Our First Family Holiday In Photos— And Breastfeeding!

Our First Family Holiday In Photos— And Breastfeeding!

This is a dual purpose photo post that will both recap Four’s first holiday with my family and throw public breastfeeding pics in the faces of people who were angry at my last post. Joy to the world!

Airport BoobWe started the holiday trip off right with our rendition of Little Town Of Breast-Ahem at the airport. I know they hold more than 3.5 ounces of liquid, so how did she sneak them past the crack TSA team at security?

MARYLAND

Bad Ass Dad and sonMe and Frankie Four landed in Maryland and were immediately accosted by some woman (who may or may not be his mother and my wife) because of our winning smiles. We can’t help it if we pretty.

Mixed race familyI am an equal opportunity uncle and demand racial diversity in my family. It was very difficult for me to accept that my son turned out to be Caucasian but I love him anyway. Appearing in this photo from upper left to right is my sister, my wife, my nephew, my mom holding my disturbingly cracker-ish son, and my niece.

Bad Ass Dad wifeMy gorgeous California wife dressed in a New York outfit in the Maryland woods. This was what she was wearing when she was last seen so if you—just kidding. The ground was way too hard to dig a hole that day.

Bad Ass DadKevin and I have been friends for 25 years. You think he’d have offered me some of his sperm so that my kid had a little melanin.

Bad Ass DadScott and I have been friends for over 30 years and it looks a lot like he donated his sperm given Four’s cheeks.

NORTH CAROLINA

Bad Ass Dad and sonsFranklin Nathaniel Prather’s 2, 3, and 4. One of them believes that he’s the master of the universe and so do the other two.

prather thanksgivingThis is a happy photo of Four’s first Thanksgiving and definitely not a family that’s being forced to pretend that everything is fine by armed home invaders. (Help us)

grandparentsPop, Four, and GeeBee, not to be confused with Bel Biv Devoe.

bad ass dad hairThe wind messed up my hair so I was forced to brutally murder the wind. Problem solved.

Bad Ass  Dad familyWould it be egotistical of me to caption this, “Best Looking Family That Ever Lived”?
Yes?
Ok, good.

Bad Ass Dad friendsWhen my friend Larry died he left behind a beautiful family who I finally got to introduce to Four. Seeing his kids playing with my son was one of the highlights of my year. His twins were asleep by the time we actually took a pic.

FLORIDA

Bad Ass DadOn the flight to Florida our son crawled into the arms of a strange Asian woman named Linn. That was literally the only thing she said that we could understand.

Bad Ass DadHere is Four in a rickshaw and not because the last picture was of him and an Asian woman. Don’t be such a racist. But I think we can all agree that one of them is probably a terrible driver.

Bad Ass DadFour with Nena, his great-grandmother and the reason we were in Florida.

Baby in a suitcaseI’m not saying you should pack your baby in a suitcase,
I’m just saying it might make the flight more peaceful.

Bad Ass Dad breastfeedingI promised breastfeeding pics so here’s one that, unfortunately, did not take place in public. But don’t worry, they’re coming!

Bad Ass DadThis is my nephew Chris showing off his first tattoo as well as a small white child.

Bad Ass DadWe spent a few days at the beach trying to catch our tans up with my niece Cassi. We failed.

Bad Ass DadI don’t know if you’ve ever checked the caloric content of sand but, given how much of it he’s eaten and how his body looks, I’d say it’s fattening.

Bad Ass DadSHART! Wait, I mean SHARK! No, it was a shart.

Bad Ass DadOnly one of the best days of my life, no big deal.

Bad Ass DadThe #1 beach in America according to someone who ranks beaches. In America. But after Siesta Key, you need a…

Bad Ass DadA siesta—while being watched by toy creepers.

Bad Ass Dad breastfeedingAfter the nap, a little X-mas shopping with St. Nipple-ous.

Bad Ass DadThe next day we took the family to a state park where not a single one of us got eaten by an alligator or encountered someone invoking the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law. You’re slipping, Florida.

Bad Ass Dad breastfeedingWe also took a little boat ride in the 90 degree weather. I’m clearly upset with Lisa for not covering our son in something that would overheat him to death just so she could protect the other people on the boat from her semi-visible boob.
(I’m on a boob, bitch!)

Bad Ass DadFour is having the time of his life. Wheeeeeeeee!

Bad Ass DadFour’s enthusiasm for life was reinvigorated when we all went to Universal Studios!

Bad Ass DadMommy helps Four wake up. SURPRISE!

