Is there a ghost in my house?
I don't believe in ghosts -- really, I don't -- but I am almost completely convinced that our cat, Lucy, can see, well, something the rest of us can't see. In fact, I think the cat and Caroline might be teaming up to somehow combat these unseen visitors ... that I totally don't believe in.
Seeking assistance with the tantrum issue
So, I need a little help from all of you. For maybe only the second time since becoming a father, I find myself in a situation where I have absolutely no idea what to do. I've needed help before but I've never felt as lost as I do now.
It's apparently possible to say "orange" with a lisp
In the last few weeks, Caroline has added more than a few words to her vocabulary. The cutest, easily, is the way she says "orange."
2015 looks to be an intriguing year
Well, folks, 2014 is almost over. I hope everyone had as wonderful of a Christmas as my family had, and I hope you're all ready for the coming year and whatever it brings.
The hap-happiest time of the year
Well folks, it's finally here. Christmas is tomorrow and I don't know if I could be more excited. As I was getting ready for Thursday, I couldn't help but think back on some of my favorite Christmas memories and stories.
The things we'll never unknow
A few weeks ago, this year's BLI class toured the local schools. As we walked through the Blytheville Primary School, one of my classmates made a remark about how being an adult is so much different than she thought it would be when she was running around the halls of her elementary school.
The "real" reason for the season
Christmas is only 17 days away (15 days away by the time you guys read this) and I'm already so full of Christmas cheer I just might explode. In a good way.
New cat working out well
This week I'll be fulfilling a promise I made last week to tell you guys about our new cat. First, though, let me thank those who hung around through my NBA-fueled column. I'm sure that was tough for a lot of you guys and I appreciate your patience.
Rekindling interest in the NBA
Well, folks, Thanksgiving is just two weeks away. This is a busy -- and often expensive -- time of year for a lot of us, and recently, I've been looking to make it even busier and more expensive by trying to find a few Memphis Grizzlies' games to go to before the end of the year.
In defense of the early arrival of Christmas
Well, ladies and gentlemen, Halloween is officially over. Thanksgiving is just a few short weeks away, and then Christmas just a month after that. With the most wonderful time of the year right around the corner, I took this week to start preparing.
All we are saying is give pizza a chance
We all have that friend that maybe we don't hear from very often, but when we do, it's always something important and usually gets your undivided attention.
From chili eating to Kamikaze sneakers
Well everyone, it's time for another one of my (add applicable adjective here) lists. I'm trying to shotgun through this so it my be a little crazy. Ready? Here we go ...
The value of TV time
I don't know if I've ever said this before, but allow me to take a moment to tell you all that I absolutely love TV. I know a lot of people say that, but i really, really do.
Some couches not good for sleep
My wife is sick. She has pneumonia. We just found this out on Monday, but she's been sick for about a month. It's always a bummer when someone in the house is sick, and now that we have a child, we have to be extra careful whenever one of us gets sick...
Some couches better than others for sleeping
My wife is sick. She has pneumonia. We just found this out on Monday, but she's been sick for about a month. It's always a bummer when someone in the house is sick, and now that we have a child, we have to be extra careful whenever one of us gets sick.
Dogs: An important part to being a kid
Well ladies and gentlemen, I think the time has come to get Caroline a puppy. Over the course of the last few weeks, she's been playing this game where she crawls around and, I kid you not, barks like a dog.
Do you think Obama plays Dungeons & Dragons?
So there's no lead in paragraph this week, I'm just jumping right in. I hope that's OK with everyone.
Having a good time, despite the Red Sox woes
I hadn't initially planned on going back to this subject, but after the feedback I've gotten on last week's column I thought I might give you guys at least a brief update on my trip before I launch into the heart of this week's piece.
Retreat stirs apprehension
The Blytheville Leadership Institute kicks off its new class this week with the annual orientation retreat on Thursday and Friday, and this year I'll be participating.
Good job, Internet
This weekend the Internet was taken by storm when a hacker broke into several celebrities' iCloud accounts and stole private photos and videos. As a journalist, self-proclaimed tech geek and Apple fanboy, I've been keeping tabs on this recent celebrity leak situation.
Things I'll never say to my child
I've realized as a parent that I'm not going to be perfect. There was a brief period before Caroline was born during which I actually thought I had pieced everything together in just the right way to become the perfect parent.
Under the Weather, Over the Moon
I've had a bit of a cold this week, and as a result, I'm having trouble staying focused on just one topic. In an attempt to quell some of the out-of-sorts energy bouncing around inside my head I'm going to cover a number of things in this week's column.
Baby leashes don't seem so silly anymore
I want to start off this week with an apology to some of you parents out there.
Surviving a "bad parenting" move
This weekend I made my first, well, what I like to call "bad parenting" move.
