Sunday, October 30, 2005

Jonas says hello to his brother.

Jonas, Grandpa and his new baby brother. He covered his head. What a ham! Posted by Picasa

Baby Jaden in the role of Rocky Balboa

Cut me Mic, cut me!!!

Jaden in his film debut attempting to imitate Sylvester Stalone. Posted by Picasa

A happy family of 5

From left to right.
Back Row - Steven, Erin
Front Row - Jonas, Jaden, Ady (Cheese) Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Mommy And baby Jaden


Mommy and baby Jaden are both doing great. He was born at 7:46 PM, weighed 6 lbs 7 oz. He came out a little beat up looking but is already looking a lot better and is most likely going to come home on schedule Sunday. Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 28, 2005

On to the hospital.

Here we are finished getting ready to go have this baby, ready to run out the door, and I had to stop and let you know. We're off. I've been up since 2:45 AM and have no idea how long this day will be. I'll let everyone know soon how things have gone.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Coming around the bend is... the beginning

Almost 9 months of pregnancy. Almost all of it has been good. We've had our fights here and there, but they have all worked out for a better understanding. And now at the end, we are about to begin. I like the cyclical nature of it. You wait and wait and wait for it to be over, just so it can start. Erin is going to be induced tomorrow morning. Tomorrow there should be a new baby in our lives. I feel like he's been a part of our lives already for a while now. We've already picked a name and I've been calling him by name for probably 2 months. It just feels so natural for me to say it now.

We're naming him Jaden Patrick. At first it sounded funny, but felt right. I decided to go with my instinct and we worked together to come up with a spelling. I'm more of a traditional kind of guy and am just fine with a standard name. My name is Steven and I've loved it most of my life. Erin loves being different and creative. It's really a wonderful quality that I love a lot in her, but I was worried at how it would affect our selecting a name. When she originally said Jaden, it felt right but didn't sound right, so I had to think for a minute or two about it. Then we discussed the spelling. The traditionalist in me just couldnt' vary too far from a more normal spelling of the odd name, Jaydyn, Jayden Jadyn. These are all great spellings and will work wonderful for someone else, but I didn't feel right with that. I loved the name already though, so I wanted to work on a spelling that I also felt comfortable with. It came down to Jaden. It's simple to look at, easy for hin to learn to spell, it's something a teacher can look at and pronounce correctly and I love it. We threw out a few ideas for middle names, but my brother's middle name Patrick seemed almost a natural fit. It flows nicely when saying "Jaden Patrick" and I love my brother and wanted to honor him with the name. I still get some strange looks when I tell people what we are going to name him, but they don't last long. After they hear it once they seem to give it a second chance, and on a second look they find the name to be rather lovely.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

ice chunks, out of place cliches and other quirky things

The past few days have been very interesting.

First a guy I work with received a hand written piece of spam that's pretty common. You know the one that says, I'm from Africa and my father is rich but died, I need to get your bank account number to help me get the money out of the country, blah, blah, blah. Well, this one was handwritten and mailed from Ghana and even had a Ghyana stamp on it. I looked up the conversion and it was about 50 cents to send it via airmail. The funniest thing is that the person who wrote it (not in cursive) wrote the name, and screwed up and had to scratch it out and write it again.

Second, someone I know overate at lunch the other day, and when asked why he did it, he said he was under a lot of pizza pressure. I don't know if it was just the situation or what, but I was dying.

Third. A few of us were sitting around talking about keeping our cars clean and getting gunk off of them. The expert said, use peanut butter to get road tar off. And the other guy immediately responded with "Not chunky, right?" Again a laugher. My side hurt I was laughing so hard.

Finally there was the funniest instance of blowing chunks I've ever witnessed last night. On our way to the hospital for my fiance to be monitored we were chatting and joking and while chewing up some ice she laughed so hard she shot an ice chunk out of her nose. I had to work very hard not to need to pull over I was laughing so hard, it's a good thing there wasn't much traffic around.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Baby or World Series

Erin and I were filling out some of the things in the baby book last night. Since she may end up being induced tomorrow we are doing all we can to be ready. One of the line in there was "Dad's favorite things". I laughed because I was watching the World series wearing my Sox hat and the new bracelets I just bought this weekend to support my team. I responded with "Since the game will be on while you are pushing, I would put baseball first." She didn't find it funny. I know that most of the time I am a comedian, but I wasn't trying to be funny. I don't want to miss any of the series. I was seriously thinking we could have the game on while she's giving birth. I guess when I stand back and think about it, the baby is more important, but I've been a White Sox fan my whole life, and only a Jaden fan for the past few months. It just feels like I have so much more invested in the sox. Oh well, maybe I can have my cake and watch it too. There is no telling what time the baby will actually come, I may get to watch the game without interfering with the birth. In that case "Go Erin!!!"

