Saturday, September 15, 2018

(Emotional Rollercoaster) Zairah's first day of school!

Hey baby Girl!

So in the midst of all of the heartache and pain came a day of sunshine, literally. Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Rudy were in Honduras burying great grandma, where she wanted to be buried, and I couldn't go because her trip was scheduled for the 4th of September, just a day shy of your first day of school.

I love grandma dearly and I wanted to be there to wish her farewell, but I couldn't miss my only child's very first day of school. I pray you never have to make a decision that hard!
But it was a day of love and excitement despite those who wanted to be there but couldn't.

The night before mommy and daddy made sure you were in bed on time as were we. I woke up, set up my camera and started documenting everything from you brushing your teeth to walking in through the doors.
When we go to the school, daddy parked the car and we waited outside for the doors to open and also we waited for Camilla and her family to show up with her. I'm actually very happy that your best friend is in school with you and even in the same class.

I still can't believe it baby, in fact, I just text mommy today and told her that I still remember pre-k and Kindergarten and now here we are 20 something years later and I have a 3 year old excelling in school. Today is your 6ths day in school, 3 full day and so far you've already progressed from the first day where the teacher explained to her that we had to work on your following the rules. Something we knew could be a challenge but nothing I felt you wouldn't achieve.
We stood with you for about a hour and a half and left to figure out what we would do with our day now that we had a big girl in school. Lol.
Uneasy and incapable of staying still from the excitement we were about 8 minutes early to come pick you up (half day) at 11. I could finally ask you "How was school?" a question I came to dread in my time, but I'm already seeing that it'll be a little different than I am, very different actually. You're always so excited to be in school and you never miss an opportunity to let us know how much you like school or that you were given a sticker for something good that you did that day!

You continue to make me so proud baby! All the time.
I'm very happy with the beginning stages of your scholastic journey and I only hope I can keep up!

Please slow down with the growing up though baby! I miss the little baby you, but I love the big girl you as well. God Bless baby! I Love you.


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Emotional Rollercoaster (Part II)

Hey baby Girl!

I suppose I could go into the good stuff, but what good would it be if it only meant coming back to the bad stuff right after it.

This is still hard to write and so excuse me if the thoughts don't seem as complete as they should.

Going back to 2 weeks ago, as I mentioned in the last post, as I sit in the very seat I was sitting in when I was blogging about my excitement of your first day of school. 
My phone had rung although I didn't hear it as it was on silent as it always is when I'm at work. It was your uncle Rudy.
When I got up from my desk to go get ready for my morning break I noticed the 2 missed calls and a text from Uncle Buddy. The text from uncle Buddy said something along the lines of "Are you good? I just heard the news..." I didn't know what he was talking about, but what was more curious was uncle Rudy's phone calls, usually he'd text me so if he were calling me it means it was something super important. So I called him back. I could hear the stress in his voice when I immediately asked him "What Happened?" as I tried to brace myself for the worst. "You didn't speak with mom?" he replied, "No!" I responded becoming more upset, "Grandma died last night!" It took a few seconds to hit me but when I did I cried like a baby. More than I could remember crying in so long. I sat on a bench across from my locker, crying, screaming, I was inconsolable. My manager and friend came to check on me rub my back as I cried and handed me tissues. With the very brief moment I could find to catch my breath I explained to them that my grandmother had just died and that I needed to go home. I was shaking so bad that I could barely get my key into my locker. I drove home to meet grandma and the rest of the family at Great grandma's retirement home where it happened. I had made it too late to see her a last time and so I would have to wait for the funeral.