New phone prompts trip down memory lane
This week I've been in the process of transferring everything on my previous phone over to my computer, as I bought a new phone last week. This always a tedious process, but one I enjoy none the less.
Learning how to say "no"
Well friends, I come to you this week asking for a little advice. It's time for Ashley and I to make a major change in Caroline's life, and so far it isn't going well.
Don't oversell local tourism
Last week, I had the opportunity to go out to the boyhood home of the Man in Black himself, Johnny Cash.
Breakfast With Ray Barone and the war at Home
A war has begun. My family and I, as well as many of you most likely, are now neck deep in this seemingly unwinnable fight against a foe we all fear.
'Found family' is still family
Recently I've noticed the phrase "found family" popping up in a lot of things I've been reading. The idea behind the phrase is that family is more than, or isn't necessarily, those who share your last name or a similar genetic makeup.
Summer lull has officially arrived
Well folks, it's officially begun ... the summer lull. It happens every year, and depending on what beats we cover here, it hits some of us harder than others. Along with my slower work schedule summer also brings a lull in my personal life.
One Nation. One Team.
Well, here we are folks, just a few days away from the start of one of the biggest events in the world. On Thursday, the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil kicks off, and if you don't plan on watching, do yourself a favor and change those plans.
Back from a week in the sun and surf
Well folks, vacation is over and it's time for me to get back in that saddle. Let me just say that after a long, though not particularly bad week, I'm glad to be back home, back at work and back in that ol' saddle. Here we go.
Days at the beach, and other sacrifices
In a few days, Ashley turns 29, and as a birthday gift, I made the ultimate sacrifice ... we're spending a week in Florida.
Steal like an artist
Most people have this deep-rooted disdain for Mondays. From coffee mugs to Internet memes to social media updates, people's dislike for the start of a work week can be seen everywhere. But I usually like Mondays. But not this Monday.
Kids do the weirdest things (right?)
So, kids are weird, right? I mean all kids do weird things, don't they? I'm only asking because Caroline has started doing something really weird and I wanted to make sure she doesn't need a CAT scan.
Nerd-rage against the machine
I know it's no secret that I'm kind of a nerdy guy. Sure, I like sports, but mostly baseball, which is easily the nerdiest sport to follow.
Childhood friendships keenly remembered
When I was in the second grade, my best friend's name was David Boswell. Actually, his name was Jimmy David Boswell, but he didn't go by Jimmy.
Difficult conversations down the road
Last week, I was reading an article on whatever techie website I was visiting, trying to track down rumors about the next iPhone, and the article referenced athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos, the two athletes who raised their gloved fists in a symbol of human rights solidarity at the 1968 Summer Olympics.
Daughter's first year measured in moments
OK everyone, before you go any further, I'd like to ask a favor of you. Take a moment to think about your life one year ago. What were you doing? Where were you going? Who were you with?
Do all parents question everything they do?
As a parent, is it natural to question literally everything you do, all day every day? Because I do.
A year later, still much to write about
In October of 2012, I sat down in front of my computer and started writing what would be the first of many, many columns about my experiences as I journey into fatherhood.
Welcome to Arkansas; enjoy the weather
So, uh, how about that weather, huh? Crazy, right? The answer is yes, it is crazy. But it's not just the massive amounts of ice and snow that fell that made the weather so odd or the way it seemed to cling for its life to the streets.
It's true: Everything old is new again
When I was a kid, I remember being told that most trends in life were cyclical. From music to fashion to TV shows, people would say, "Just give it a few years and that will be cool again."
Sam helps society take step toward equality
If at any time in the last week you've flipped across ESPN or clicked over to Bleacher Report or have browsed content from any number of the hundreds of sports sources out there you've almost certainly come across one story everywhere you looked.
It takes a village ...
Every week I try to bring you guys a story that shows what it's been like for me as a new father.
Making a bucket list
A few years ago, the term "bucket list" started making its way into our everyday vocabulary. Now, I'm not sure if the term is derived solely from the 2007 flick with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, but that certainly gave it its legs.
"Mommy, why is daddy crying"
When Ashley was pregnant, I remember a friend telling me to enjoy every little moment with Caroline once she was born because the time would pass by quickly, and before I knew it, she'd be dating and driving and packing for college.
Looking back on a life-changing moment
Have you ever forgotten something really important? I don't mean an appointment or anniversary date or a friend's birthday. I mean something really, really important. Something life-changing.
The quest for a memorable Christmas gift
When I was a kid, my first drum set was a Fraggle Rock drumset. Do you guys remember those? They were the coolest. Fraggle Rock, Sesame Street, The Muppets Show, they had several different ones.
