Monthly Archives: August 2013

Day 80 – A #5 & Live Look at Asher Awaking

Day 80.

Hard to believe I’m only 20 out from the century mark of eating Chick-fil-A every day in a row (minus the Africa trip and Sundays). “How do you do it?”, people ask?  I don’t know…how does one really eat Chick-fil-A every day….for free….every day….did I mention it was for FREE?  Yes, it is a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.

Today’s drive-thru customer service picture is brought to you by Jessica and Evan, and I kindly thank them for my #5 12-ct Chick-fil-A Nuggets, large waffle fries and a large Coke.

everydaywithchickfilaI’d also like to thank them for the water (as you can see pictured above).  I brought little man with me today and he was getting a little peeved at this point in the trip, I think in part because his water bottle was empty!  So, we stopped in our customary spot by the Trinity Hospital and I filled up his sippy cup and gave him the leftover water bottle:

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Which did he appreciate more?  The ability to have a cool drink of refreshing hydration or the half-emptied closed bottle to put his mouth all over?  I think you know the answer to that.

I was encouraged by the encouraging words from the rest of you on Facebook about his sleeping habits. Today was another fight at naptime. I took him for a long walk, the monotony and heat of which made him sleepy, so he was in and out on that 40 minute walk, but certainly nothing of consequence. We got home and he just wasn’t having it. I fought him through one formula-laden bottle, a water placebo, and just plain rocking. We did that for probably 70 minutes, until finally I decided I was going to let mama try, so I put in him in his crib.  Alas, mama was also in bed! Soooooo, I went back in to go for round 8 with the little booger and to my pleasant surprise, he had stopped crying.  Within 10 minutes he was gone. For 3 hours. Sweet!

And when I woke him up? Well, let’s just let the video do the talking (though not the greatest lighting for his sweet little face, but you get the gist). Excuse the daddy baby-talk…comes with the territory:

Day 79 – A Family Affair

Day 79.

Today was the first Chick-fil-A family visit! Granted, it was in the car, in the drive-thru, but all three of us were there – Liza, me and Asher. Spicy Chicken Sandwiches for us both (it was a rare gluten-filled treat for Liza), and we split a Mocha Cookies & Cream Shake. Well worth the calories.

Three of the Chick-fil-A veterans were working the drive-thru, and I got a great picture of them too – Phyllis (who got a new hairdo – love it!), Ryan, and Colby:

everydaywithchickfilaGood looking bunch, aren’t they?

So Liza’s mom works at AquaTerra Salon, and they recently moved into a location about 100 yards from my Trinity Chick-fil-A. How convenient! Since I’m sure Grandma had been bragging about Asher at work, we decided to pop in and let the little guy make an appearance. Of course I forgot to take a picture of the people inside (doh!), so I can only give a shot of the outside as documentation:

everydaywithchickfila1I will say this – the inside was beautiful!  Very spacious, elegant, and professional. If I had hair, I would definitely use this salon.

Asher only got one nap in today, but it was a good one. We stopped at CVS for a great diaper deal ($32 worth of product for under $4 – gotta go to AddictedtoSaving.com for the details), and then kept him up through dinner, some playtime, and a bath. The thing is, he still really fought going to bed tonight. He really fought the nap at lunch (I was on duty), and he really fought the bedtime tonight (Liza was on duty). He seems to have a very stubborn personality. There’s a lot of good in that quality, but you can obviously see we’ve got our hands full with this kiddo.

Speaking of….here’s my daily pic of the little man. This was taken directly after I realized I failed to capture the moment inside the salon. Sigh.

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Day 78 – Uneventful

Day 78.

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That’s a bird’s eye view of the #1 Original Chick-fil-A with a piece of provolone, and I have to tell you, it truly hit the spot this afternoon. I was up early for work and ended up doing a pretty intense workout around 11 a.m., and when I came back in it was feeding time and playing with Asher time. Lunch was just a protein shake and a piece of cheese, which obviously wasn’t going to suffice. So by the time I rolled up to Chick-fil-A (Asher-less), I needed something hearty, so I dialed up an Original with cheese.

