Thursday, January 17, 2013

2013: A Year of Big Changes

It's a new year.  Big things are happening.  BIG!  Already!  Not even one month in.  They involve new hair, new eyes, new ears, new feet, and new everything in miniature.  Here are some details:

1)  First things first, at the start of the year, and after a few particularly itchy, out of control hair days, I decided to submit myself to the third-annual epic shave-and-buzzcut.  Sometimes it seems odd that I would do this shearing in the dead of winter, when most creatures of the world grow their hair out for their winter coat, but it's nice for wearing beanies and running indoors too, and it's like a clean slate of short hair and no beard for a new year (though I promptly start to grow them both out).  I think I can pull the look off though, when I used to be chubby it made my head look tiny, but now I think it's actually slimming, and of course if there's one thing every dude wants to be, it's slim. (Or something.)

2)  Almost thirteen years ago, when I suddenly realized while reading Hamlet for a Humanities class that the small text was looking a little blurry when I read with one eye (since I was lying on my bed, the best possible way to stay awake while reading Shakespeare) and realized that my lifelong perfect vision had somehow been compromised, my also lifelong wish of wearing glasses (I don't know why... my brother had them... maybe I was jealous?) came true.  I still really like wearing glasses and how they look on me, but ever since my favorite frames broke and I had to get new ones which were nice and flexible but seemed much more susceptible to scratches, which were annoyingly visible while reading and watching TV (why do the scratches have to be RIGHT in the middle of the lenses?), and ever since becoming husband to a girl who wears contacts, I've been thinking about it.  Really, those scratches were kind of the tipping point, though the inability to wear sunglasses at Disneyland without either doubling up (which makes for a few interesting vacation photos) or going without specs and therefore suffering a headache by early afternoon had a lot to do with it too.  So when The Wife was planning a checkup to order more contacts, I decided to up the ante too, at least to have the option.
So now I'm rockin' the lenses!  It feels really weird to look at myself and not see glasses on my face after all these years (especially with the haircut, I hardly look like myself anymore), and it's also quite an adjustment to feel these little pieces of flexy flimsy plastic clinging to my eyeballs, which at a certain time in the evening MUST be removed.  I'm getting much better at putting them in and taking them out, though for the first few days I felt a little like Daria when she tried to make the switch.  It kind of changes the whole landscape of your face, you know?  I did have this little stint with colored contacts for Halloween one year, but this is significantly different (they weren't even prescription... it's probably the furthest length I've gone to in order to perfect my Harry Potter costume, though dying my hair black was pretty far too).

3)  Also about thirteen years ago, I joined the ranks of the mobile-ly communicative and joined our family cell phone plan with my very own brickphone.  I loved that old phone very much, including its dinky little Lord of the Rings ringtone and primitive games (what is better than Snake II?), and though I didn't use it a LOT a lot, it was really nice to be able to communicate with my loved ones with such convenience.  I went through a couple of them, dropping them occasionally in the toilet or taking advantage of eventual upgrade options.  When I left on my mission we all commiserated our cellphone loss, suffered from phantom pocket buzzes, and rejoiced when the mission president announced that the missionaries would be carrying cellphones.  Then when I came home from my mission, I started using my very first flip phone, and until that point the smartest phone I had ever had.  It took (blurry) pictures and played (very few) songs!  I could even use a real live mp3 as my ringtone.  And now, after being home for almost five years (WHAT) and married for over three years, The Wife and I have finally decided to follow through with our oft-discussed plan of branching out on our own and getting our very own family plan, complete with new phones (I'm finally off your bill, Dad!).  We looked around and decided to go with the Family Mobile plan from Walmart.  It's pretty inexpensive per month, has ZERO contract, and the phones were free with a special they were running.  It's also run by T-Mobile, which is encouraging, since I've been using them for years, and then it's an established service provider, not like WalFone or something like that.  And I finally am not using a dumbphone anymore!!!  Though I have loved my dumbphones in years past.  We're still getting used to what our new phones can do (Words With Friends!  Sensitive touch screen technology!  Dice With Buddies!  Internet right on the phone!  Aaaangry Birrrrrdsssss!) and how long they take to charge and how quickly the battery can drain (seriously, the old phones last for days and days on like 20 minutes of charging), and I've already had to do one factory setting reset (*grumblegrumble*... I hope this doesn't become a habit).  Apparently our phones aren't the fanciest ever, but they're perfectly suitable for our needs, and after all, they ARE telephones first.  I was always worried that if I starting using a smartphone I would be one of those people who are constantly glued to their phones in public and had to check their email and news every ten seconds (even during the midnight showing of the last Harry Potter movie, guy in front of us...) and could never go back (and maybe I can't), but I think I'm going to be able to handle this new mini-computer, especially since our plan includes ridiculously small amount of data transfer, but enough for us.
Neat, right??  Sure it has its issues, and the internal memory is incredibly low, but for newbs like us, it's pretty much just right.
And here I am with the requisite bathroom MySpace photo, featuring new hair, new eyes, and new phone.
4)  Since I'm already talking about new things, I might as well mention that my running footwear has changed recently too.  I was shopping for new shoes and I saw these orange and gray ones that looked good, were very light and fairly inexpensive, and were amazingly flexible, which is something I always look for -- ask The Wife, I usually grab shoes and try to squish them in half, and if they don't bend very much I put them down and move on.  So these ones were pretty squishy, and really comfortable, so I decided to give them a try!  Little did I know (and not at all were they labeled) that they are minimalist shoes!  I don't really think it's necessary in life to run barefoot, but I have been intrigued by Vibram Five Fingers shoes in the past, though I hear you need to kind of ease into using them or you could get injured.  Well, I probably should have eased a little more into these too, even though they're not completely minimalist shoes, since regular use for the first few days, though initially leading to really great runs, also led to really great blisters and VERY painful arches for several days.  I started interspersing their use with my previous shoes, and by now I have really come to enjoy them, and even prefer them.  I could probably start wearing them exclusively by now, and I might do just that.  I may even order a few more pairs for when these run out since the word on the street is that they're not going to be available for much longer for some reason.
They are great!  I hear they also come in blue.
And now, last but absolutely not least...

