Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Prospect of Parenting

Lot's has been going on lately, Koog-Fans.


We've traveled some, cried some, laughed some and worked lots. Isaac, our puppy is approaching his 1st birthday and our beloved Bailey has been gone for nearly a year now but never forgotten. I'm happy that the Wife is nearly done with her away from home assignment and will rejoin the household full-time in a few short months.


Now that life is settling down for us, we're preparing for our biggest project yet, a baby. Yes, a little Koog. Our very own bean-eating, video game playing, drum-banging, mini-Koog. Although, there is no "bun-in-the-oven" just yet, the planner that I am has begun the requisite preparation.


I vacillate hourly between unbridled excitement and shear terror. Everyone tells me, "Dude, your life is going to change." That's exactly what freaks me out. I like my life. Actually, I LOVE my life. I am the center of my universe. I do what I want, when I want (of course, with permission from the wife). I eat what I want, when I want and sometimes I eat out of inappropriate containers. (Shout out to E-Bone!)


When I think about the lifetime commitment we’re about to make to this little being, I start to sweat like I’m trapped in an elevator on a hot summer day. Will I love this pooping, crying, peeing, living shackle bound to my ankle? Will I be a good parent? Can I minimize the amount of therapy the kid will need when it’s older? Will my neurotic ways and obsessive planning rub off in a negative way? Will hate me?


And then, in a split second, the terror is over and I start to feel the excitement. I can picture Mrs. Koog holding the baby for the first time. I feel the love in her eyes. I wonder what its first word will be? Will it get excited to see me when I get home from work? Will it know how much we love it?


Are these thoughts and feelings all prospective parents go through? My parents seemed like old pros to me and I was their only kid. Will the wife and I be able to pull off that kind of con?


So, this is where I am. More questions than answers. More excitement than fear.


Realizing that I need to stop referring to my prospective offspring as “it.”


Advice is welcome.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wii will Rock You

For my b-day this year, I asked for toys. Again. For the 36th time. Why can't I ask for adult things like restaurant gift cards, golf clubs or household items? I guess I could ask for these things, but the bigger question is why don't I want them?

So this year was about the Wii. Momma-Koog got me the Wii console, Wii Fit and Mario Kart with the Wii wheel. Of course, I wanted every accessory for my Wii that was available on the free market. My Wife, the woman that has the patience of a saint, proved her love once again by getting me the Wii Sports pack with the extra controller, the sports accessory bundle with the tennis racket among other cool things, the controller recharging system, HD cables and all sorts of other awesome Wii things.

With the gift cards from my Mother & Sister-in-Law, I got RockBand, Wii Ski, another nunchuk, Rapala Fishing, and the recharger for the Wii fit.

I think the only person impressed by my Wii-loot was my neighbor. He's 7.

After much persuasion, The Wife and Momma agreed to play RockBand with me. My Wife is an amazing Wii Bassist. Who knew? Momma, on the other hand, not so gifted in the music department. She was asked to leave the band after trying her hand at the drums, guitar, bass and vocals (ouch). She is now our number one fan/groupie/chef and dog sitter.

We are looking for a drummer...anyone out there interested?

Momma-Koog Went to Market

So, The Wife works out of town and I am left to my own devices during the week. This means I have full responsibility for the house and the feeding of myself and our new puppy, Isaac.

Let's just say, I have a different palate than most. I love beans. Beans, beans, beans. Love 'em. Our pantry is stocked with all types of canned beans. Garbanzo, red kidney, pink kidney, lima, Green, and the list goes on and on. As long as I have my beans and vinegar, all is right in the world.

Needless to say, I don't need to stock or, even open the fridge since my beans are in cans.

Now, Momma-Koog came to visit me and Isaac 2.5 weeks ago. She is Italian and she loves her Koog, so she feeds her Koog.


It is always interesting watching the horror on my Mom's face when she looks at the contents of my fridge. This time was no exception.


Unfortunately, it has been a few weeks since The Wife has been home, so the fridge is feeling the pain. It was chock full of items that had expired at least 3 weeks prior to Momma-Koog's arrival. Being the great Mom that she is, she cleaned out the fridge. When I arrived home that night, she looked drawn and pale. She said there was nothing to eat in the house. Of course, I challenged this assertion. "What are you talking about? We have a whole pantry full."