My grandmother was arguably the greatest woman I had ever known, Zairah. She was my best friend before I knew what a best friend was. She took care of everyone she knew and loved in some way or another, but I feel that she looked over me and Uncle Rudy a little more than anyone else. She was always the type to tell me to go and get her purse whenever I would tell her that my mom didn't want to buy us something. At a very young age, maybe a year or two older than you are now, she taught me how to pray. She used to tell me how important it was to pray each night before bed. It's something that I've slipped up on in recent years, but it's still there,
My grandmother was quite often the voice of my own conscience. Whenever I was faced with a moral dilemma, I would sit down and think to myself "What would grandma tell me to do? How would Grandma feel about this? This probably wouldn't make grandma happy if she found out about it" and that's how she became my compass in life.
My grandma was the first person to tell me that I should marry your mom. Something I always knew I'd do, but I can't begin to tell you how happy it made me to know that I had my grandmothers approval. That she liked your mommy enough to suggest that I take her as my bride. It meant the world to me.

In her last years she suffered from dementia. Some days were better than others but the constant was her loving heart. She cared for all of us. I'll never forget the moment I told my mom that she would be a grandmother soon. It was on a card I bought her to give to her on Mothers Day in 2013, 7 months before you're arrival. It was while with great grandma. We would visit her several times a week and after telling grandma you would be arriving, I told great grandma! She was as excited as anyone could be considering it was possible that in the moment she might not even have remembered who I was exactly. But no matter, when I brought you to her the first time you were the tiniest, cutest newborn. I asked her if she wanted to carry you. Despite her not having much strength, she said "of course."

She carried you for about 2 minutes and it was quite possibly the greatest picture I had ever and probably will ever capture.
She loved you baby, and like everyone else she no longer asked for me or asked how I was doing, she would ask for you whenever she would remember that she had a great granddaughter. In fact, you are her first granddaughter.

She was the most incredible woman in my life, baby. And I am eternally grateful, and endlessly blessed to have been her grandson! Because of her, there is no doubt in my mind that I will go on to be a great father to you.

I miss her dearly, and I hope that by the time you are old enough to read this you will not have forgotten her. She's daddy's guardian angel, and I know she's watching over you as well.

T. 'Mami Yoya' Caballero
April 27th, 1933 - Aug.29th, 2018


Emotional Rollercoaster

Good Morning baby girl,

Today is exactly two weeks since the date of my last post. I've gone back and forth debating whether or not I was going to even make this entry. But I guess I wouldn't be doing you any favors keeping anything serious from you and I take it that by the time you're old enough to read this it'll be time to have the talk with you about losing loved ones anyway.

So here goes:
This summer was a really tough one for me and your uncle Rudy, baby girl.
I try to find the silver lining in everything but some things need more than a Band-Aid and time to heal from. By now you're wondering what the hell I'm talking about.

Lets go back to the top of July, I was still in a state of excitement and slowly coming down from the high of proposing to your mommy. (She said yes obviously, because I'm the Bee's Knees!) and also excited because we were a few days away from my 3 week leave of absence from work to stay with you while Belkys was away on vacation.
But none of that would take place before the 7th of July. It was a Saturday. Grandpa, Grandma, uncle Rudy and I had been discussion what was going to be down with Juno. She had already been showing advanced signs of old age and diminished health in her last couple of weeks. We never sat down and actually discussed what we would be doing, but the general thought was that we would have to start saying our good byes because our big girl didn't have much more time.
So on that Saturday morning we all went to Grandma's house where we met with uncle Rudy. Grandpa, Uncle Rudy and I had to take Juno to the vet for the last time.

We had Juno for 10 years, in fact I still remember the day I got her. It was an April in 2008. Grandma and Uncle Rudy were in Honduras at the time and I couldn't go (I'm sure it was because I was broke) and my good friend Dwayne had told me that his uncle's dog had just had puppies that he was selling.
I remember being told that the dog was a Blue Nosed Male Puppy, only to arrive at his uncles building to find that by that, he meant 4 month old, slightly bigger than expected brindle female puppy.
Talk about false advertisement lmao. I almost didn't take her, but he came out of the apartment placed her on my shoulders so as to carry her very heavy frame and she began to lick me. I couldn't turn her down. I paid the man his money and headed out with Dwayne to a cab back home where I had already purchased her food bowls and her leash, choker (which I only used a handful of times) food, and a whole bunch of other miscellaneous dog stuff.
When grandma got home she was LIVID that I had gone behind her back to get a dog. Even threatened to have her taken away, a fight that she had previously won the first time uncle Rudy and I conspired together and found ourselves with a pet Pitbull. Lol
Uncle Rudy on the other hand was giving me a million Hi-5's in his head excited that we finally got what we always wanted, a pet dog! Even Grandma and Grandma grew to love Juno.