Winter wonderland not so bad, really
Welcome back everyone. I hope you all managed to stay safe and warm, entertained and well-fed over these past few days as we dealt with a pretty significant amount of ice and some rather chilly temperatures.
Christmas music sets the holiday apart
Well, ladies and gentlemen, December is finally here, and according to my advent calendar, Christmas is just 23 days away (I'm writing this on Monday).
Happy Thanksgiving, Friends
Well, friends, we've made it to Thanksgiving. What an exciting year it's been for me, and I hope for all of you as well.
Another memorable weekend for family
So we've had a few really big, memorable weekends lately for our little family, and it's been pretty great.
"Momma" outranks the world champions
I'm sure most of you already know, but for those who don't, something incredible happened this past Wednesday -- the Boston Red Sox won the World Series.
Parenting: Not the hardest job, after all
"Being a parent is the hardest job in the world." We've all heard this said before, but am I the only one a little irked by it?
Another first for dad, mom and baby
I come to you this week with yet another first for me as a father, Ashley as a mother, and our little girl.
New baby changes plans for zombie apocalypse
When Ashley and I found out we were going to have a baby, I knew things would change in some very big ways; and boy, have things changed.
Proper use of hashtags, and other issues
Most weeks when I write this column, I write it Monday morning as soon as I get to work, just as I'm doing now. I typically start thinking about a topic around Thursday or Friday and try to make a few little notes throughout the weekend
Six months of baby, six months of baseball
Today kicks off the first day of the Major League Baseball post season, a time fans from around the world, including myself, have been anticipating for six months. But today also marks a very special milestone in my life. Today Caroline turns 6 months old.
Some days, everything falls into place
I GOT TO TOUCH A SHARK THIS WEEKEND! Sorry, I didn't mean to shout. And without context, that really just sounds like the ramblings of a lunatic.
Star Wars fruit chews and other silly things
From time to time, I feel the need to apologize publicly to my wife, and although she doesn't realize why yet, my daughter, too.
Gene Henton: One who stands above the rest
So I can't remember if I've said this before or not, but I love my job. Not everyone can say that, but I can and that's a feeling that's nearly impossible to replace.
Five months pass in the blink of an eye
This week, I'm proud to announce that my sweet baby Caroline is now 5 months old. Yep, she's growing up. I'm also proud to announce that she's made it this far in one piece, which if you remember is something I was a little worried about.
My daughter, the daywalker
So I have a confession to make to you all. My daughter has Ginger Vitus.
Everybody needs something to believe in
How many of you remember believing in Santa Claus? Or maybe the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy? Do you remember that overwhelming feeling of excitement you would have waiting in line to see Santa at the mall?
What if this column won me a Nobel Prize?
On Saturday, Ashley, Caroline and I loaded up and headed to Sikeston for the day. We were invited to go with some friends so we were actually just kind of tagging along, but they have a few decent outlet stores there, so I didn't mind too much.
Defending the "there's nothing to do" crowd
Over the weekend Ashley and I got out with Caroline and took her downtown. We went to That Bookstore, then walked down to Arkham and finally made our way over to Hubbard and Hoke to look at some furniture -- we're still looking for a house, and with a new house will come new furniture.
The List: 5 Things Parents Should Stock Up On
During the last few months of the pregnancy, Ashley and I started stocking up on the things we knew we would need for the baby. Baby wipes, diapers and diaper cream were at the top of the list.
Dad, 3-month-old bonding over soccer
Over the last several months, I think you guys have gotten to know me a little better. This is most evident when I receive a gift or a text or a tweet or anything that is based on my love for just about everything nerdy. This started months before Caroline was born with a "Baby Jedi Onboard" sticker I received that's now on my Jeep, and has continued on through the baby shower and even up to today...
Facing loss and the will to move on
I frequently get asked what it's like to work here at the CN. Short answer is it's great. ... But the job isn't without it's drawbacks.
Look out, Bear Grylls, I might buy a tent
I think I've made it known already that I like for things to, for the most part, stay the same. This is especially true when it comes to my day-to-day activities.
New dads need to learn their cheats and hacks
In the video gaming world, most players are familiar with what are referred to as "cheats" or "hacks." These allow a player to change some component of the game to, essentially, make it easier.
Ramblings from right field ...
Welcome back everyone. I hope all of you dads, and all the rest of you guys, had a great Father's Day.
A few gift ideas for Father's Day
In just a few short days, I will be celebrating my very first Father's Day, and I can hardly wait. It's exciting the think that I now get to join millions of other men in being celebrated for the roles we play in the lives of our kids.
Plenty of firsts for new parents
One of my favorite things about parenthood so far has been all of the "firsts" that come along with it and just how much they mean to me.
Getting in over your head can be kind of fun
Have you ever been to one of those restaurants that has a giant steak challenge? You know, some ungodly amount of meet that usually costs $100 or more, unless you can eat it all. If you manage to cram the left half of a cow in your stomach it's free. And you're a hero!