5)  This little guy:
Last fall it came to our attention that something was growing inside of my dear wife, and after a couple of home tests and a few visits with the proper professionals, it was confirmed that our little family was expecting an addition in late spring 2013.  (And yes, we have already announced this on Facebook, and our art blog, and also Julie's blog, but I had to put him on here too, of course.)  We were cautiously excited, and hesitant to spread the good word around just yet after what happened around this time last year, but by the time Thanksgiving came (about, oh, 16 or 17 weeks or so?) we were ready to at least tell our family, and by Christmastime, the word was out, including the big announcement on our Christmas card.  (And yes, this means that The Wife was about six weeks along when we went on our Epic European Tour...  and yes, that means she had her first experiences with pregnancy pukiness during our travels... I promise next time we cruise we'll go when you're not pregnant, Wife!!!  Though of course she was a great sport anyway.)  Last week we just crossed the halfway mark, and though The Wife has been a champ through all of her morning/afternoon/evening/night sickness, she's really glad to be feeling more like herself again, and we're especially excited that we've been able to feel (and even see!) its little bumps and kicks.  The first time I felt it for real I just about lost it and had to shout it out to the Facebook world pretty much immediately.  Last week we had our ultrasound visit, where we were finally able to see a nice, clear picture of our little boy (yes, boy!!!) for the first time.  Everything looked great and healthy and normal, his heartbeat is strong and hearty, and based on the views that the technician was able to get, it is most definitely a boy (I'll spare you all the more, erm, revealing photo, though it was a delightful sight for us to see at least).  It's funny because I thought it was a girl for the longest time, I even unwittingly referred to it as "her" and "she" several times, but in the last couple of weeks we were starting to think it might be a boy after all, and then that was my final guess, and then I was finally right!  I almost always guess wrong when people are having little ones.  How nice that I guessed right on our very own, though now I doubt it will ever happen again, ha ha.  When we asked our friends for their guesses as to what it would be (I hoped it would be a human, Julie would have been happy with a kitty), it seems like most others guessed girl too for whatever reason, and although Julie is slightly intimidated at the thought of a wee boychild, it feels right, and now I can't imagine ever having thought it was a girl.  It's so amazing how much you can see with those machines, from bones to brain and muscle tissue, and of course that beautiful little beating heart, with all four chambers.  It's also amazing that The Wife is able to build this child's every physical and anatomical attribute by basically just existing (and also by HIM just existing).  Evidently the pains we took to remove the notorious tennis ball etc. from The Wife's insides paid off, and we're certainly glad of it.  It's terrible to lose a child, no matter at what stage of the pregnancy it happens, and maybe even worse to have trouble getting pregnant in the first place, so we sympathize with family and friends who are undergoing similar experiences, but we're also just so relieved and glad that the time has at last come for us.  (And like I said, she has also blogged about this moste exciting news on her blog, which you should read, since she IS giving the greater contribution to this collaboration.)

SO in May we will be welcoming this little fellow into our home.  My plans of taking a little girl to meet her favorite princesses at Disneyland and drawing winged unicorns to keep her entertained and occupied have been replaced for now by plans of taking a little boy to drive alongside Lightning McQueen and drawing superheroes, and I couldn't be more stoked.  And we'll have another man to carry on the family name!  (For those wondering, we do have a few choice names we're still thinking about, but we aren't quite ready to reveal those...  for the time being, Julie has taken to calling him Humboldt [the temporary girl name was Frangipani], or, of course, what he has been known as for some time now, The Infamous Speck.)

So yes!  Changes!  2013 is going to be a stellar year.  I'm a daddy!!!  XD

Does it seem silly to blog about my firstborn son and boychild in the same post as announcements about cellphones and running shoes?  Well... I'll just call it economical and efficient, and they are all pretty big changes...  Though sometimes tells me #5 will be the biggest change of all.  I can't wait to meet you in person, my son!!!


  1. Ha! I loved the whole post, but especially the part about your little boy. Even though Julie didn't look pregnant at all on the cruise, I was still suspect that she might be pregnant from hints in the pictures, I was totally right! Hooray! Also, you are way ahead of me, since I still have a cheap un-smart phone. Good work!

  2. Whoa, I can't believe you finally got contacts! That is awesome. Jeff always likes to have the choice, but opts for his glasses more. It is nice to have either.

    And fun with the phones! It is nice for emergencies and traffic maps.

    I can't wait to see the super hero pics you and your little fellow draw together!

  3. Husb, I think you have a real knack for crafting extremely long and parenthetical sentences. Haha. Here's to 2013!

  4. Also I am glad your hair isn't *quite* so short anymore.

  5. Awesome. Yes, I vote #5 is the best. (My new phone and minimalist shoes Are great too, but my kids win.) So excited for you!