Bad Ass DadHe poses for the picture or he gets the hose again.

Bad Ass Dad breastfeedingMy wife breastfeeding my son, uncovered,
while walking with my mom at Universal Studios in Florida. Bad Ass women.

Bad Ass DadAnd the defining image from our trip. The family.
From L to R:
Frankie Four (my son)
Lisa (my wife)
Gloria (my mom)
Cassi (my niece)
Stephanie (my sister)
Chris (my nephew)
Gloria aka “Nena” (my grandmother)

…and the luckiest guy on earth, me.

Meet The Family

Meet The Family

In May of 2000 I moved from Maryland to California. One little fight and my mom got scared she said, “You’re moving with your Auntie and Uncle in Bel-Air”.

I wasn’t sure if it was a forever move, and many people said, “You’ll come back”, but it was, and I didn’t. It was hard leaving my loved ones behind but after developing a career in television, along with a love for drought, traffic, disingenuous people, huge financial drain, earthquakes sunshine, I accepted that I’d be staying long term and that engaging my family in person was going to be infrequent. Although I love them dearly, regular trips to the East Coast are costly, time consuming, and the humidity wreaks havoc on my hair. Then, my son was born and suddenly I realized that perfect hair isn’t everything (<—Who AM I?).

It took 5 months after his birth for the stars, and work, to align perfectly so that Lisa and I could introduce Frankie Four to my family in person. Prior to that, Lisa had volunteered to brave the trip on her own because my work schedule wasn’t adjusting in our favor. However, in a fortuitous turn of events, not only did my job afford me the opportunity to join her on part of the journey, it placed me in the very city where my bride and progeny would land. What it didn’t allow was for us to travel at the same time, so Lisa carted Four cross-country by herself. Mad props to my wife for being a Bad Ass in every sense of the term, but particularly so for her willingness to drag our heavy handful of a kid all over America by her lonesome. Not an easy task.

I was already in Florida when Lisa and Four arrived, so I scooped them up at the airport and headed to my grandparents house where my mom and niece would be joining us from Maryland. It’s an understatement to say that I was as excited as a kid at Christmas. Or Hanukkah. Or Kwanzaa. Or some other occasion where kids get really excited. I was more excited than a kid excited at any of those things.

My grandmother, better known as Nena (pronounced Nee-naw), was the first person to see Four and her face lit up in a way I haven’t seen in years. The minute she spoke Four almost jumped out of my arms smiling and laughing hysterically. Witnessing that interaction, between two of the people that I love most in the world, ranks among the happiest moments of my life.

NenaFourblog

That happiness might only have been equaled when my mom held her grandson.
momfourblog

The visit got better and better, like my looks, as time went on. Watching my mom, my grandparents, my niece Cassi, my wife, and my son together melted my heart.

bad ass dad - frank prather

Leaving wasn’t as emotional as I’d expected, but only because Lisa and Four stayed behind for two more days. The thought of them further bonding with my family made it a bit easier to return home.

The only disappointment was that I couldn’t join the dynamic duo on the next leg of the trip, to North Carolina to see my dad and stepmother. I would have loved to see Franklin Nathaniel Prather 4 meet Franklin Nathaniel Prather 2, but luckily Lisa captured the moment for me.

frank prather

Four even got a surprise visit and corresponding outfit from his Uncle Casey. The back should say, “And I just took one.”

caseyfour

I’m not sure anyone was more excited leading up to Four’s impending visit than my stepmom, Brenda. No doubt Four can’t wait til he’s old enough to work her for whatever he wants during visits.

dadbrenda

Lisa and Four stayed back East for almost six days after I left. I returned to Los Angeles to get back to work and tried to embrace what I thought was some much needed alone time. What I discovered while “relaxing” wasn’t that I needed alone time, but that I needed my family. I missed my wife and son so much that I didn’t know what to do without them. I tried reading, I tried writing, I tried watching TV, working out, and riding my motorcycle. None of it was enough to distract me from the palpable feeling of emptiness without them there. What I did use the time for was to reflect on how much I also needed the rest of my family, and how much I want Four to grow up knowing them, and not just via Skype or Facetime. He deserves to experience firsthand, on a regular basis, the unfathomable amount of love that exists in every member of my family, as I was fortunate enough to experience my entire life. I promised myself that he would see them multiple times every year regardless of work or other obligations.