 I remember a few hours after you were born, I brought home one of your blankets from the hospital to give to her. It was so that she would become familiar with your scent and already be comfortable with you once we brought you home and she was definitely comfortable with you. All throughout your mommy's pregnancy Juno was by mommy's side making sure she was ok, and she continued to stand guard throughout all your days of infancy. She would be so protective of you and would be ready to check anyone who go too close without our consent. Not that you were ever in danger, but she didn't know that and she damn sure did her best to make sure you were safe.
Once you got a little older and could run and play she would love to play with you until you'd make her tired (which wasn't easy) at which point she'd go to her bed or go and hide from you somewhere. You two were great friends.

So naturally, it was quite possibly the hardest thing short of losing a human family member that I've ever had to do when it was time to walk her out of the house for the last time, knowing that she wouldn't be coming back with us.
We took her to the vet, no one spoke the whole car ride there, while there and the only thing to break the silence was the very loud cries of me and your uncle Rudy. It was terrible baby. But we knew it was something we had to do.

There's many days where my mind wanders and finds me thinking about her, missing her, hoping she is behaving herself in doggy heaven with all our loved ones. In fact, it's possible she left when she did in order to prepare for the biggest loss of my entire life!

But that's enough for one post. I'll break it down further next time.

Juno "Baby" Gutierrez
Dec. 18th, 2007 - July 7th, 2018 
Forever in our Hearts


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

First Day of School? (When did this Happen?)

Another late update on the blog Baby!!

Good Morning Zairah!

Daddy is at work, praying to God above, that by the time you're old enough to read tis I will have quit this job and opened up my own business.

Anyway! Today is Aug. 29th and the purpose of this post is to challenge me to hold back tears knowing that in 7 days, on September 5th, you'll be starting school! Wait a minute! What!?

When did I become the father of a 3 year old!? In fact if anyone were going by this blog alone, the days would have jumped from baby sleeping on daddy's chest to big girl a week away from her first day of school!
How foolish it was of me to feel that you would be my little baby forever. I see old pictures of you everyday, Zairah. And the little baby girl that daddy used to have to carry (although I still somehow have to carry you now) is now the big girl who speaks full sentences, requests her favorite songs to listen to when she gets to mommy or Daddy's car, and presses the buttons on the elevator. The little girl who amazes her parents everyday by speaking a new vocabulary word, leaving them to wonder "Where and How did she learn that word?" ...I guess I shouldn't be too hard on those kids videos you watch on your iPad all the time.
Zairah is now the big girl who doesn't wear diapers, sleeps all night in her underwear and sits and feeds herself! Seriously as I write this I am in amazement of how quickly time has passed me by. Holy Smokes! I'm the father of a 3 year old!
I can't believe that you will be starting school baby. Just yesterday I was watching you stand up on your own two feet to attempt to take your first steps. Just a day before that I saw your face for the first time.
How foolish it was of me to feel that you would be my little baby forever. Last month I stayed home with you for 3 weeks because Belkys was going to be in DR and mommy and daddy couldn't find any replacement childcare method for you. After exhausting every possible idea, Mommy and Daddy decided that daddy staying home with you would be the best choice given that daddy's job would allow such a thing. And as my proof that miracles do exists, daddy's job allowed such a thing. Lol. I don't regret any minute of it. You were a handful, but I can't see another time you and I will have the miracle of bonding the way we did for an extended period of time in the near future. A time much needed for father and daughter. I got to cook your food for you, I got to read to you, I got to take you to the park to run and play, I got to sit you down each morning and work on your letters and numbers with you. All the things that I wish I could do with you everyday while I'm at work I got to do with you. It was the most amazing time I've had in a very long time and I am grateful to all the things that transpired leading up to the decision(s) of me staying home with my baby! And it could not have happened at a better time. A little over month before your first day of School.