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Sandy was glad to help me out with my order.  I had a huge headache (dehydration from the day’s earlier events), so I grabbed a large Coke for the caffeine. I shared the waffle fries with Liza when I got home, but that left my yearning for a frozen pizza at about 9:00 p.m., so I indulged then too.

It was a pretty uneventful day, so I don’t have much else to say.  I was supposed to be at a meeting this evening but the pressures of new fatherhood required me to stay home. We’re still getting into a routine, and I’m just praying that Asher decides he’d like to sleep the entire night tonight.

Speaking of the little guy, here are the two of us with his squinty eyes (he didn’t like the flash). I was trying to get his shirt lyrics – AWESOME LIKE DADDY – but unfortunately it didn’t come out.

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Here he was clapping, though the still shot kind of looks like he’s praying.  Clapping is definitely his thing. At least right now. Also, disobeying. Especially when it comes to the entertainment center which you can see in the below pic behind Asher. He will head towards it, we tell him “No Asher,” he stops, looks at us, grins, goes right up to it, stops, turns around, and claps his hands.

Sin nature, I tell ya.

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Okay, well back to Duck Dynasty. See you tomorrow.

Day 77 – Asher’s First Day at the Doctor & a Mocha Indulgence

Day 77.

Today’s Chick-fil-A visit was at the Clearwater location because we were down that direction for a very special reason: Asher’s first visit to the doctor!  All good news to report, and the doc seemed to be super pleased with his clapping, pulling himself up, smiling, making eye contact, etc.

Here were his stats:

  • Height – 28 1/2″ (75th percentile)
  • Weight – 18 lbs 3 oz (25th percentile)
  • Head circumference – 18 1/2″ (90th percentile)

Not that I really care about all those. Someone has to bring the average up, and someone has to bring the average down. And as the doc said, as long as he’s growing, we’re all good. Besides, what if something were totally off? Would we love him any less?  Of course not, but it would give us a course of action, so I understand the need for averages and comparisons.

Here’s momma and Asher at the doc for his very first visit:

everydaywithchickfilaHe’s such a stinker too, although no crying or wailing, which was good.  The below pic was either just after or just before he ripped the paper roll he was sitting on and ate some of it.  Hard to get mad at a half naked baby though, especially with those big, dark, mesmerizing eyes:

everydaywithchickfila2After our visit, we made the trek up to Georgia (as our Life Group calls it) – aka New Port Richey – and since we hadn’t had lunch, we popped by the Clearwater Chick-fil-A and hit the drive thru for our lunch, where Sara was our server:

everydaywithchickfila3We indulged in a large Mocha Cookies & Cream Shake and I had a #8 with no rabbit food and a large Coke:

everydaywithchickfila4The Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich is one of my favorites, and I always feel a little healthier when I eat it than when I have the Original. And while it looks like bacon is on this sandwich, I actually think it was baconless, which, while obviously disappointing, probably gave me an extra day to live, right? Decent tradeoff.

Okay, more work to do before the night ends. I’m sure Asher will be up in about T-minus 90 minutes for a bottle break and possible diaper change, so I’m going to get some work done between now and then.

Night folks.

 

Day 76 – Out & About

Day 76.

everydaywithchickfilaThis picture is blurry so it takes a little of its luster off, but I absolutely love Ash-baby’s face in this one. I had just picked up my #5 12-ct Chick-fil-A Nuggets meal with large waffle fries and large Coke, and thought a family photo would be appropriate. So I pulled over to my normal photo spot near the new Trinity Hospital and snapped this bad boy, and I think Asher’s face is priceless! He’s looking at the Chick-fil-A bag filled with delicious nuggets and waffle fries, the first time he’s ever seen one up close or had one in his lap, and his eyes appear to be saying, “Dude, what is that, and where is my bottle?”  Haha. I love it. Can’t wait til he’s old enough to read these one day and see what joy he’s brought to my heart even though he had no control over it.

