Monday, March 31, 2008

Focusing on Work at 2 am.

Alexa mentioned in her last post that I have a crazy work schedule. This is because last month I was promoted to a project management position for a career-oriented web service, which I have been part of since last year. It is truly a blessing to be recogized for my hard work and entrusted to manage a number of writers and many customer relationships. Plus, I'm having fun. No health benefits though.

This is the most important downside to working solo. If it wasn't for this, Alexa would probably be the primary stay-at-home parent. For now, it should be me, but it really isn't anymore. I have Gideon at home with me an average of one day a week now. He goes to his grandma's most of the other days. So, I miss father and son days every day. I think he misses it too.

Look, doesn't Gideon look like he's having fun in this picture?




So, it is almost 2 a.m. on Monday and my focus is not on what it should be - work. I took a good nap after church today, so I don't think I'm sleepy. I am just thinking of other things. You know, the kinds of things a dad and husband thinks of when you're wife is pregnant and you suddenly realize that your family is growing. The worries ... the fears ... the unknowns.

Then there's the audible ticking of the clock. Rhythmic, but getting louder by the minute. I look down to see the time on my laptop and I try to estimate how many hours of sleep I can get if I go to sleep right now. But, there is so much work that needs to be done and tomorrow is jam packed with things to do. I have to prepare a monthly report, finish up 5 customer projects and prepare myself to welcome 2 new members into my team ... this combined with all the managing and other stuff.

Ok, I need to refocus. Focus Alex! Focus!

I need to think of what gives me inspiration to work at 1am in the morning? Besides a large Dunkin Donuts coffee of course.

Maybe cold water in my face?

Too cold.

How about music.

May wake up the baby.

Umm... how about going out for a walk and looking at the stars.

Tempting, but the neighborhood is really dark at night ... too dark. I wouldn't go out there if you told me there was a million bucks for me on the ground. I'd wait till the morning light to get it. I can't see well at night at all ... blind as a bat. I'm not going to risk bumping into something or someone, you know, like ... I don't know ... Sasquatch or whatever, then be forced to run aimlessly as fast as I could as if a ravenous dog were chasing me. Not a pretty sight. Not at all.

Let me take a look around. There's got to be something to compel me to keep working. Well, there's the Save the Date wedding card from 2003 posted on my bulletin board. And, the famous picture of Gideon and I on the beach contemplating the future as we gaze onto the ocean. Here it is in case you don't remember.




I have my graduate and undergraduate degrees in front of me ... nah, that won't work. It'll just get me thinking about the college bills that I'll be paying for the rest of my life.

Ok, so there is a picture of Alexa and I in Boston over 6 years ago ... all I have to do is turn my head to the right to see it. Other pictures of Gideon surround me, one where he's reading a book, a Christmas picture and his passport photo. My original Roberto Clemente card which is encased in a plastic box was a gift from Alexa ... that's not far off.

Oh then, there's a picture of Alexa by herself with a black sky behind her ... one of the first photos I took of her when we were dating. She doesn't like it, but I do. To me it looks like she's floating... there's sort of an airy feeling, like the wind blowing through her hair.

Ok, I just realized one thing. I work from home, where I can physically see my wife and son everyday. Yet, my home office is full of pictures and mementos of Gideon and Alexa.

There you go. I've found my inspiration ... my family. Back to work!


15 minutes later ...

Nodding off. I'm thinking of my side of the bed. Cozy. Warm. Comfortable. Near Alexa. A few feet from Gideon.

Ok, change of plans. I'm going to bed. Good night.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Easter Re-Cap
I am heartily ashamed. I have no excuse. The Soto Update has been update-less now for many weeks. I blame it mainly on my exhaustion, and Alex's crazy work schedule. At the end of the day, no matter how many cute things Gideon has done, we are too tired to blog about them. Like today, Gideon pooped in the tub. Did I run and take pictures, so we could post them and write a humourous tale? Nope. I just shrieked in horror and let my mom handle the clean up.
Ok, so Easter. Easter was fun. I got to dress Gideon up like a little man, with little protest. Alex, on seeing how cute Gideon looked, ended up dressing just like him.

My two guys at church. Warning: Gideon looks less than thrilled in the majority of these photos.

Gideon roaming the halls at church. Doesn't he look like a troublemaker at an all-boys school?

After church, we ended up at our favorite breakfast place, the very low-key, down to earth Hogan's Restaurant Diner in Midland Park. We were met with lots of "oooohhh and aaaahhhs", since most of the waitstaff have known Gideon since he was 2 months old, and thought he was Mr. Adorable in his outfit.

Here is Mommy, with her super scary smile, and Gideon with his cookie and crayons.

Gideon, obviously tired of smiling.

Afterwards, we dropped off Alex at home (he still had to work) and drove to my mom's for the Big Easter Egg Hunt! We thought it might be slightly lame if it was only Gideon, so we invited two other kids that Gideon LOVES playing with.

This is the Before Picture. Before there are any eggs in the baskets. I told them to hold his hands so he wouldn't run off, but he obviously didn't enjoy being shackled.

Gideon didn't quite get the concept of finding eggs. I had to sing "clean up, clean up" to him, so he would know to pick them up and put them in his basket. He mostly preferred running around like a screaming banshee, or just sitting on the grass looking at dirt.

Inspecting dirt


Looking at fleck of dirt that got on his finger.

This is the AFTER picture, with the baskets full of eggs. As you can tell by Gideon's expression, he still doesn't know what is going on, and would like to continue looking at dirt.

Afterwards, Gideon went down for a nap, and Alex and I got busy cleaning the house. You have never seen such frenzied cleaning. The end result was an almost sparkling apartment, just in time to host our first ever Easter dinner. With both sets of parents present, and Gideon tearing into his first biscuit, we had a great time eating and telling jokes.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Feliz CumpleaƱos to My Husband

Today is Alex's 33rd birthday. Today, we are the same age. Two days ago, I was 2 days older than he was, and for those two days, I didn't hear the end of it. But today equals everything out. We are back to being the same age. Unfortunately, one of our pastors once told him to never let me forget that I was older. I won't mention names, but we call him Pastor Rich. So, Alex gleefully reminds me of our age difference between March 2nd and March 4th. Thanks, Pastor Rich :)

Happy Birthday Hunnie. You are truly my best friend and have been a rock to me this year. I love you so much, and I thank God that He put you in my life. We are going to experiencing many changes this coming year, and it really puts my heart at ease to know you will be by my side. Can you say two car seats? And late night feedings? Yikes.

Ok, I digress. You are a fantastic dad, and I am so thankful that you are able to stay home and spend time with your son. Watching you bring him to storytime is one of my favorite things ever. I know with the new baby coming, we will have to think of a new game plan, but for now, your stay-at-home status is secure.

Have I said that I love you yet? Te amo, te amo, te amo. Mi Amorsh.

Your very grateful and appreciative and loving wife,
(who yes, is 2 days older)
Alexa