She proceeded to the kitchen, opened the fridge and, alas, she was right! Besides gourmet mustard, sharp provolone cheese, beer, and BBQ sauces, the damn thing was empty. "How can you live like this?" she asks

I explained my bean addiction and told her we have a pantry full of meals. We could even make 3 bean salad out out any 3 beans she wanted. She was not amused.

So, Momma-Koog went to the grocery the next morning. When I got home, the house smelled amazing. A home cooked meal by a real, live Italian Mom. Heaven.

Maybe there is more to food than just beans.

Thanks, Ma. Isaac, me and The Fridge miss you already.

I'm back KoogFans!

Wow.

It's been to long since I've posted. So much has changed. Here's a brief recap of events over the past 2 years

  • The girlfriend is now the wife
  • My beloved dog passed on
  • The wife and I got a new puppy
  • I am 36

So, that's the brief recap of what's been going on with me. I'm working on another post. Be patient, the Koog is thinking

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Movin' on in

A lot has happened since I last blogged. I’ve been to Europe and Southeast Asia for work, I nearly burned down my fence grilling shrimp kabobs on my charcoal grill and…let me think, I know there is something else…oh yeah, the Girlfriend moved in with me.

I know, I know; “Koog, this is huge! How could you nearly forget to mention that?” Fans calm down…I was just kidding and it is huge, especially for a commitment-phobe like me.

So, you may be asking, “Koog, how did this happen?” Well, let me tell you.

We have had a long running debate about our living status for quite some time. I think I posted earlier that we were cohabitating between two different domiciles. It worked well for a while, as the one place was close to both of our work locations and the other place was more of a larger, country home. But, in the end, it was taxing and expensive to keep up 2 mortgages and try to balance time at both places. Not to mention that if we’re going to do the whole double-ring-swap thing in the future, we should have a place that is “ours” and not this Koog and Hers thing we had going.

I’m not sure how we agreed on it or if we even discussed it, but all of a sudden the movers were at her place taking things out and at my place bringing those same things in.

Whoa…that was fast. I started to freak out as I noticed my things being moved, sorted for Goodwill or tossed. OHMYGOD, my precious collection of baseball hats with precision sweat rings are not on the floor of my (our) closet. HEY, where are my 2 cases of toilet paper? That was the good stuff from Costco and no, you can never have enough. OH-NO-SHE-DIDN’T toss away my “Sure Thing” shirt. That was a good shirt, man.

What was I doing and more importantly, why was I doing it? Am I sure she’s the one? Will I lose all my free will and become a drone that follows the Girlfriend around like a puppy and agrees with everything she says? What if she turns out to be psycho and burns my underwear in a pile on the bathroom floor? What if she’s a spy? What if she’s a crazy Irish murderess that kills her mates with poison potato soup? I was getting nauseous from all of the motion.

Then, just as my “What ifs” were getting out of control, she came up behind me and hugged me. In that instant, the world slowed down and the nausea stopped. She was not some potato-crazed killer, she was my Girl, this amazing woman that deserves someone so much better than me.

I turned around to look at her and I could see she was having the same fears about me. I didn’t know whether to be happy that she’d understand my nerves or scared because she was as anxious as I was about this.

After talking a little about the boxes that littered our once neat home, I noticed my anxiety feigning and could see the same in her.

As I write this, we’ve lived together for a week. She’s on a business trip until tomorrow night and I find myself dreading the night alone.

I guess the home I called mine and only mine for so long is now really “Ours.”

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Out of Alignment

I think this will be my last post for a while, I think I've lost my inspiration. The girlfriend and I may not make it. "Koog, what the hell happened?" you may ask. The answer is I'm not sure.

The other night we were talking, and I broke my cardinal rule; I asked a question I didn't want to hear the answer to. I asked her if she loved me or if she was in love with me. After a pause that seemed like eternal silence, she looked at me with those eyes I know so well, and she didn't have to say a word. That eternal silence turned into an piercing tone that shattered my heart. I know, I know, Koog isn't that sensitive, but I am.

