Why Tattoos are Life

Tattoos have been around for centuries and getting a tattoo inspired by your children or your favorite book is nothing new… therefor it’s no surprise two of my tattoos are directly connected to my sons and Harry Potter.

As a guy who enjoys tattoos… I wanted to get some ink done to represent my first after he was born. I decide on a meaningful representation of father and son taken from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows [short story] “The Tale of the Three Brothers.”

The story’s moral is that you should live life for the right reasons: love and those you love. The youngest brother in the story youngest brother was a humble man asked for a thing that he could use to live a long and happy life. One in which he was allowed to see his child grow. He was given a cloak of invisibility. And thus because of this he attained a great age and passed The Cloak of Invisibility to his son. I was happy to get a tattoo representing a moment that every father dreams of… Passing down something (knowledge, skill, an invisibility cloak) to their child which will ensure he will live long, happy and successful live.

When I decided it was time to get a tattoo honoring my newest little man it was obvious it would be something related to his name, Oliver, and also had to have some connection to Harry Potter. The olive branch has a very symbolic meaning which made it the perfect choice both references. The Olive Branch symbolizes a beginning of a new life. In the Harry Potter story, Oliver Wood is the first Quidditch player we meet. He is the keeper and captain of the Gryffindor team. He’s an athlete, a leader and a loyal friend. He’s also and one of my favorite characters in the story.

My most recent tattoo is just as special to me as the other ones I’ve gotten that were dedicated to my sons. The first time I visited the Harry Potter theme park in Orlando, Stephanie and I were walking out after a long hot day and as we pass a shelf loaded with stuffed animals and other HP merchandise, Jax starts pointing and laughing uncontrollably. He was pointing at the blue Cornish Pixie hanging on the shelf… so of course we bought it for him. He still has it to this day… so I got his Pixie (that he calls Pickie) on my inner arm.

Here are my other Harry Potter inspired tattoos:

And a quote on my ribs dedicated to my sons: “If anything should happen to me, the love for my sons should never go unsaid.”

Do you have a tattoo inspired by your child(en) or of Harry Potter? Show them in the comments below!

Happy Birthday to an Amazing Mom

Anyone who’s read this blog before knows that I don’t take myself too seriously. I’m not an amazing wordsmith… I don’t have the lyrical prowess of Tupac or the ability to turn a a few stanzas of a poem into a Grammy winning hit like Boyz II Men, but I can, every once and a while write something that has some depth.

Today, I will take a stab at some more meaningful prose and take after the two aforementioned rap/R&B legends with a dedication to Jax and Ollie’s Mom (I’m sure it won’t be as perfectly written as “Dear Momma”, and there’s not a chance I could make it sound as nice as “A Song For Mamma,” but we’ll give it a shot anyway.

I really don’t know how to put into words exactly what a mom, especially this mom means to a family. No matter what, she has always shown… many times… the great love she has for her family. After all the difficult times her and I have made it through as parents, I know that it doesn’t matter to her what happens, she will stand by me and always be there–through the good and the bad to support these two beautiful little boys. She will help me guide them through life and hopefully we, together, can instill in them right from wrong and a sense of decency, respect, kindness and leadership that this world seems to be so desperately lacking.

Jackson and Oliver, your mother has always loved you so much from the very- very beginning. She couldn’t wait for either of you to make your first appearance in this world. “She had a bag packed for the hospital months in advance… and the clothes you’d both wear home from the hospital were purchased months in advance.  When given the opportunity to have you sleep in the nursery those first few nights at the hospital, she looked at those nurses like they had five heads… not a chance she was letting you go… not then and not now.

A mother’s love is is something that I can’t explain.  Being a parent… being a mom is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice.  This mom… she is giving, often putting her own needs on hold to make sure that her sons have everything they could ever need.

If you have ever attempted to have a conversation with a three year old you know what it’s like to feel frustration… jumping from subject to subject, trying to find the right vocabulary to express wants and needs… and more often than not just hearing two words over and over and over and over again… “NO” and “Why”.  Sometimes talking to a child is like talking to your dog… they look like they get what you are saying, but then two seconds later ask a question completely unrelated to the topic at hand… but something special happens when a mom listens to their child.  A mother understands what a child cannot say.  Jackson and Oliver are so incredibly lucky to have someone so in tune with who they are that she can completely understand them, even when they don’t even understand themselves.  It’s a gift… and it’s what makes Stephanie so amazing.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still bouts of frustration and anger and lots of sleepless nights… neither of us are perfect… and she won’t pretend she is, but when we look at our children, we both know that we got something in our life so perfectly right.  Happy birthday to an incredibly hard working, dedicated, (relatively) patient mother and one hell of a role model for our children.

Love,

Peter, Jackson, Oliver, Buster and Max

Eleven Months

What a great way to ring in the new year… with this little meatball hitting the eleven month marker. He’s happy as can be and is already a hit with the ladies. Go get ’em little guy!

  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Length: 29 inches
  • Crawling in hyper speed like a future track star
  • Eats everything in sight (ate three whole waffles and a full container of yogurt this morning for breakfast)
  • New foods: Loves- beef barley soup…Hates- nothing… literally will not turn anything away
  • Played in the snow for the first time
  • Waves hello
  • Gives kisses
  • Master of the zurbert
  • Loves, loves, LOVES his brother. Smiles and looks for him when ever he hears Jackson’s voice.
  • In love with his mommy. If mom is around and not holding him… tears begin flowing!

