Friday, September 30, 2011

Brand New Baby from about 5 years ago

As those of you following us here know, John had some pretty good news pretty late last night. 

Since he's a little pre-occupied and not ready to share how all of that went down, I thought I'd start a share an email my good friend Karl sent out when my 5-year-old was born.

Dateline 4/13/06

According to reports that are coming in off the AP Wire, we are getting word that Jamie and Becca are the proud new parents of a healthy, happy, baby Boy.

Here is what we have been able to piece together at this time.

St.Peters, MO 4/12/06
Sometime around 6:30pm, Becca began feeling discomfort stemming from being 9 months pregnant.  This discomfort worried Jamie to the point he began sweating profusely and we believe may have rendered himself dehydrated.  Becca's pains continued for what seemed like days, but was really only 2 1/2 hours.  At that time, Jaime thought it would be best if a Medical Professional look into this pain as Oswald, as we all know is only qualified as an "Email Shooter" and not a Mid-Wife.

St. Louis, MO
Around 9pm (reports are still sketchy) the family of two arrived at ST. LUKES HOSPITAL.  There it was confirmed that Becca was indeed pregnant and that the Baby was no longer happy with the living arrangements made between son and mother and their living arrangements over the past 9 months.  Doctors being of sound mind decided to admit Becca to see if they couldn't come to some agreement through arbitration, or if that failed, actual labor.

Somewhere Indiana - 9pm ish 4/12/06
At the very same time that Becca was admitted to ST LUKES, Oswald's parents were beginning their hellish drive from Canton, OH to St. Peters, MO for the arrival of their first grandchild.  As the baby was not due until tomorrow (4/13) Dan and Georgia decided to be safe, call it a night and get a hotel room in Indiana.  It is at this point that his parents used a telephone to call and advise their son of their plans.  Panic set back in as Jamie alerted them to the progress that Becca was making and if they wanted to be present for the birth, they were to demand the money back, get back in to the car and drive, drive like the wind to be present for the birth of their grandson.

Back in St. Louis 4/12/06 - 10pm ish
Becca now feeling better due to the epidural that had recently been injected into her spinal cord was influenced by medical professionals not to push until Midnight.  If she could hold off until then, this nuclear family could get an extra day in the hospital.  Knowing how good hospital cuisine can be, all agreed and Jamie found himself watching South Park and Seinfield episodes from a very uncomfortable chair in a very bright room.

As midnight approached, Becca was told to begin pushing.  Jamie was warned only once that it was only she that needed to push.  She pushed for what we believe to be 6 cycles and after about a half hour of this, Jamie and Becca welcomed for the first time their new son - Lucas Dan Oswald at exactly 12:27am 4/13/06.

While this miracle of life was happening in a closed, secure delivery room.  Dan (a.k.a. Grandpa) was able to out run both Illinois and Missouri State Police and arrived at the hospital exactly 10 minutes before the birth.  While charges of speeding, evading arrest, and failure to use a turn signal are still pending, both Grandma and Grandpa made it to the hospital in the nick of time.

Tale of the Tape:
Lucas Dan Oswald
7lbs 10oz / 20" inches in length
He can read at a 4th grade level and thinks Harry Potter is a wus
Expected Left hander with a penchant for the knuckle ball

Everyone, including Jamie has 10 fingers, 10 toes and is resting and doing well.  Please join me in welcoming the newest addition to our extended family Lucas Dan.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bad A$$ of the Weekend

I'm a pretty big fan of the Badass of the Week blog (probably NSFW). The basic premise is that once a week or so a historical figure is praised for being, well, a badass, with descriptions often including tales of roundhouse-kicking and daddy-part-punching. I get to feel like I'm being educated (these posts are very thoroughly researched) and entertained (did I mention the roundhouse-kicking?).

What do badassery and I have in common? Historically, not much. But this weekend I stepped it up.

I watched 7 kids. All by my lonesome.