After much consultation with friends and family that love us as individuals and as a couple, we come to the conclusion that it's semantics. We agree that we're better together, we love each other too much to walk away. She tells me she's happy, that she's made a mistake, all of the things I want to here, but it's different now. I can't explain it. I don't want to loose her, but I feel like I already have. Not because she wants to leave, but because she's somehow different to me. The woman that has crushed my heart can't be the same one I entrusted with it.

There is a war between my head and my heart. My head tells me (with an I-told-you-so arrogance) to walk away and never look back. I trusted too much. I was too exposed. It reminds me of my previous relationship. It's heard this before. You can't make someone love you. It tells me to get out now before you lose another 12 years.

But, my heart says stay. It makes me look into her eyes and see our future. Remember our dreams. It reminds me that I love her and I can't turn that off. My heart says all is not lost, this is only a bump in the road. This is nothing like my previous relationship. Her actions and words don't match. It tells me she's scared and that's why she's pushing me away. It tells me if I leave I'll always wonder, "what if?"

The sounds of battle are deafening and the collateral damage is great. I'm stuck between these 2 rival forces, immobile.

It's funny how life makes you witness things that, at the time seem unnecessary, but come back as a beacon getting you through the darkest night. For example, My favorite aunt died of cancer in May of 2005. She was only 52 years old and the loss was devastating for my Uncle. They were the most devoted couple, best friends and lovers. I've always considered them my relationship role models. At her funeral, the Priest talked about their relationship. Now, those that know me well, know I'm not the most religious person; but what he said about their marriage has stuck with me for some reason. Relationships always start out level, perfectly aligned. As they grow, sometimes one person rises above the other or stumbles below. When they realize that their partner is not on aligned, they wait for them to catch up, or they go back and help them rise. It's ok to be out of alignment, people grow and learn at different speeds and in different ways. What matters is that in the end the couple always returns to level. He said that alignment was the sign of true love.

So here I sit, downstairs, alone at the keyboard writing an entry I know she'll read. She is upstairs, resting in preparation for a busy day at work. Two people on different planes and out of alignment. I've stopped to look for her, I'm just not sure she wants to be found.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Finding a companion for GZ…A call to the wild

So, I’m in talking with my officemate, GZ, and she’s telling me about this wedding she must attend in April and she needs a date. This is causing her much stress, which leads to a very stressful workday for Koog.

Ever since I’ve known GZ, which has been all of 4 months, she’s been looking for a companion. Now, she’s barking up the wrong tree asking me for dating advice. All of my friends are either married, too old or pervs. A select few are all of the above and I salute each and every one of you!

OK, so back to GZ. She needs a date. Here are her criteria (in order of importance):

1. Must be hot. (if you’re hot, married and pervy are fine)
2. Tall (no midgets will be considered at this time)
3. Witty (I’ve tried to tell her that I’m witty, but alas, I am too short)
4. Must have most, if not all teeth (white-ish is preferred)
5. Clothing is NOT optional (at the wedding, the after party is negotiable)

If you’re interested, send an e-mail and a pic to koog.rules@gmail.com.

Void where prohibited by law.

Resolutions and Dissolutions

So it’s 2006. My annual tradition of making and breaking New Year’s resolutions is in full swing.

On New Year’s Eve, I resolved to:

-Work out more (because I’m becoming increasingly porky)
-Stop complaining about being coupled (when I’m secretly ecstatic about it)
-Stop throwing my clothes on the floor
-Clean out my closet to make more room for the Girlfriend’s stuff
-Delete the myriad episodes of American Chopper from the Girlfriends TiVo
-Give up “Good and Plenty” candy, cold turkey

It’s the third week in January, and I have to say, I’m failing miserably on nearly all of my resolutions. I can’t even say, “I’ve tried,” because on some, I haven’t.

OK, let’s do a re-cap of my status on each resolution:

Work out more —this has already been broken, as I have actually worked out less in all of 2006 than I did in the last week of December 2005. Soon, I’ll need to wear my pants below my belly and exit my house sideways to make room for my girth. After that, it's plumbers crack and an intervention on Oprah.

