Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer vacation in the fall?

Today, while my boss is out-of-town on her week-long vacation, I am reminded that I have yet to take a vacation of my own. I sit at my desk looking longingly into the background scene I have plastered across my computer screen. The water looks so cool and inviting. I can almost feel the warm breeze, the sun and the wave mist splashing in the distance. I am then rudely awakened by a ringing office phone.

I mean my wife, Laura, and I have been on a short, quickie trip to Chateau Elan, a much-needed overnight stay, for our one-year wedding anniversary, but that’s it! I need more, I need more…

That’s my summer, happy freakin’ summer!

No, seriously, we are going on vacation, don’t get me wrong, but not until, okay, wait for it…. September. That’s is so many months away!!! Many, many moons.

However, the Skates family will be making up for our lost time-off, this fall, trust this.

Labor Day weekend we will be going with my family to Panama City Beach, FL. Yes, you read me right, the “Red neck Riviera” here we come. This will be our annual “beach” trip with my mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, nephew, Everett, and my nephew’s Nanu. We will only be there Friday to Monday, but it will be worth it just to have some time to slip my feet into the sandy beach and warm Gulf water.

Then it is back to work, for us, for about two weeks and then we are off to… wait for it… are you waiting for it or just reading on? Dammit, you spoiled the surprise. Anyway, Disney World! We have been planning this trip for what seems like forever, but it is finally winding down. It won’t be long until we will be in the presence of the Great Mouse, Mickey. (Cue angelic music from above.) We will be there for a whole glorious week of fun and well-mannered frivolity. Hopefully my niece will not run screaming in terror from Chip & Dale or Lilo & Stitch. She is a bit skittish with “plushies.” I have a feeling this was fostered and inherited from my sister-in-law, her mother, Laura’s sister, Jennifer. I heard word that she has never done well with things like this from theme parks.

We will be traveling to Disney and staying at the Wilderness Lodge. All of Laura’s, immediate, family will be in attendance. Of course, me, Laura and MJ; her mom, dad, older sister, brother-in-law and nephew, Drew; also her second oldest sister, brother-in-law and Annagrace, the aforementioned niece. I have only been to Disney World with a “group” of people once before and that was in high school when I went on a band trip, no band camp jokes please. Yes, I went to band camp. Moving on…

All I am saying is I am due for a nice vacation and sadly I won’t be able to enjoy time off during the true “summer,” but I will make up for it on the tale end. So my summer vacation will be in the Fall. Is that weird? Hope you all are having great fun summer vacations with your families.

Have you ever been to the beach with a six month old? What about Disney World?

Oh rest and relaxation, how I long for thee.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday's with M.J.

So here it is, Friday, yet again, and we are on the edge of the 4th of July weekend.

Next weekend will mark the beginnings of July... it is a very special weekend... my
mommy and daddy keep saying. I don't know why though... something about "it was the day when everything changed?" Or something like that, I dunno... anyway, where was I? Oh! Yes, where has my summer gone? Where has it gone, I ask?

mommy will not have much longer, with me at home, before she has to go back to work. Poo, poo on work. I poo on it, I say. Phewy!

Uncle Charles has come home now from California and I know cousin Drew is really excited about that. Welcome back Uncle Charles!

The weekends are always full of fun things for me to do with mom and
dad. This weekend is no different... I get to go to my cousin Grant's second birthday party on Saturday! Apparently, he too, is a huge Sesame Street fan! We have sort of bonded on our love of Elmo. Cousin Grant is a cool dude.

Mommy and Daddy have decided to go on what they call a "date night?" Not sure what this consists of, but they asked Nana to come stay with me on Saturday night. I think Papa might come too, but we'll see. I hear talk about seeing Robots... sounds like something I would enjoy watching. I do enjoy a good action flick, but cest la vie'. Let them have their fun... I will be busy enjoying my Disney Sing-a-long from the Animal Kingdom. Those kids act so silly, but it's my guilty pleasure.

Well, I hope everyone enjoys their upcoming weekend festivities! Don't do anything I wouldn't approve of!!!!


Monday, June 22, 2009

A family left out in the heat...

This weekend was eventful to say the least...

This past Saturday was a night with friends, good food and a trip to the park; sounds like a lot of fun, right? Well, when a slight miscommunication can change the face of the entire experience you can surely bet there will be a blog written about it.

It was Saturday, June 20th, and we had our friends over for dinner. Brad, Adrienne and their one and half year old boy, Hudson. We hadn’t seen them since our little bundle of joy had joined the family. For dinner we enjoyed mesquite, grilled chicken along with fluffy couscous and green beans. It was a lovely evening until the fatal suggestion, I made, to go to the park located in our subdivision.

