Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Nariah says… #76

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

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

As I’m sure any of you with kids know, at some point in the day, you’re going to ask your child how their day at school was. This conversation happened between Toya and Nariah. I will do my best to give the best visual description of the motions you are about to read about, but sometimes, I think the only way to capture everything in this household is to go fully live like the Truman Show.

Mommy, ‘M’ said something to me today that I didn’t like
She did? What happened baby?
Well she was playing with my braids and she said she was gonna do my hair.
Oh you let her play in your hair?
Yeah, she was being a hairdresser. She said that my braids weren’t done right and that she needed to take them out to fix them
What did you say?
I just said ‘No thank you’. I didn’t say what I wanted to say though because I didn’t want the teachers to hear me and I get in trouble
Wow Nariah, you were going to say something bad?
Nariah begins the “neck” motion (I know everyone knows the “neck” motion) and rolls her eyes : “Mommy, what I wanted to say was ‘It’s not wrong, cuz that’s how my MAMA do it!

After my series of laughter, I try to think about the situation. Am I liking the fact that she has the mindset to stick up for herself or am I liking the fact that she actually thought about the repercussions and took the high road as a better option?

(I voted to let her know that I didn’t think she would get in trouble for saying what she wanted to say this go around)

photo used courtesy of

Its dinner time and spaghetti is the decided dish on the menu.
Daddy, since mommy’s not here yet, I can be your helper in the kitchen!
Awesome! I’ll go ahead and brown the beef, you start up the salads, you can do whatever you want with them, you’re in charge!
I get out one of those English cukes so show Nariah how to cut them up in fairly small slices (the first 3-4 were on point… but the last 7-8 were huge meatball sized chunks looking like deformed parallelograms, which of course I told her were just “perfect”, hilarious). I finish browning, seasoning, and draining the meat and proceed to add the sauce to the pot. I check on Nariah and she has cheese all over the floor and her clothes, bacon bits all over the counter, and is about to crumble up some crackers for homemade croutons. She is just smiling as a happy little camper can be. Of course the first thought that pops in my head is “what in the world?!?!? what is she doing?!?!??”. But that thought is quickly taken away by how much joy she is showing in helping out.
Daddy, I think we need some garlic bread too!”
Ooh, you’re right, I forgot about that, let me get it now!

Nariah turns back around to finish her salad and I head to the stove behind her, turn on the oven and then look in the freezer for some Texas Toast.
Ow!!!! Ow!!!! Daddy stop! you’re burning me!!!
I jump away from the freezer, “What’s wrong boo? What are you talking about? I’m not touching you.
Daddy, yes you did, you burned me on my back!
As I look on her back, she has a big blotch of spaghetti sauce. Now she is a good 5 feet from the stove, so I’m looking around confused. I look to the floor, spaghetti sauce… I look at my pants and socks, spaghetti sauce…. I look to the stove, and its like a scene from a movie. The pot is alive and angry; its spitting out sauce everywhere! I never turned down the burner to low from when I browned the beef (oops). Now its boiling in a mad rage so much that I can’t even reach over the top to turn it down. There is sauce all over the side counters, on top of the spices, inside the sugar canister that I had just opened, and even under the microwave vent.
Ow… Ow…. Ooooh….. Ow!! Man… This sauce is hot! I’m so sorry Nariah, I see what you mean!

As I’m dancing around the stove dodging the flying sauce, Nariah is just beside herself trying not to fall out the chair laughing at me. “Get it daddy! Hee hee. Watch out!!!  Oooooh, that’s a big splash!  Hahaha. Whew boy… you’re gonna get it when mommy gets home, this is a mess!

Finally, lid on the pot and removed from burner to cool down. I step back and look at the mess. Then all of a sudden I hear : “Oooooooooooooooooooooooh, you got it on the ceiling too!
I look up and sure enough, there is spaghetti all over the ceiling! And I mean all over the ceiling. I’m sorry I don’t have a picture to share as I was indeed trying to clean that up before Toya got home. All the while I’m cleaning up, Nariah is shaking her head and muttering, “I can’t believe you got it on the ceiling…. that’s crazy daddy!

But alas, we’re not done yet. I have the water boiling for the noodles and I pick up this jumbo sized bottle of olive oil to add to the water before putting in the noodles. Why does the top decide to break off. Luckily it was a plastic bottle which saved it from breaking, however… the unlucky part was that because it was a plastic bottle, the landing caused the oil to erupt like a volcano. And yes… again… we have a mess on the ceiling! And this time, the cabinet doors and the side of the fridge were victims too. Rivers of olive oil are now dripping from the ceiling and cabinets.
Snicker snicker…. hahahahahahahah…. I’ll help you daddy! I’ll get the towels!