Tiffany was my server today, another first for me. I think she kind of knew what was coming as I was asking for the photo (I think my reputation proceeds me there), but she was a good sport about the whole thing:

everydaywithchickfila1Actually looking back, I wish I would’ve taken more pictures of my trip with Asher out and about the town today. We had to go by the bank and I was able to bring him in to meet some of the bankers who have helped us wire money, verify bank statements for adoption paperwork, send money orders, and get crisp 100’s and 50’s to take with us to Africa. It was a fun moment even though he’ll never remember it.

Then I took him to the Goin’ Postal on Ridge road where I have been probably 50 times in this adoption process to have documents notarized, Fed-Exed, UPS’ed, USPS’ed, over-nighted, ground-shipped, state authenticated, and the list goes on and on. My guy Rob owns the place with his folks, and Asher and I just walked in and quietly waited while Rob was busy ringing up a customer.  When he did look up it was just for a second, and then he did the greatest double take ever, exploding into an authentically happy smile and hearty congratulations.  He’s seen the excruciating, time-consuming, mind-numbing paper chase process up close and personal, probably more so than anyone, so it was kind of a victory for us both to see me and Asher finally together. Again, a moment Asher will never remember, but one that I’ll never forget.  I suppose I should’ve snapped a photo of that moment too.  Maybe I’ll go back and get a couple and tag them on to the end of this blog.

Speaking of the end of this blog, we’re here. Going to leave you with last Asher pic and see you on Tuesday:

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Day 75 – Trekking Out in the Florida Rain

Day 75.

This was father and son yesterday right before our Day 75 Chick-fil-A trip.

everydaywithchickfilaLook at those deviant eyes! I’m telling you, this kid will give you everything he’s got at then some. I’ve realized pretty quickly that he’ll take every inch you give him, so you gotta lay down the law on certain things.

So far our non-negotiable “no’s” are: cords, blinds, the dog water bowl, and the TV stand.  Allowables at this point are: shoes (in mouth) and dog bones/toys (in mouth – and that’s a dad allowable, not a mom one).

Favorite foods? Squash and Cheerios:

everydaywithchickfila2But that’s only because he can’t really chew, well, anything, but in particular, an Asian Salad from Chick-fil-A. I know I’m a one-hit wonder right now with the salads, but there must be something addictive in them, because I can’t get enough. We even trekked out in the rain today to get our free Chick-fil-A, and we weren’t the only ones:

everydaywithchickfila1Who was there to greet us but our buddy Colby sporting a new do up top?! Looking good my man. And McKenzie was there to welcome us as well:

everydaywithchickfila4Someone is definitely photobombing this one (upper right eyes please), but I can’t really tell who it is.  I didn’t get a picture of my Asian Salad (no oranges, extra Wontons and Almonds), but Colby did mention that he thought it was me when I ordered. There’s nothing quite like being a “regular.”

And in an attempt to quell the demand for more pictures of Asher, here’s one, though blurry (thanks iPhone) of Asher making one of his thousands of facial expressions I’m coming to know. Raised eyebrows is always a tricky one – you never know if crying or happy happy happy is coming afterward.

asher7See you tomorrow.

Day 73 & 74 – A Week in Review in Pictures

Day 73 & 74.

Can I just say, welcome to fatherhood?  Yup, the last two days have been that for us. But you know what?  Beyond not exercising, sleeping, or having any semblance of routine that I once knew, it hasn’t been that bad! Asher is actually a pretty fussy kid, but one of the things he does like is that ride to Chick-fil-A, which he has been on the past couple days.

Since I haven’t even touched on Asher’s homecoming party on Monday night, well at least at any length, I thought I’d let a picture be a thousands words.  Seeing as how I have like 50 pictures, this could be a really long blog post. Good thing for you the words are in your imagination and you don’t have to read a thousand words per picture.

So, as a “week in review” via photo, here you go (including my last two days at Chick-fil-A, where I ordered the Asian Salad and a #5 Chick-fil-A Nuggets with large waffle fries and Sprite.

