Thursday, February 25, 2010

Coming Home


There is a picture of your beautiful mom on her wedding day.

Tomorrow I get to go see her again- we are going to pack up a bunch of stuff and start the process of getting her moved out here.

This morning your mom and I were talking-- we both want to be good parents, and we both are worried that we are not up to the job.

I'm not worried about your mom one bit. She is going to be the "cool" mom-- the one with all the energy- running around with you and the dog, and always willing to take you snowboarding or boarding somewhere. Me- well, I just want to show you, by example - that priorities are simple:

Your mom and I love each other- we put each other first-- together we put you first. You won't be spoiled with things-- but you will get a lot of love-- not only from your mom and I-- but all your aunts, uncles, grandparents, and so many friends and neighbors.

I love you son-- see you tomorrow night -- and as always -- don't be jealous-- but I am going to hug and kiss your mom first (damn, she is a pretty woman).


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Wedding 2-19-2010

So JJ, your mom and I did get married.

Not only did we get married- but we were surrounded by friends and family. The attire was blue jeans! Your mom looked so beautiful, and our personal vows were tweeted to the universe!

Your mom and I have a great love story, son. We met, we fell in love -- and we kept in touch through twitter. So before I "kissed the bride" your mom and I tweeted the "I do." Our good friend on twitter @AlohaArleen tweeted my vows.

Son - the day will mean little to you as a kid- but all those folks who came, and a bunch who watched on twitter-- will be your aunts and your uncles - and watch over you. Many of them will watch you grow on this blog, some will come to our home and see you in person.

Today was the toughest day of the week though because your mom went back to Tampa for a few days of work. But I know that while she is there that your auntie Sandi and many others will watch over her and you.

You are lucky, son -- you have a whole Twitter group of aunts and uncles that love you and will always look out for you.

See you in a few days son.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Twitter, Cigars, and the Wedding


So below is the story of when your mom and I met. Something magical in our time called "Twitter."

How did your dad get started with Twitter-- from a fellow cigar smoker - Bob McDuffee (@CigarRadio) . From him I started following many cigar smokers and all manner of folks -- and well -- the rest, son -- the rest led to you.

Today is the day your mother and I get married -- and below is the last two pages from my cigar book that talk about it.

So JJ, for the folks reading this for the first time this is a "pre-print" copy of the epilogue of the book. The book is about cigars-- and how we have a herf with our cigars almost anywhere in the nation. This is about my first "herf" in Tampa.

The photo was taken that night - and is the front cover for that book. Your mom took the photo.

Cigars brought me a new bit of joy. Some friends of mine, fellow foodies
of the underground food movement had asked me to come to Tampa to
a special dinner. At the dinner were two fellow cigar smokers who I had
communicated with on-line — the internationally known philosopher,
Tom V. Morris, and the most prolific wine blogger Matthew Horbund.

It is Native American tradition to bring food when someone invites you
to dinner. The flight from Anchorage to Tampa would be long, but I was
looking forward to spending time with my buddies, and some others that
I knew. Driving down to Ship Creek with fishing rod, Padron Cigar, and a
new license I hoped to catch a salmon to fillet and bring to the dinner.

Took me less than five minutes to catch a 35 pound salmon — a beauty.
Pulled her in — and and quickly fixed it. Nothing like holding a cigar in
between your teeth and filleting a fish at the same time. Kept the mosquito's
away. Once I had tossed the guts back into Ship Creek I took the
fish to have it processed and packed on ice to take it to Tampa.

The overnight flight to Tampa went by quickly and as I arrived in Florida a
phone call came, "Hey, Dr., this is April — I am going to pick you up, hope
you don't mind." I smiled — I knew this young lady, and it would be fun to
have a few minutes of female companionship before meeting the gang.

She arrived in her BMW convertible, ran out gave me a hug and helped me
with my luggage. As I got in she took off her glasses and looked into my eye —
something said, "You're in trouble" as her brown eyes sparked back at me.

The three chefs were delighted with the fresh salmon (and I bought a
halibut to add) and prepared it perfectly. But the best part — Matthew
brought cigars. As the evening went on through one great course after
another it became clear we were all headed out to the porch for cigars.

As we sat and smoked we could have been in any herf anywhere in the
world. Several of us, all good friends, brought together on the social media
— from long distances. While some would say that Twitter was responsible
— it was each of our love for cigars that put us together on Twitter,
and our conversation came to this dinner.

Two thousand miles from Phoenix, four thousand miles from where I
started the day before in Anchorage — all of us smoking cigars. That
herf, a photo of which is on the back cover with my three good buddies—
started a long tradition of many of us getting together.

No matter what happened in life, we have our herf, we have our conversation,
we have our cigars, we have Cigar Talk.

