.  He had gone about three days without showing even the smallest interest in food.  I had no clue who this cat was.  It wasn't the one I'd spent the last four years with.  We found out that things were pretty bad, and the most humane choice was to put him to sleep.  Anyone who loves a pet like a child can understand how painful today really has been.  Crosby may have been annoying when he dragged my chicken wings into his "cat house", but he also had many things that I really loved and will forever miss.

When I was busy writing all day, Crosby would almost always make himself home at my lap.  He'd jump up uninvited (because what possible reason could I have to not want an entire body on my lap), and then curl himself up against me.  Writing can be a solitary and lonely job.  Crosby provided me great company.  Crosby had anywhere in the house to take a nap, but it touched me that he decided my lap was the optimal place.  Eventually, he'd notice that I had not given him any pets yet.  He would gently swat on my hand, and I knew it was time to take a break from writing.  He'd give out the delightful purr as I scratched his neck, and then he usually repaid my petting by touching my cheek with his paw.  This was Crosby and Daddy bonding time, and it always made my work day extra special.

Sleeping at night will never be the same.  Crosby loved jumping into bed with us, and then would crawl deep into the covers.  It was his little blanket fort.  He usually either liked to sleep in between our legs or against our side.  He often chose Emily, because she was the less hazardous option.  I tend to roll in my sleep.  On the nights Emily was away, he opted to sleep against me, but usually by morning I found he had retreated to the foot of the bed.  I loved the fact that Crosby wanted to be sleeping near us.

Cats are known as being independent.  People say they sort of just accept the existence of their pet parents rather than adore them like dogs do.  Now, Crosby was independent and was fine with being by himself.  I also know he loved us.  I know he preferred to be in our company.  If I was sitting down then it would only take a few seconds before he jumped into my lap.  If we closed the door to our bedroom, we were rewarded with clawing and crying until we allowed him to sneak into bed with us.  If I was outside, he'd often watch from the window and paw away as if he thought he was just one clawing away from breaking out.  If we had been gone for a weekend, then he'd follow us all around the house and rub himself against our legs.  Crosby was fine on his own, but he was happiest when he was with us.

Crosby had many ways of letting us know that he liked us.  His favourite was jumping up on our chest and knead it.  Usually the kneading progressed to my neck, which was a little less comfortable than an army of ants jabbing me with spears.  It was painful, but he purred during the whole process.  I've read that some cats do this as a way to show love.  Or maybe it was some giant practical joke being perpetuated by cats everywhere, and they're having a good chuckle that we believe this is a sign of affection.  If he wasn't kneading then he was cuddling -- which is far more comfortable.  I know, he enjoyed our company and he just had his own way of displaying affection,

Crosby was getting a bit older, and so he wasn't playing as much as he used to.  For the first year, we bought him countless toys, and he loved to stalk and pounce on them.  We'd slide the toy against a railing or under a chair, and he'd start swatting away at them.  He also really loved hiding and creeping towards his "prey" (that feather ball never knew what hit it).  It was fun to watch, and I was sad when he stopped this form of play.  This could partly be due to the fact he got a new play mate in the fall of 2009.  Summit. 

Summit and Crosby had some epic wrestling matches.  Sometimes it looks like Crosby was being tortured by Summit.  The thing that makes me think that Crosby enjoyed "playing" with Summit was that Crosby never scratched Summit (often).  He had all his claws, but when he swatted Summit, he kept the claws in.  Though Summit seemed like a bully, I think they had a good relationship.  Crosby would even swat at Summit in attempt to get him wound up.  I miss Crosby's stalking the toys days, but I think he had just as much fun with Summit.

Crosby was family.  I never believed the ridiculous line "it was just a pet."  He was my son.  I loved and bonded with him.  I'll have memories that will stick with me for years.  Crosby knew when to cheer me up when I was sad.  Crosby knew that petting would relieve my stress.  Crosby trusted and loved me.  He knew he was in a house that loved him dearly as well.  I'm really glad that we took some pictures with Crosby and Everett, and Everett will have something to remember his brother.

I'll miss you, Crosby.  I will always love you.  RIP Crosby.  You were one amazing cat.