I have to admit, Zairah. I'm a extremely excited! But I'm also anxious to see how well you do on your first day, I don't want you to be nervous, I'm hoping you don't cry, I'm hoping you make friends, I'm hoping mommy and daddy can keep from crying. I'm hoping you're not shy, because I want you to show your teacher how brilliant you truly are baby! Please just don't tell anyone I let you listen to some Snoop Dogg in the car.... *looks away in pretend shame. Lol.
But seriously, I can't believe how time has flown by. However it is of no significance, because I'm gonna be by your side until my very last minute on this earth. I'm going to be the lighthouse of your life.

God Bless you Zairah, daddy loves you and is so proud of you.
I'll be with you on your first day of school, baby. And by the time we blink I'll be writing about your first day of college. But we won't rush the time.


Daddy Loves You

8:24am your belly button just fell off baby!!!! Exactly 6 days after your date of birth!!

You're 16 days old today baby! And getting a darker complexion every day!  

These passed 16 days have been amazing. You've had many visitors, and sometimes you even opened your eyes for them. Lol
You've made sleeping a challenge for mommy and daddy, "Please go to sleep Zairah" has become a regular part of our monologue! But even on our late nights with you testing out the capacity of your lungs and mommy and daddy dealing with blood shot eyes and wanting to cry themselves, we are so grateful! 
Last night you wouldn't go to sleep and I woke up to relieve mom from the night shift. There was nothing on but the TV and that was on mute. There was just enough glow coming from the TV to illuminate your beautiful face as you lied facedown on daddy's chest. (You love lying there) I swear for a few seconds while you weren't crying you looked me in my eyes. I o pay a large fortune just to know what you were thinking! I know what I was thinking: "Look at me, an ogre, and I made this beautiful little thing, does she know I'm her father? Does she love me? Does she feel safe with me? I hope she knows I'm here for her forever!! From her first steps, first words, first tooth to her first day of school, first heartbreak, first job etc!" 
I guess I can only imagine what thoughts went through your head. I can only hope they were similar to mine "Look at this Ogre" as you tugged on my beard with that ninja grip of yours. You wouldn't believe how strong you are baby! You easily push yourself up with your legs when you feel daddy is holding you too low, and the other day you even took the pacifier out of your mouth to say bye to daddy! 
Your smile makes me melt, and it's a reminder that pretty soon I'm gonna be emptying out my bank account spoiling you with everything I can think of. 
All in all I'm just writing to say how much I love you. How much I can't stand the fact I have to leave you and mommy behind to come to work, and how much I can't wait to get home to see you, hold you and give you kisses!! 
I'll see you in 8 hours sweetie. 
Daddy loves you. 


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Good Times (a story of bad parenting lol)

Hey Baby!!

So for 2/3’s of this year I’ve been working on what we’ll call an adult project. You know daddy is a photographer and he’s working on a project that will feature photos and videos. To accompany the video daddy put together a playlist. All the songs follow one particular subject which I’ll tell you all about someday when you’re older. Amongst the songs is an old favorite of mine called “Good Times” by Styles P (“The ghost” as you like to refer to him! Lol)

A couple of weeks ago while riding around in daddy’s car I had to take a break from your dreaded “Trolls” soundtrack. Much love to Justin Timberlake but it’s but so many times that an adult can listen to that sh.... stuff and not lose their minds. So I decided I would unintentionally expose you to more of my music and “Good Times” came on. It’s melody caught you, the lyrics stuck to your ribs as Talib Kweli would say. It became a favorite instantly. I knew you really liked it because when it was over you said “again” which is your patented stamp of approval! Immediately I said to myself. “Oh snap! This one may not end well!” Lmao. When you’re old enough I’ll explain why playing hat particular song isn’t ideal around a 3 year old. Lol. I mean I vowed from the moment I knew you were coming that I wouldn’t be the dad that rides around to a “wheels on the bus” kids bop mixtape. That’s for the birds! But also didn’t plan on going so far.