Happy Birthday Mom

  
Dear Mommy,

I wanted to write you a birthday card, but I realized after a few minutes that I can’t actually write yet. So I figured the best thing to do was to let dad translate for me and put it on his blog (since everything has to be about him anyway)… So here it is:

Mom, thank you for making me realize that I am very loved and that I’m worth everything. All the kisses and hugs in the world aren’t as great if they aren’t from you.  

Mom, thank you for giving me a shoulder to cry on when I bumped my head after spinning in circles, or fell down after trying to ride Buster, and especially after I wound up in the hospital after face planting on a cobblestone walkway. I always know I’m safe as long as I have you around.  

Mom, thank you for standing up for me when I may have done something stupid like throwing a ball at someone in music class, or getting in a “friends personal space at daycare.” You showed me that family always comes first and loyalty is an important virtue for everyone to exhibit.  

Mom, thank you for making sure I always chose the right sort of people to be friends with. Because of you I will always surround myself with respectable and responsible people through each and every phase of my life… (too bad the same can’t be said for dad. His friends are weirdos).

Mom, thank you for showing me it’s ok to be happy with who I am and that being yourself is the only person you should want to be in life. I have learned about love and humor and how to enjoy life because of you. I also have learned how to stand up to the things I am afraid of and that being afraid of those things in the first place is a normal part of life… As long as I face them and realize that in the end I’m stronger than anything that I might be scared of.  

But most importantly… Thank you for being my mommy, because as far as moms go… you’re the best.  

Happy Birthday!

Love,

Jackson

  
    
   

Mother’s Day Part II

   

Mom is one of words that you take for granted.  You say it so many times during your life that you can seemingly forget what it actually means. In my house it meant many things growing up.  In my house it means many things now. 

Growing up mom meant chef, chauffeur, bank and laundromat.  Still now mom means so much more though.  When there weren’t many people who would root for me my mom was my biggest fan. When I wasn’t sure which way to go my mom was my moral compass. When I wanted to take the easy way out my mom pushed me to be better than a quiter.  

She was and still continues to be the quintessential mom.  Which brings us to the new mom in my life… My wife. Who, although different, is just as amazing of a mom.  

People say stay at home moms have as tough a tough job too… and I don’t disagree… But try working 60 hours a week and being a mom… Not so easy!  

Jackson is pretty lucky.  Anyone who loves shoes and purses as much as Stephanie and would rather a gift for him than a pair of Tory Burch sandals for herself is one selfless mother.  

I remember years ago, before my grandma passed away… Before Steph and I even got engaged… Nan sat me down and asked my “intentions.”  She asked if I thought Steph was the “one”.  When I asked her why she wanted to know… She told me that she had a feeling Stephanie was going to be a great mother one day.  I asked her how she knew… She replied, “I just know.”

Ten years after nan passed away she still continues to be right! Thank you mom for raising me to be a successful (and amazingly talented and good looking) young man.  And thank you to Stephanie for doing the same for Jackson!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

 

(FYI: Steph still got the Tory Burch sandals!) 

 

Dear Mom: Happy Valentine’s Day

Dear Mom,

I wanted to write you a letter today, not just because its Valentine’s Day, but also because sometimes I’m so busy pooping, crying and eating that I don’t get to tell you how much I love you.  I’m not sure if you remember, but a long, long time ago I lived in your belly (PS: I’d advise against eating Taco Bell with the next baby!)  I liked it in there, but I really like it out here too.

Sometimes I feel bad because you work so hard and then have to come home and feed me and get me all ready for bed and you don’t even get to change, or shower, or eat dinner until 9:00.  I wanted to say thank you for that.  You always put yourself second when it comes to me.  You take care of me before you even think of taking care of yourself.  I am learning that it is important to consider other people’s feelings and put others first before yourself.

Being a mom must be really tiring.  Sometimes when I am laying in my crib I miss you so much that I try to get your attention by yelling and crying (I learned that from dad).  Even when you are tired, or sick you come and scoop me up and hug me and kiss me.  I love when you do that, because you give the best kisses and hugs.  When you do that I don’t know if you can hear what I’m trying to say to you… but I want to tell you I love you.  I wish you knew how much my heart swells up inside when I see you. I remember one time I was scared at night and you came in and just rubbed my back.  I felt safe and I never wanted you to leave.

I love when you help me crawl and teach me to walk.  I love when you help me eat and when you play with me.  I love when you make me laugh too; you’re really good at that!  But most of all I love that you are my mommy.  You take care of me and help me grow.  I wouldn’t any other person in the world to be my mom, because you are the perfect one for me!

I love you mommy.

Happy Valentine’s Day,

❤️ Jackson

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5.11.14. – Mother’s Day

momday

Happy mother’s day to the woman who put up w my crap for the beginning years of my life and now to the one who has to put up w the remaining years.

Jackson this has been a great day for me as a new dad. Watching you and mom on her 1st mom’s day has been an amazing thing. I loved watching you suck down that bottle as mom sucked down an Angry Orchard. I’m not sure who enjoyed their beverage more. But one thing is for sure… This is a mother’s day for the ages!