Oh, that young lady, April? Well, by the time this book is published,
she will be my wife. We started a conversation that day — and we never
stopped. And, now there will be a bit of new stress in my life — but a joyful
one — because we did more than smoke cigars — there will be a new
little fella coming in our life — a dog, named Balto — and in the summer
— a little boy named Jimmy (yup, named after my brother). When he is
born, you can bet I will pass out cigars — and all my buddies are telling
me the kind they want.

Terry and April Simpson
@terrysimpson and @producergirl
Married: 19 February 2010 -- 5:30 pm -- Phoenix, AZ
Officiant -- @ocdchick -- Sher Bailey (see, we were not lying @ocdchick did marry me - and guess what - she can't divorce me)

To all the folks who follow us on twitter -- thank you.

To those who introduced us @DolceDebbie and @McMedia- thank you

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Countdown


Two things happen this week - the first is that your mother and I are getting married. But before that- we are going to get some 18 week old photos of you.

Today was pretty special-- we felt you move. We know you are moving a lot-- cause we hear you every night with the Doppler. We listen to your heartbeat-- and hear you flipping around your mom's uterus like you were an Olympic athlete. Your mom is convinced that you are going to be born with a skate board.

Your mom likes having my hand rest on her belly- just where her uterus is (your current home) - and we felt you! All I could think of is someday soon, I will feel you as you lay in my arms, and I rock you to sleep - trying with everything I can to let you know that you are loved, and you are safe. Know this-- every moment of this I treasure (ok, your mom isn't so happy about being pregnant but, hey - it is tough).

We love you kid-- keep moving. Your mom has some mountains she wants you to board down, and I need a golf partner -- mostly- we can't wait for you to join our family.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Not getting easier

This is a photo I had to take. It was last Thursday, your mom coming off the plane from Tampa and arriving home. Well, JJ -- it isn't getting easier being apart.

In the past few months I have logged over 45,000 miles and have met your mom in Tampa, San Francisco, Napa, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, and Anchorage. When I met my dad (your grandfather) in Indianapolis for his 44th Division World War 2 reunion; (truly the greatest generation) - I flew from there to San Francisco to meet your mom in Napa. Your mom has made similar crazy flights.

We have this thing called frequent flier status-- the more you fly, the higher status you get. Your mom went from having zero miles with US Airlines - blew through Silver status, and now is Gold status. Your dad is now platinum status.

Your mom and I made a commitment to one another months ago; we realized the feelings we had for one another were genuine and true; so we said we would be together for every weekend. Travel wherever we had to to be with one another. We knew that our relationship was special - and for it to grow we needed to be together- we needed to build a wall around ourselves and have our time to let this precious relationship develop. The most beautiful result of this is you, JJ -- its you! Our relationship and you are the best investments I have ever made-- EVER!

Soon your mom and I will travel together- live in the same city- be under one roof. We can't wait. It is getting harder and harder for us to be apart. We don't complain about the travel (well, some airline seats are just too narrow) -- but we LOVE traveling to be together-- we hate leaving one another.

Here is a little secret - when your mom is in another city- it pains my heart. I love being with her. I love talking to her- seeing her smile in person- hearing her laugh. I love getting her coffee in the morning, and scratching her back when she has an itch. I love talking with her about things deep and things superficial. So every night, when she isn't with me-- I call and see her on video and we talk-- for hours-- and then we put on the doppler and listen to your heartbeat -- you, JJ. But it is getting harder to be apart from your mom - -I am just thankful that soon the three of us will be under one roof.

I love you son-- so today please take care of your mom because we in different cities. I promise- when you come into this world, this dad will be there for you- and so will your mom.

In the meantime, thanks for taking care of your mom,

Love, Dad

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A son? Hi son!

Dear JJ,

So yesterday your mother and I had the greatest day of our lives - -well, so far-- and trust me - we have had some great days since we found each other.

It didn't start out as great - we were looking forward to the OB visit, thinking we would have the ultrasound, and that we would find out if you were a boy or a girl. We were excited. Well -- the OB group didn't want to do an ultrasound until 18 weeks.

I'm not one to take no for an answer- so after we left I found a place that does ultrasounds - and has this four-D image. So we went - and this is your little hand waving at us. But of course- we wanted to know what you are-- boy, girl - -after all we have a room to paint, things to get ready.

So- in about fifteen seconds after looking at your ultrasound the technician pointed to the photo and told us-- yup -- its a boy. and you can see where she put the arrow just in case there was any doubt.

As we left the place-- with smiles as big as the Arizona sky - your mom sent emails and I called my parents.