Anyway, the plot thickens. A couple days after we were hanging out with uncle Rudy, Buddy and Gallo. And we went for a drive. Uncle Buddy had new music to play for me and so he connected to the Bluetooth and proceeded to play me his new project. It was three songs. I was impressed with your ability to sit through two out of the three because once a song gets stuck in your head it’s the only one you can listen to for four months straight. So the first two played and after each was done you said to me “Dadda I like that one!” I told uncle Buddy “You got a hit!” And he was happy. Uncle Rudy and Gallo couldn’t believe that you were so in tune with music that you were going as far as rating what you heard. But the third song Uncle Buddy played didn’t get the same review. You screamed and said “DADDY I DON’T LIKE THAT ONE!” I have to admit I was a bit embarrassed and had to apologize to the car on your behalf for the outburst. Especially because I actually liked the song. Lol.

You had enough and you requested your new favorite song: “Dadda, I want to hear “High High High” and you sang it in the perfect melody. I thought to myself “Jesus Christ kid, I don’t need people knowing I’m teaching you this stuff!” Lol. Uncle Buddy looked at me and I could feel uncle Rudy and uncle Gallo looking at me. The car got quiet for about 25 seconds. And that’s a long time of awkward silence. So I said to you, “Zairah, you have to remember that when there are other people in the car you have to be fair and let them listen to what they want to listen to as well. The brat that you are, your response was “nooooo” and so I took a moment to give a disclaimer to all the other adults in the car. “Guys, I’m not the greatest parent there is. I let my child occasionally listen to the music I listen too. But it’s okay cause she doesn’t know what the lyrics mean. She just likes it for the melodies. Cause she’s 3! 3 year olds love melodies.” Lmfao. I don’t think anyone in the car was buying it but they understood. Lol.

I proceed to play “Good Times” a song that every adult in the car knows and loves. And so should start to sing along with it and uncle Rudy loses his mind. “Yo! I love this song!” And proceeds to watch you sing along! “I get High High High!” My embarrassment quickly turned into pride thinking to myself “I have the coolest daughter ever!” Lmao. Not that I’m promoting anything, just enjoying the fact that you enjoy what I enjoy. Something that I’ve waited all my life to have with someone special. To think I found it in my daughter. That’s a gift.

Fast forward to now and it’s the first song you request when you get in the car with me. I have to admit: it beats listening to Trolls for a hour straight.

This has been my doing since before you were born. I remember playing Bob Marley and Wu Tang on my phone and pressing it against your moms stomach so that you could hear it and enjoy. There was a time where “C.R.E.A.M” was the only thing that would stop you from crying. Sheesh! It amazes me how quickly time is flying. I realize that as you’re getting older you’re absorbing more and I have to be very cautious about what I play around you. Especially anything with profanity or adult content. This is sure to be a parent teacher meeting once school starts. But for now the world will just have to accept that this is my part of bad parenting. Lol. I love you baby and I love your taste in my music. It’s something that we will continues to share for as long as we are here together.

As of now, aside from the whole Trolls And Moana Soundtracks your favorite songs are as follows:

“C.R.E.A.M” by Wu Tang

“Nas is Like” by Nas
“Move that Dope” by Future Ft. Pharrell, Pusha T & Casino
“Bounce Back” by Big Sean
“24K Magic” by Bruno Mars
“Freedom” by Pharrell
And now
“Good Times” by Styles P

You’ve got quite the playlist. (Says with more pride than he should) and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Love you baby. Let’s keep jamming.


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

One Time for the Big 3!

Hey baby, it's been too long since I've updated this yet, but you're still working on your letter and so I think I have some time before you can actually read full length posts like these... But anyway, what you up to?