We drive to the park...

We arrive, I place Mauldin in our black and red baby bjorn and we all proceed to watch Hudson enjoy his moment in the swing. What is an outing without pictures? We proceed to make a few memorable snap shots before we decide to head back to the house and enjoy some good coffee and intelligent conversation.

Back at the house, excuse me, our drive way we quickly discover there is something wrong when I ask my wife for the key to the front door.

"I don't have it." Laura whispers to me with a look of pure shock on her face.

Of course, you all are probably wondering don't you have a key hidden outside somewhere? No, in fact we don't. (Don't start mom.)

Secondly, the key that should be on my wife's key ring, the key to the house, is hanging on a hook, inside the house, on a Vera Bradley, key chain/license holder combo. With that said, we have a ghetto garage and for this we have only one garage door opener and it is in my car which is not the car we took to the park! That's convienient, huh?

Thirdly, speaking of spare keys, we were smart enough to give our neighbors keys to our home. But, the two spare keys were unattainable, unfortunately, on this night, because neither of the two were at home.

To add insult to injury, neither my wife, nor I, brought our cell phones with us on our fun and sponteneous trip to said park.

"I thought you brought yours," Laura said.

"Well, I didn't bring mine because I figured you brought yours!" I quickly replied.

So, lets take a quick account: No phones, no keys, a 3-month old baby and 90 degree heat equals, well.. it pretty much looked hopeless.

However, our friends, Brad & Adrienne, were still with us and had not headed for the hills after finding our sad perdicament.

"Hey, lets think about this," said Laura. "Lets stay calm and think."

"Okay." I said. "I'm calm, but I'm hot and I need to pee!"

"Me too," added Brad.

With that said, we headed to the backyard. Brad and I took refuge in two seperate bushes on opposite sides of the yard. I felt so stupid to be peeing in the bushes at my own house and I was sober.

"What about Melissa!" Laura said with a bit of urgency in her voice.

"Who's Melissa?" Adrienne said.

"Our Pet Nanny," Laura and I said in unison.

Melissa, the nice lady who watches Logan and Andy, our two playful pups, while we are out-of-town has a key to our house! This was our saving grace! But, is she close by... what if she is out-of-town herself?

We proceeded to call Melissa, with the use of Adrienne's cell phone, and to no avil. She did not answer. I went ahead and called my mom to let her know about our situation, as Hudson went tumbling onto the grass, crying soon followed.

"Mom, you won't believe..." I started.

"Is that my baby crying?" my mom said, interrupting.

"No, that's Hudson. Mom, listen..."

I went on to tell her what our perdicament was and she went on to tell me how it could be avoided. This was not helping my current situation.

I look over at Laura and she has Mauldin bouncing up and down on her knees. He had no idea what situation his crazy parents had put him in. He couldn't of looked happier.

"We already called our pet nanny, can you please keep trying to contact her?" I said.


Not two minutes went by and Adrienne's phone started to ring... was it Melissa? I hoped, I wished, I hoped some more!

"Hello?" I said into the phone.

It had a black rubbery covering. I slide my thumb up and down the side as I awaited to hear a response. It was like an iPhone, but not, I think it was a Blackberry storm, not sure, but it was a life saver whatever it was.

"Eric?" said the voice on the other end.

"Melissa! Thank God!" I quickly replied. "Did you get my message?"

"Yes," she said. "I can be there in 20 minutes, is that okay?"

"Oh yah, that's perfect!" I said.

Yes! Our Pet Nanny was coming... she was coming to our rescue! She arrived shorly after, but it felt like an hour. We sat in our Honda Pilot with the AC on full blast. Mauldin took this chance to test out the driver's seat. He loved the steering wheel.

So, we had quite a memorable experience this Father's Day weekend... one we won't soon forget.

Thank you to my mom, Brad, Adrienne & of course, our Pet Nanny, Melissa!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The last strawberry in my fruit cup...

So, I am not exactly sure when or how it happened, but my likes and dislikes have sporatically changed. My tastes for certain foods have switched on like a light switch in the middle of the night.

As I sit here eating my lunch and digging my black, plastic fork into my medium cup of fruit, from Chick-fil-A, and saw there was only one single strawberry left it dawned on me… who am I? I don’t eat strawberries! When did I start liking them? What is going on here?