Stop complaining about being coupled—This was broken just this past weekend when I told my buddy I’d sell my girlfriend for an hour with Jessica Simpson. My Girlfriend and my buddie’s wife were not amused. I tried to clarify that I probably wouldn’t “sell her” per se, but there was no digging out of that hole. In reality, I wouldn’t give her up for anything, not even Jessica Simpson. I mean, Jessica can’t even cook!

Stop throwing my clothes on the floor—Broken at 1:29 am 1/1/06, at a hotel in Washington, DC. The girlfriend is moving to drastic measures on this one. She’s started to shame me, bringing up my dresser/hamper to my friends and sending me messages on "classes" focused on differentiating the floor from the laundry basket.

Clean out my closet to make more room for the Girlfriend’s stuff—This is the only resolution I can count as complete. The Girlfriend and I did it 2 weeks ago. I parted with some of my most prized articles of clothing; all but 1 pair of plaid Bermuda shorts, many classic T-shirts with sayings like “Sure Thing” and “¿Donde Estan Mis Pantelones?” The latter was too painful to part with, so I kept it as a “dust cloth.” When the Girl’s away, the T and I will play. I hope she doesn’t read this….

Delete the myriad episodes of American Chopper from the Girlfriends TiVo—I think this is becoming a bother to the Girlfriend. At her place, we have 2 TiVo’s; one in the living room and one in the bedroom. The one in the living room is all hers. Lot’s of HGTV and PBS crap, I mean quality broadcasts, saved on it. I’ve staked claim to the bedroom TiVo. The Girlfriend and I have different opinions of quality entertainment. I like American Chopper, Wife Swap, Football, and Most Extreme Elimination Challenge. She tolerates all of these shows because she’s patient and, I think, may have a strange, unexplained fondness for me. So, we’re watching TV in bed last month and I hit the “Now Playing” list on TiVo and like 50 American Chopper episodes appear. She very calmly turns to me and says, “Babe, maybe you should delete some of these”. Fast forward a month, and on Sunday night we’re watching TV in bed, I hit the “Now Playing” list, and again, a butt load of American Chopper episodes appear. She’s not amused because now the TiVo is full and her “Designed to Sell” episodes have not recorded in nearly a month. She’s puzzled by the mass quantity of American Chopper's, but I explain that I don’t want to miss a minute of those crazy Teutle boys and set the TiVo to keep all episodes until I delete them. She turns over, disgusted with me and my fondness for all things OCC. It was a long, cold night.

Give up “Good and Plenty” candy cold turkey—This is my Achilles heel. I love these things and I don’t know why! They’re like little pink and white crack licorice. There is a store in my building and the sweet little shopkeeper buys cases just for me. I’m up to 3 boxes a day. My officemate, I’ll call her the Genius Zygote or GZ, because she’s way too smart and way too young, has offered to hide my junk and will physically restrain me should I try to buy more. Thanks, GZ. This will help me prevent that Oprah Intervention I talked about earlier.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Semantics

Coming to terms with my life as a couple has been a little hard for me. I was a card-carrying single. No ties, no conscience, no problems. I was a field player and boy, did I play the heck out of that field. Now I find myself inextricably bound to someone else and feeling happy about it, but still holding on to that last bit of the single life: living alone.

Since I last blogged, so much has happened. I left my old job, started my new one and the girl and I are living together. The first two, while jarring in their own right, were easy to acclimate to, the whole living together thing took more time.

So, my new job is in consulting, (of course), and my client is 1.1 miles from the girlfriend’s house. We decided it would be a good idea for me to stay at her place during the week and we would stay at my house in the country on the weekends. To me, this was just “staying over.”

One night we are talking about our situation and she blurts out the “we’re living together” comment and I explain that the dog and I are just overnight guests.

She points out that I’ve moved many of my clothes to her house. I rebut, with the fact that, I’ve denied repeated attempts to give me space in her dressers. This type of clothing storage is unnecessary. I need to have my clothes out in the open in case a quick departure should become necessary. After all, I’m just staying over and many times overnight guests wear out their welcome.