(photos are courtesy of Paisley & Pinstripes Photography and our friend Janna)

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our friends’ kiddos greet us with signs

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Asher gets his first taste of American life in the Tampa International Airport

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some of our best friends met us to support us and celebrate with us

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mama and Asher hanging at home

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Asher getting home from his first ever Chick-fil-A trip

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McKenzie and Ryan serve me my Asian Salad with extra, well, everything

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Asher was just being naughty – don’t let his cuteness fool you

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Asher’s second trip – John was our server and mama wanted some waffle fries

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looks like Asher wants something to eat too; either that or he’s just teething…

Day 72 – Me & Asher

Day 72.

The reality and weight of now having a baby in the house hasn’t really hit me between the eyes just yet, but today it was definitely getting around the facial region. Asher has actually been a pretty good kiddo, but there’s no way for him to understand the whole 7 hour difference in time, sleeping schedules, eating schedules, etc. To make matters worse, Liza has finally crashed after going on pure adrenaline for the last three weeks, and I feel so bad for her.

Then there’s me, responsible for bringing home the bacon, but needed to help with Asher as much as possible because mama is running a fever and going back and forth between the hots and chills all day. And yet, through it all, I have no choice but to do my best, and leave the rest to the divine Creator of the universe.  One of the greatest things about trusting in God is that His sovereignty actually makes a difference in my real life. It’s not some esoteric knowledge that’s good for only me and quite frankly, good for nothing. It’s real and tangible and causes me to think and act differently when going through the common, every day stresses and events of life, because I know He is completely and utterly in control.  It’s so easy to get caught up in all the doing of life, that we miss simply being.

I’ll give you a for instance.

This evening I have all sorts of bills to pay, tasks to do for the website, emails to get caught up on, Facebook messages to respond to, and for crying out loud I have my first of three fantasy drafts tomorrow and I haven’t looked at a single cheat sheet yet! But Liza is in bed, her mom is over graciously helping out with the mess we’ve created in the last couple of days, and Asher is getting seriously sick of living room. So, while I respect the mortgage company’s desire for my check, some daddy-Asher time was more important, so we went for a walk down to our community lake and back.  This was our first time ergo-ing it together, and I have to say, piece of cake. The boy didn’t cry a lick.  And I had to take a couple picks for my friend Amy, per her request:

everydaywithchickfila1(Dad, why are we stopping?)

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(Really, again?)

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(Now you want to be in the pic?  You’re getting carried away here buddy.)

This day was also momentous because earlier in the day, Asher made his first Chick-fil-A run with dad! His first greeters were Phyllis and I believe it’s Kailyn? Will need to confirm that later.

everydaywithchickfilaWe had some time to kill before picking up our Carlita’s Bowl Veggies from the Coop delivery, so we took shelter from the bright sun iin a nicely wooded parking lot at the girls’ West Pasco softball complex, and in case you were wondering, this is what an Asian Salad (same drum, I know) with extra wontons looks like.

everydaywithchickfila5And to make sure I documented the moment forever, here is a sleeping Asher and a photobombing dad, though really it’s more of a bristly dimple than anything:

everydaywithchickfila6Not only did I get to teach him about Chick-fil-A today, I also got to make his dinner and feed him too, which is the first time his mama hasn’t done it in about three weeks.  Open wide, buddy:

everydaywithchickfila7So now it’s almost 9:30 and I am quite confident that the flu or whatever my dear wife has will be on my docket next week, since I’m pretty sure I’m at the end of my adrenaline quotient as well. I suppose I should take this time to grab some shut eye while the boy’s getting his.

Guess the mortgage payment will have to be paid another day.

Day 71 – The Sun Sets on a Previous Era

Day 71.

everydaywithchickfilaThis is the scene that greeted me after driving through horrific rain and storms to get to my Trinity Chick-fil-A this evening. It’s an appropriate metaphor for a couple of reasons:

1) We are coming out of a stormy period of waiting. The last two years and four months have been incredibly long, fraught with money issues, paperwork issues, issues out of our control and issues of which we lost control. We experienced a failed domestic adoption two weeks before the birth mother gave birth (she went to a different agency), and our original referral, our son, Kiya, died on September 10th of last year, sending us into a period of mourning that still, to this day, will bring us to tears.

