Friday, September 24, 2010

End of a Long Day.

Like the title says it is the end of a long day. I was up late last night writing a paper that was due this morning (I wasn't procrastinating, I missed part of class Tuesday and I was making it up). I got to sleep a little after 2am and was awoken by Maggie around 8:30am. So I have been out of it pretty much all day. I would like to apologize for any grammar and/or punctuation errors in my last post, and this post. It took my over 90mins to write because Maggie was fussing every 5mins today. Every time I would start something, she would start fussing and I would have to go and tend to her. Yes Maggie was a handful today. Tomorrow should be better after we both catch up on some sleep. Maybe I will get some work done tomorrow. I have a lot of catching up to do. I might even hand out some blogger awards.

Five for Friday: My Five Favorite Places to Take Maggie

It's Friday and time for another Five for Friday. Hey I will start calling it Triple F, you got Guy with the Triple D now you got this. Ah I'm just messing with ya! This week we have my five favorite places to take Maggie. So sit back, have a sip of wine and enjoy.
1. Lincoln Park Zoo. Who doesn't like the zoo? Not to mention this one is free!
2. Target. Yep that one. We do most of our shopping there. Maggie and I like to check out the toy section (daddy likes the Star Wars toys) and share a pretzel.
3. The park. We usually go to the park a few blocks away. She loves the swings.
4. Toys R Us. We have one a block away. I like to look at all the great things that I can buy her for Christmas.
5. Anywhere! Cause who doesn't like spending time with their kids!
This was taken in the middle of the screaming match we were having. Don't let that innocent face fool you. She won.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nine Months, The Zoo, and Weird Neighbors.

Maggie is now nine months old. Time to change into the 9-12mos clothes. We got her nine month doctor appointment next week. I hope we don't get yelled at by the nurse there for being a week off like last time. Maggie is still napping now, she's pooped The wife took her to the play group this morning. I stayed home and studied. I get to take her next week all by myself, wish me luck.

We went to the Brookfield Zoo on Tuesday. What a great day. It was perfect. Weather was nice and no one was there. Maggie got to pet a Guinea pig. They had a children's play area with a pet hospital and a zoo director's office. It was pretty cool. I could of spent all day in the pet hospital when I was a kid. I have a feeling we will be buying a membership next year when Maggie is a little older to appreciate it.

We have several visitors coming next week. My mom is coming for my birthday (and to see Maggie of course). My father in-law is coming up next weekend also for a visit. Speaking of him I got a package yesterday from him  for my birthday. I'm debating on whether or not I should open it. I think I will wait.

Have I mention our neighbors are weird? They just dropped what sounded like a 16lb bowling ball on the floor. surprised I heard it over their constant X-Files watching. Nice people, just a little off sometimes.

Looks like the last nice day of the year. Filling the pool so Maggie can go swimming. Got to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wave Hello.

Maggie just learned to wave the other day. She picked it up pretty fast. She also gave me a mini high-five. She catches on to stuff pretty well.
Yesterday after we had had a good day she woke up screaming from her late afternoon nap. I first thought it was the neighbors and there constant watching of the X-Files really loud. I think it was her teeth though. Still no teeth, but we know there coming. It took me a while to calm her down. I finally had to give her a self feeder with a frozen banana. That hit the spot for her. She was in a great mood after that.
She is also learning how to smile for the camera. She will see the camera and smile, and after the camera goes off she will look at you like "you took the picture already". I guess after the thousands of photos we have taken of her she picked that up too.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Five for Friday: 5 things I will tell my daughter throughout her life.

It's time for another 5 for Friday. This week it is 5 things I will tell my daughter throughout her life.

1. You can do anything you want. Don't let some one tell you just because you are a girl you can't do it because that is bullshit.

2.Go to college!

3. Learn to drive a manual transmission. Because there is nothing like dropping that clutch and taking off like a bat out of hell. Basically because who else will drive the Corvette (1966 Stingray jet black beast, oh yes it will be mine) after I am gone, cause you sure as hell ain't selling it (I'll be damned if my future son in-law will ever touch it, even if I do like him.

4. Don't ever do drugs, ever!

5. Listen to your mother, because I don't know what the hell I'm talking about, but you can call me 24/7 if you ever need anything.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday Play Group

The wife and I took Maggie to a playgroup through our church today. It is the start of their fall session. I have to say I was a little overwhelmed this morning when we first walked in. It was a lot bigger than I thought. There must of been fifty moms there. I did see one other father there. I'm just glad I found the coffee. I was about to walk down street to get some and it started pouring. It was good coffee too. Maggie had a lot of fun. There wasn't a whole lot of kids her age, but there are some. They had a bunch of different toys to play with. Maggie really liked the car. We would push her around in it, and she would turn the wheel. She also really enjoyed the Sesame Street pop up thingy that I've been wanting to get her, but I am unable to find one.