Friday, October 21, 2005

An excited (if out of place) Sox fan

My whole life I've loved the White Sox. The "winning ugly" team of 1983 is my earliest memory of baseball. I still compare home runs to what I remember Ron Kittle hitting for the Sox. I've still never seen one hit farther than what he hit one. I remember when everyone who's now coaching for the sox played there. Greg Walker was at first, I still have a 1986 Topps baseball card of him. Harold Baines, whom I always thought was sleeping, playing in the outfield. I was at a couple games where he hit the game winning homer. I was at a couple more where he was the last out of the game with a drive caught on the warning track. He always made it interesting. Joey Cora was there in the 90's as part of the Smurfs. Does anyone else remember Craig Grabek? Tim Raines was there late in his career and wasn't the prolific basestealer of his younger days, but it was always fun watching him. I've got a lot of fond memories of the White sox. In 1990 or 91 I bought a White Sox team pack of baseball cards. There were 2 cards in it that were draft cards that I thought about getting rid of. After all a draft card can't be that good. I had a Bo Jackson Rated Rookie, but these are just draft cards. Instead I bout 2 more team sets and have a couple copies of the Frank Thomas and Robin Ventura draft cards. They are now some of most special cards. We've had a lot of good players go through Chicago in their one year that no one else seemed to want them. Ellis Burke, Kenny Lofton, George Bell (ok, we traded for him). This is not just a walk down memory lane. I want to be clear, I'm a sox fan, first and foremost in baseball. I love my Braves also, but I'd sacrifice to see the sox, the Braves I'll just cheer for.

At work, I'm an outsider. Here in Central Illinois there are precious few White Sox fans. It's pretty much split down the middle between Cubs and Cards. And they are back and forth at each other all of the time. We're rare enough, that when I'm out shopping wearing my Sox hat, if I stumble across another Sox fan they have no shame in saying something about it. It's rare, maybe once a month someone else will say something. It's strange now with it being the Sox and Houston in the world series how quiet the Cubs and Cards fans are. I'm sure if the Sox take a nose dive I'll hear all about it, but for now they are sitting back and waiting. For Cubs fans that's kind of a typical thing, they always seem to be waiting until next year. It drives me nuts that by June they are usually preaching it too. I could never be a part of that. I have be able to pull for my team all year. They don't have to win it every year, but start with a fighting chance and fight. I'll keep supporting them even in bad times, so long as that's the attitude that they take.

You know, it wasn't that long ago that the owner of the White Sox brought a few basketball championships to Chicago. I hope he can do the same thing in baseball. Let's go White Sox. Win or Die Trying.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Recycling

What does it take to get recycling going in a town?
Do cities make anything from the recycling or do they do it at a loss?
What about the places that actually do the recycling, what do they make?

I'm interested in improving recycling in cities, but this information must be known.
Maybe I'm just too optimistic, but I think we can improve the world.

Pumpkin patch

Well, it's getting close to halloween and I took a trip to the pumpkin patch with the kids and Erin this weekend. It was not nearly as bad as one could imagine getting pumpkins with a 2 and almost 4 year old would be. There was a neat hay maze that Jonas had fun finding his way through and there was a stack of hay that he got to climb up and jump off of. There was also a corn maze, but it cost money to go through so we skipped it. The place was set up pretty nice with a bunch of wheelbarrows and wagons to let people move their pumpkins a lot more easily. The kids each picked a pumpkin from the already picked bunch (which saved me a trip into the field) and we were out of there. We were there for about a half an hour and spent more than an hour cleaning them out and carving jack-o-lanterns. I had laid out what to cut to put the kids name into one of the pumpkins, but I didn't make it big enough and the letters collapses while cutting them out. I guess next year I'll have to make each letter much bigger.

I'm glad we all had fun. Erin got some good pictures of the kids, I'll try to get them up here soon.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Bryan Leonard

Well, baby Bryan is doing better. There is still concern about his heart, but he is finally progressing well again. Since the heart surgery he has taken off. He is now at 2 pounds 5.5 ounces and 13 inches long. Continue to keep him in your prayers.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Me in my newly painted dining room.

I don't appear in many pictures, and I wasn't sure if I would show up in this one; after all I was taking it in a mirror.

The mirror reflects the light from the windows giving the room a more open feel. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Oriental Feel part 2.

Here is the second hanging plaque. I don't know why I like these so much, but I do. Posted by Picasa

Hanging decorations

I wanted to put a closeup of these on the site. I thought they were such a cool buy at $7 each.

It's kind of strange that I decided to do the dining room with this oriental feel, nothing else in my house matches this. Posted by Picasa
My dining room. The painting is finished, I even watched it dry, which was almost as much fun as watching the corn grow. I think wooden shades in here would give it more of the oriental feel. The clock and the hanging decorations have oriental symbols on them. Posted by Picasa

Dining room finished

I'll have to get the pictures up tonight, but the dining room is finally finished. I have all the edges touched up and the decorations hanging. I still have to find some curtains for the room, otherwise it's done. It's about time.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Hockey game

Friday night I went to a Peoria Rivermen hockey game. My dad had some tickets and my mom, my dad and I went to the game. The seats were great. Center ice. 17th row. I looked right down at the center line. When I got there, a greeter handed me a magnet schedule, which is kind of cool, but it's also kind of large. The magnet is 5x8. It takes up quite a bit of space on the fridge and didn't fit into any of my pockets either, so I was stuck akwardly carrying this giant magnet around during the game. While sitting in my seat waiting for the start, the announcer stated that the first 5,000 fans were going to get a magnet. I don't know why they were telling us, we were the ones that were there with a magnet. Plus with as empty as the place was, I'm thinking they ended up having about 1,000 to donate to some school.