2) As we are coming out of these storms, we also know the sun is setting on this period of our life. 12 years of marriage without child, among other struggles, and yet God has kept us together and I am convinced, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are now stronger for it. Could we have handled a child 10 years ago? I’m sure we would’ve managed. But I know we wouldn’t have managed as well as we are now. Trials burn away the impurities in one’s character and life that good times never do. And thus, the sun has set on a particular set of circumstances – being without child – that will never rise again.

Of course there are new storms waiting, and in some sense, the journey is just starting. We know this. But we are ready, armed with battle wounds, scar tissue, and the grace and knowledge of God, for the days ahead.

There is much to report from last night’s events, as yesterday we picked up our son. But just as the sun has set on a life without kids in the house, the sun has also set on my sleep, and this old man needs some of it now while little man is getting some of his own.

I’ll give the deets tomorrow (details, people), but for now, just know that I had the Asian Salad tonight (no oranges, extra everything else), saw my guys Colby and the gang (Colby didn’t photobomb this time, but trust me, he was there), and there was no Asher in the car with me because of the lateness of today’s run.

everydaywithchickfila2Hopefully tomorrow he can get his first taste of Chick-fil-A with daddy. Just look at this face – it’s got Eat Mor Chick’n all over it!

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Day 70 – Can’t Take Him Back Fatherhood

Day 70.

everydaywithchickfila1Day 70 is always going to be a near and dear one to my heart for the following reason: today I get to be a dad to this little man above being held by his mama. For real. Not just tell people about it, not just visit my son for a couple of hours a day, but we’re talking full time, all out, can’t-take-him-back fatherhood.

As I type this blog entry, I am sitting in the Washington Dulles International Airport, where I’ve been since I flew in this morning. I’ve been very hard at work: everydaywithchickfila

It’s just before 2:00 pm in the afternoon, which means I have about another two hours before Liza and Asher’s flight gets in from Frankfurt. Since I woke up this morning (about 5 a.m. as I lay in bed with giddy anticipation), I’ve had a grin on my face from ear to ear. Today is finally the day.

Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s not going to be easy. In fact, I know I’m in for the battle of my life. To raise this young man in a culture that is distinctly different from the man I know God wants him to be…..well, that’s going to be a challenge. And ultimately, he’s his own person. Even at 10 months old, I know that he is his own person. I cannot control him, manipulate him, or trick him into anything. I mean, I could, but that is not my desire. My desire is to simply point him to Jesus, and should Jesus call Asher to Himself, then I have done my job. But even if He doesn’t, I want to still be able to say I’ve done my job, and that’s to live out each day as an example of Christ’s love, to make Him attractive to Asher, so that Asher would not want anything this world has to offer with its fleeting and passing pleasures, but would want Christ Himself.

And Chick-fil-A.  Yes, I want him to love Chick-fil-A.

I left the house about 6:15 this morning headed for the airport and was hoping to grab some cookies to bring to Liza as she got off the plane.  Alas, when Paul took my order, he informed me that there were no cookies baked at the moment.  Darnit!

everydaywithchickfila3I opted instead for the #8 Oatmeal & Fruit Combo, which is not something I thought I would ever do willingly again, apart from my menu review. But it sounded good this morning primarily because I don’t do breakfast usually. Don’t get me wrong – I love breakfast food, probably more than any other.  Just not at 6:40 in the morning.  I’m a coffee only kind of guy typically before 9:30/10:00 a.m. But so as to not waste the trip, Oatmeal and Fruit it was!

everydaywithchickfila2So now I wait. The next two hours are probably going to drag by as slowly as possible, so hopefully there are no delays in the air. There’s a good chance my face is permanently imprinted with the smile and pride of a brand new daddy.

The question is, will mama let Asher come to Chick-fil-A with me tomorrow?  I have a feeling she might want some alone time. 😉