Archive for the ‘Family’ Category


As some of you know, I do magic, and Nariah has taken an interest in it to a point of even going to a couple of summer magic camps. I’ve been teaching her some tricks here and there and she’s actually has been coming up with her own tricks.

My parents are up for the weekend and Nariah was showing my mom a trick she had come up with. I wasn’t paying attention but I overheard my mom going “Oh my goodness, that was awesome! how did you do that?
I honestly wasn’t thinking anything of it, that maybe my mom was just being encouraging or something.
Nariah then comes beside me and shows my dad and I’m watching and she actually fooled my dad. He’s all wide eyed going “Whoaaaaaah…. wait… how did you do that???
As I didn’t teach her this trick, I’m actually impressed with her presentation. “Nariah, you’re getting really good baby! Now you need to come up with your magician name.
My what?
Your magician name. You know, what you’re gonna call yourself… hmmmm like the great cupcaketini or something like that.
Why can’t I just be ‘Ryan Goldman’s Daughter’?

Awwww I’m touched….

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As we leave the house for summer camp one morning, Nariah asks can we take her American Girl doll to Maliyah’s house that evening as she’s going over there after camp to stay until Toya gets home from work. I have tickets to the advance screening of the Lone Ranger, but its in Tysons Corner and the “rules” say be there by 7, so I would have to leave prior to Toya making it home. Those familiar with DC metro traffic will know that from Germantown to Tysons in rush hour is not a good idea.
Sure thing baby, matter of fact… I’ll get Emily and put her in the car so we’ll already have her when I pick you up and we won’t even have to go home first!
Yeah daddy!!! Thanks!!!

Flash forward…
Literally sitting in traffic with co-worker Lamont (going to the movie also), on the way to pick up Nariah (which is about 30 mins in the opposite direction of the movies during rush hour) and it is not moving at all. We have to be at daycare by 6pm and it is not looking good. Kim, (Maliyah’s mom), calls me around 5:45 “Hey Ryan… just letting you know, I’m home now so you can drop Nariah off whenever!
Oh ok cool, but we’re still far away and traffic’s not moving…
Well, did you want me to go pick up Nariah? I’m just down the street
Hmmm… that actually might work! I think you’re still on the list. I’ll still head that way just in case but I’ll try to call and verify

So we’re now we’re driving towards the camp and slowing down by each exit in case Kim calls and gives the green like for us to make our U-turn exit. We finally get the “OK, got her” confirmation and proceed for the next exit. I ask to talk to Nariah to apologize for not being there and to wish her lots of fun with Maliyah. And this is where it began. I don’t have the audio to give you, but if you know Nariah, please imagine full on sad face poutiness in a voice that would make you give her that last piece of bacon off your sandwich.

Daddy??? I don’t have my American Girl doll…
I know baby, I’m so sorry, I’m stuck in traffic and Ms Kim was able to help and pick you up for me. You will be ok right?
But daddy, we were going to have an American Girl party…
I know baby, I can make it up to you, I promise!
Can’t you just still come? We can wait for you here….” (voice starts to crack at this point)
Baby, we turned around and headed to VA right now, remember I’m going to the movies? I’m in traffic on the other side now
But daddy…. what if Ms Kim takes us to the movies and then you bring it outside to us?
Nariah, that’s a good idea but we’re not at a movie theater close to home. I’ll tell you what, what if I pick you up early tomorrow, and we go to Walmart and you can pick out whatever toy you want?!?!
Nariah whimpers… “Please can we come get Emily? I really want her
I know Nariah… I feel really bad. What about Target? we can go there??

At this point Lamont says “man down man down!“, and takes the phone from me to try to help the situation. I don’t know exactly what was said by Nariah, but he gave me the phone back looking defeated…
Playing this all back, Lamont gave me his version of what he saw. It was a boxing match, and Nariah had me on the ropes, and was beating me down. Body blow, upper cut, cross! He wanted to throw in the towel, but said I gave a look like “don’t do it coach!“. What he described as what happened next was that it was like the last 5 seconds of the final boxing round, I have no chance of winning the match, Nariah is still beating me down on the ropes, and then out of nowhere I pulled out the victory punch.