I think my wife will be taking her every week, as I feel a little out of place (not to mention I am a little shy). If my wife has to work I will take her though. Looks like it should be some fun. They have events set up every week, including a Halloween party, and some entertainment.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'll Have the Bath Water Please.

Tonight I have learned a valuable lesson. Kids will pretty much do whatever they want. I learned this while giving Maggie a bath tonight. She decided in the middle of her bath to lean forward and have herself a little drink of bath water. I'm sure my voice was very high pitched (my wife says I do this when I get shocked or surprised) when I reacted to her doing this. I'm just glad I didn't drop any F bombs.
So I scolded her and had to hold her head up because she kept trying to do it again. She's a smart one this one. She then picks up both her feet with her hands and tries to pull herself down to the water while I am holding her head up. After fighting her for a good couple of minutes, I finally had to call my wife in to help me hold her up so I can wash her. Daddy's Little stinker.

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bang Bang, Shoot 'em Up!

I'm am watching the end of a very depressing 49ers game. I won't bore you with details. Let's just say I am very upset.

True story:

So I was leaving school on Thursday night with my friend, we shall call him Jorge, and while we were having a great discussion over soy milk (yuk!), some dumb ass gang banger decided to pop off a couple of shots. We heard the first one and looked and then we see a bunch of little kids start running so we booked ass to our car. I think there was about six shots. We couldn't see what was going due to cover from the trees, but I know they were gunshots. We got into the car and took off like the falcon out of the death star. After my second attempt at 911, I got through and told them what was up. Now I know why we always see cops everywhere in that hood. Well we won't be parking there ever again. Glad we didn't end up with any extra holes in us.

Moving on now. School is going pretty well. I want it to be over already though. My princess is napping right now. Let's hope she goes to bed tonight with no trouble. Past two nights she has had problems going to sleep. Wish us luck!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Am I a Good Father?

Am I a good father? I ask myself that a lot. I bet just about every father does. I think I ask myself that every day. I think you have to ask yourself that to be a good father. I always wonder if I am doing the right thing, but I think I am on the right track. Maggie is a healthy, well taking care of baby. She gets everything she needs. She always will.

I learned a lot of what not to do about being a good father growing up. Not that my father was a bad father, he just wasn't around a whole lot due to my parents divorce and living in another state in another time zone (have I mention I hate the eastern time zone? Everything comes on so late there). He also passed away when I was a teenager, so I didn't get a whole lot of advice as I got older. I only saw him twice a year for about a week each. I wasn't always a fan of going the visit him, he was a different man after his stroke. The only good advice I remember him giving me is "smoking weed will make you forget shit so don't do it" and "go to college and get an education". I listened on both. Although, I am a little late on the second one. Only fifteen years.

My wife says I am a good father which means a lot to me. Every since my princess was born I always tried to be the best father I could be. I always will be. I have learned from my mistakes and will continue to do so. Being a father is not the easiest thing to be some times. But it has its rewards. I just hope when they have kids they tell me I did a pretty damn good job.

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Five for Friday: My Five Favorite Vices

Hello again. It has been a long week. I got sick on Monday, which made it an even longer week. I got really bad on Wednesday. I got home from school at 3pm, ate lunch, fell asleep until 7:30pm, ate dinner, fell back asleep around 10:30pm and slept until noon Thursday. Felt alright on Thursday. Got some good sleep last night, and now I am almost 100%.

Now lets get back to it. This week's Five for Friday: My Five Favorite Vices

1. Beer. I love beer. All kinds of beer (light beer is not beer, its flavored water) Some of my favorites include Shiner Bock, Shiner Hefe, Trader Joe's holiday ale (I'm aging two bottles, one for this year and one next) Three Philosophers, Omerang Hennipin, and when it's hot outside there is non better than Red Stripe!

2. Wine. Yes I love this too, more so at meals and in the fall. My collection is only 6 bottles but I plan on getting more. If you know where I can get a case of Frimaio Chianti Classico 2004 (any vintage will actually do) please let me know. Brought one bottle back from Italy, glad I listened to the store owner, it was absolutely heavenly.

