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Baby Shark…

A little something I doodled, originally posted on my art page, doodlesquat.com.

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POOPIN’ AIN’T EASY…

My youngest, Arlo (nearly 20 months old) is one of my biggest fans. It’s rare for him to not be right by my side, which is a blessing and a curse. I love love love my sweet, snuggly guy… But when a man’s gotta doo, a man’s gotta doo. And it’s hard to doo when there’s a toddler begging for your attention.

Our bathroom doors don’t stay shut. At least, not very well. We have two bathrooms and one door shuts and stays shut pretty okay, but it’s a tiny bathroom and the toilet is wedged between a super close sink and opposing wall. And I’m a burly guy! So, I use the second bathroom for my trips to the pool. But the door of that bathroom doesn’t catch so it’s fairly easy for anyone to barge right in.

Enter: Arlo the Destructor. If I let him in, I can’t do my business. He’s a wild man; nearly falling into the bathtub, grabbing at me or my phone, or just overall being a feral toddler. Now, there’s a stool in that bathroom that I use when bathing the kids and I can wedge that against the door and keep it in place with my big toe… But that just pisses the Destructor off. I mean, banging and screaming and threats upon my life. He only has a few words right now but they consist of, “mama, dada, tickle-tickle, bye-bye,” and “I will end you, Father, if you don’t let me into this bathroom!”

I don’t have a solution. I know he’ll grow out of it. I just have to scoop him up when I’m done, give him some tickles and kisses, and he’ll be fine. Poopin’ ain’t easy.

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YEAH, I’M FREE… FREELANCIN’

As of today, I am 100% Freelance. It wasn’t a decision that I made lightly or without a lot of difficulty, consideration, or discussion with my family. I had been working remotely for an advertising agency as a Graphic Designer and I actually loved that job. The company is full of wonderful people but they unfortunately no longer feel like they can, or want to work with remote or freelance talent. I have to do what is best for my family, especially my youngest children. The cost of childcare is ridiculously high and when the kids were in daycare, after-school, and summer care, we were paying around 2/3rds of my take-home pay towards childcare.

I feel like I’m doing an okay job of keeping my chin up and trying to stay positive but honestly, I’m nervous as hell. Bills aren’t going to go away. We still have rent and a car payment. But my wife… Man, she has so much faith in me. She keeps telling me that I’m going to get something better that will make me happy and pay even better. I hope she’s right, because right now I’m scared. I’ve sent out my resume and portfolio to well over 100 employers. I know that the holiday season tends to be a slow time for hiring but now that it’s over, I really hope to start getting some phone calls and emails.

If anyone out there in Internetland knows of anyone looking for a Graphic Designer or Illustrator, send ’em my way to check out my other site: doodlesquat.com. There’s a portfolio page with my resume and a bunch of work-for-hire that I’ve done.

Thanks and Happy Nerd Year!

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SANTA DAD

Last Saturday, I played Santa Claus for the YWCA of Central Alabama and it was a blast. My wife is the Senior Accountant for the YW and “volunteered” me for the part. Allegedly, because I have a beard. But it was great. the YWCA does such amazing work for women and children in our community and I am proud to have been a part of their annual Santa’s Workshop event.

However, my youngest was frightened of me. He wasn’t a fan of the real Santa at the mall either, but I had hoped he’d still see dear old dad behind the beard whitening, glasses, wig, and costume.

SantaDad

I mean, who doesn’t want to hug this guy, am I right? He’s so jolly! Speaking of, I got so many great hugs from those kids and one little girl even made me a Christmas card at one of the crafting stations. It was very sweet and I hope I did well enough to spread a little holiday cheer to the kids that came and took pictures with me. This could be a real gig in a few years if my beard continues to grey. 😉

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MOVED

Last Sunday we left the old homestead for greener pastures. It’s crazy, everything is so convenient! I mean, we’re like 10 minutes or less from everything that matters. The kids’ school is 5 minutes away, my wife’s work is 10 minutes away, there’s shopping 5 minutes away in either direction, my sister-in-law is 10 minutes away… That’s a far cry from the 45 minute work commute or 30 minute drive to see family. I like it.

But the new place is lousy with boxes. I mean, it’s our boxes full of our stuff, but why can’t they magically unpack themselves? I did all the hard work of packing it, driving it, and lugging it all up a flight of stairs. There’s gotta be some Harry Potter spell for unpacking and putting away. And speaking of lugging stuff up the stairs, I have huge bruises on my forearms from boxes and especially from an armoire that banged against my arms with every step. I bought some Forearm Forklifts at the suggestion of a friend but I was the only one who could figure them out, so they didn’t get as much use as I’d hoped. They would have definitely saved me from looking like a fat heroin addict.

I’m slowly starting to carve out actual living spaces from our corrugated shantytown landfill. My home office is set up, the master bedroom is close to where it needs to be, the kids’ rooms are taking shape, and the play area is starting to look inviting (not that a giant box fort isn’t inviting to a couple toddlers.

Oh yeah, Arlo is toddling now. Maybe only 4-5 steps at a time because he still loves being held and enjoys his status as “The Baby,” but he’s getting there. And as of yesterday, he’s technically no longer “The Baby.” My sister-in-law had her first child yesterday; a girl. So, I’m an uncle now, too!

Another tidbit about the new place: great water pressure. Hopefully, I won’t forget to shower as much now.

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MAYBE I SHOULD START DRINKING

I’ve been working from home with two babies for a little over a month now and it is hard. Kudos to all the other stay-at-home moms and dads out there. You guys are champions.

Getting work done while watching the kids is challenging enough by itself, but we are also in the process of moving (thus, the extreme lack of updates). We’re moving closer to the city, my wife’s job and sister, and into a way better school system. Hopefully, once we’re settled into our new digs, I can do a little more with this blog, and more writing in general. It’s definitely easier to write than it is to do graphic design with a one-year-old snoozing on your shoulder. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing art and will continue to do so but maybe I can do better with paying the bills by lining words up in interesting ways over pictures and advertisements.

Anyway, today’s adventure includes a house in disarray with moving boxes, a floor I desperately need to sweep, and a two-and-a-half-year-old smearing paint all over said floor while I use the bathroom. He’s a sneaky little ‘Cus.

I gotta clean up. Have a wonderful day!

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THIS IS WHY I’M FAT

So, I’m working at my desk and Atticus (2-year-old) is rummaging around in the pantry for a snack; we keep snacks on a low shelf for easy access, and he brings me a granola bar. I’m the only one in the house that really eats granola, so I’m not sure he really wants it…

Atticus: “Open, Dada.”

Me: “Are you sure, buddy? That’s a granola bar.”

Atticus: “Open, Dada. Please.”

Me: “Okay…” opens granola bar and hands it to him

Atticus: looking at the granola bar in his hands “Ew, yuck.”

Atticus then tries to quickly throw it in the trash. I catch him and tell him that it’s okay, not to throw it away, Daddy will eat it for a snack. He gets a pack of gummies which I open for him and now I’m eating a granola bar. I’m fat but regular, I guess. 😛