Hotels are Liars!!

So I’ve been away from Daddyland for a few days now and am anxious to get home. I spent the last 4 days northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula which is quite beautiful even though they got a lot of snow. Lucky for me I was able to rent a Ford Flex and had no problem with the snow. I’m currently waiting in the cutest little airport (Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City), it actually looks like a hunting lodge, and is nothing like Detroit Metro. The people are nice, even security, but it is funny that rental car agencies don’t open until 10 am. It was weird dropping off my car and depositing my keys into a slot.

Now you might be wondering why I say hotels are liars, well I will tell you. With my new job, I’ve had the opportunity to stay in many a hotel lately. All of them say that they are concerned about the environment or they want to reduce their carbon foot print, blah, blah, blah. So they say as a guest I can help them out. How you might ask? Well by just reusing your towels, keeping your same bed linens throughout your stay, etc. By doing this we help them save tons on water, detergents, etc.

Well this is a load of bunk. Now I am not the greenest person in the world. In fact, all I do is use the reusable grocery bags and that’s only because some stores give you a discount for using them. So I figured, why not help out the environment when I’m on the road. I don’t need a fresh towel in the morning or fresh bed linens. I use the same towel at home for a few day and the same goes for the sheets on my bed.

So like a good Earth friendly person, I hang my towels up on the provided racks. Guess what, when I get back to my hotel room, they are gone. Replaced by nice, new fresh towels. What happened to saving the planet? Now if this had been an isolated incident, I would chalk it up to an over ambitious housekeeping staff member, but every hotel I’ve been in for the past 2 months has done the same thing. I hang up my towel and I come back and it’s gone.

Now bed linens are another story, I’ve only actually “caught” them changing my sheets once or twice. I’ve come back from an appointment early only to realize I couldn’t get in my room because they were cleaning it (which I think is amazing). And low and behold, the bed is stripped, fresh linens are being applied.

So why hotel industry do you want us to believe that you are or have gone or are going green? Is it because that is the in thing to be right now? Stop lying to us. Stop hanging up your little signs. If you want to change my towels and sheets every day, go ahead. I don’t mind. Actually it’s kind of the cool part of being in a hotel. Fess up and just say you don’t care about the environment and we can all move on.

Very shortly, I’ll be on a plane back to Daddyland. Can’t wait to see Wifey and Little E.

Little E is One!!!

So yesterday was the day. The day my little baby became 1 year old. It was kind of surreal to think that a year ago we were going through such a difficult time to have him (although I wasn’t doing much of the work). I know that I haven’t blogged in a long time, but parenting seemed to overshadow the need to tell you all about it, but I think I’m back for year 2.

It has been an amazing year in Daddyland. It was truly a place of discovery. We discovered that we can survive off only a few hours of sleep. We discovered that baby wipes clean up anything. We discovered that we make a great team and we make cute babies.

It was also a year of great concern. I lost my job and was unemployed. I worked at restaurant waiting tables to make ends meet. But I was truly blessed in January with a wonderful job that meets all of our needs over and above what we could ever hope or imagine. It was truly a gift from God.

So now as settle into year 2 of living in Daddyland, I’m looking forward to so much from Little E. I can’t wait to see him take his first step. Say other things other than “Dada,” which I love to hear. LOL. And just watch him grow and develop. Who knows, we had such a great time with him maybe this year will bring another resident to Daddyland. And before you get your hopes up, this is not an announcement, just a potential observation.

Well, I have to go finish buying the stuff for Little E’sB 1 year Bash scheduled for this Sunday. I’ll talk about that more later.

On the Road to Shipshewana

So, the first Mother’s Day Weekend in Daddyland was very interesting. Being the kind, caring and considerate husband that I am, I planned what I thought would be a nice, romantic dual purpose trip to Shipshewana, IN.

Why Shipshewana, IN you ask? Well, since Wifey’s parents live in Indianapolis, IN, we’ve decided to try to see them at least once per month, either we go there, they come up or what has been working recently is we find a place somewhere in the middle. This month’s middle of the road location was Shipshewana, IN. For those of you who don’t know, but Shipshewana is in the heart of Amish country.

