Friday, December 12, 2008

Lessons from Dad: Gang Life...

Until the end of my 5th grade year I grew up Vienna, Virginia. It was a tough place to grow up, mainly because we had to stop our hockey games in the streets to let the soccer-moms in their mini vans to pass. I lived in a townhouse on Lafora Court. If I remember, I think ours was the fourth on the right.

I think I was about seven years old when Melissa moved in across the street. She was probably about nine at the time, and boy was I crazy about older women. Melissa wasn't exactly the best of girls. Looking back at it, she was probably a little brat. At one time I think I was planning on marrying the bratty older woman across the street.

Matt Norton lived on Towney View Court, only one court down from ours. I don't remember a whole lot about Matt (or Melissa, for that matter) other than he wore glasses, and has probably been in a few other "courts" since... just a hunch. Matt was a year older than me, and also a friend of Melissa.

We both tagged behind Melissa and tried our hardest to impress her. She really was the puppetmaster, and she loved every minute of it.

One day, I'm sure it was a summer day because we had a lot of daylight to get in trouble, we decided to start a gang. Melissa, of course, was to be the "president" of the gang. We weren't sure if gangs had presidents, or the general pecking orders of gangs. But either way, Melissa was the boss. Matt was second-in-command, because he was next oldest. I was the youngest, and it was decided that I had to earn my way into the gang; an initiation if you will.

I could not believe I was asked to be in a gang! Me... Tim... in a gang! I could see myself in the leather jacket from the get-go.

I don't remember what our gang name was. If it was up to Melissa (which I'm sure it was), I bet we were the "Teddybears"... or the "Ponies"... or "Melissa's Gang." Whatever it was, the name was fierce, and struck fear in our rival gang's hearts.

On that supposed summer day, we hiked through the "big field," by the "huge old tree," under the "scary bridge," and up a big wooded hill that overlooked a two-laned road. It was then that President Melissa and Second-In-Command Matt declared my initiation challenge. In order to be initiated into the gang, I had to stand on the hill, and through the trees, hit a car with a rock...

A rock throwing challenge? Are you kidding me? I invented rock throwing!

They gave me three chances... like I needed three shots, but it was a nice gesture. I knew they picked this challenge because they thought I would either wimp out, or if I decided to try it, I would fail miserably by hitting a tree or just plain missing a car.

I grabbed a rock that was roughly the size and weight of a golf ball. I saw a white Jeep SUV come around the corner from my left to right. President Melissa smirked and said something bratty like "Don't miss!"

She obviously had forgotten that I invented rock throwing.

I led the SUV with my aim, I reared back, and threw a frozen rope (baseball term) through the trees that landed square in the middle of the passenger side rear door...

I couldn't believe it. My eyes were huge. I stood there as a newly initiated gang member as I admired my shot. It was so perfect! It was then that I realized that the driver was standing out of his car and staring right at us.

President Melissa and Second-In-Command Matt immediately ran off. I was a wirey and fast little kid, and if something was chasing me, I think I was the fastest runner on earth. We all three ran towards an office building. I watched the President and Second-In-Command immediately climb two trees. Why did they climb a tree? I still have no idea...

I was too small to reach the branches, but that wasn't my style anyways. When you're small for your age, you get good at hiding. I ran under a car and spread flat on the asphalt parking lot.

I saw the man's feet trot by my car and over toward the two trees. The President and Second-In-Command didn't see where I hid, so they couldn't rat me out. The man grabbed them and threatened to call the cops unless they told him their addresses. I stayed under the car for at least a half an hour (thinking about how awesome of a throw that was) before I trotted home.

I caught up with Melissa and Matt the next day. I was told that I was out of the gang because they got in trouble...

Melissa moved away to some big apartment building nearby. I have no idea what happened to Matt Norton. I still laugh about the gang to this day.

There are two morals to this story...

1) If you join a gang, make sure you're faster and smarter than the other two members, and

2) Never challenge your dad to anything that involves throwing rocks at something... because he invented rock throwing!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Baird Family Portrait...

My Dad and little brother, Austin, were in from Texas for Thankgiving. We made sure we got in a couple good photos before they left...

A.D. contributed to Thanksgiving by cooking up a little "gravy" of his own...

And on a side note, these are some of the pictures you find on the card when you let a 13-year-old have the camera for a couple hours...

I'll send those last three to his first college girlfriend. I can't wait.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

12 hours later...

That day was pretty busy and after work I was in charge of picking up take-out for us, Tim's Dad and Austin, and Lee and Amanda. To say we had a house full that evening would be accurate. However, it was great to spend time with friends and family sitting around the table catching up. After everyone cleared out, I headed upstairs to change and get A.D. settled down for the evening. Tim quickly came upstairs also, and nervously sat down beside me.
"So, are you ok?" He asked.
I glanced over as I quickly changed A.D's diaper. "Yep. Are you?"
He ignored my question, "Is there anything you want to talk about?"
At this point he was beginning to freak me out, "No, but evidently there is something you would like to. Spill."
He went on to give me a recounting of his day. I busted out laughing. I couldn't stop. As you can imagine, Tim was squirming by this point and wanted an answer.
"You are looking at your answer," I said holding up A.D.
I had thrown the positive tests in the back of my medicine cabinet after finding out I was pregnant with A.D. and forgotten about them. On that morning, I decided to clean out the cabinet and didn't think a thing about throwing the tests away. Next time, I'll say something to Tim so I don't scare him so badly. One way or the other, it made for a great laugh and a good story. Guess you all will have to keep tuning in to see how much longer "a couple of years" will be.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Baird... to the Fourth???

Tiff and I have often talk about how many kids we would like to have. We never come up with a definite number, because it all depends on the sex of the kids... For example, if we have eleven boys, I think we might call it quits trying for a little girl after the twelfth boy.

We've also talked about how long we'd like to wait, preferably, before trying for another one. Usually the answer for that one is "around a couple years."

Not too long ago, Tiff headed in to work and I had A.D. for the day. I was up in the bathroom getting ready to take a shower when I glanced toward the little trashcan next to the toilet. The three (yes... three) pink "First Response" pregnancy test boxes that were jammed into the said trashcan immediately caught my eye.

Like any other husband would do, I opened the boxes to see the outcomes of the tests...

They were positive...

All of them.

I looked down at the two pink lines on the tests and couldn't think of anything. Tiff was at work, and I certainly wasn't going to call her and discuss this while she was working. It was only nine in the morning, and she didn't get off until six that evening.

I was a wreck.

Like I said, I'm not against having more kids. In fact, I'm excited for the day that I can watch my family grow (and maybe grow more after that). But at four months, A.D. would only be about a year old when the next would be due. (I'm sure I'm off there, but as much as I've tried to understand pregnancy math, I still don't understand it... They are lying when they say "nine months"). But Tiff isn't ready for it either.

I think Tiff's just now starting to really feel good after having A.D., but I would still be worried that it is a little too soon.

Now I had to wait another nine hours to see if our family is about to be Plus 1...

To Be Continued...