The announcer came back over the loud speaker to give the lineups and about half way through the Rivermen he named 2 players that weren't there. The speaker system was garbled (or the guy has a serious lisp, it sounded like a deeper voiced Harry Carry), so I couldn't make out any of the names, but I thought how terrible it must be to play for the team and be low enough in their eyes that the guys who aren't there are announced before you are. Even if they announced all the reserves first then the starters, the ones that weren't there were announced after the ones that were and before the starters.

The national anthem was ok. The crowd wasn't into like at a blackhawks game where half way through the song you can't even hear it anymore. A junior high band was playing it, so they weren't real loud, and there was no singing. The crowd was almost dead silent, which just felt wrong.

The game was awesome. Peoria started with an early power play goal, then gave up 3 in a row. They came back with 3 of their own and won 4-3. The strangest part of it was that 2 of the Rivermen goals were on power plays in which they had gotten into a fight. The thing was, the Rivermen player had a major and the Manitoba player had a minor, so the Rivermen had a power play. I don't know the justice of getting into a fight in order to give your team an advantage like that, and I think that from a fairness standpoint something just doesn't feel right about it.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Visualization

After creating and setting your goals, you must visualize them.

This is not a new concept, it's something that's been around for a long time. Every book that I read about success always mentions visualization. There are even books that are specifically for using visualation such as "Visualization for Change".

The key is to use the right phrases when visualizing, and to make it real. You don't just say "I want to be rich", it's too generic. You need to act as if you already are rich, and define rich, it's too generic. Instead say "I have 10 million invested in the stock market". This is an example of a specific amount that it means to be rich and where the money is. However, it could still be better. There's no feeling with this statement as well as no time frame. An even better phrase then would be "I'm relaxing by the pool on my 35th birthday with 10 million invested in the stock market". Now there is a very specific timeframe, feeling, and amount.

To get to that 10 million dollar mark now, you have to set more specific goals. What are you going to do first to start getting there, next, next...? You don't have to know how you are going to get to each step, just state what the next step is. Are you going to write books, be an inventor, start a business? Then your subconscious will help you come up with ideas, and you will start on your way. But the key is to start. Too many people (I speak from experience) procrastinate and don't start something now. It's better to start the wrong thing now, than it is to do nothing and hope that your goals just fall in your lap.

Oh well, time to get back to creating my goals list. Good luck on yours.

Go White Sox

I've avoided the subject for a long time now, knowing that I'm not an insider and there are probably many more people who are capable of discussing what's going on with the White Sox.

However, it's playoff time and they are up 2-0 in the series over Boston. Yesterday was awesome with Boston shooting iteslf in the foot (almost literally). Tony Graffanino missed a groundball that was reminiscent of the Bill Buckner ball at first. Hopefully the outcome is the same and Boston loses the series.

The thing I like the most about the White Sox is that they are scrappy. They may have a lot of homers and get a lot of their runs that way, but they also get little things done. They make other teams make mistakes, by constantly putting pressure on them. It's just great baseball to watch when the White Sox are on. Go White Sox

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Do I have enough goals?

I'm reading "The Success Principles" by Jack Canfield and in it he says to sit down and create 101 goals. Things you want to do with your life. Don't just put little incremental things that are like a 4 yard run in football. List things that are equivalent to a 50 TD pass.

I've gotten completely out of habit of keeping my goals up to date. For a while I was doing pretty good with this, but I realize that I have gotten so wrapped up in getting through the day that I am no longer doing things that are pushing towards a goal. I'm curious how much of my insecurity about where my life is headed stems from not keeping these goals up to date and in front of me. Do you have your goals? Are you keeping them visible and trying to make your life push towards achieving your goals? Heck, I feel better and more energized just thinking about getting my goals list going again. I found it interesting that Jack (the author) said to buy a book and make it your goals book. I bought a book when I was in Colorado 10 years ago and in it on the first page I wrote that it was going to be my goals book. I was going to write all of the goals and things that I wanted to do into it. Sadly after 10 years I have only used 5 pages in this book. I think I will follow the advice that Mr. Canfield gives and devote a page to each goal. Not only stating the goal, but the reason behind why I want to do it. Maybe I'll be able to fill up that book. Speaking of which, I wonder how it's companion is doing? At the same time I bought the same book for someone else and told her to use it for her goals book. I've never heard anymore about it, I hope it was used the way that it was intended. Maybe I'll post again if I can find out whatever became of it.