Friday, August 31, 2007

Summer Vacation at The Office

As we go into the unofficial last weekend of summer, here's a dose of funny to kick start the weekend. In case you were wondering, Michael Scott and company enjoyed a busy summer as well. Here's what they've been up to.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Fist Pound

One of the great things about having a child is getting the kid to do funny or cute things. Any parent will tell you they've taught their kid something to do to make the parent's friends laugh or ooh and ahh about how adorable the kid is. Any parent who denies training their kid to do cute stuff is lying to you. We've taught Keegan to do the high five, but what kid doesn't do that? It's almost cliché at this point.
The other night. Jen brought Keegan to my softball game and left him with me so she and a friend could go watch the Cincinnati Bengals secondary make Joey Harrington look like Dan Marino. We went for the proverbial post-game pizza at a nearby Mellow Mushroom. I sat K-Man in between me and a fellow attorney I work with, Josh. Josh was kind enough to share the crackers that came with his salad with Keegan to help tie him over until the pizza arrived. I think the gesture endeared Josh to Keegan because a little while later, Keegan was giving Josh a little pat on the back like "Thanks for the crackers old man. That was very cool of you because I was a little hungry and the pizza isn't coming for a while." That evolved into me getting Keegan to give Josh five. Everyone ooh-ed and ahh-ed on cue. Josh though decided to shake things up a bit and tried to teach K-Man the fist pound. Josh would put his fist out there waiting for Keegan to pound back. Keegan recognized that Josh was extending the fist as a friendly gesture, but the only way Keegan knew to reply was with the high five. So the fist got high-fived. Looked a little awkward like when one guy goes to shake hands with someone he kind of knows, and the other guy comes in with the full-on hug. Whoa dude, that was awkward.

Josh was very patient with K-Man though. He curled up Kee's fingers to make a tiny, Kiwi-sized fist and then gently tapped his fist to Kee's. Then the lesson continued. Kee kept trying to high five Josh's fist. And each time, Josh would patiently ball up Kee's hand and show him again. It didn't look like Keegan was catching on. So I gave Kee a sip of his lemonade, and the table conversation moved on. Then seemingly out of nowhere, Keegan held out his fist to Josh. And Josh responded in kind. Then Kee held out his fist to me. I pounded back. Then he extended the fist across the table. Methodically moving around until everyone had the chance to pound it out (as the kids like to say). Then he started over. And around and around we went. I took a picture of one of the many fist pounds with my cell phone. Here's the result of that:

It was great to watch Keegan figure out what was going on. To process what Josh was teaching him and what his response was supposed to be. To learn that what he knew (the high five) was not what was needed here. There was something else to use in this situation. Fist = fist. Open hand = high five. Got it. Not only had he learned what to do in the situation, but he figured out that he could initiate this ritual. So the next time you see this 20-month-old boy, pound it out.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

There is no theory of evolution

There is no theory of evolution. There is only a list of species that Tim Tebow has allowed to live.

Go Gators!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Dear Annie,

This also goes out to JM, STK, Brad, Mark, my sister Anita, and any other dog fan who may or may not have a blog of their own.
Go Gators!!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

New Haircut Boy

As many of you know, Keegan's hair is very curly. But what you may not know is that it's grown out considerably and when it's dry, you can pick it out into quite the 'fro. We've tried some detangler on it, but after a while, it still gets all knotted. Rather than go the whole dreads route -- which might be pretty cool -- we decided to take him for his first haircut today.

We went to Bob's Barber Shop in Marietta. Bob's is a place that I've been getting my haircut for about 25 years. So it was a sort of right of passage. K-Man did really well all things considered. More importantly, Andrew the barber, who goes to church with us, did incredibly well with his moving target.

Jen was a little on edge going into the process. She can be so cute when she's worried about her little boy. But everything turned out well. Kee sat in my lap as Andrew first picked out his hair until he looked like Leo Sayer. Then he took the clippers to his head shaving off sections of 'fro. He hacked off a few chunks of hair. We saved several locks -- especially a few of his tight curls. Keegan giggled a little when Andrew shaved his hairline at his neck. And of course, when we were done, Keegan got the standard Dum Dum lollipop.

We got away without any crying. He is becoming such a big boy. And his new 'do makes him look much faster -- like his new shoes. Size 8's!

I'll post some more pics of the big day when I get the film developed (Long live 35mm!!).

Monday, August 6, 2007

Fiery one

Keegan took another step in his development this weekend. Mark and Amy were in town with their boys. We met them at the pool in the Tanner's neighborhood. We've taken Keegan to the beach and to several pools. One thing we know is that he does not like it when the water is cool. However, it's August, and the weather here the last week or so has been partly furnacy with a chance of spontaneous combustion, so I was hopeful that the water would be comfortable. It did not disappoint. This meant that K-Man was comfortable stepping into the shallow end on the steps. I picked him up and walked him around the shallow end, but he wasn't comfortable with that very much. So we put him back on the steps and let him acclimate at his own pace.

Then we were visited by the Fritchman boys -- one goggled and one not. They were -- as usual -- a bundle of energy and wanted Keegan to join in. Actually, Eli wanted me to make Keegan join in, asking "Why don't you put him under the water?" I explained that Keegan didn't want to be put under the water, but Eli couldn't hear me because about that time, Asa had come over and dunked Eli. Karma.

