Monthly Archives: April 2013

A Convenient Poverty

Let me start off by saying that this is NOT what I was planning on posting about today. I have plenty of photos of my darling children and beautiful wife that are just waiting to be included in a new Photoblog! But that will come later. Instead, I want to process my thoughts… just a little bit.

What about?

Well, have you seen the news stories about Ben Affleck taking a poverty vow? Apparently, he’s teamed up with Live Below The Line in order to bring awareness to the plight of those who live in extreme poverty. This is all fine and dandy. I think bringing awareness to poverty and raising money toward the cause is fantastic.

My question is this…

While it’s great to have celebrities on board to help spread the word, how realistic is it for a celebrity (or any wealthy person) to truly understand those who suffer through extreme poverty when, after the 5 days are over, they know that they can and will return to a life of affluence? I truly believe that there is a different mentality involved when you don’t know where your next meal will come from today, tomorrow or next month. I think it’s easier to commit to eating very little (or even not at all) for 5 days when I know that when those days are over I’ll be able to have a hearty (and dare I say borderline gluttonous) meal.

This is no knock to Ben. I think it’s admirable. I just don’t see how the poverty vow can have any lasting impact on wealthy participants. It’s the mental and emotional exhaustion that I think is understandably absent from this 5-day challenge. I think your mind goes to a different place when you’re thinking, “I don’t know IF I’ll eat today”, as opposed to, “I don’t know WHAT I’ll eat today”. At the beginning of day one, I’d simply be thinking about how to get through the next 5 days, not the rest of my life.


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Spinning The ChocolatRouge

Childhood games… Freeze Tag. Hide and Seek. Ding, Dong Ditch’em. B-B Britches. I’ve played them all and I have fond memories of all the neighborhood friends and classmates who joined in. However, I can’t say that I remember playing Spin The Bottle a lot when I was younger. I’m not sure why. Maybe it just wasn’t popular among the crowd I hung out with. I know that it involved kissing the person at whom the bottle pointed. That could be both good and bad. But I think for some of the teenagers, kissing seemed… boring? lol

The game that was played most often at high school parties that I attended was Truth or Dare. These games were particularly interesting when those involved included people who secretly liked someone else in the group, or as an excuse for established couples to make out in public. There was the occasional dare that caused jealousy to rear it’s ugly head when a girl kissed (among other things) a guy who was another girl’s boyfriend or vice versa. But for the most part, it was all in good, albeit somewhat risque, fun.

A friend recently reminded me of the game of Spin The Bottle and it got me to wondering… I know how crazy my friends and I were as kids, but I wonder how different the game would be to play as an adult? Hmm… there goes that vivid imagination of mine (I mentioned to someone that it’s one of my super powers ). So last night, after all the kids were in bed, I downed the last remaining drops of this delicious bottle…

Since the bottle was now empty (which it should be if you’re going to use it), I was encouraged to spin it… and I did. When it finally stopped, it was pointing at the refrigerator. So, I looked inside and as one is obligated to do, kissed a strawberry. smooch

Have you ever played Spin The Bottle or any other kissing games?

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PHOTOBLOG: An August Debut

Well, you’ve heard the quick and dirty version of the birth story, so I won’t rehash that again. But they grow up so fast and I thought I’d share a few pictures of our dear August’s  life so far… all 7 days of it.

I love this shot of him peacefully sleeping in the hospital room. There’s something about these early days of sleep that seem so epically restful.


Of course, for the first couple of days there was more sleeping than anything else. Well, except eating. There was a ton of that, which was usually followed by being snuggled up with his gorgeous mama.


Here he is with my father, whom the grandkids affectionately call Papa Welch.


All the kids call my wife’s mother Ama because it was too hard to say “grandma” when they were younger. And it just stuck.


Of course, I am a proud poppa.


The wife, the complete brood, and the maternal grandparents.


First ride in a car seat. He looks so tiny!

An August announcement. I hung this outside our bay window after we brought him home. We have a lot of dog walkers and moms with baby stroller passing by and they all stop to read it. Even one of our neighbors came over with a present because they saw the banner!


My mom, Granny Welch.


My brother, Uncle Myke.


And no day would be completely without the healing properties of Mommy kisses.

Categories: family, personal, photos | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Struggle With Hugs

I’ll just come out and say it… I’m weird. Awkward. Maybe at times even a bit uncomfortable. To some, this isn’t news. Or maybe it is. Whatever the case may be, I’m confessing my struggle with hugging.
Hugs, you say?

Yes, hugs. Let me explain…

I love hugs. I do. I think they are perfect for expressing affection for those you love, appreciation for people who’ve done something wonderful for you, and even as a greeting for those you haven’t seen in quite a while.

The problem is that I’m painfully inconsistent. I may hug you on one day and not hug you the next. It has nothing to do with how I feel about you. I think it has more to do with over thinking the process. What I mean is this… I grew up thinking that guys don’t hug. For any reason.

Did you brake your leg? Head nod with a grunt.

Did you just have a fight with your girlfriend? Shake head while saying, “Dude.”

Did you just accomplish some major goal? Punch to the shoulder with a smile.

Now, with the exception of the common one-armed back pat with hands clasped between you, most guys I know don’t hug. So it’s not something I made a habit of doing. But this threw me WAY off later in life.

When I was younger, I had no problem hugging girls I dated or even my mom. My dad, on the other hand, was never a big hugger. Even now I think it surprises him when someone moves in for an embrace. But that’s not to say that my dad isn’t affectionate. We actually hug more now that I’m older.

Neverthless, with most friends and relatives, I probably confuse the heck out of them. Sometimes I’ll immediately go in for a hug. Other times I’ll wait for them to make the first move. And still at other times, there will be this awkward moment where neither one of us is certain if the other will offer a hug, so we’ll do this weird wobbling until we either hug or one of us moves away to end the stalemate.

I don’t know what causes me to do this. It’s not intentional. But I fear I’ve gotten to the point where my inconsistency is to be expected, and to all of a sudden start hugging people regularly would make things even more weird… or awkward… or confusing.

Who knows?

All I can say is, if you see me, give me a hug. I will never refuse them.

Categories: personal, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

August Love In April

On April 2nd, after 21 hours of labor and a quick dash to the hospital, my amazing wife bypassed all paperwork, walked into an unusually empty maternity ward at around 3:45am, and had a full staff of nurses at her disposal.

By the time they got her into bed, she was already fully dilated and her water broke. The staff at Torrance Memorial sprang into action… 4 nurses and one awesome Doctor Rodriguez made quick work of transforming the labor room into a delivery room in less than 2 minutes.

With her mother rubbing her arm, and her fabulous doula reassuringly holding her hand, one contraction and two pushes was all it took for little August Elijah to make his appearance in the world!

“So happy to finally meet you!”

No matter how many times I bear witness, it never ceases to be a miracle before my eyes.

“Do you realize it’s 4am??”

Born on 04/02 at 4:02am. 8lbs, 2oz and 19.75 inches long… and we’re done!

“Don’t worry. I got this.”

Categories: family, personal, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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