I finished the mural last night. It felt weird this morning to have coffee without a brush in my hand. It hadn’t necessarily consumed my spare time, but it did seem to dictate it. I had tiny goals for it every week- like find a place for Sam I Am, outline Hop on Pop, or deciding what kind of happy little bush to paint near the water. My initial idea of just few characters hanging out turned into twenty-seven characters with a waterfall, a cliff, trees, flowering fields and a trail leading off into distant mountains.

Kylie warned me not to overdo it. “Just something simple,” she said. She knows me though. I think she knew what was going to happen. And it did.

I would like to make a statement though: I’m not going to be one of those parents that go overboard on everything. Sure, my track record is not good so far- I have a dad blog- I painted a ridiculous mural- and the kid’s not even born yet. My only defense is that I’ve just been so damn excited for the last few months. I feel like Kylie’s doing all the work herself by carrying that lug around and maybe this is my way of being a part of it. I mean, if I could, I would take that little parasite out of her belly and put it in mine and carry it to full term. I’d give it back to her for the birth though, because NO THANK YOU- besides, I’m not a very stretchy guy. See there, I’m not that dad that’s going to go overboard- an overboard dad would have said he would give the birth if he could- but I’m just not that type of guy.

Without any further ado…

Panorama Rama Lama

The “to there” points out the door. The Lorax is a pretty known story about saving the Truffula Trees and the environment in general.

The Lorax and Thidwick

Thidwick the Big Hearted Moose was a new Dr. Seuss story for me and I squeezed him in kinda impromptu.  If you have a chance, try to look up the story- it’s pretty dark for a child’s book.

Thidwick, Things, Sam I Am, and Sneetch

Sam I Am in the back corner above is from an inside cover. It might have been Dr. Seuss’s nod to surrealism.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, Hop on Pop, Foona-Lagoona Baboona

The Sneetches on Beaches is about two types of sneetches not getting along because the starred ones thought they were better than no starred sneetches. They end up getting along. There’s a sleeping Foona-Lagoona Baboona in the tree and all the fishes and a fisherboy. You can’t tell very well, but the fish parachuting down is wearing snorkel gear. If Scout grows up in Missoula the fisherboy sitting in the tree might unfortunately be the most diversity he gets.

Cat In the Hat, Fox in Sox, Mazzy and Kodiak, Corpse Lily, Little Buggy

Kylie painted the homes on the hill. Hop on Pop under the tree with a Corpse Lily in the foreground. In real life Corpse Lilies grow to be three meters wide (and they smell like a rotting corpse!) Whatever, I get to have some fun with this mural. The Cat In The Hat is reading stories to a little bug from Thidwick’s book.

Horton and the Monarch

Somebody took a bite out of that mushroom! Horton is listening to the Monarch while Fox in Sox is welcoming everyone down the trail. Our dog Mazzy and her best friend Kodi are waiting for us to get on that trail. There are a lot of other little fun facts and trivia, but you’ll have to stop by the house to hear those.

Well, that’s it. Now let’s place bets on how many years it will be until Scout says, “Papa, can I just have a plain walled room like all the other kids?”


We had an ultrasound yesterday. Scout is ten ounces- that is the size of a warm can of PBR with a couple sips taken out of it. It was good to see him moving around and touching his face. Everything seems to be normal and in fact he is a couple days ahead of development from what the guys said. Yeah, the guys…

We walked into the ultrasound room and there were two men sitting there. One had a shaved head and a goatee, the other wore a dark beard. I thought they were sitting there to tell me my brake pads were getting thin. I know, I know, it’s a bit sexist of me to assume that our tech was going to be a female- but last time it was- last time it was a nice grandma(y) lady who I imagined might bake a nice apple pie on her off time. It’s hard to confront your own stereotypes I guess when you think you have none.

Anyway, the cartalk guys ended up being super nice. One was training- he had just transplanted to Missoula from California ((damn Californians) I’m from California so I can say that). Apparently the place where he had worked for the last ten years didn’t have the technology that Missoula has so he was learning the new bells and whistles that he wasn’t familiar with. It impressed me that Ol’ Montuckey had something that his little corner of California didn’t.