Here in 2018 I'm trying to wrap my head around the fact that I am the father of a 3 year old lol. (Isn't it great how as I'm writing this, it's as if you and I are traveling through time? Me to the future and you to the past!)
But yeah, You had your birthday party a little under a month ago and you had a blast. All of your cousins and friends and family were there to see you have a blast, going down big slides, zip lining and running around in an indoor play place your mom picked out.

Funny how things move, literally overnight you went from 2 to 3 and it was like someone hit a switch... The terrible 2's were over, or so it seemed for at least the first week or two! Lol. Can't call it new, but your thing now is crying for ANY and EVERYthing. It's literally the most annoying thing in the world. If you have to stand up for someone to put clothes on you, you cry. If you don't get to listen to your 'Trolls' soundtrack in the car, you cry. Basically if you're not getting your way in the slightest bit, you cry! Good lord. I mean, I guess it's something I should get used to for your teenage years huh? Daddy gets no breaks!
Aside from that, I can't believe how big you are. You seem as tall as the average 4 or 5 year old. You're probably gonna be tall. Even still, as tall as you are, you're not as tall as the Barbie Dream house that Santa Clause got you for Christmas! The plan was to show it to you and then bring it home from grandma's house and build it for you at home. However, you guessed it, You wanted it then and there and so you cried until I agreed to start building it there on the spot. I really hate to admit it, but you've got me wrapped around your finger. Speaking of Fingers, daddy is keeping his crossed waiting to hear whether or not he won any of two photography contests that he entered. Shhhh, let's keep that one between us. But if Daddy wins, you'll get to see him on TV! So let's keep our fingers crossed together.

I started looking into schools to enroll you in a few months ago. Some are super expensive but worth it, and I know because I went to them and other aren't as expensive and offer extensive art programs which is something I want you to have. You show great interests in the arts. You love to dance, you love to sing and you have about 3 coloring books that you color in like a maniac! You don't stay in the lines, in fact you barely stay on the page and I love it. I don't want you to be bound by the standards of society. You keep coloring however you see fit baby! Hell your coloring book looks like 40 pages of Picassos, you might even become a famous artist one day and sell that stuff for millions.

I don't know, I don't care what you do when you grow up as long as you do it with love.
You're finally getting better with being nicer to grandpa and grandma, because it's not something you were doing too good with previously. I'm happy that you're developing a deeper bond with them. You stayed there this passed weekend for a sleepover while Mommy and Daddy went out with Uncle Rudy and aunt Jessica, and when I called in the morning you were telling me about everything you had done the night before. By the time I came to pick you up grandpa was asking if you could stay just a little longer. Lol.

About 2 months ago, Mommy got us some tickets to go see Disney on Ice. Boy did you love it. Your face lit up when Moana and Maui came out and you even sang along so loud that everyone in our section looked at you! Lol. And I am freakin sick of Moana by the way. You've watched that and Trolls just a few times short of 500 at this point and I fear the day Netflix removes them. But, you're slowly weaning yourself off of those and re watching "A Nightmare Before Christmas" a bunch of times. Which I don't mind (yet.) You've already said that it's the theme you want for your next birthday party, which I think would be really cool. I may even go and get the Jack Skeleton tattoo that my tattoo shop offers every year around Friday the 13th.Somehow I can hear you saying "that's going a little too far" but whatever, you don't know cool like I know cool yet. Ha!

Anyway, 3 has been interesting so far. You're now in that "I don't want to eat anything" phase and when you do want to eat you want French fries or nuggets. I refuse to let you have McDonald's on my watch, but it seems Belkys has already ruined that meal plan lol. It's all good though. Enjoy it now because pretty soon I'll be making sure none of that junk makes it into your system.

Not much else to report baby. You're a brat, you cry too much, you're slowly learning how to be manipulative, but I know it's my job to guide you and see to it that you grow to be a great person and I'm gonna stop at nothing to see to it that it's what you become. For the record, even with those few complaints I wouldn't trade you for the Universe!

I love you Zairah!
Love Daddy.