Please understand what a pickey eater I am. First off, and please don’t judge me here, but I do not eat red meat and I haven’t for nine years. I can just hear Aunt Voula, from my Big Fat Greek Wedding, “You don’t eat no meat?!” It is quite a complicated choice and I have probably made it insanely annoying for everyone I love who enjoys cooking out, and during the summer it is a popular pastime, atleast here in Georgia. No cheese burgers for me, turkey burgers, yes. Chicken? Sure. Bison, not so much. All my friends and family have accepted me for my wacky and unusual choice, but isn’t that what your friends and family are supposed to do? Soy? No. You don’t want me to eat soy… if you give me soy you better hand over the Beano or gas ex and not just the regular or store brand… I need the ULTIMATE extreme… okay, moving on. I still get the “oh yah! You don’t eat beef,” and it is always followed with “why?” I, look at them, take a deep breath and sigh, and oblige to give a short and concise explanation of, “it’s just a personal choice.”

Moving on I will let you know I was always one of those kids who would say, “no thank you,” to certain things at dinner time and get togethers. Don’t you hate those kids? I detested cream corn, tomatoes, collard greens and watermelon. My love for coke never existed and I still hate that bubbly mess in my mouth. I know the taste for these items will never, ever change. Okay, probably… I have learned to never say “never.” However, I cannot say the same for scrumptious, caesar salads, delicious, red strawberries, juicy red or green apples, steamed broccoli, buttery asparagus, twice baked potatoes and coffee. Yes, I said coffee. I used to not drink coffee. Try to wrap that factoid around your brain. I find myself craving these things as if I were some pregnant woman yearning to satisfy my appetite. My appetite for those I used to gag to visualize on my plate.

What is going on here? Am I getting older and learning to appreciate more things in life? Is this normal? Why is it I hated eating Caesar salads about a year ago and then just one day… it was different. It was like an alien ship came to earth and reprogrammed part of my brain while I was sleeping. “You want strawberries. You are a good person. You want to go to the Island.”

Any thoughts or answers? I was just wondering.

Oh.... It's Friday!

Isn’t it a nice day today? Oh, and why would it not be? The sun-is-a-shinin’.. well, it is here where we are.

I would say I was glad, it’s Friday, even if it were raining, there were cloudy skies, pasha, it doesn’t matter because today… is… Friday! Friday, I say!

It is the beginning of what will probably be a pretty event-filled weekend!

First of all, it will be my daddy’s first Father’s Day. Mommy and I got him the coolest gift, but he doesn’t know what it is because we hid it from him…

Secondly, I am hitting a milestone, well sorta! I mean it's quite a milestone. Mommy and Daddy keep telling people about it. I will be turning three months old on Sunday… They seem pretty stoked about it.

Well, don’t do anything I wouldn’t be proud of… behave yourselves. Happy early Father’s Day to all you dads out there, and more importantly, happy Friday!

Click here to check out my dad’s column on Examiner.com!

Monday, June 15, 2009

No more newborns...

It has happened.

We knew it would, but it just kind of crept up on us.

What am I talking about you ask?

Mauldin, our almost three month old son, has officially graduated from his newborn diapers (N’s) to ones. The little man has grown so fast in the past few weeks and we didn’t even notice until he started peeing on his clothes because his diapers could no longer hold his excretments! Okay, that is kinda gross when I say it like that. Let’s just say his pee was seeping out and so it was time for something bigger.

“Eric, can you replace all the diapers with the new ones?” my wife asked me so sweetly.

She was busy nursing him. He was lying there nourishing his body so that he can grow into the next stage of diapers. The 2’s! It won’t be long before we will actually have to start buying diapers again. Laura, my wife, and I stocked up on diapers when she was pregnant so that we wouldn’t have to be buying diapers so often. Well, our stock has started depleting right before our very eyes.

"Maybe we can make it to September!" I said with a hopeful disdane.

"I'm sure we can.. he is only what?"

"Ten pounds" said Laura, finishing my sentence.

"Alright then! He is ten pounds and 1's diapers are for ten to 14 lbs, right?" I continued.

"Yes, that is correct." Laura said.

She was sitting on our couch with Mauldin covering up some of the best parts, might I add. She had on khacki shorts, a pink shirt and a head band with skull and cross bones on it.

"I noticed you wore your belle band today!"

"Ouch!" she yelped! "Yes, thank you. Does it look okay?"

"What's wrong?" I recalled her previous retortment.

"He chomped on my ..." she stopped in mid sentence and looked down at our little hungry hippo.

"If you are going to act like that, sir, no more for you."