She mentions the dog. As I said before, my dog is also “staying over.” For months, I decline offers to buy him new food bowls, instead of the plasticware ones he’s eating out of. He’s a big guy, so the dishes need to be elevated. I opt for putting the plasticware on top of paint cans rather than have something so permanent as an eating station for him at my Girlfriend’s house. She points out that; number one, she bought him an elevated dish system a few weeks back; and he has his own bed at her house. Damn, she got me on that one. I acquiesce that point. The dog, or as I like to call him “Traitor” has definitely moved in.

She points out the household chores. She cooks all our meals and I do the dishes. She washes the clothes and I fold them. We watched Jeopardy every night. She says this type of domesticity must mean we’re living together. I say absolutely not. It’s just a domestic routine.

We agree to table the discussion, but weeks pass and it’s still top-off-mind for me. I decide the only way for me to convince her that I’m just an overnight guest is to call in the unbiased opinions of my close friends.

I phone E-Bone, one of my reliable confidants, who lives in Texas. I explained our argument to her. The girlfriend cuts to the quick and brazenly asks E-Bone how she would define our living situation. Without missing a beat, E-Bone said; “Of course you’re living together, I can see this and I live in Texas.” How snide.

Next, I phone one of my best confidants in Arkansas. Alas, she will see it my way. I explain the situation to her. She replies; “You’re cohabitating in 2 different domiciles.”

Somehow that seems easier to digest. “Cohabitating between 2 different domiciles,” it just rolls off the tongue. Yeah, that’s it. The girl and I agree that if asked, we would tell people that we're cohabitating between 2 different domiciles.

I’ve been able to get used to this idea. The girlfriend just shakes her head and laughs each time I correct someone who has mistakenly referenced us living together. “We’re cohabitating between 2 different domiciles,” I tell them sternly.

This worked for me for quite a while. Recently, my neighbor, the one that knows most things, asked me and the girl about Christmas. Did we want individual gifts or one gift for us as a couple? Without hesitation, I answered “One gift is fine, we’re living together.” The girlfriend smiles as she realizes the enormity of what I’ve said.

I wince. I feel my freedom slipping a way. “Me” falls into “We.”

Could my slip of the tongue mean that I’m growing up and accepting the fact that I’m one half of a cool (and strikingly attractive) couple? Probably not.

I think I've finally realized that I'm not losing a part of myself, rather I'm gaining the happiness I've always wanted and never thought I'd have.

Or, she's brainwashing me.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Harsh Illuminations

So, the Girlfriend and I have hit some bumps.

Lately, I've been feeling a little taken for granted. I know that's a wuss thing to say, but it's true. The honeymoon is over. We don't see each other through the blissful filters and soft lighting that in the beginning made each of us look flawless. Now we're under harsh low-end department-store-like fluorescents that enhance even the most subtle blemishes and cause headaches until your eyes can adjust.

In the beginning, the soft focus days, there were e-mails with things like "must do something other than think of you" and "you are always on my mind." Now, I'm lucky if I get complete sentences and a signature.

I've never thought of myself as high maintenance, but maybe I am. Is it wrong to want a bit of the niceties back in our relationship? Am I wrong to want this? Am I wrong to feel shortchanged since I'm not getting it? Am I wrong to write about it publicly? I've always been of the opinion that feelings are never wrong or right, they just are what they are.

As I write this, I'm starting to think of her. See her face, hear her voice, her laugh and I'm smiling. You see, we've not seen a whole lot of each other lately. Work, family visits, conflicting schedules and life in general has gotten in our way, interrupted our flow. The only thing we have now is words to express ourselves. No eye contact, no smiles across the room, no cuddling at night. Nothing but words.

That's the problem. We've agreed that I'm effusive and she's not. It's just not her style. She shows her feelings by doing things. All it takes is a quick glance in her eyes and I know what she's thinking, how she's feeling. That's worth more than a few nice words in an e-mail, but right now, e-mails and words are all we have.

This is the first time in our relationship that we've hit a snag. I guess our eyes are adjusting to reality's harsh lighting. Once we focus, all will be ok.