3. Cigars. I love them. There is nothing like a fine cigar to relax. Even better when it's accompanied by a fine wine or scotch. *Not around the baby!

4. Star Wars memorabilia. I have a bunch of SW toys that my wife can't stand. Some of it's pictures and other stuff. They sit on a shelf. That's it. Yes, I know I'm a big nerd.

5. Playing with Maggie. What else can I say. I really do enjoy playing with her. There is nothing like seeing your baby smile!

Now in honor of football season GO 49ers!!!!!!!

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Papers and Pics.

Things have been going well here in Chicago. I just got a text that Mayor Daley will not be running for re-election next year. I must say I am shocked, I thought he would die in office like his old man.

School has been going well so for. I just finished my first paper. I've Got a quiz tonight. Maggie and are just chilling today. I've got to study a bit, but we have been playing most of the morning. I put here down in her crib while I hopped in the shower and she fell asleep for an hour. She is now standing up on her own. She enjoys it a lot. When she is standing, it is hard for her to sit down because she keeps her leg stiff and doesn't want to sit. It's too funny.
Maggie is in her pack and play and she is sitting in there just talking the day away. daddadaddadadadadadadadadaadadad or nanananananananannnanananaanananan. I can't get enough of it. I enjoy her sounds she makes.

The pic with Maggie standing up is her at the park standing all by herself. We don't think she is going to crawl at all, she will just start walking one day. She is still just rolling herself all around and hasn't pulled herself to a sitting position yet, but she is getting there.

We got up Sunday and we were reading the paper in bed with Maggie. I was flipping through the the Target ad when my wife and I saw the exact Britax car seat we have been looking for on sale for a $100. We decided to rush out and get one because it was such a great price. We got to Target and we had to ask if they had any in the back and we ended up with the very last one. Yay us!

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Friday, September 3, 2010

5 for Friday. Double Your Pleasure

We are back and better than ever. This weeks 5 for Friday is going to be a little different. Since I didn't post one last week we are going to do a double dose of it. That's right you get two for the price of.... oh wait, it's free! So hold to your mouse as we get going.

5 reasons I didn't post in a week

1. I was very busy the past week, with school and I was out of town.

2. There was no computer where I was at when I was out of town (the in-laws computer took a crap)

3. The wife was always on the computer hogging it.

4. I have been playing with Maggie in my free time after she was hogged by other family all weekend( I kid i kid). Did I mention she is standing!

5.I've been studying as much as I can. I think I need a new brain, this one is full.

5 of my favorite books everyone should read, in no particular order.

1. To Kill a Mockingbird. 'Nuff said.

2. Angela's Ashes. Great story told by a great story teller.

3. A Monk Swimming. Malachy McCourt, yep Frank's Brother. He makes me wanna open a bar.

4. Kitchen Confidential. Anthony Bourdain. Another great story teller. I relate because I worked a lot in food service and I witnessed much of the same stuff. I'm also a foodie and love to cook.

5. War. Sebastian Junger. I recently read this. He does a great job of really telling you what is going on over in Afghanistan and the struggles our troops go through on a daily basis.

Angela's AshesImage via Wikipedia

Anthony Bourdain's Image by wynlok via Flickr

Cover of Cover of A Monk Swimming
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Skin Cancer Affects Us All

Do you know someone who has been affected by skin cancer? If didn't before you read this, now you do. Yes I have been affected by skin cancer. In December of 2005 I was diagnosed with Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC). It may be the "best" skin cancer to have but it is still scary to have. I had surgery to have it removed in February 2006 and I was left with a wonderful scar on my face. Not fun to have but it is a constant reminder to wear sunscreen. No, I don't wear sunscreen as much as I should, although I am much more aware of the sun and what it can do. If I am not wearing sunscreen you will see me move into a shaded area if possible and stay out of the sun. I do this because I have a high risk of getting BCC again.
Maggie also is in the high risk category due to her pale skin and blue eyes (see being Irish can suck sometimes but most of the time being Irish kicks ass!). Now I hated when my mom used to put sunscreen on me, especially when we went skiing. Nothing sucks more than being in the snow and being covered in oily crappy sunscreen. I'm glad she did it though. I plan on teaching Maggie all about skin care, along with fearing the sun, and she will never set foot in a tanning salon.

I am putting a paper I wrote on skin cancer for my class last September. I hope you read it and take the information to mind. I am in no way trying to tell you how to live but trying to make you more aware of the dangers of skin cancer. I got an A on it so it should be good. Enjoy.