Oooooh Nariah… I just thought of something… The mall that we are going to for the movies, that’s where the American Girl store is. What if I run down there, and buy you a new outfit and some accessories for Emily?
You could hear the whole scenery change at Nariah’s location thru the phone. You could hear the sun coming out, the birds started chirping, babies were giggling in the background. I could tell by the voice that Nariah was smiling and what ever tears she had, they were not there anymore!
Really daddy!?!?!!?!?!!? You can do that?!?!?!!?
I looked at Lamont, and mouthed with a sigh of relief “WHEW!!!
Yes baby, I can do that, would that help make you feel better?
Yes daddy
Ok, so I’ll call Ms Kim’s phone when I get there and I can describe to you the outfits and you tell me which ones you like ok?
Ok daddy, thank you daddy!!! Do you want to talk back to Ms Kim now?
Sure baby… I love you!
I love you too daddy! You’re still the best daddy ever!

Kim comes on the phone and snickers “Soooooooo, how much did this doghouse set you back? hahaha
When I got off the phone, Lamont says “Man… you got out of that one! I’m impressed! I thought you were out for the count! She had you on the ropes!
Who you telling? I thought I was done too. I don’t think I could’ve gone home tonight if I hadn’t come up with that idea!

Kids… They make this all worth it! Find joy in the many ways to make your children smile…  Knowing that the morning will be like Christmas morning to her when she sees what I got for her on the breakfast table will definitely mend the guilt.


I know it’s been a minute since I’ve posted anything. And no, Nariah hasn’t stopped with her humorous ways. I’ve just been slacking. I’m trying to get back on the ball.
We went to the playground today, and Nariah ends up meeting and playing with a couple of girls, one of whom is a couple of years younger. They are playing with a baby doll the other girl brought with her when all of a sudden she looks at Nariah’s face and says, “Wow… why are you teeth so big!!?!?!?!?
As a parent overhearing this you wonder if your child is about to get their feelings hurt, start crying or any of the other possibilities. Silly me… I forgot who I was talking about, this is Nariah. She, in a almost “duh…” type response, replies “Well… my teeth fell out….
Now the other girl is even more shocked. “Your teeth fell out?!?!?!  What the what?!?!!“.  Ok, so maybe “what the what” wasn’t said, but my mind surely did insert that into what seemed like the next logical thing out of this kids mouth was, given the conversation.
Yeah, I’ve lost 4 teeth, and I have 3 loose ones right now…“. Nariah then started giving this girl history of her teeth, from the fateful day when a wagon broke her first tooth at daycare to how she gets Tinkerbell instead of the Toothfairy to deliver her teeth money.

Toya and I just sit on the swings chuckling as we witness what started out as an potentially sensitive topic become a campfire storytelling session.
What’dya know? Crisis adverted.

big teeth paci


Unfortunately, Nariah has fallen victim just like kids around the country to the recent trend of illness. Everybody all over the country is getting sick right now. Going through the trials of being worrisome parents in not knowing if its the flu, strep, this, that, or the other one over there, you notice the progression in life. As infants, you just have a crying baby, and have no clue what is wrong. You try any and everything. Then you get to the stage where they can talk and tell you what’s hurting, and you think this is the most wonderful thing in life that now you “know”. That then rolls into EVERYTHING being a stomach ache. Is it something they ate? They don’t want to go to school? Do they really know the difference between aches and pain? All in all, nothing pains you more than seeing your child suffering and not knowing what you can do to help him or her. Nonetheless, there always seems to be a silver lining to be found.

