Saturday, October 30, 2004

One for the Good Guys!

You may have read some of my rants about dad stereotypes portrayed in popular culture, especially advertising-- JCPenney ad ("where's your mother?"), Nissan ad ("Moms have changed shouldn't the minivan?"). Well, my sister sent me a print ad from a magazine the other day. It was a J&J baby wash product, a color photo of the product tastefully laid over a black and white of a man's soap covered hand gently touching a baby's face. The text read "As gentle as a father's touch." Thanks, J&J and JJ!

Friday, October 29, 2004

Money, money, money, money

Tonight I took Four to a birthday party thrown by one of his classmate's parents. It was at one of the indoor playpark/arcade venues. The 4 year olds seem to really love it. I ended up having to take LuLu also as M was stuck in a meeting that ended up going until 7PM. Four is getting so big, and is really learning how to play well with others -- recent behavior has had us wringing our hands and pulling out our hair (I now know why men go bald), so any positive is progress -- but more on that later. So, while Four and his classmates were entertaining themselves and each other, I would follow LuLu like a hawk and strike up a conversation with other parents when I could. Eventually, LuLu climbs into one of the ride-ons. It requires a two token payment to ride. LuLu looks at me, starts rocking and says, "Poosh. Poosh peez." I tell her that its not that kind of ride. Somehow, she figures out the economics of the situation and says, "Ma-nee. Da-dee ma-nee." How could I resist? But later I began thinking about it. My daughter, not yet 2, is already asking me for "ma-nee".

P.S. Both LuLu's top canines have finally borken through. Now the bottoms are looking ripe.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Happy Birthday Four!

Celebrated Four's 4th this weekend. Our second party in just over a week. It was a good time, hectic getting ready, but a good time nonetheless. We did a barnyard theme and made sure to have some planned activities. Last year, we just figured the kids would all free play for most of the party and it just ended up feeling long. This year, the timing seemed perfect. We had a little craft for the kids to do when they arrived and allowed for freeplay for about an hour. Then we had three games; Pig Races, Duck-Duck-Goose, and Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Cake followed. I made an egg-free cake in a tractor mold pan and decorated it in John Deere colors. My brother Eric said I'd "make someone a good wife one day." Since I'm pretty confident about my role and my manhood, I took it as a compliment that I had done a pretty good job with the cake. Presents. More freeplay. Good-byes.

I think everyone had a great time and was very well behaved, even Eric.

things they say

friday night Mon sent home a link given to her by a guy she works with who's son races BMX and Motocross. I was heading out the door but she said I should check it out before leaving without giving me much detail about it. After checking it out, I had to show Four. I told him that we'd have to look into that -- I figure he'll be able to keep up on an MX bike before an MTB or road bike. He's been all excited about motocross anyway ever since spending an overnight with Mon's parents and borrowing You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown. He excitedly asked, "Where can we get that? On eBay?"

This weekend, Four's cousin was here complete with his Spiderman costume which in turn comes complete with super-jacked foam muscles. While Four had one of his many turns at wearing it, I asked him if he was "hitting the weights." He replied, "No, I've been hitting the bad guys."


LuLu calls Four's fish, whose name is dory, doo-doo. Four asked M the other day why does she call dory doo-doo. M explained that LuLu cannot yet speak as well as he can and that sometimes she does the best she can and often the result is pretty cute. Four then asked, "Did I say things like that when I was little?" M said, "Sure." Four asked, "Like what?" Let's just say we're still working on the answer. That does remind me, though, why I blog.

Friday, October 15, 2004

exquisite creature

i was just reading on the floor with LuLu and i couldn't help but notice how beautiful she is. her tiny little features so perfectly formed. her wavy, bordering curly hair, still so fine and soft. her smile. her smile is probably the most endearing of these. we are so blessed. i give thanks every day.

the book we were reading was baby einsteins boardbook babies. as a sahd, i found it a refreshing, if not subtle, look at parenting. so many of these books talk about mothers and their love for their children. this book has a page "Daddies love their babies." and the following page reads "Mommies love their babies, too." Like I said subtle, but a welcome change from the typical. One book we have, I Love You As Much only deals with mothers, leaving fathers out of both human and animal parenting.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

i'm back

life has as usual been crazy busy. we had our neighborhood beef and beer here at the house. it seemed to be a success. we had 63 people jammed into our place. it was fun. now we're trying to re-organize and put on a birthday party for our little guy. he and i have again been butting heads recently. i chalk it up to my extreme workload in getting this place ready for that party and in performing the duties of the president of our neighborhood civic association. we have a little situation brewing with the large estate behind us and i have been on the phone what seems like non-stop. and if it seems non-stop to me, it must seem like an eternity to a four year old just wants to play cars or do puzzles or play hide and seek. on the way to yet another meeting tonight, Monster and I were talking about the fact that this was not why we made the decision for me to stay home with the kids. After the meeting was over, I announced to the board that i would be stepping down as prez. it was hard b/c i am passionate about the neighborhood, but the time is just not right for me and my family. i will remain on the board but can no longer accept all the responsibility associated with being the president.

with all this stuff going on, my exercise/training time has dropped down to 'nil. as we were coming down the home stretch to the beef and beer, i could feel my cyclocross season slipping away -- or at least my ability to be competitive. it's funny how when my exercise/training tails off, my dietary choices suffer just as badly, or maybe even worse. still don't have a bike put together, but have decided given that my fitness is not where it was several weeks ago, the wheeler -- suspension fork and all -- will become the bike of choice for the season. its not going to be the reason i'm not competitive.

the girl child is growing up so quickly. it's amazing how much she is talking. she just had her 18 months check up, and the doctor made a comment how advanced she is verbally. i mentioned that it must be b/c of her older brother, but she said that 2nd children actually speak later, given that they often don't need to since their older siblings do the speaking for them. now i'm chalking it up to all the reading we do with her (and him). the other good thing that came out of her check-up was that she had been tested for lead about a week prior to her visit. the doctor had requested because the exterior of our 50+ year old home had been painted. mid-way through my interior project i started to freak out that i was releasing lead dust into the air. my fears were mitigated when lulu's lead tests came back at essentially zero.

the boy child has been giving us fits lately. as i mentioned before i think its my relative non-availability. after this weekend and his party, i think we're just going to lay low and spend a lot of quality time. he's funny, even when he's being a complete pain in the you-know-what, he can turn it off and be ultra-sweet, insightful, and perceptive. i was walking up the hill tonight after the meeting listening to a little mozart and trying to find perspective on my day, week, life, and i had that very thought above, but now cannot for the life of me remember what cool thing he must have done to make me think that. the point is though, even though he can make my blood boil at times, he really is a good kid.

Friday, October 01, 2004


Our bridge failure made the local paper. We weren't really stranded, we just couldn't get cars or trucks in or out. Thankfully, there were no fire or medical emergencies.

The Best We Can Do?

I listened to the debate last night as I (surprise) painted. I just kept thinking that in this great nation of 293 million these are the best we have to offer.