You see, son - we figured you were a boy- and had a name picked out for you. Your name is Jimmy - after your uncle who died a few years ago-- my brother. James is also your grandfather's name. Middle name-- George (after your other grandfather). I was so happy to call my folks and let them know that there is going to be another Jimmy in the family.

Mom said, "If he's like your brother, he will be active." To which I responded told your grandmother how active you are in the womb. Yup- you are a lot like your uncle-- active and ready to go.

Hey- kid-- your mom and I can't stop smiling. All through the night we would look at each other and say, "Hey, we are going to have a son." Then we did this fist pump thing - and well, it is something we do in 2010 and no doubt you will find it old fashioned when you are of age. But trust me-- we love you, and there are a whole lot of people who will be waiting to love you too.


Your most excited father

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Your Mom's Favorite Image


I know you are looking at this image and thinking- what is mom thinking about. Well - this is what your room is going to look like. Ok, she has a few other things in mind, including some images of sea and surf and fish and surfing (I'm trying to get some golf stuff in there but we might have to sneak that in later).

It's Thursday, and today I am happy because your mom is coming home today. Not too much more time before she has moved here entirely and we are both so ready to give up our frequent flyer status and travel together.

I skype with her every night (no doubt skype will be extinct as the Do Do bird when you read this-- basically it is video conferencing I can see her and she can see me and we talk over the computer) -- just realized the word "video" is probably no longer used when you read this either.

Right now your mom can only wear maternity clothes. She gets excited when she finds something that is "cute," what she doesn't know is just about anything she wears is cute. But your mom has the little bump that shows she is expecting you.

Tomorrow we go to the OB and have the ultrasound to find out whether you are a boy or a girl. We have our suspicions - and we have names already picked out. In fact, as you can see by the photo - your mom already has your room designed in her mind, and that design won't matter whether you are a boy or a girl!

So, I am an excited dad today.

Last night I went back through the blog and re-read some of the early entries - couldn't get past the third one because your dad's eyes watered too much.

Your mom and I have great love story- and our love brought us you. I feel as if for 52 years I lived in this house - and was content to live in it. Then your mom showed up, and this secret door to the house opened and the house is HUGE; now my world has grown so much - and I am so grateful. Your mom and I look forward to being together- and we look forward to greeting you when you get here. You don't have to come too early - just know that we are keeping an eye on you.

Love you JJ,


Monday, February 1, 2010

Watch Out! He has a gun!!

This weekend we had the amazing opportunity to 'register' for baby items at one of my favorite stores - Target! But now when you register - you do it all online at a kiosk in the store, then they give you a baby bag filled with goodies and a scanning gun!

Since I had the guide book to where and how we begin, Terry got to hold the gun! And man he went crazy! I turned around and he's scanning baby blankets, baby running shoes even cool baby tees that he thought were fun! In fact I think out of the 62 items he scanned on our list - 7 of them are bibs and there are about 15 pairs of socks!

Needless to say we both learned a lot! I was soooooooooooo glad we had researched strollers on the Consumer Report site but even so, it was overwhelming to inspect a dozen different fancy transformer looking strollers and figure out which one was good! I for one went for the colors or design and look - Terry went for the number of cup holders!!

We had so much fun, every time I turned around Terry was inspecting every safety aspect of every device: a video monitor or audio monitor? Color camera for the monitor or super sonic security baby monitor? I was so glad he was there because I think both of us equaled one responsible parent - me with the background of what my girlfriends all used and what the magazines say... and he with all the safey precautions, medical advice and quality control!

We will definitely need LOTS and LOTS of help from our family and friends as we embark on the greatest adventure of our lives!! So far it's been the best start ever ... now if we can just figure out how to do it!

Wow have buggies changed

So this weekend we registered for baby stuff at Target.

Now the fun part of it-- I got to have a scan gun, scan things and put them on this magic list.

The other thing- I realized I have not a clue about modern baby stuff-- in fact, I realized I don't have a clue to this whole thing at all.

Take the baby buggy (known as a perambulator to those of us). You see the photo of the old kind up there-- that is the kind my mom walked me around the wooden streets of Ketchikan with. Then there is the new one that I am looking at -- the Eddie Bauer edition. It has snap out car seat, easy fold this, and a lot of other features that Apey knows about-- the only one I really understood was it has a cup holder.

She stopped at a diaper pail -- well, I said, we will be using disposable -- ah not so fast- you see, even disposable diapers have special pales that help compact them, take away the odor.

The clothes are fun- and I can understand a t-shirt-- although I don't get why there is more cotton in an aspirin bottle and the t shirt costs as much as mine- but it is cute, and something tells me that this kid will be well dressed (well, mom will make sure of that).

It was a wonderful time. It was truly awesome.

And I am so looking forward to JJ -- but with all the new gear and things-- I haven't got a clue.