The guys were fine, very professional. One small random thing happened that I can only attribute to gender though. Scout’s hand was shielding his head when they were trying to take a picture of his face. One would think, well, I would think, that if Scout doesn’t want a picture of his face taken then so be it, he takes after his father- leave him alone and we just won’t get a picture. But the tech, the trainer, thought otherwise. He decided to dig in a little and press into the belly with his ultrasound tool like a car mechanic reaching for an oily bolt that he couldn’t see. He said he was trying to get Scout to move his arm. Well, Scout never moved his arm- he’s about as stubborn as me when it comes to getting his picture taken. But it made me wonder if grandma tech would have done the same, or if she would have talked nice to Scout and agreed he didn’t need his picture taken today.

We saw his four chamber heart, his spine, hands and feet with the proper amount of digits. I was told we saw some kidneys, an aorta and parts of the brain. Ulnas and radii were there, as were the tibs and fibs. We even saw his peener. No doubt, it’s a boy. Seeing Scout didn’t necessarily further concrete the fact I have a baby on the way- I think I’ve been concreted down for a while now. But hearing that everything is looking good eases my mind for sure.

Everything on the homefront is beginning to take shape too. Scout’s room is slowly becoming real. My dresser got kicked out of it and Kylie asked me where my cluttered desk was going to go. I said hold on woman I still have twenty weeks! No, I didn’t say that. I said how about the living room? I think we all know how that conversation ended.

I started painting a mural in Scout’s room a couple days ago. I’ve painted a few kids’ room murals before- Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, a floating Big Bird and Snuffleupagus, princess castles, and Shrek and Fiona. This one is for my own kid though so it’s gonna be a little more out there… Like Dr. Suessy out there. And this wasn’t even my idea- Kylie suggested it early on and how can one argue with the wonderful weird world of Dr. Suess. I already painted some green hills and flowing water. I have lots to add- The Lorax, some truffula trees, Things one and two, the Cat, Horton, some Sneetches and I’ll probably hide a Wasket somewhere. Don’t worry landlords, it can all be painted over.

So that’s where we are at right now. Kylie is doing fantastic. She has a bump, a beautiful baby bump. She is feeling great and in the midst of a nesting stage. She’s moving stuff around and throwing stuff out and starting registries and getting out for walks in the sunshine as often as she can.

On Friday Scout will be twenty weeks in the belly. There is so much to do because that is halfway!

I can’t wait to meet him that day!

He’ll be squirmy and wormy

Looking bloody and blotchy!

He’ll be singing and swinging

Gripping a throbbing wet cord!

Pointing my way the OB will say,


But I’ll faint and be floored.



Sorry, I had to do that. Okay, I gotta go- I got a Lorax to draw!


Papa, you are such a nerd.  -Scout


A couple of days ago Kylie and I went for a trail run. The trail is a short out and back that meanders up and down along Rattlesnake Creek. We like it because it’s beautiful (especially in autumn) and there is water for Mazzy (our dog) to drink and soak in. Also, it’s not too taxing on the lungs and we can talk about our past week and our week ahead and usually what we want for dinner.

This was our first run together since we found out about about the little Scout. *From here on out I will refer to the growing thing taking refuge inside Kylie’s body as Scout- not for any particular reason, I just need to call it something- and since everyone (about two people) made fun of me about this name idea, I will use it. It’s going to grow on all you haters!

Let me start that paragraph over- This was our first run together since we found out about Scout. We jogged and talked about our future and before we knew it we were at our turnaround point. We had been so focused on our conversation that we were already halfway finished with a run we felt we had barely started.

We talked about our work schedules and how we could move them around and adapt. We talked about painting a room with characters on the wall. We talked about getting the carpet cleaned in that room. We talked about how spring runs we enjoy on this exact trail will next year be spring walks, and then summer walks with one of those bicycle wheeled stroller thingies (I’m real new to this jargon obviously). We talked about the fact that there would be no riding our bikes up the Going to the Sun road in Glacier National Park next year. We talked about how Scout will be six monthsish next winter and it will be a perfect age just to cozy up for the season. Following that, when Scout is one year old, it will be summer again- perfect time for Scout to start exploring the world. We talked about what we wanted to be called. We placed bets on which grandparents were going to move to Missoula. We talked about the cloth diaper service I found that washes and delivers. We talked about how Kylie was afraid to use a safety pin with a cloth diaper so close to a baby’s new soft skin. We talked about hospitals and delivery options. We talked about how to tell people. We talked about how protective Mazzy is going to be that she probably won’t let me near Scout.

We talked about a lot of stuff. And then we asked the question to ourselves, “What did we used to talk about before we didn’t have this to talk about?”  Dinner. We talked a lot about our next meal- and where we should go to get a post run beer or cider. And dinner,  we talked a lot about dinner.