Mauldin laid there with no regret on his face what-so-ever... it was if he was like...

"Yah, sure.. you talk all big and bad.. bring it on mom!"

"I can't believe how big he is..." I said.

"You said that already..." said Laura looking at me as if I was losing my mind to early Alzheimer's.

"Well it's true!" I replied matter of factly! "Our little man is growing up so darn fast... our little newborn is gonna be our little three month old here in a few days!"


Mauldin had finished his afternoon lunch. He sat in his mommy lap with a huge sense of accomplishment across his face... as well as a little drool. The drool slowly dripped onto his little green and blue stripped onesie that read "I love mommy."

"Mauldin!" Laura exclaimed in the I'm surprised, but I'm really not surprised mommy voice! "Well, our little man is certainly growing up just like his daddy!"

All I could do was stand there and beam with pride.

"Yep!" I said... "I'm so proud!"

Check out my latest article on my column for New Dads at Examiner.com.

Friday, June 12, 2009

What would Mauldin do?

Well, it's finally Friday, y'all!

I am really excited about the weekend because it is the time that I get to spend with both my mommy and daddy at the same time. I am sad when daddy is at work all day... but mommy is a lot of fun and lets me watch Mickey Mouse Club House and Sesame Street!

Maybe mom and dad will take me to play in the pool again... that was fun!

Also, it is my mommy's birthday on Sunday...

So, happy birthday, mommy!

Enjoy your weekend everyone - stay safe and when you think about doing something bad... just say -"what would Mauldin do?"

Monday, June 8, 2009

Did you pack his DVD's?

“Did you remember to pack his Baby Neptune DVD?” I asked my wife Laura as I strolled through the kitchen on my way to the garage door.

The kitchen was so clean, the counters did not have random bills, magazines and pictures on it. The sink was empty from all glasses and dishes. It was a clear sign that either a maid had been here or we were about to go out of town. We always try and clean the house up a little bit right before we leave so we don’t come home to a mess. This weekend we were heading to one of our favorite getaways, Chateau Elan. Chateau Elan is a local Atlanta Spa, and winery, that we go to on special occasions and this upcoming occasion was none other than our one-year wedding anniversary.

“Oh! Oops, no I forgot!” my wife Laura exclaimed. “Can you get it?”

“It’s okay,” I said while holding Mauldin. He was resting on my right shoulder. I had just changed him into a little white onesie that had little green alligators showcased randomly.

“Here,” I said; handing off Mauldin like he was a bag of groceries from Publix.

“Go ahead and be putting him in his car seat carrier and I will go get it.”

“Sounds good.” Said Laura. She took Mauldin and with her other free hand pushed her oversized, black sunglasses up onto the top of her head in effort to see in the darkness that was our house. As I hit the stairs running I could hear her baby talking to our son, Mauldin, just in a way that only the mother of my own child could do and it not be insanely annoying.

(Insert cutesy, high pitch voice)

“Are you ready to go to Nana & Papa’s?” she started.

“Oh yes you are, oh yes, we are going to be happy aren’t we? Uh hu! Yes, yes, yes!”

Her voice trailed off the closer to the nursery I reached. I had to get this video for him because it seriously is one of the only videos he really pays attention to… Of course, we are not sure what is going through his mind, but we expect it is something knowledgeable and very advanced. (insert sarcasm).

I walked into my son’s nursery and the room is lit up, on the left side of the room, because the window blinds were open and the mid-morning sun was shining through. It was if the light was trying to reach out to Mauldin’s closet. The light beams hit the floor and bent up the white closet doors. The illumination reached up halfway; highlighting some of his cute clothes through the crack in the middle of the two doors. You could see hints of blue, red and yellow from a pair of overalls that showcase Winnie-the-Pooh. He wore it during his first photo session at Babies R-us. Whenever I see them I immediately crack a smile because I am reminded of how tiny he was that day…

I reached out… the light cast on my right arm as I opened the portable DVD player that rest on top of the antique cabinet that is home to many receiving blankets, sheets and sleepers. To my dismay the DVD was not there, but as I scanned the top of the dresser I saw it lying in the middle of Baby Bach and Baby Monet. It struck me, “what would it hurt to bring all three DVD’s?” I like to make sure he has as many comforts from home as I can. We were told not to bring diapers, blankets or wipes because my in-laws had all this in stock at their home. My in-laws have three grandchildren so the amount of diapers they keep on hand is staggering. However, each child is a different age, 4 ½, 2 ½ and 11 weeks, so, I’m sure, it does come with a bit of financial complication, but I just don’t ask questions... I am appreciative. My parents are the same way… thank the Lord for caring Grandparents. We packed the little man clothes and breast milk and his DVD’s.