The most awesome part about all of this, was the ability to not get mad at everything going haywire and to just enjoy the mess with my little helper as she thought everything was just hilarious! Which indeed it was. Seeing Nariah’s face as she told Toya about our ordeal over dinner made it all worthwhile.


Another short and sweet Nariah moment.

On a day like any other, I’m off to pick up Nariah from daycare. She’s sitting at the table when I arrive and doesn’t do the usual “Dadddddddddy!” while running into your body part where a 4 year old head would hit if she were to run into you full speed. Instead, she calmly walks over with this picture in hand and hands it to me.

Here Daddy! I made this for you!
Thanks baby! Its beautiful! What did you make this time?
Its a heart daddy! When you stayed overnight at the hospital with mommy when Toryn was born, you both looked like you needed a present. So I made this for you. I made one for mommy too!

And she just stands there looking at me, not smiling, but with that look of “I love you daddy” look. I can’t really describe the feeling that overcame me when I gave her a hug and told her thank you. The feeling in that hug she gave me back was definitely something else. People always ask me, when kids are running around screaming, the prices of daycare inflates, the attitudes, the talkbacks, the long nights of zero sleep, and the lack of parental privacy if having kids worth the trouble. Little moments like this more than make it all worthwhile.

Nariah says… #54

Posted: September 13, 2011 in Comedy, Family, Nariah

We let Nariah feed Toryn a bottle since she had been wanting to help out. She was just too thrilled to be giving him a bottle. I sat down beside her to help hold Toryn and after about 2 or 3 minutes, she says, “Look daddy, look how’s he’s looking at me! It looks like he’s saying ‘Who’s this giving me all this delicious drink!?!?! Mmm mmm mmm!‘”

Nariah says… #38

Posted: June 5, 2011 in Comedy, Family, Nariah

I don’t know if this is more cute or more funny, its definitely both!

Toya was taking a large bag of toilet tissues upstairs and Nariah was walking in front of her.
Mommy, you’re carrying a lot of stuff and your hands are full. I can help you. I know your belly is really heavy, so I’ll hold up your belly for you while you walk ok?
As she proceeded to walk backwards up the stairs for the last few steps she says, “I’m really good at walking backwards, so you don’t have to worry about me. I can hold your belly AND walk backwards at the same time

I hope she helps to change poopie diapers when the baby gets here!

Nariah saw some brownies in Cici’s pizza the other day and told mommy, “Daddy doesn’t like chocolate… I know, how bout we make daddy some vanilla brownies!!!!??!?!?!

Well, since she came up with the banana cobbler and that was good, why not make some vanilla brownies? Keep in mind these are not to be confused with blondies which are made with white chocolate chips, I actually found vanilla chips. (I’ll have to get that banana cobbler recipe up here too one day)


1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 bag (10 oz) white vanilla baking chips (1 2/3 cups)
1 1/4 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts (i used pecans)
1-2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla (or about a shot of NaVaN if this is for adults)
2 tablespoons warm water or milk

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour 13×9-inch pan. In 2-quart saucepan, heat butter and baking chips over low heat, stirring frequently, just until melted. (Mixture may appear curdled.) Remove from heat; cool.

2. Stir in remaining brownie ingredients until well blended. Spread evenly in pan.

3. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely.

4. In medium bowl, mix all glaze ingredients until smooth and spreadable. Spread glaze over brownies. For brownies, cut into 8 rows by 4 rows.

****I have since found cinnamon, caramel and cherry baking chips at walmart and so far have made “Rubies” with the cherry chips and I must say…. OMG! The particular ones I found were of the Log House Brand (<— go ahead click it… looks so good) and we baked them the same way just used the cherry chips instead. The other chips will definitely get their trials soon! Pics have been added to the slideshow below.****

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Daddy on “Birthdays”

Posted: May 27, 2011 in Family, Fatherhood, Nariah

Birthdays and Father’s Day. Two days of the year you can expect gifts from your child(ren). In my experience, the saying “Its the thought that counts” doesn’t hit home more so than when your daughter gives you something and then gives you instructions for it’s use.

Nariah made me a necklace for my birthday. She said it was a very special necklace and she made it for my birthday because I was the “best daddy in the whole world”. As she gives me the necklace while I’m picking her up at school the day prior, she informs me of each bead that is on it and asks me to put it on.
Now daddy, I want you to wear this on your birthday ok? Wear it to work tomorrow so all of your co-workers can see it. Don’t worry if they make fun of you, you can just tell them that I made it especially for your birthday ok?

That statement alone makes me want to wear it for much longer than just my birthday!