Toya and I have been tag-teaming home duty and today she took Nariah in to the Dr’s since her fever made a return late last night. I just received this email from Toya’s blackberry, and while it doesn’t give out “information”, this is pretty much one of the best forms of assurance I’ve received as a parent from a 5 year old child that things are “OK”. (copied as sent) :

Dear.   Dadddy.    The.     Apontmamt.       Is.  Over.  We’re heading out.  Love.          Nariah 🙂

Love that girl!

http://bookwormsreadmorebooks.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/sick.jpg


We’re sitting at the dinner table on Christmas day. Somehow the subject came up about Ledo Pizza. I mentioned “Man… Mommy and I do not like Ledo’s! But it seems everybody in MD loves them for some reason!
My mom asks, “What’s wrong with Ledo’s?
Well, I think its just not good, that’s all. I mean, they only give you one pepperoni per slice of pizza, and its like a pepperoni cup, filled with grease, lol
Eewww daddy!
I mean, the last time I was there, I didn’t even get pizza, I got lasagna… And they served it to me in a bowl!
Toya looks up from her plate; “A bowl? come on now Ryan…
I’m serious! It was in a bowl, and it looked like soup, there was a layer of grease sitting on top of it. I literally soaked the top of the lasagna bowl up with some napkins… Hmmm, does that make me bourgeois bougie?” (I know “bourgeois” is the right spelling, but “bougie” just looks and flows better)
Toya contemplates; “Uhhhhh
And then Nariah chimes in; “No daddy, that doesn’t make you bougie!
It doesn’t? Why thank you Nariah!
It makes you particular!

Now the whole table is laughing at me. I think even Toryn was laughing too. And the whole time Nariah has this look that said “That was good wasn’t it daddy? Come on… give me some credit!

Hmph!


Its Sunday afternoon. We’re leaving the indoor pool from Toryn’s make-up swimming lessons. Normally after lessons during the week, Nariah goes to Subway for dinner. She asks can we do Subway for lunch. Toya replies “Subway is for people who actually get IN the water, did you get in the water?
No… but can we still get it? I’m hungry.
Toryn can get Subway, but I don’t think he wants any, so we’re gonna eat at home.
Please, I would really like some Subway.
Daddy bought a lot of groceries last night, we’re gonna eat at home.
That’s right, I spent $228 dollars last night at Giant, we have plenty of food to eat at home.
There’s about a 4 second moment of silence in the back seat, but you can hear the gears turning in her brain.

I was gonna suggest that you use mommy’s money to get Subway…

This girl gets her manipulation on!


I know most parents brag about their kids. Its only natural right? Sometimes the bragging can be an over the top “my kid is better than your kid” type, sometimes it can be the “proud parent” type, and sometimes it can just simply be “sheer amazement”.

Nariah is my first child. Things as simple as when they say “excuse me” or tell their first joke feels like a big deal because it’s your first child. Now there comes a point where you get those “come on now, is this for real?” moments and that’s what this is, at least for me and my wife it is. We’ve just had a parent teacher conference with Nariah’s kindergarten teacher. She’s reading exceptionally well and is pretty good at writing. Although the teacher mentioned Nariah would write the bare minimum when it came to sentences because she wants to be finished quickly and move on. If the exercise was for the students to write what they did this past weekend, Nariah would write something like “I went home. I had fun.” and leave it at that. Nothing along the lines of variance. The teacher was trying to get Nariah to get more creative with her sentences. Now this conference happened 3 days before this “sheer amazement” moment.

We’re visiting my grandparents in NC, and everyone is kind of doing their own thing. Nariah asks her granddad for some paper and something to write with. Over the course of the next few minutes I walk by and see her kneeling on the floor writing and drawing intently. “What are you doing baby?
I’m writing a story and illustrating it too! I’m going to read it to you guys
Oh ok, cool!

Now at this point my “Oh ok” was really expecting a simple “See spot… See spot run” type story. Oh, was I ever wrong. With Nariah’s permission she has given me the rights to share her work. This is a book she wrote all by herself with out any help. She did a pretty good job phonetically spelling a lot of words. Aside from her needing to “slow down” a little and finish out the words we know she knows already, this was awesome in my opinion. The concept of this story alone is a far cry from the 3 word sentences we had just heard about. I’ve added captions showing what she says on each page underneath each picture from when she read it to us for the first time. Click on the first picture to open up the gallery.