I contemplated packing more, just in case, but decided not to and turned and headed for the door ready to hit the road so my wife, Laura, and I could make it to our destination, Chateau Elan. This would be the first time we would be leaving Mauldin over night. It hit me on the way down the stairs, we have to leave the little guy… we haven’t left him over night before… I kept saying this in my head over and over.

“It is going to be okay.” Laura said.

“What?” I replied.

“He is going to be alright. I know you,” She continued… “I know what you are thinking.”

I stood there holding three Disney Baby Einstein DVD’s and my grip was growing more and more firm as if it were a metaphor for Mauldin and not wanting to let go.

“He is ready to go and so am I.” Laura said.

I nodded with an affirmative “Yes.”

Laura grasped my left hand and leaned in and kissed me. It was at that moment that I knew I had nothing to worry about. My wife has the uncanny knack to always put my mind at ease no matter the circumstance. So, what happened? Well, lets just say the weekend was perfect, well we did miss our exit going to Chateau Elan and going to Laura's parents house, but I will say if that was the only hiccup our weekend exalted then I will say it was close to perfect.

But, you can blame the "exit" issue on me... well not totally on me... it was a joint oversight.

Friday, June 5, 2009

It's Friday and there's a dog on my shirt!

Hey Everybody! It's Mauldin again...

I thought I would help daddy out and guest post today... why?

It's Friday and I wanted to wish you all a safe and wonderful weekend full of spontaneity and fun!

I know I will certainly have a good time because when you start out a weekend wearing a dog on your shirt you know things can always get better!

Comon', what can I say... I haven't experienced that much... I'm 11 weeks old, but I expect a joyous weekend! I expect to eat, sleep... maybe poop and pee a little... I always enjoy my tv shows and dvds... all of which can be found on my Amazon.com wish list, if you were wondering...

I digress...


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I must say...

I’m a very lucky man.

I just want to take a moment, to thank my wife, for marrying me.

This weekend, on June 7th to be exact, will mark the day where my best friend and I tied the knot. This Sunday will be our 1 year wedding anniversary. I cannot believe how fast a year has gone by, but I have enjoyed every minute of being married to the one person who brings out the best in me. I am a very lucky man and I hope Laura knows how much I love her.

I am very, very excited about celebrating our 1 year anniversary, this weekend.

My wife is the kind of woman who is perfect, so perfect in fact I have to sometimes remind myself I am not living in a dream... the idea of her is unfathomable! We made such a beautiful child... Mauldin is.. well, perfect! I said it once, but will say it again... I am a very lucky man to be married to such a loving, caring, smart, beautiful, okay, okay...

Laura, I love you. That is basically what I meant to say at the beginning.

Thank you for marrying me. I am honored to be your husband. I love you.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

This much closer to working at the Daily Planet...

Okay, so my goals are a little out there, but comon’, can you blame me for wanting to be a star reporter at one of the most prestigious news authorities in the world, can yah?

Who cares if the Daily Planet isn’t totally real… it’s real to me, it’s real to me.

All joking aside…

I, Eric Skates, applied to write for Examiner.com. Examiner.com is a news site based in Denver, Colorado that allows local citizen journalists to share their city-based knowledge on a blog-like platform, in over 60 cities in the United States.
I was introduced to this site from my good buddy, Ron over at Clark Kent’s Lunch Box. (Thanks man).

In July of 2008 I began my blog, the ever-popular, http://www.ohmygodimadaddy.blogspot.com, and truly found my love for writing. I, of course, will continue with my blog… I love it! It keeps me sane. With that said, I took the initiative and decided to apply as the Atlanta New Dads Examiner. I never, in a million, no, make that a trillion years, thought they would accept my application. Yes, I am a new father, so I do fit that criteria, but my writing skills… would they be good enough? I don’t have the writing experience that I would need to maintain a well-written column, or do I? I figured, if I don’t try… I will always wonder…

I would regret not trying… kind of like I regret not running cross-country in high school. (I would of kicked ass.) Or, even more, I would of kicked even more butt at diving. But, I digress… we must not dwell on the past!

So, I guess here goes nothing… here is my stab at influencing all the young and rookie dads in the Atlanta Metro Area… (and beyond, someday).

Check me out... look me up, by name, at http://www.examiner.com/atlanta

I should start my debut on the site sometime in the middle of June!