Now that we had the local decided, I thought it would be nice to go down the day before and spend the weekend. So I started my research, I called the local Bed & Breakfasts in the area to let find out if they had rooms available for Wifey, Little E and myself. After some painstaking investigative work, I found the Village Garden B&B. It was located a block from downtown. It was perfect.

Friday arrives and we have the car packed, Little E in the car seat and we’re on the road to Shipshewana. As a family we do love a good road trip, we tend to do random things on our road trips. We stopped at Carver’s for a smoothie. We stopped at the Outlet Mall just over the Indiana border. Stuff like that, but who cares, it’s a road trip.

We arrived at 8pm in Shipshewana and pulled into a very cute B&B, grabbed Little E and went to the door. I had already called the B&B to let them know we’d be arriving later. The owner opened the door and we stepped into the foyer to check in. He excused himself for a minute and then when he came back he said, “Oh, I didn’t know you were bringing a baby.” I thought it was because maybe they didn’t have a crib, so I said, “Not a problem, we always bring his pack’n’play for him to sleep in.” To my surprise he said, “We are full of adults and children aren’t allowed.”

Interesting, because every B&B I called was told that I needed a room for my wife, our 2 month old son and myself. Not one had a problem with that, even the Village Garden. What happened next was completely out of left field. He walked over to his desk, grabbed a phone book and said, “I recommend the Farmstead Inn, would you like me to call and see if they have any rooms.”

WHAT?!? Were we being kicked out, because we had a baby? I stood there in utter disbelief that a business owner would turn away a paying guest with a reservation. Wifey was beside herself. Neither one of us could believe that the owner was actually suggesting that we leave and find somewhere else to stay. We had just driven 3 hours to a town that basically shuts down at 9 pm and it was 8:30 pm and we had no place to stay. I finally knew how Mary & Joseph felt when they were told there was no room in the inn.

Completely shell shocked we walked out of the Village Garden B&B, got in the car and began the mad dash to find somewhere to stay for the weekend. I re-called all the B&B’s I’d called before, most were either full or didn’t answer. We even called the Farmstead Inn, but couldn’t get a hold of anyone. Their phone lines were always busy. We decided to drive to the Farmstead Inn to see if we could get a room. This was totally messing up my nice, romantic weekend. If I had wanted to stay in a hotel and pay twice as much, I would have booked a hotel.

So come to find out, the Farmstead Inn had some sort of electrical issue that affected their computers and phones and that was why we couldn’t reach them by phone. The lady at the front desk was refreshingly pleasant and helpful. She couldn’t believe the ordeal that we went through and went out of her way to help us out.

We ended up taking one of their suites that had a Jacuzzi tub, which I knew Wifey would enjoy and hopefully would salvage some of the romantic weekend I had planned. So by the time we had checked in, got our luggage in the room, it was well past 9 pm and the only options we had for dinner was Subway (that was located in the gas station) or a pizza place. We decided on pizza.

Now after an exhausting day, all Wifey wanted to do was relax in the Jacuzzi tub with a nice glass of wine, but come to find out, Shipshewana is a dry town. Hello Insult. Hello Injury. Nice to meet the 2 of you.

I Have Great Life

Today is a day for celebration. Little E turned 2 months today and he gave us a great present…7 hours of sleep. Thank you Babywise.

It’s amazing to think that just 2 short months ago we were in the hospital waiting for him to show up. Wifey and I figured it out; she was in labor for 66 hours before they eventually did the C-section. That is not cool, but we’re so happy we have him.

He has changed so much in these 2 short months. He’s growing, gaining weight, smiling at us, discovering his feet, chittering (AKA – baby talk), etc. The list goes on and on. I sometimes wonder what goes on in his head. What is it like to discover something new all the time?

They, and by they I mean the people who know, say that his brain develops at an amazing rate during these first few years. How much does he comprehend? Does he think he’s got crazy parents because we sing him little songs? Or does he wonder why I make him into a little burrito every night I put him to sleep? Or does he realize that his pacifier will never give him milk, no matter how hard he sucks? Little things like that go through my head.

I’m so glad that we have him in our lives and I can’t wait until he’s up and around, talking, going to school, watching him at his sporting events, taking pictures at his graduation, helping him move into his first apartment, sitting at his wedding, in the hospital with him as his first child is born. But I’m also happy to be in this moment with Wifey and Little E.

