Another Year Bites The Dust

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How I spent last New Years Eve

In spite of everything that happened, 2011 wasn’t a bad year. It was rough and very trying. But it was only hard because I had to leave Timile behind. I ended the year cutting off all of my hair I’d been growing for six years and for a change I rang the new year at a friend’s in Harlem as opposed to in church like I always do. And that was fine because I was going into 2012 being different.

Going into 2012 I only had a few goals and the rest was just no expectations: 1) Get my daughter back. 2) My mom be cancer free. 3) Lose the weight I’d gained from stress eating. 4) Let go and not be so laid back all the time. Well, Cydney is with me, the other day the doctor found a little more cancer, I’ve lost 50 lbs, and those around me would say I’ve definitely changed and I’m different. So, all in all I’d say it was a success.

Going into this year I have no goals. Well maybe one or two that I’m keeping to myself for the time being. I told one of my best friends yesterday how much this reminds me of four years ago. Timile and I had broken up and she moved back to Virginia and I was in Atlanta. It really felt like the world was ending. I just remember praying in the cold and snow to myself thinking about the story of Ezekiel and how a valley of dry bones would mean no army. God told him to just believe in Him and those dry bones will live. Sure enough they did and victory was imminent. That’s exactly how the time felt. God told me “Yo, if this is something you want to make happen then prove it and I’ll see that I make things happen. (Yes, that’s how God talks to me).”

He was right and it meant putting in lots of work over the next four without really getting a chance to breathe really.

While everything is fine now, we all dive into New Years with expectations, goals, and fall right off the wagon a couple weeks in if that. It’s always gonna be something. But if you’ve read my story then you know its up to you to make things happen.

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The Weekend In Pictures: Back In DC Edition

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Quick nap on the Long Island Railroad
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One of the reasons I love New York
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Cheese on the bus
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Mo' bus
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At dinner with a friend
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Going to sleep
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Cydney modeling the newest way to wear a scarf
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Me asleep with my grandchild, Baby and Doc McStuffins
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Baby and Doc McStuffins watching the game with me
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Cydney and Uncle Chase
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This is how we felt heading out the door.

My First Christmas With Cydney In Pictures

Yesterday was great. I finally really understand the best part of Christmas. Getting all the gifts is cool and all, but seeing your child light up is another thing all in itself. So here are some pictures of our interesting day.

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My good friend Nicole stopped by Christmas Eve
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Cydney In her Christmas Eve outfit deciding this is how she is going to pose.
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Santa drank egg nog and cake at our house
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Where the toys are stashed...
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Santa Clausing
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Cydney's toys
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My nephew happily playing
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Playing with my nephew
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Gotta get Cydney started early
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How Cydney sleeps every night
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Geeked!
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My nephew and my mother
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Cydney unwrapping a gift from auntie
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Geeked pt. 2
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Gifts from the Atlanta family
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My grandchild, Erin
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Saw this and felt my first gray hair come in
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One shoe classic
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The bird my cat killed for Christmas
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Ready to head to Queens and see the family
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Christmas In Hollis!

Spoiler Alert: Santa Claus Lives In Atlanta

In honor of Santa Claus beginning to make his rounds sometime today I wanted to share that I DO believe that he is real! How do I know? Here’s two quick stories. Santa Claus does not live in the North Pole. He lives in Atlanta.

Proof? Well, my first job out of college was working at Walgreens. It was right as the recession was beginning to set in and this was the first thing I could get my hands on: running the photo department. Around mid-July while at work one afternoon I saw a tall white man around 6’2, 300+ lbs. He had on a red shirt, blue jeans, red suspenders, and he had a long white beard. He was also looking up and down the toy aisle.

About six or seven months later, Timile had to go to traffic court. I waited for her outside. She told me that while waiting in court there was a case ahead of hers against a 6’2″ man, 300+ lbs, white hair with a beard, and wearing red. When the judge looked at the licence of the defendant his name was Santa Claus. Ha! He was in there for some kind of misconduct.

Well, Merry Christmas, all! Just thought I’d send a little fun your way. By the way this is ALL true. Enjoy!

The Weekend In Pictures: 5,000 Views Edition

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The Ornament I was looking for all last year of Timile and I, Thanksgiving '09
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My nephew giving me another tattoo
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His final work (days later it still won't come off!)
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Swag
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My nephew Courtney and Cydney at church
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Christmas performance at church
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Cydney and my mom after church
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Post church swag
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Cydney is always trying to feed me
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Cheeeeeeese!
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Posted
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Thank You everyone...

The Santa Claus Struggle

Jolly St. Nick. As a child the hierarchy is Mommy, Daddy, Santa, Jesus, and grandma. We think of him is this demigod who does no wrong. Because he’s thought of so highly that our world comes crashing down when we find out otherwise. It almost always comes by accident after being so careful trying to keep it going for so long to keep the innocence going. Shortly after the rest of childhood comes at an almost abrupt end and the beginning of adolescence and tweendom comes. Sigh…

Here’s how the beginning of my end of childhood came: I was 9 years old. I was in fourth grade and for some time the rumors have been swirling around about Santa not being real. I didn’t believe them because I thought those kids were just being nihilistic, cynical jerks trying to be mean. Well, one day my aunt who was home from college at the time was wrapping gifts watching the Wayans Brothers (that Marlon sure is funny! Gimme a high five!). I walked by not even trying to be nosey and saw her write on a tag “To Chad from Santa.” GASP!

I looked at her all distraught and she replied I should have been minding my business. As any good sibling I went and told my twin sister. She thought I was being the same thing those other mangy fourth graders were but this was coming from a different place. Life was never the same. Well, until my aunt spilled the beans about wrestling just walking by saying “You know that’s fake, right?” Innocence GONE!