Slip-n-slides, bike rides and a time that I long for
Before I dive into a recollection of recent events guided by clever anecdotes or sci-fi references that fly over most people's heads, I need to say something I should have said two weeks ago, but forgot.
Weekend spent reconnecting with world
This week I'm going to do something I don't often do, I'm going to brag about my weekend. Now, it's not like I don't usually enjoy my weekends, because I do, they are just tend to be a little dull and not worth talking about.
Dogs causing problems for neighborhood
Five years ago, my wife and I made a major life decision. We bought a house. We looked at maybe a dozen houses (at least it felt like a dozen, but it may have only been three) and settled on a decent little house on the north end of Gosnell.
Knowing what you've got before it's gone
People often say, "You don't know what you have until it's gone," but I never really understood the sentiment behind the phrase.
My favorite things about fatherhood
My daughter is 3 weeks old today (I'm writing to you from the past -- or as most people would say, Monday). It's been a crazy, unexpected and amazing three weeks.
The moment we've all been waiting for
This week I'm jumping straight to the point because I'm too excited for any chit-chat. For those of you who haven't heard, my beautiful daughter, Caroline Grace Pinkard, was born Monday April 1, 2013, at 8 p.m.
All right winter, we've had enough
OK, everyone. Mark this day down in your diaries, because I'm about to say something I don't believe I've ever said: Winter has officially outstayed its welcome.
Modern times: New paths for the newly born
This weekend a friend posted something on Facebook about couples who no longer communicate with one another while out to dinner, but instead spend there entire evening glued to their phones. I jokingly made a remark about this being the digital age and the ability to tweet a picture of one's meal was the progress the Greeks had in mind when they laid the foundations for western civilization...
Current events offer new set of anxieties
I don't know if any of you fathers reading this have experienced what I'm about to describe, but if you have then you know exactly what I'm going through right now and you can empathize.
Eight weeks and counting, somebody queue Europe ...
This weekend was a busy one for us, mostly because this weekend was our baby shower. I know I joked about the only purpose for the shower being gifts a few weeks ago, but it dawned on me Saturday that the baby shower is important for another reason.
Showers, potholes and the baby's playlist
So a lot is going right now. So much, in fact, that it's hard for me to land on one thing to write about, so I'm just going to give you guys a few quick bursts of what's been going on.
It's never too early to start setting goals
Last weekend, Ashley and I went to visit our friends who just had a baby a few weeks ago. While there, their oldest daughter, who's only about 4 years old, was pulling "splinters" out of her "patients." Our friends told us that their daughter has decided she wants to be a doctor when she grows up.
Decisions loom as D-Day approaches
Well, with only 11 weeks to go until Caroline is born the pressure -- and excitement -- is mounting.
Another week, another anxiety
Have you ever been in a situation where it seems every time you settle in to what's happening and develop a comfortable level of confidence a new source of anxiety arises?
The end is near ...
Have you ever been on a road trip and passed one of those "The End Is Near" billboards? You know, the one where you thought, "What kind of kook puts this on the interstate?"
Waiting for the day my numbers hit, and the return of the NHL
Welcome back everyone. I hope you all enjoyed your three-day weekend -- those of you that had one, that is. For me, the weekend was a particularly exciting one.
Well, she looks like a winner to me
So these past few weeks have been pretty exciting for us on the baby front. We're approaching the final trimester, and at this stage, each week seems to bring significant growth and change to our little girl.
Fatherhood thoughts have mind swirling
As I sit here in my office writing this week's column, I'm having a little trouble focusing -- actually, let's make that a lot of trouble -- I'm having a lot of trouble focusing.
Becoming the better man
The new year is here, and with each passing day, I get closer and closer to becoming a father.
A look at some favorite Christmas things
Christmas is just a week away, and I can hardly wait, but I will admit that this Christmas has seemed a little odd to Ashley and me.
A plate full of yard work and one more lap around the block
So a few weeks ago Ashley and I found out we were having a little girl. Now more than ever -- with a daughter on the way -- I'm doing everything I can to make sure I'm the best parent.
Good times never seemed so good ...
I want to start this week by thanking everyone who has been following my journey into fatherhood. I can't really describe how great it is to be in public and have someone come up to me and be genuinely interested in this life-changing event for myself and my wife.
A boy or a girl? Pondering the benefits
Well it's officially here. My favorite, and coincidentally the most wonderful, time of the year ... Christmas.
Can't wait to be sticky, icky and broke
"I absolutely love kids, they're so amazing and fun and funny!" If you know me at all, you know I have never said those words before. Never ever.
Chris Pinkard is a staff writer for the Blytheville Courier News