Ode to Poppa Bears

Yesterday Brooke and I were sitting at America’s Taco Shop on 7th Ave this AM enjoying our weekly mommy outing and time with our little ones. Per usual Gwen was being squirmy and wormy and little August was minding his own business being adorable and sleepy. Needless to say Gwen had a big time incident that was less than lovely…click here for image just prior to incident…But I won’t make my third blog post about poop…because I’m sure there will be many more poop stories to come. HA….
Today is my Dad – Russ Doucett’s birthday. Being a parent myself now has made me see my parents in an entirely new light. My Dad was the Dad always “up to something” as my Mom would put it. He is a handy dude, able to work on anything with an engine, not to mention electrical work, wood work, just about anything you ask him to figure out, he was my go to helper with anything related to history homework, was our coach (from t-ball to hockey to sideline tips) and an all around supportive poppa bear.

I have so many fond memories I have shared with my Dad. He was always willing to the the time to explain situations to us, buy me ice cream when I was sad, give me sidelines tips, take the time to laugh and play with us and I could always smile my way into getting him to buy yet another giant stuffed bear that I had to have. He never raised his voice and is supportive of you in all your endeavours. My friends (from elementary school up to college) all loved being around my Dad. He would cook their steaks they way they liked them (well done for Megan) and he was the life of the party during Dad’s weekends at U of A (infamous bar tabs at Dirtbags and Gentle Bens).

Now that we have Gwen he gets to be “Poppi” and show off his softer side. Every night I sit in an antique rocking chair feeding Gwen and rocking her to sleep. My Dad bought this chair at  an auction years ago in near our home town (upstate, NY). I love this chair. The wooden arms are the prefect length, the wood is broken in and it has just enough creaking noise as it rocks. I think of my Dad with every perfect creak the chair makes.

I wish my Dad the happiest of all birthdays. I know he is going to be the best grandfather ever. He was the best Dad a girl could ask for. He was our advocate, our coach, our history tutor and was always available for whatever we needed. He taught me to be strong, to trust my gut, to love my family, work hard, play hard and to question authority.
He has already been a great grandfather and I know Gwen already adores him. 
Cody and I are both lucky to come from families with strong father figures. From these amazing men I know Gwen is lucky to have a great Dad and two wonderful grandfathers (and grandmothers). Cody is an amazing father already and I can’t wait to see how his relationship with Gwen grows. I already recognize the same ease, laughter, dedication and gentleness that he has with Gwen that my Dad has with me. I’m a Daddy’s girl and lucky enough to have my Dad live close to me again (just a few houses away) and to have married a great man who not only my best friend but is our daughters hero just like my Dad is mine.
Happy birthday, Daddy. XO Jennabee

Adult Alternative

Gwen is five weeks old and 10.4 pounds. She is a wiggle worm full of new expressions and noises this week (new photos in the daily cub section). She also has super baby strength when holding her head up as she arches back to catch a glimpse of something moving around her, usually Max sniffing her head. With this new found strength and awareness has also arrived fussiness AKA gas.
The other day was a fussier than normal day. In the later afternoon I made a call to Cody with Gwen wailing in the background I said calmly “when you get home from work I’m going to leave for a little while and run an errand.” Being Cody he agreed and gave me a supportive “no problem” a “you okay” and a”ohh my Gwen” to hear squeals in the background. So my “errand” was running to Total Wine. Where I purchased a new friend called Campo Viejo Reserva Rioja a lovely tempranillo blend from Spain. My new friend is delish.

Back to the point. As any good Mom I ran my “errand” gathering my new red blended friend and stopped at Chipotle for din-din. When I got home Cody looked excited. The baby was asleep in her bassinet. Good work, Dad and I gave him a high five. Cody then started to tell me his secret. Cody says in disbelief “if you sing to her she calms down.” My Mom (YaYa) had watched Gwen over the weekend and informed us that she liked to be sang to. But like any good parent we had to find this on our own.
The genius that Cody is he had turned on the radio TV stations on Cox and said he found a station he could sing along to. For Cody this station was “90’s.” Over dinner this got me thinking and remembering music growing up. Cody and I both grew up in households where our parents and older siblings loved music.
Every weekend in the summer I spent Saturday nights at Fords Marina where we docked our boat on Cayuga Lake with my family enjoying bonfires and listening to Super Gold on the radio. Super Gold (with Mike Harvey, you know the one – listen here) would play requests that I loved like The Platters “Who Put The Bop in the Bop Shoo Bop” and Lesley Gore singing “It’s My Party” (and I’ll cry if I want too). Anyway, I digress. These memories came over me and I said to Cody, “will Gwen think of 90’s Alternative music like the way we think of oldies?.”  Yep, I guess she will was the table discussion consensus. But that isn’t a bad thing. My parents generation music is amazing, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Carol King, Johnny Cash, Simon and Garfunkel, Janis Joplin. I mean amazing music. So hopefully Gwen will enjoy our favorites they way we enjoyed listening to our parents favorites over the years.
Today while trying to ease Gwen’s fussy afternoon spell I turned to the radio TV stations. Searching for a song I knew. The first station I landed on was surprisingly Oldies. I knew the words to the first three songs:

  1. Rolling Stones “Off of My Cloud”
  2. Elvis Presley “You Look Like an Angle”
  3. The Crystals “Then He Kissed Me”
Well this was working out to my benefit. Then the Oldies station went downhill and Gwen was pissed again. So I kept searching for a new station. I landed on the station for me. No not 90’s. The 90’s station was playing “100% Pure Love” by Crystal Love which yes I know the words too but it just wasn’t working. I landed on Adult Alternative. Adult Alternative was right up my alley pushing out hits from The Smiths, The Beastie Boys, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Patti Smith, No Doubt, The Cure… I was in hog heaven I knew the words and Gwen was asleep in my arms in no time.
Then I got to thinking. Adult Alternative. Is that like Adult Contemporary just renamed for people who grew up in the 90’s liking grunge, ska, indie and alternative rock. Ohh my.
Just the other day we said, “Has HGTV really improved their programming or have we just aged into their target demographic?” It really is the most watched station in our house (second only to Cody watching endless hours of Fuel TV). HGTV and Adult Alternative over here. I should wear a sign that says “Hi I’m 30, married with child.” But I would have it no other way. I mean hey, the young lady carded me yesterday and did say 2/17/1981…so you just turned 30?! …..You don’t look 30!” Yipee for me!
So I hope Gwen grows up loving the tunes her parents love. I’ll have to keep the playlist I have developed of music she listens to in the day with me. Including Bob Marley, No Doubt, Foo Fighters, Band of Skulls, The Avett Brothers, The Beatles, Blind Pilot, Foster the People, Frightened Rabbit, Iron & Wine and Freelance Whales. Hopefully she will think that we are cool parents into music the way Cody and I thought our parents were.