Archive for hermdawg

Natasha’s Visit

As you know from my last post I have recently had the opportunity to reconnect with my daughter.  I am happy to report that she came to visit this weekend and it was a very special time.  I had no idea how happy this would make me, but it was a wonderful thing to be able to look across the room and see her sitting there.  I was even sneaking in pictures just to prove to myself later that it really did happen.

We tried to make it as relaxed as possible and not ask to many questions, so we did our best to stay busy with cooking and movie watching.  I did find myself prying a little too much so I had to remember that [as she had already told me] if Natasha had a question she would ask it.  We also had the chance to take pictures for our Christmas cards.  Haven’t decided on which one to use but we got a couple good ones and some that maybe should be deleted, but they are too funny!

We are already looking forward to her next visit and we are really happy to know that Spencer has a sister that loves him as much as we do!

My Daughter

Brief update, but had to share! This past week, something wonderful happened. Something that I have been looking forward to and kind of expecting for awhile. My daughter reached out to me and wants to visit. She saw on one of the social media websites that she has a  we brother and wants to visit and be in his life. My wife and I were wondering how this was going to work out and be received by her, so for her to reach out and want this has been a pleasant surprise. They have been exchanging email and getting to know each other, which has also been a pleasant surprise. She had reached out to me before and we had exchanged messages, but I had been trying to give her some space and did not want to push anything. I have always thought that the day would come when we could have an actual relationship. At this point in her life it may not be the typical father/daughter relationship, but for me anything is better than nothing and I think this will be very good for Spencer. Well hopefully for my next post I will have pictures to share!

First Road Trip

The fourth of July holiday week has come and gone and that marks the successful completion of our first road trip with Spencer. We went to Maine to visit family and 600 miles is a long ways for a child’s first trip, but I must say it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. It is normally a 10 hour ride with a couple of stops thrown in. With the kid it only took 12 hours. He did get a bit fussy on the way up towards the end, but we only had to make 3 more stops than we usually do.  They were a little longer so that we could feed and change him, but he seemed to enjoy looking around during each stop. Once we got to Maine everybody was super excited to meet him and with all the attention he was getting he handled it pretty well.


On the way back we stopped to give him dinner at a truck stop. Would not have thought it would go so well, but again he surprised us and handled it like a champ.


The other part of the adventure was trailering the motorcycles. I got a three rail trailer from USA Trailer Store and I must say it handled really well. I still need some practice at driving (mainly backing up, got two dimples in my truck bumper now) with a trailer and tying down the bikes, but really can’t complain about the trailer.


Oh and the best part is, it stands up in the garage out of the way!


I did manage to bend the two outside rails so I need to pull them off and straighten them. All in all I think it was a success and looking forward to next year when Spencer will be a little more aware and inquisitive.


Little advice for all the parents out there, don’t let your babies get dehydrated. It sneaks up on you really quick and needs to be addressed as soon as possible. It just happened to us and it was a pretty scary experience. We ended up in the emergency room and Spencer had to be admitted for IV’s and monitoring. We are coming out of it now and he seems to be back to his happy self, but for awhile there it was pretty scary and it has taken 4 days for him to recover. This all started because of an ear infection which the doctor tried to treat a little to aggressively. The antibiotic she prescribed lead to really bad diarrhea which resulted in severe dehydration. You really have to stay on top of the antibiotics because they can cause diarrhea and a little diarrhea is OK, but alot is cause for concern. Remember, dehydration is very bad!


Daycare Update

Just a little update on daycare and I want to make it clear that I am completely happy with quality the daycare and the two lovely ladies that take care of our child. I could however do without the germ factory that it creates with all of the little kids and their many ailments. It’s been three weeks since Spencer has been truly disease free and it’s really frustrating.   I know the exposure is good for him and hopefully it is building up his immune system, but I wish there was a better or cleaner way.  Oh well, at least he loves peaches!


And bananas!

5 Months

Well our boy is 5 months old and the changes/progress that a baby makes as he grows is just amazing. He is definitely going to be a tall kid and the hair is out of control!  We kept waiting for it to fall out, but it just keeps getting longer and longer.  It is fascinating to watch as he develops his smile, starts tracking with his eyes, and the personality traits that start to come out. I think we got extremely lucky in that he seems to be a mellow baby. He does get fussy from time to time, but only when he needs something or when something is wrong. He has been a little more fussy here lately as he has had a rough couple of weeks with an ear infection and now that hand/foot/mouth thing, but even through that he wakes up in the morning happy to see us and ready to tackle another day.