Due to a series of overlapping commitments, projects running over their deadlines, visiting relatives, and the fact that my wife and in-laws were all tragically born without a logistically-oriented bone in their collective bodies, I found out Saturday morning that I'd be watching my 3 youngest children and 4 of their cousins for the bulk of the weekend. This isn't normally a big deal -- surprisingly, this isn't the first time this has happened, and to be fair, the extra 4 kids are old enough, interesting enough, and well-mannered enough that they don't require much extra effort except for in the food preparation arena (it's like a damned Army mess hall at chow time).

There's also one next to me in the front seat.

What makes this weekend different, and what elevated me from a normal underpaid babysitter is the field trip I decided to throw in. You know, in addition to dragging them to church and a pair of youth soccer games (including team pictures!).

I took these guys roller skating. And it was awesome. Everybody had fun (even the 2 year old who I wouldn't let skate). They won prizes. They did laps. They had snacks. And practically nobody cried. Which is amazing. Because taking my kids in public usually leaves me bawling.

So, that is pretty much my whole resume. The ball is in your court, Ben Thompson. I figure that willingly taking 7 kids to a roller skate without once rolling up into the fetal position and sucking my thumb in the corner ought to put me in the annals of badassitude, somewhere between Attila the Hun and Dwight Johnson.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Drumpkin - Pumpkin Brew Reviews

Fall is upon us. Kids are back in school. Saturday's belong to little kids' soccer games. And every brewery and its sister has decided to put out a cooler weather-themed beer. Continuing in our tradition of trying to save you some time and money, we're reviewing a trio of pumpkin beers.

Third Place: O'Fallon Pumpkin Beer
It breaks my heart to give O'Fallon, easily my favorite brewer, last place here, but this is really a testament to the strength of its competitors more than to a misstep on their part. The one thing that did pull this to the back of the pack it'd be the way it felt in my mouth. It felt a lot like a Coke. Which is good. If you are looking for Coke.

Second Place: Blue Moon Harvest Pumpkin Ale
I'm not a big advocate of Blue Moon in general (wheat beers are too fizzy, light, and sweet for me), but this hit the spot. The least pumpkin-y of the three, it was really well done, although still not really my bag.

Winner: Schlafly Special Release Pumpkin Ale
Easily my second favorite brewery, Schlafly seldom puts out a bad beer and this is no exception. This beer is sweeter than I'd normally like, but it was the lightest on the spice that makes pumpkin pie pumpkin pie. A worthy winner.

Small Print
In the interest of full disclosure I should let you know that I haven't historically liked Pumpkin beer, but it's been a while since I've given it a shake, so I thought this would be a good start. Believe me, based on my memory any of these would  have been my favorite pumpkin beer to date. Individual tastes vary, so if you like pumpkin beer these are all worth a try. I had to stay pretty local because I couldn't find many national beers with pumpkin offerings. I could have gone all St. Louis, but I refused to buy the Shocktop pumpkin because everything that Michelob puts out that isn't Michelob (or Light or Ultra) sucks.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Name Challenged

Back in March. My wife and I officially announced that we were pregnant with our 3rd kid. Well as the October 4th due date has drawn closer, we have figured out a bunch of stuff. The most important is that the baby won't be born on October 4th. In fact the baby will be coming no later than September 29th as we are scheduled for an induction.

With pending babies and multiple SAP conferences we have been a little slammed and our writing & your reading enjoyment has suffered. With that consider this our first dream sequence post where we shamelessly recycle come old post and make it new again.

This one is pretty fitting since we are about ready to name our new kid. So here are the 8 rules in naming your child (from a Suburban Father Perspective). Funny how some of these sounded like a good idea 6 months ago.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Time For Savings

You will soon realize how terribly clever that title actually is. I am addicted to many things. Well perhaps addicted isn't the best word to describe it, but let’s say I can be a retailer’s best friend. I buy too much and I recommend stuff I like to everyone whether they want to know about it or not. Obviously running and shoes are the main sources for my addiction, but I also enjoy watches & timepieces. There is a difference between the two. A watch is something that you tell time with, put on your wrist, and will break in a few years. A timepiece is something different. It’s a forever watch. I already have my Big Boy/Forever watch and I love it. It is a Mont Blanc TimewalkerChronograph.
I don't want to hurt you.
It is wonderful and I enjoy looking at it. The problem with a Big Boy watch with me is that I don’t want to mess it up. While I lucked out and bought my Forever watchat a Mont Blanc store that was going out of business for 90% off, I still don’t want to hurt it. It is precious.

