Saturday, January 26, 2008


Today we had another sonogram and found out what our little baby is - it's a girl!

Now, I'm not going to lie and say I wasn't kind kind of hoping just a little bit that we were having a little boy. Besides the whole father-son things (you know: camping, sports, rough-housing, shooting guns, getting dirty doing yardwork and then tromping it through Kristin's clean house), I have to admit - part of it was that the idea of a pretty little girl scares me to death.

Now, don't get me wrong - I'm really excited! I see pictures of Kevin having a picnic with his little girl, or I read about Josh getting guided tours from his, or watch Chris with his little princess. Tonight we had dinner with a pastor from our church, and watched his little girl put on a Disney princess dress and twirl for us. And I'm totally looking forward to my little girl standing on my feet while we dance.

But I'm scared.

I'm scared because she's already got me wrapped around her tiny little finger.

We spent less than an hour in a dark room watching the 3-D sonogram on a big TV (see her little hands in the sonogram pic!). There were two couches and I was all over both of them and about every inch of the floor in between them. I was so excited to see my little girl - but the TV screen was as close as I could get, and I just couldn't sit still watching her.

I'm scared because she's going to grow up and she's going to be beautiful. I know this because her Mama is beautiful. How do you tell your darling little girl no? I have a hard time sticking to the rules when my dog looks cute, and Kristin has a whole bag of cute faces she can pull out to make me do strange things like stop by a movie theater to pick her up some popcorn (it's apparently much better than normal stuff, and yes, this was before she was pregnant). I'm going to be a total pushover for my pretty little girl, I think.

And having a pretty little girl brings all sorts of other problems, too. There's a song out right now that I find particularly amusing called, "Cleaning This Gun." The chorus goes like this:

Come on in boy, sit on down
And tell me 'bout yourself
So you like my daughter, do you now
Yeah we think she's something else
She's her daddy's girl and her mama's world
She deserves respect, that's what she'll get, ain't it son
Now y'all run along and have some fun
I'll see you when you get back
Bet I'll be up all night
Still cleaning this gun

I'm scared because I know she'll keep me up more nights than I want to think about (I have a bad feeling my prayer life is about to reach a whole new level). I'm scared because one day some guy's going to come along and take her away. I remember when I asked Kristin's Dad if I could marry his daughter - and I remember that I was scared to death to do that because I had at least a vague idea of what I was asking him to let me have.

My little princess is only officially 20 weeks old - and I already love her more than I can explain. After all, I only know her from a picture on a TV screen and a tiny little thump on Kristin's belly when my little girl kicks (which she does a lot lately). And it's amazing how much more real just knowing which pronoun to use makes all this.

I'm quite certain I have no idea of the emotional rollercoaster my little girl is about to take me on. I have a feeling I'll look back and see life to this point being a little bit one-dimensional. I think a whole bunch of color is about to flood my little black-and-white world.

Friday, January 18, 2008


I went and got a much needed haircut this past week.

Such events are usually pretty routine. I am a guy, after all, and there's just not much exciting anyone does with my hair. I actually prefer it that way.

However, this past week I splurged a little, and visited a place in McKinney almost totally because of the experience it advertised.

Declare Your Men-dependence

That's their tagline. I was intrigued - at least in part because it sounded like something Stephen would say, and Stephen rarely allows himself to be associated with low-quality experiences. Stephen also takes his hair more seriously than any guy I know, which definitely added some subliminal credibility to this "Rooster's" place.

The biggest draw, though, was that they use a straight-razor and hot shaving soap on your neck and around your ears. There was a place in Albuquerque that used to do this - a couple old guys in a shop adorned with faded black-and-white photos of famous athletes and venues, and which always smelled of that hot shaving soap. It was a true barber shop - no "product" lining the windows and no glamour shots on the walls. Just some old Sports Illustrateds and a couple Field and Stream magazines. Since then, I've been willing to settle for the "unisex salon" because the price was the part of the haircut that I was most interested in, and because it's so hard to find an actual barber shop, much less one where the barber uses a straight-razor.

Rooster's was not cheap - $24 is about twice what I usually pay. Inflation's been a beast on the ol' "two bits" I guess. But I fell for the tag line and the memory of that barber shop in Albuquerque, and made my appointment.

Oh wow was I glad I did.

The environment was very man-friendly, to say the least. There's no "product" sitting around or celebrity gossip magazines in the waiting area. Just lots of dark wood, some sports and hunting magazines... and a massive plasma tv permanently tuned to ESPN. In place of outdated glamor shots, they had a few large mounted heads of elk and moose. Yeah, they knew their target audience, I'd say.

Yvonne took me to my chair, sat me down, and after some brief introductory questions (a haircut as simple as mine shouldn't take much explanation), she quietly proceeded to give me one of the better haircuts I've had in a while - which was a good start. As she tucked the towel in the collar of my shirt and lathered up the back of my neck, I smiled a little - this was what I'd come for, and in this all-important skill, Yvonne was a surgeon. Too good, in fact. I was a little disappointed when she finished so quickly. I wanted to savor the experience, and the sandalwood aftershave was small consolation.

But that's actually when it got really good.

She leaned that awesome leather chair back (picture the ideal post-Thanksgiving position for falling into a tryptophan-induced coma while watching football) and then covered my face with hot towels. I had read that a hairwashing was included, but I was expecting the kind of perfunctory rinse that simply keeps those little hairs from falling on your keyboard when you get back to work. This was nothing like that.

I want to say Yvonne used some kind of scrubber to massage my scalp, but that gives the wrong mental image. When Kristin and I were on our honeymoon, she discovered I'd never had a true massage before, and signed me up. The incense was subtle, the soft music was relaxing - pretty much what you'd expect. But before we got to the backrub part, the masseuse warned me that she was about to "exfoliate" me. I had no idea what it meant to be "exfoliated" and was a little concerned that there was any foliage on me to "ex" - but I went along because I thought this was normal. There was nothing normal about it. The nice lady took industrial-grade sandpaper and scraped the top three layers of skin off my legs and back. So when I refer to what Yvonne used as a "scrubber," don't think of something you'd "exfoliate" with. Whatever she used (I still have no idea - remember, my face was happily hidden under a mound of steaming, moist towels), I was just about as relaxed as I can remember being in some time.

When a haircut is remarkable for me, that's generally not a good thing. This was clearly a happy exception. If this is what "declaring my men-dependence" feels like, I may be making such a declaration more frequently.