Well, I’m trying not to do so for my nephew. He asks complicated questions like what happens to elves when Santa dies and they require some creative answers. I’m thinking how to answer and keep it going for at least another three years. It’s getting pretty difficult especially since he’s a really smart kid. The joys of adulthood!

Any tips?

Getting Into The Christmas Spirit

Growing up Christmas is the most exciting time of the year. Children love it, adults love it as well as its a chance to see family and see your children light up on Christmas morning as well as the anticipation the night before. Tis the season. I’m trying. I really am. It’s not that I’m anti Christmas. I’ve been Santa for my nephew for years and it doesn’t get old. I’m not a cynic either. I guess as an adult there’s just a lot more and it sinks in halfway around the 24th. My cousin and I even made a Christmas EP a few years ago that wasn’t family friendly but the parents would love it, fights with Santa and all. Maybe by next year we’ll actually finish it.

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Favorite Songs: I Saw My Wife Kissing Santa Claus and I Can't Wait For Christmas To Be Over

Last year around late October I started getting excited again. Well, even the year before that when Timile was pregnant. It started getting real again. Last year it was “Oh its Cydney’s first Christmas!” But then I got robbed of that and her first birthday. Maybe unconsciously that’s where it comes from but I doubt it. I justified it by saying the first ones are cool but she won’t remember it. This year I’m slowly getting there. Cydney is almost two and she knows something is up. She loves Christmas trees (and pulling ornaments off), she says “Santa Claus!” with such excitement. I didn’t even know she knew about Santa Claus. She’s also been saying over and over again “Candy Candy Cane!” She lights up when saying all of it. It makes me smile when she does. I’m a big kid at heart and the kids have been tugging at my heart strings with it. My nephew asking questions about Santa that make you get creative and answer while still living up to it but making you toe a very fine line. I know soon it’ll be Cydney’s day. One day. I know that by Monday I’ll be seven years old again for them and after a long night of putting together toys and getting a good hour of sleep it’ll be there again knowing that I will be awakened to the excitement. Until then, I’m looking forward to this Knicks/Lakers game in which there will be video games but they WILL be halted for that. THAT I’m excited for!

The Cydney’s Still Sick Struggle (Hey, nice alliteration!)

First off: I bet ya can’t say that title five times fast!

Today’s post may be kinda short and more or less an update. I wasn’t home most of yesterday because I took my mother to outpatient surgery that was more or less precautionary due to her treatments from breast cancer earlier this year. By the time I got home needless to say someone was very happy to see me and didn’t want to leave my arms. I can tell when she gets like that that she is really not feeling well.

My godmother who watched her said that she had been pretty active and she does look a lot better than she did the last couple of days was fine all day. She took a nap for almost two hours which was the other giveaway that Cydney was more than just under the weather.

After an evening and night like almost all of our other ones (read jumping and climbing all over a very tired me from taking care of her on limited sleep) Cydney went to sleep. Now I was dog tired and my window of sleepiness came and went. Around 3AM is when it started going down again. Cydney started getting runs in her sleep so bad it was all the way up her shirt. Fun! After washing her off, changing her clothes and whatnot she went back to sleep. About fifteen minutes later she began to throw up again. Super fun when you just cleaned up diarrhea (yes this conversation may not be for the faint of heart but us parents are not phased with the amounts of fluids we are in contact with on a daily basis). So I changed her again and she went right back to sleep.

Other than earaches and such this is the first time Cydney has been really sick. While its tiresome its that badge of honor that really makes you a parent: those chains super sleepless nights holding down the sick children because you not only have but want to nurse them to feeling like their bubbly wild selves again. I stay up also to make sure since she’s only thrown up at night so far that she is on her side or wakes up and doesn’t cause asphyxiation. So being guard dad has caused the nights to not be so restful as well.

Luckily, I’m back to myself so I can handle it. I’m going to crash something serious in a day or two but it’ll be alright. As of right now, I must go wake her up so that I can take her to see the doctor and to do so I am missing my nephew’s Christmas show at school.

Daddy and Cydney’s Sick Day

Well, what a day yesterday! Cydney has been on and off sick with some kind of stomach bug since Saturday morning. She was throwing up all over the place (me). She eventually started to feel a little better but she still was having stomach problems and would get a little warm.

Come Monday morning, I got up at 6 and did what I do every morning. By around 11:15 I got really sleepy. I felt like I needed to take a brief fifteen minute nap to continue the day. I knew something was up because u slept for about an hour and forced myself to wake up then. An hour or so later I started getting a headache and feeling lightheaded. Not good because no matter what I still had to take care of Cydney because she was still not feeling well.

Monday evening: Cydney went to sleep around 8. That’s how I know she wasn’t feeling well. She woke up at about quarter to ten and was hollering for a good hour. Now, once again by then I was starting to feel progressively worse and worse. Not what you want to hear by then. Cydney began to jump up and down like she likes to do and in Matrix fashion I dodged round one of the vomit. Within the next hour she threw up three more times in which the third one she got upset and started crying. I went to console her and give her a hug and she threw up on my shoulder. Yay!

By the time she fell asleep she was very warm as was I. I took my temperature which was 99.7. That’s enough to start being concerned but not really because when I get fevers I hit 103.4 like clockwork ever since I was a kid. Tossing and turning, keep waking up to check on Cydney. Needless to say it wasn’t the most restful sleep. I woke up with a 100 degree temperature and was off to the hospital to take my mother to surgery. I still don’t feel well and quite sick to my stomach but I still have things to do! One of these days I’ll get some sleep.