So my fear of effing them up and the fact that timepieces can be really expensive doesn’t help me (or my wife) wanting to collect them either. So I have to do what I can on a budget. For the last year or so I have been looking at the J. Crew catalogue and have noticed they are doing a bunch of cross brand selling. One of those brands is Timex and they the two companies have collaborated and come up with a great casual watch that can easily be worn to the office. 
Timex® military watch $150

The problem with this one, you guessed it, cost. While I don’t have a hard time paying $150 for a watch, I have a hard time paying $150 for a Timex just because it’s in the J. Crew catalogue. 

Now this is where my witty title comes in. So, finally my other work watch ran out of juice and I thought that I would explore my options. So I did some looking around the Timex site and saw that they have what I imagine are watches for old people called Easy Readers. Basically the have bigger numbers on them, but are just what I am looking for in an everyday work watch (Simple, classic, cheap). So knowing better than to buy anything directly from the manufacturer online, I hit Amazon and picked up a simple Easy Reader for $25. I didn’t like the black leather strap on it. So I did another Amazon search and found a wonderful Nylon band for $12 that would complement the watch well and that could go with brown or black. So, here’s what I came up with for $40. I think it looks just as nice as the ‘ol J.Crew version and with the money I saved I can blow that on more running shoes or diapers. Most likely diapers… and formula.

How Did I do for $40?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Red-Shirt year

A few weeks back we wrote about the right of passage into Kindergarten. Its a huge step for your kid, but what if your little angel is right on the cusp of heading into kindergarten or being held back a year? Well, we were forced with a decision this year that possibly could make or break our oldest daughter's future in school. As you can see by the witty title of this post, we are deciding on holding our kid back a year, but want to get some perspective from other parents on what they've done.

While the above paragraph is wonderfully written, its not enough for a full blog post so I'll go into our decision on holding our daughter back. My oldest has always been a girly girl since she decided to have a personality. Also like many first-born's (so I've heard) she has been very cautious, shy, and critical of situations before jumping in head first. We have never had to worry about her at a pool and just heading for the water. At times she can be kind of needy, but perhaps she is a bit more than most kids. She constantly seeks reassurance and needs a lot of pushing when it comes to trying new things. Its how she's wired. We love her personality and can think of 1000's of situations that would be way worse than our kid being a tad timid.

As this school year was coming up we knew we had a decision to make. We had already decided that our kids will go to the local private school* for grade school, but we just weren't sure that Hannah was fully ready for kindergarten. So the alternative would be sending her to the Public School for kindergarten for this year and then having her do a victory lap of kindergarten next year at the private school. After some thinking, debating, and just going back and forth on the subject, we decided on the "victory lap" theory and will send her to the private school to do kindergarten again next year. We have thought long and hard on this decision and after talking with a lot of parents we never once heard them say that they regretted holding their kid back. On the contrary we ran into a lot of situations where people wished they would have been held back.

So with that, we'd like to hear your opinion what you think or stories about the decisions you made as parents.

*Disclaimer: Before you pass judgement on the whole public/private decision, please know a few things. 1) St. Louis is weird and a ton of people go to private Catholic schools. 2) We live in an awesome school district that is rated very high and we are big fans of our Public School. My wife is actually an Occupational Therapist in our district. 3) I am not rich by any stretch of the word. Our Catholic school is about $2k LESS a year than day care.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Office Coffee Pot Rules

Below you will find an exhaustive list of rules for office-related coffee etiquette.
  1. If the coffee pot has this much coffee or less...
make another damned pot.

That's it. Feel free to print this out and post it in your office kitchen.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Shirts are in! 

What? We didn't tell you we were ordering shirts? Awkward. 

In any event, we ordered some shirts from our buddies at Knee High Prints (we think globally and wear locally), and they are in. 

We've only ordered a couple, so if  you are interested, please leave a comment below and we'll get back in contact with you to sort out the details. We are only asking $12 plus shipping (if necessary) each, which is barely enough to cover our new company cars. If we move enough of these, we'll start taking orders for round 2.