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. (Glanz, Shoenfeld, &

Steffen, 2010) Skin cancer is more common than lung, pancreas, or prostate cancer with more

than 1 million cases diagnosed every year. According to Fulmore, Geiger, Warner, Talbott &

Jones (2009), the American Cancer Society (ACS) reported in2007 that 1 out of 5 Americans

will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

Cancer occurs when cells in the body start to grow out of control. There are several different kinds of cancer that can occur, but they are all caused by this uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. These cancer cells quickly multiply into new cancer cells rather than dying out. Cancer cells can form tumors, which is what happens with skin cancer. These cells can metastasize, or invade other parts of the body. If the cancer is not detected, and treated in time it can result in death. (“What is cancer”, ACS, 2010)

There are three main types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Each type is named for the type of skin cell where it originates. (“Skin cancer”, Wikipedia, 2010) The most common risk factor for skin cancer is Ultra Violet (UV) light exposure, which is estimated to be responsible for 90% of skin cancers. (Roberts & Black, 2009)

In addition to being classified based on the specific cells they affect, skin cancers are also classified by the general type of skin cell that they invade. The two general groups of skin cancer classifications are keratinocyte carcinoma and melanoma.

Keratinocyte carcinomas are the first group. These cancer cells are so named because they arise from keratinocyte cells. The two most common types of keratinocyte cancer are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. (“What are basal and squamous cell skin cancers?, ACS, 2010)

Basal cell carcinoma begins in the lowest layer of the skin, the basal cell layer. About 80% of skin cancers are Basal cell carcinomas. “They usually begin on skin exposed to the sun, such as the head and neck.” (ACS 2010 What Are Basal and Squamous Cell Skin Cancers) Historically, basal cell carcinoma was usually found in middle age or older people but recently more and more young people are being diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma. This is likely due to young people having increased exposure to the sun with little or no protection. . Basal cell carcinoma tends to grow very slowly and is rare for it to metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body. If left untreated, however, it can metastasize. Even after treatment, basal cell carcinoma can recur in the same area of the skin. New basal cell cancers can occur on other parts of the body as well. Nearly half of basal cell carcinoma patients will get a new skin cancer diagnosis within five years. (“What are basal and squamous cell skin cancers?, ACS, 2010)

Squamous cell carcinoma occurs in the upper part of the epidermis where the squamous cells are located. About 20% of skin cancers are squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma most often occurs in the area of the skin most exposed to the sun, such as the head, neck, ears, and arms. It can also occur in the within skin ulcers or scars, or, rarely, in the skin of the genital area. Squamous cell carcinoma is more likely than basal cell carcinoma to metastasize to other parts of the body or lymph nodes, although this is still fairly uncommon. (“What are basal and squamous cell skin cancers?, ACS, 2010)

Melanoma begins in the melanocytes, which are the skin cells that produce melanin. Melanin is the pigment in the skin that makes skin tan or brown. Most melanoma tumors are brown or black because the melanoma cells produce melanin. This is not always true, however, as melanomas can sometimes be non-pigmented, the same color as the surrounding skin. Unlike keratinocyte carcinomas that occur on sun-exposed areas of the skin, melanomas can occur anywhere on the body. In men, the most common sites are the chest and back, while in women, the most common site is the legs. Melanoma is much less common than basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma, but is far more dangerous. Although melanoma has a high rate of cure when caught early, it is much more likely to metastasize to other areas of the body than basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas. (What is melanoma?, ACS, 2010)

Having dark pigmented skin lowers your risk of developing melanoma, but even people with dark skin can develop melanoma on the palms of their hands, under their nails, or on the soles of their feet. In rare instances, melanoma can even form in parts of the body such as the mouth, eyes, and vagina. (What is melanoma?, ACS, 2010)

Risk factors for developing skin cancer include age, sun sensitive phenotypes, such as people with blue eyes, fair skin, and light-colored hair. Other risk factors include family history, personal history of precancerous lesions, or a history of excessive sun exposure such as multiple sunburns. (Glanz et al., 2010).