Nariah says… #76

Posted: April 24, 2012 in Comedy, Family, Love, Nariah
Tags:

Some of you may have heard Nariah and I were in a car accident this past Friday. We are ok, as I am here typing this blog. I’m suffering a bit of pain and going through PT, but by grace of God Nariah wasn’t injured. Instead of focusing on the frightening aspects of the accident, I wanted to share a lighter moment of the day which further solidifies how wonderful I think my daughter is.

I have just been transported to the examination room in the ER via ambulance. Toya had arrived at the scene and brought the family to meet me there. As we’re sitting in the room and the Dr is checking my spleen and other organs I may or may not have known I have for damages, Nariah is over to the side looking fearful and concerned as ever. Shortly, the Dr leaves to fill out the prescription info.

Nariah comes over to me. “Daddy… are you ok? I don’t want anything to happen to you
I’m going to be ok baby, I’ll be up in no time to chase you around the house ok?
Well, daddy…, you might want to get another Dr, or have her look at you some more.
Why’s that?
Look at your leg daddy, I think the accident made one of  your legs shorter than the other, they need to fix that or you’re gonna be walking funny. We need to tell the Dr when she comes back!

I laughed but then had to stop because it hurt my side to laugh. She definitely has my good intentions in mind! To make me feel better later on that evening, she dumped some strawberry applesauce into a tupperware bowl and brought that with a small box of nerds candy to my bed to help me feel better and read me 2 bedtime stories. Now I definitely have to make I get this leg straightened out!

 

Nariah at the office

Posted: March 13, 2012 in Family, Nariah

Never written a blog from another person’s perspective, I think I’m going to bend the rules a little bit for my first time. Nariah spent the latter part of the day Friday with Toya at work. Yesterday (Monday) Toya sent me an email on what she found at work. Here’s the email, copied and pasted like the champion blogger that I am. ;o)

When Nariah came to my office on Friday she loved writing in one of my notebooks with my highlighter markers – mostly the pink one though. She wrote on several pages and then ripped them out and had a field day with my stapler.

I looked at the pages today and here’s what they said:
I love my mom
I love my dad
I love Toryn
My family rocks

She had asked me how to spell “rocks” but I didn’t know what she was writing. She wrote these sentences on a couple of sheets each.

When we got ready to leave, she asked me how to spell “gone”. Then she wrote – “NaToya and Nariah are gone” – on the white board/door. She said she had to write it so people would know that we weren’t here.

She is awesome!

Nariah on “Family”

Posted: March 2, 2012 in Family, Nariah

My Aunt Mary passed away this past Wednesday evening. Actually she’s my Great Aunt, but never really considered it as actually being an “extended” Aunt, she was my Aunt Mary, the special aunt who let us eat ice cream when we came to visit, spoiling our dinner at grandmas. What has been helpful in times of mourning is actually remembering and reliving all the great memories.

I remember when I was a young always having the one dreadful feeling from when you knew you were going to be around extended family. All of the “He’s sooooo cute!”, “Look at his fat cheeks, I just want to pinch them!”, and “Come here and give (insert family member name here) a hug and a kiss” experiences may have indeed been a negligible portion of time in any given visit, but to a child, they can seem like eternity.

As a parent, I’ve always wondered what it would look like to view this experience from a different angle. So far I haven’t really been able to view my experiences in Nariah as it seems she just loves anything that has to do with family. In talking with my parents that night after hearing the news of my Aunt, they shared with me a story and picture that I was previously unaware of.

This past Thanksgiving was at my parents house and a few of our extended family members were there; including Aunt Mary. After much of the day had passed, Nariah asked “Why does everyone keep calling her Aunt Mary???
Toya replies “Well… because she’s your Aunt Mary.
She’s my Aunt Mary?
And like an excited little kid who just found a new toy, she goes over to Aunt Mary and climbs on her lap. To her, she has just discovered a new treasure, another family member. Its actually pretty heartwarming to see her so excited to learn and discover about her family members outside of our household.

Even though this picture is blurry, the cross generational bonding warms my heart.
We love you Aunt Mary… Rest In Peace… and tell Uncle Garrette when you see him; “If they don’t get you on the popcorn… they’ll get you on the peanuts