I really do have a great life.

My New Favorite Number - 6

I always knew that once Little E was born, that sleep would become a thing of the past. In fact, Riley Armstrong has a song called “Sleep.” Once of the lyrics is “Sleep, no I never get enough. Always waking up tired. Sleep, no I never get enough if I don’t show up I might get fired.” There has been many a day at work that I’m sitting at my desk, looking at my computer screen and wishing and praying that it was the end of the day only to realize that it was 8:45 am.

I do however see a silver lining. Last night Little E slept for…wait for it…6 hours. Yes, 6 continuous hours of sleep. Wifey slept for 6 hours, I slept for 6 hours, Little E slept for 6 hours. I knew that this day would eventually come and I could not be happier. Does this mean he’s at that point where he’ll be doing this every night? I don’t know. In fact, I don’t really care.

We’ve been working the Baby Wise system. It’s difficult, but it has some pretty good results. My niece was sleeping through the night at 6 weeks. Several parents in the church have used it and their kids were sleeping through the night by 9 weeks. The book actually says that between 7-9 weeks is the average time frame for getting your child to sleep through the night.

I know there are naysayers out there who say that it’s not possible. Or that you must have a special baby. Or you’re just lucky. It’s not luck, it’s working a plan. I’m so happy to see that our efforts are starting to produce some results. I did say efforts, this plan is not easy and you have to be true to the schedule, but the results are definitely worth it.

Good, restful sleep is on the horizon for Daddyland. Thank God!

First Date

A first date take on a whole new meaning after you have a baby. As you many know, Little E turned 6 weeks old last Thursday and Wifey and I planned an evening out. Our First Date…well since Little E was born and even a bit before that.

We got a babysitter (Grammie & Puppa), planned the evening (dinner & a movie) and even got out the door on time. So as we packed up Little E’s diaper bag, we were giddy with excitement. Some may say that 6 weeks is too soon to be going out on a date, but I say “WHATEVER.” We were a couple first and if you want to stay a couple, you have to do couple things.

That’s probably my biggest piece of advice. Never forget your spouse. Keep doing those special little things that got you together. Little E is an addition to our family, not the center of our family. I think it’s a shame when couples become baby focused and forget about their relationship. I want to shake them and say, “don’t you realize that your kids are going to grow up and all you will have is your spouse?” Duh!

Well back to the date. Had a great dinner at the Japanese Steakhouse then off to the movies, Alice in Wonderland in 3D. This is the first movie we have seen in the theater since January. That’s hard for a couple that loves going to the movies. At this point, most of the movies that we want to see are on DVD now, so Red Box, here we come.

Before we left Grammie & Puppa’s, we asked how long they were willing to look after Little E and Grammie said, “As long as it’s before 2 AM.” We took this to mean, they were OK. So after our dinner & movie, we did what all young hip couple do. We went to Wal-Mart. Oh yeah, we are party animals.

After Wal-Mart, we decided to have a night cap at TGIFriday’s. Daddy-O had a couple of beverages (only 2) and apparently am now a lightweight, so Wifey had to drive home. As we sat at TGIFriday’s we did what all parent’s do on their first night out, we talked about Little E. We scrolled through the pictures we had on cell phones, made Little E faces and gestures to each other and actually called Grammie to see how he was doing.

We made it home well before our 2 AM deadline from Grammie and had a good time. I’ll admit it, it was weird to get out of the car and not grab a diaper bag, the stroller and the car seat. I also looked back several time while we were driving to make sure Little E was OK, only to realize he wasn’t there.

So all in all, our first date was very successful. I’m looking forward to a second date with Wifey in the future. Is it too early to call her.

Go Butler!

Daddyland was once again unified with one goal. Defeat the Devils. Once again, Wifey, Little E and I were on the couch watching intently and cheering for the Bulldogs. The game was close, but a missed shot at the buzzer by Hayward caused the Blue Devils to take the championship.

I have to say that I'm proud to have Butler alum in my family. She's proud of her Bulldog heritage and Indianapolis is such a great city. Good for them to have the Final 4 there. Good for them to have a real home team playing in the Final 4 and the championship game. Let's hope that with the success of Butler this year, more quality athletes will pick smaller schools over the powerhouses like Duke.