Just prior to my arrival in Florida I was in Louisiana for work, meeting a family that’s being considered for their own TV show. The father of that family posted quite a few photos to social media and tagged them with words that have played on a loop in my head ever since I sat in a room watching the people that I love the most together —- #familyovereverything.

Family over everything, indeed.

dinner

34 Weeks Pregnant – The Babymoon

34 Weeks Pregnant – The Babymoon

When I first posted on Facebook that my wife and I were taking off on our “babymoon”, one of my friends commented, “At every guys request, please don’t perpetuate the ‘babymoon'”. I can only assume that he was lamenting being forced to take his baby-mama on a vacation prior to her giving birth, which I completely understand. Taking your wife on vacation certainly should be the exception rather than the rule. I mean, it costs at least twice as much as going by yourself, you have to compromise on where to eat, and they usually expect at least one “romantic” moment to happen which you have to orchestrate to look like it happened spontaneously because you’re “so in love”.

That said, when I planned my trip to Hawaii, leaving my wife at home barely crossed my mind. I mean, who was going to carry my luggage if not my wife? Plus, when you travel with a pregnant chick people are super nice to you. They smile at you creepily, offer you places to sit, and usher you to the front of the line (which is infinitely better than being Chris Brown’d to get you back in line). It really made the trip extra special and there is a reasonable chance I will bring my wife on all future babymoons. That said, let me tell you a little about it.

My wife and I have taken to staying outside of the typical tourist areas during our travels so I booked three unique looking places via AirBnb.com. Having never been to Hawaii, and no familiarity with any particular parts of it, we rolled the dice on our 12 night trip with 5 on Maui, 2 on Molokai, and 5 back on Maui in another spot.

PHASE 1 – Maui (Kula)

Kula is located in what’s referred to as “Upcountry” on Maui which is a fancy way of saying, “far as shit from the beach”. Believe it or not, proximity to the ocean wasn’t part of our criteria for this trip. I know, most people go to Hawaii to sit on the beach all day but that’s not our style. While I enjoy the ocean view and spending an hour or two on the sand, after that I’m ready to go do something. Lisa is even worse than me. After 10 minutes of sitting still she’s all, “How much loooooooonger?” So rather than orchestrating a shark attack on her person, I simply keep her entertained inland. The place we stayed was a little cottage with an incredible view where we resided for 5 day including Christmas.

Frank Prather Bad Ass DadThat’s me on a deck. That’s a tangerine on me. That’s our cottage on the hill.

Kula, Maui viewThat’s the view of the ocean from our cottage.

Bad Ass DadThis is us trying to time a selfie.

Bad Ass DadThis is me wondering how my wife got so huge.

Bad Ass DadThis is us finally getting our shit together for the picture.

Because I don’t want to turn this into a travel guide book, I’m just going to throw out a couple of highlights from each phase of our trip. The most convenient thing about Kula is that it’s really close to the entrance of Haleakala National Park. This is a popular spot to drive to the top of the 10,000 foot volcano peak and watch the sunrise. They tell you to get up early so you don’t miss it, and to dress warm because it’s cold. What they mean by that is “get up in the middle of the night” and “doesn’t matter what you wear, you’re going to freeze to death.” But hey, you’re going to have an epic picture of a sunrise which will get you so many Instagram likes that your life will suddenly have meaning.

kulafrozenTropical island my balls.

kulasunriseClouds. Craters. Sunrise. That’s a wrap. Back in the car.

The other thing about Kula, that we discovered accidentally, is that it turned out to be the start of the most epically beautiful drive we have ever taken. And for those who are familiar with Maui no, it was not the Hana Hwy aka “Road To Hana”. Well, not exactly. Most people make that drive from Paia down to Hana town which is about 45 miles of mildly scenic road. Along this route are a bunch of suggested stops where you and 659498375 other people try to jam your cars into zero parking spots so you can hike in a take pictures of x/y/z. We drove it. It was unimpressive. However, if you drive to Hana from Kula, your going to have eyegasms at the sheer beauty of everything you see the entire way. Plus, you can pull off anywhere you want, don’t have to hike, and will see about 5 cars on the road over the hours long drive. It’s so epic that we did it twice.

Road to HanaIf I were roadkill I’d want to be dead on this road.

Frank Prather HawaiiHello Hawaiians, I am your new king. Congrats!

Bad Ass DadLisa is in such good shape because I “allow” her to run alongside the car.
You’re welcome, dear!

Bad Ass Dad waterfall2 mile hike uphill (ish) to get to this waterfall.
My wife, 7 months pregnant, basically ran it.
She > you.

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