Meanwhile, on the shallow end steps, Keegan was getting more comfortable with the water sitting on the second step so the water was up to his neck. Bored with that, he stood up and walked to the edge of the pool which caught the attention of Asa and Eli. I held out my hands to see if he wanted to come back into the water, and he reached as if he did. I pulled him off the edge and held him walking around a bit in the water. But he wanted back on the edge. So I placed him up there. Then Eli joined him on the edge and jumped off. And you could see the wheels turning in Kee's head.

Oooh, that looks interesting.

I like jumping off stuff.

I jump off the changing table when Daddy is standing there.

Daddy's standing right there.

I think I'll jump off here.


And Jen and Amy clapped and cheered.

Oooh, there's a crowd watching me. I like having a crowd. Get me back to the edge Dad so I can jump off again for my adoring fans.

He jumped again and again. Each time to more applause. And Eli kept jumping too. But Kee seemed to notice that Eli was disappearing under the water when he jumped. I had been catching him to keep his head above the water. Getting him used to jumping first before we raised the stakes as Eli suggested and put him under the water. I could tell that he was really thinking about the fact that Eli was under the water when he jumped and he was not. I turned to Jen and said, he's going under this time.

She gasped a little and stepped back so that her worrisome aura didn't infect the development that was taking place.

And then he jumped again, and I let him go under all the way. He loved it! He barely rubbed his eyes. Couldn't get back to the edge fast enough to jump off again. Keep in mind this is the same kid who hates us pouring water on his head to rinse the shampoo out of his hair. But now he doesn't care if I let him jump into three feet of water. Whatever. He jumped and jumped until he basically exhausted himself.

The cool thing for me was watching Kee reveal his competitive streak. He saw the other boys doing something and thought, "I can do that." The same thing happened when he took his first steps at Mark and Amy's house last October while the boys were running around the room in front of him.

According to several Irish sources, Keegan means "fiery one" or "little fiery one" or "determined." Although hardly "little," K-Man is living up to his name. He is fiery and determined. We continue to foster the positive aspects of that, letting him explore his limits and pushing beyond them as he is ready. And the privilege of participating in that is humbling.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

News Flash: I am reserved.

I recently took one of those freebie online personality tests. I have two degrees in psychology, so I am always curious to see how the latest version summarizes who I am. The most recent one I took goes by the name "Personal DNA." After you take the test, they give a couple of color-coded maps that show the various facets of your personality. Here's a map to my personality. Don't get lost!

Reserved Analyst

According to this test, I am a reserved analyst. For the most part, the summary is a fairly good encapsulation of my personality -- to the extent one's personality is static and can be captured in a single statement. Here are the high points of my Personal DNA:

Your attention to detail, confidence, sense of order, and focus on functionality combine to make you an ANALYST.

You are very curious about how things work, delving into the mechanics behind things. Along those lines, how well something works is usually more important to you than what it looks like. (You would think this might mean that I was good with my hands, but alas, if something needs fixing, I am only good at writing checks to the "guy.")

You find beauty and wonder mainly in concrete, functional, earthly things.

You are very aware of your own abilities, and you believe that you will find the best way of doing things. (Some might say that I am a control freak!)
Accordingly, problems do not intimidate you, as you believe in yourself.

You trust yourself to find solutions within the boundaries of your knowledge. (That's true. If I can't figure it out, there really is no solution!)

You don't spend a lot of time imagining how things could be different—you're well-grounded in the here-and-now.

It is important for you to follow a routine, and you prefer the familiar to the unknown. (If it ain't broke, don't fix it. For example, there's no need to try something new at a restaurant when I know I like the grilled chicken sandwich.)

You are balanced in your approach to problem-solving, not letting your emotions hold you up. (Emotions only cloud one's judgment. I am such a hopeless romantic!)

You prefer to have time to plan for things, feeling better with a schedule than with keeping plans up in the air until the last minute. (This is why road trips boil down to getting to the destination as fast as possible with the fewest number of toilet breaks. We don't need to get sidetracked with antiquing or stops at the various outlets on the way. Or stopping to eat for that matter!)

You do your own thing when it comes to clothing, guided more by practical concerns than by other people's notions of style. (Does owning 18 sweatshirts count as a "style?")

You are RESERVED – you aren't someone who always needs to have others around, and you find you can handle most situations on your own. (I do like my alone time.)

You can be very happy spending time alone, and enjoy your own thoughts and ideas. (Is self-absorption a sin?)

You find it difficult to understand why some people get so emotional and tell everyone else their problems. (This may explain why I am a lawyer and not a psychologist.)

You believe that if you want to get something done, it is best to do it yourself. (None of you may want to hang out with me after reading all of this.)

In your experience, other people are not always completely dependable, so you generally rely on yourself and only a few close others. (That's the proper subject for a whole separate post.)

Despite your independence, you are not a closed-minded person who makes hasty judgments about others. You know that it isn't always easy to walk in other people's shoes. (Being empathic is a gift that my wife demonstrates for me on a regular basis. I have a lot to learn, but I try.)

At times other people's feelings are puzzling to you, and you wish that people were more rational. (Is that so wrong?)

Your vision of the world is complex – your values are not set in stone. Instead, you are able to change your beliefs as you learn new information. (The Lord is still molding me.)