Now that the wife has had to return to work Spencer is in daycare.  The initial separation is something that kind of catches you off guard.  The wife was not happy about it all and is still getting used to it after almost 2 months of it.  Trusting someone to care for your child and the separation after constant contact for 3 months is really hard, but I think the exposure/experience is good for the kid and the socialization helps with their development.  I must say we have were lucky enough to find a really good daycare and I really am impressed with the level of care and devotion they seem to have for the kids.

We are now gearing up for our annual Maine trip, which is going to be a new adventure for us.  Traveling with a 6 month old is going to be a learing experience, but I don’t think it will be too bad.  Of course there will be more stops than normal, but we can factor that in, just not sure about keeping Spencer occupied at that age.  Movies?  Toys?  The view of the road?  This will definitely be a learning experience worth writing about…..

Our Baby Boy

Huge news! Spencer Avery Sykes was welcomed into the world at 1723 on 23DEC13. I know I have been really lax on my posts, but this time I have a couple good reasons. The first and most important one being the arrival of our baby boy. It was a complete surprise to us when we found out we were pregnant, and we knew was going to be a challenge, but we realized we were willing to accept the challenge and the huge change that goes along with it. My lovely wife did everything possible to promote his growth in the womb and the pregnancy went pretty smooth up to the 38th week when Spencer decided he had enough and was ready to see the world. He did provide us with a scare to start the day, but in the end was delivered to us with no problems and a full head of hair.  He weighed 7lbs 9ozs at birth and lost a bit of that after, but has been steadily gaining and the doctors are quite happy with his progress.

The other bit of news is the purchase of our first house together.  After 3 years of searching we were able to find a place that had everything we were looking for, at a price we could afford, and with financing we were extremely happy with.  It’s a little bigger than what we need, but we got it for a price that we just could not pass up.  We did have to add a fence for Clyde our black lab, and a deck for me (love to grill), but other than that it had everything we wanted in a home.  Enjoy the pics below and I will try to keep you updated more regularly on the adventure ahead!

New Year, New Bike Mods

Here it is May of a new year and wouldn’t you know it I have more bike mods to tell you about. This time though I also have some video to go along with the info so you can see the awesomeness! The last time we were in Myrtle, we met a guy who had LED turn signals incorporated into the passenger pegs on his bike. He told us about this website where all you have to do is send them your pegs and they install the LED’s and ship them back to you. I did not remember the name of the site but a simple Google search and there they were.  They are Tripage LED and they do awesome work at very reasonable prices.  The turn around time is about a week and a half and all you have to do is connect them to your turn signals and you are good to go.  As you can see on my GSX-R1000 the led turn signals look great and also make you more visible to other motorists.  They list some bikes that they do this type of work on in the website (so far I have seen them on a Yamaha R6 and my bike), but for other bikes they say to contact them.

The other addition is in the area of security.  Roadlok makes a disc lock that mounts on your brake caliper.  It stays in place and all you have to carry is the bolt that secures your front tire when yoRoadloku park it.  Very neat clean set up and totally worth the piece of mind that it gives you knowing that someone can’t walk up and ride off with your bike.

Until next time…

Fried Turkey Goodness

This year for Thanksgiving we decided to try our first fried turkey.  A friend of ours told us about a counter top electric fryer that he used.  It is a Butterball branded Masterbuilt turkey fryer.  It is a deep fryer that will take up to a 14 pound turkey or you can use it as a steamer.  We found a 10.5 pound turkey which was perfect since it was just the two of us and we did not not want to max out the fryer on our first try.  Along with the turkey we got the Butterball Cajun flavored inject-able marinade and rub.  Following the directions that come with the fryer, we injected and rubbed down the turkey and then set up the fryer.  Once the fryer was heated up we dropped the turkey in and set the timer (4 min per pound).  42 minutes later we had a perfectly fried turkey.  We have had fried turkey before, but there is nothing like the satisfaction of doing one yourself and having it come out so good!  The marinade was a little spicier than we would have liked, but the meat was really juicy and the skin was nice and crispy.  I definitely see more fried turkeys in our future.

My New Bicycle

I know I have been slacking on this thing lately, but here I am with an update and it is a good one.  My lovely wife gave me the green light to get a new bicycle.  We just happened to be in the motorcycle shop looking for a new jacket for her and there it was.  My dream bike was on sale at an unbelievable price.  It was a 2011 model that was left over so it was brand new.  A brand new Suzuki Boulevard M109R just sitting there alone, unwanted, and developing some severe self esteem issues.  Good thing we were there to save her!  She is now at home with our other bikes and the low self esteem is a thing of the past, especially with all of the attention she has been getting.  The best thing is she rides like a dream as you can see in this video M109R Sunday Ride.  Well that’s all for now, but thanksgiving is right around the corner so if I don’t get too lazy I will post an update on our first fried turkey!