Thursday, April 21, 2011

Green Thumb Green with Envy

They say a man's home is his castle. Well this manly man's home has green grass with pink and white flowers that receive entirely too much attention lately. I attribute this mainly to the wife and my social calendar now limping for activity when compared to 6 months ago when our cup runnneth over with you name it. But back to these days where  i'm   Beginning to think that I wasn't much of a "man" before I became a homeowner.  I really didn't take pride in how a home reflected me and my family. I considered my home as a place to pass out between long weekends and keep my electronics safe from outsiders. But now, my home has become my hobby. Particularly my front yard.  2 weeks ago I slaved (for lack of a better word for a black male working in the yard) for almost 6 hours planting new flowers in Miracle Gro soil and black mulch. All done voluntarily, FOR FUN. Example: I have on more than one occasion woke up at 5 something in the morning to fertilize my yard and prevent weeds. I'm a garden club member (for email and promotion reasons) at Calloway's Nursery. I'm obsessed with trying to get an awesome lawn. So much so that in an attempt to rid the yard of current weeds I accidentally grabbed a weed AND Grass killer which is what is currently giving the lawn a psychedelic cow pattern (pissed face). Regardless it's fun trying to get those patches back and staying on top of what I think will soon be considered one of the better yards in the neighborhood. Which brings me to another driver of my next door neighbors. 

With sayings like "the grass isn't always  greener on the other side" I can't help but immediately think of my neighbors, who's grass and landscaping is greener & brighter and with less weeds. They moved in maybe 2 months before we did and have always seemed to be on top of their landscaping. So much so that they had the original sod mowed down to reseed it (I quickly followed suit less successfully). Come to find out the woman who lives there's  ex husband was a landscaper and she seems to have the greenest of thumbs. Allyson and I are both friendly with the next door neighbors and even more so me who is always trying to get the lowdown on the secrets of such a lush palatial spread of foliage. The secret... Miracle Gro...often. So with MY Calloway's formulas of slow release this and that and fertilizers of extra Nitrogen this and that I plan on somewhat giving them a friendly run for their money. Especially since I found out they have been hiring help.I just can't explain why their same flowers (mind you planted a month before mine) look like Barry Bonds needle partners. I'm calling for testing! Its Just Me Against the World... I feel like the 2 PAC of landscaping (a phrase most likely never uttered, ever). Fun hobby I picked up waiting for Mia to consume my time the back half of this summer. 


Notice the slightly greener grass next door

I'm going to place stones around the tree beds
 Playing in the dirt. No turning back
Damn Splotches!

Friday, April 15, 2011

'The Mia Network'

This year has been what I believe I will remember as the year my family's generations grew up and out. My sister in mid January gave birth to a beautiful handsomely headed (he got that good Puerto Rican hair) baby boy. In the last quarter of the year Allyson and I surprised ourselves with the news that we would be having our first child, Ms. Mia Lauryn. Besides the fact that she is MY little girl she will be the first female addition to the family since my 27 year old sister. That means in the past 13 years between my big brother and little sister I have had 6 nephews. Needless to say I was pprepared for a girl. Despite the fact my assumption of my baby's sex is far from sscientific in theory it is much stronger of a theory then my childhood logic of what determined a boy or a girl. CHILDHOOD THEORY: whichever of the two adults who enjoyed the sex the best "contributed" the most juices and THAT determined the sex of the child. But I digress. Between watching my sister become a mother and my nephews become teenagers and Allyson and I getting ready to put on the training wheels of parenthood I can't help but think what a difference a year makes. Contemplating have a child has already humbled me.
You see I have always been infected with this disease called 'escalation of commitment', better known as 'hard head'. Ask anyone if I don't believe that not only do I control my own fate regardless of circumstance but in most instances am capable of outperforming others when I make up my mind to expend the energy (pretty inflated). I don't get too stressed out about much and keep a cool head because "I got this". But now with Mia on the way I all of a sudden want BETTER THAN MY BEST effort for my little girl. I want people to pray for her, I want God to watch out for her, I want favor with her and for her and I don't want to think about her only having her parents to provide that. My baby needs a network! That's how I know I'm ready to love my little girl. I'll be honest the sonograms have lost their luster slightly (except for when she's dancing or doing somersaults). I finally can consistently feel her kick in Allyson's belly (Ally's all belly) and that's pretty cool, but I know there will be nothing like seeing her and making since of what I'll be to her. Like most men I have been mentally preparing for the passing of pearls of wisdom and the avoidance of shame geared towards raising a boy. So now I'm scrambling to figure how that best applies to a girl. What I do know is that after a family and friends ridden announcement party in February little Mia will be loved by more than just Allyson and myself. We are so grateful for what seems to be the overused cliche of  "family and friends" but its true. When you see the support like we have we can't take friendship for granted. One of our good friends paid for all of her custom bedding the minute we told them the news of the baby! That's huge.

Great Friends Gather to here the news.
In the mean time I'll be studying another great gift I received which is a  anecdote book on dads and daughters from a friend of ours. This will serve as the best head start I believe I can be
afforded as a new dad. I hear nothing but good things from these veteran fathers so I'm encouraged. And if my daughter loves me as much as my sister loves my dad I'm in the clear. It's only mid April and I'm already thinking what a difference 6 months makes, 3 more to go until everything changes.