North America, Europe, and Australia have all seen increases in skin cancer rates in the past thirty years. “During this period, melanoma incidence rates more than doubled, and nonmelanoma skin cancer rates exceeded those of all other cancers combined”, (Roberts & Black, 2009). Many countries have started skin cancer awareness campaigns to make people aware of the dangers of prolonged UV exposure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the ACS have recognized a need to educate children and adolescents about skin cancer awareness and prevention. These programs enhance awareness and prevention of the risks of UV radiation and skin cancer. (Fulmore et al., 2009)

Simple steps can be taken to lessen UV exposure, such as lessening the amount of time spent in the direct sun, wearing long sleeves, hats, and sunglasses when outside, and frequent application of sunscreen. UV radiation levels are the highest from 10am to 2pm. Skin damage can occur in as little as 30 minutes of sun exposure. Studies have shown that high levels of childhood sun exposure are linked to increased risk of skin cancers later in life. It is important to protect children from sun exposure and to teach them about protecting themselves, as they get older. (Fulmore, Geiger, et al., 2009)

Although it isn’t possible or practical to avoid sunlight completely, but too much sunlight can be harmful, but there are simple ways to limit the amount of exposure to UV rays. “Slip! Slop! Slap!… and Wrap” is a catch phrase that the ACS uses to help people remember four key methods to reduce sun exposure. The first method is to “slip” on a long-sleeved shirt when going outside to protect your arms from excess UV radiation. The second method is to “slop” on sunscreen, and remember to reapply the sunscreen every two hours when outside. The third method is to “slap” on a hat when going out side to protect your head, ears, and face from excess UV radiation. The final method is to “wrap” sunglasses around your face to protect your eyes from the sun. (“Skin cancer prevention and early detection”, ACS, 2010)

There are several different ways to treat skin cancer. The type of progression of the cancer determines the treatment. Often, skin cancer can be treated with minor surgery. In these instances, the skin tumor is cut out of the skin. In some instances topical medicine for the skin can be used. Currently, imiquinod cream is used in early stage melanomas to help the body fight back against the cancer cells. In skin cancers with a high risk of spreading, surgery may be followed by radiation or chemotherapy. (“How is melanoma skin cancer treated?”, ACS, 2010)

New vaccines have been developed to fight skin cancers. Weakened melanoma cells can be given to a patient to try and make the body’s immune system kill the cancer cells. BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guerin) is a bacterium related to the germ that causes tuberculosis (Tb) it is sometimes used to help treat stage III melanomas via a shot (injection) right into the tumors. (“How is melanoma skin cancer treated?”, ACS, 2010)

Throughout the world skin cancer has been increasing. Several countries have started awareness and detection programs such as free skin cancer screenings. Many new treatments and options for care and prevention are now available and are increasing everyday with advanced research. There may not be a cure for cancer as of yet but prevention is the best medicine and skin cancer is preventable.


American Cancer Society. (March 29, 2010). How Is Melanoma Skin Cancer Treated?. In Skin Cancer-Melanoma. Retrieved April 25, 2010, from

American Cancer Society. (March 23, 2010). What Are Basal and Squamous Cell Skin Cancers?. In Overview: Skin Cancer - Basal and Squamous Cell. Retrieved April 25, 2010, from

American Cancer Society. (n.d.). What Is Cancer?. In Overview: What Is Cancer?. Retrieved April 25, 2010, from

American Cancer Society. (March 5, 2010). What Is Melanoma?. In Skin Cancer-Melanoma. Retrieved April 25, 2010, from

Anonymous. (n.d.). Skin Cancer. In Skin Cancer. Retrieved April 24, 2010, from

Fulmore, J.S., Geiger, B.F., Werner, K.A., Talbott, L.L.& Jones, D.C. (2009). Sun protection education for healthy children. Childhood Education, 85 (5), 293-299.

Glanz, K., Schoenfeld, E.R., & Steffen A. (2010). A randomized trial of tailored skin cancer prevention messages for adults: Project SCAPE. American Journal of Public Health, 100 (4), 735-741.

Roberts, D.C., & Black, D. (2009). Comparison of interventions to reduce sun exposure. Behavioral Medicine, 35 (2), 67-76.

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Back into the Swing

Well it has been a long week for everyone. When we left to go to downstate, we left right after I got out of my night class. We got in at 2:30am. Went smooth though, because Maggie slept the whole way. We had a great time. I even learned that sometimes the party ends early because we have a baby now. We have a million mosquito bites that are still itchy (the bug candle, as we found out, doesn't work below the table you have it sitting on). We left at about 5pm on Sunday, and we got in around 11pm (we got caught in a little traffic due to some idiot riding his bike on the expressway, which cost him his life). I had class all day Monday so I am just now catching up on things.

I have been working on another post which should be up tomorrow on skin cancer. Please feel free to read it, as it is very informative. I must get back to studying. Look for some more pics to be posted this weekend. Oh and Maggie is standing up already!!!!!
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