Friday, April 29, 2011

Pic of the Week

Told you I was going to make this a regular thing. This week's pic is titled:

"Death to the Pig Tail"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"The Dad Says. ..."

Last week Gina picked up one of those old school toys where you pull the lever and the dial spins and makes the noise of the animal the arrow lands on. You know. .... "the cow says. ... mooooooooo". Anyway, it's caused us to start playing this game all the time. When we see a dog walk by someone says "what's the dog say?" To which the girls respond with "woof, woof". It's cute, and it makes us beam with pride that our kids can fill in for Dr. Doolittle if there's ever a medical emergency and he's stuck with a sick tortoise in the Galapagos. Plus my sister-in-laws think it's hilarious. Anyway, Gina was playing this game with the girls, running through the gamut; horse, duck, sheep, dog, when she suddenly had a brilliant idea to throw the girls for a loop. "Girls, what does the Daddy say?" I wish there was a pause. A moment for them to think it over, wondering about the perfect answer. But no. With out missing a beat Arianna says "Da, da, da, da" as she wags her finger and scowls. This, of course, is our response to something that's been bad. When we scold we say "da, da, da, da" and we wag our finger at culprit (often times a chair leg that's tripped us or an over eager dog that's knocked us down, but often times an out of line toddler). I feel this is a bum wrap. I'm the easy going one. I'm the one who can't bring myself to hold an angry expression for more than 0.6 seconds. How am I now being identified as the one who says "da, da, da" enough that it's my calling card sound byte? What's the deal with that?! Of course, I might as well enjoy it while I can. By the time they hit 16 (or discover the Nordstrom's shoe section, which ever comes first) the Dad will say "cha-ching, cha-ching". And from then on I'll just be muttering the "da,da's" under my breath.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I call upon the power of the internet!

I'll lay it out for you: I'm a big Michael Bublé fan. So much so that I figured out how to type the "é" and not just call him Michael Buble. I'm also a big fan of wine; but this you know. So when I caught wind of a contest that would allow access to a private Michael Bublé concert at a Napa Valley winery I felt it was destiny. Our 5 year anniversary is coming up and I thought this could be the epitamy of surprises. So I put together a little video submission that I thought would knock their socks off while Gina was at a class and went to upload it. 30 minutes later I realized that the contest was open to everyone. ... except Californians. I don't understand why. I'm from Southern California. ... I'm further from Napa than tons of people in Oregon and Nevada. But what ever. So I put the video up on his Facebook page anyway with the mindset of "I made this video so you're going to watch it". Well, to do so I had to upload it to Youtube first and, by chance, I've got a hand full of views on it and some surprisingly nice comments to boot. So know I'm thinking, (which can be dangerous), this little video could easily have won one of the spots on this trip. So I want to make sure whoever decided to exclude me knows that. Using the power of the Kevin Bacon method the internet is famous for I'm asking my readers to watch my 1 minute video and pass it on to their friends they know might also like it (and who are equally inclined to pass it on to their friends). Hopefully it'll find its way to the powers that be and, hey, maybe I'll get a signed copy of the DVD or something. I'll let you know when, if ever, I hear anything back from Mr. Bublé.

Monday, April 25, 2011

EGGscuze me?!

Easter went off with out a hitch yesterday, I hope yours (if you celebrate) was wonderful as well. We had kind of a unique mix at the Greek bash in the afternoon/evening with 3 sets of twins present, including the little girls born 6 weeks after ours. Not many parties can claim that kind of a guest list. But I'm still reeling about what took place on Saturday, so let me vent. We took the girls to an egg hunt sponsored by the city my mom lives in. They do this every year I guess and we're finally old enough to grasp the concept of picking up the egg and putting it in the basket so we thought this would be a good warm up for Sunday's main event. We show up and it's just a mad house of parents and kids, and from the moment we stepped out of the car you could tell that there was something a miss. These parents were way over eager. Way, way, waaaayyyy over eager. We're 15 minutes away from the start of the hunt and their sprinting from the parking lot, dragging their little ones behind them, who've they dressed to the nines in classic Easter dresses and miniature khaki pants. We defied the system (as we tend to do) and casually strolled toward the festivities in our shorts and tank tops, checking out the ducks and picking dandelions in our path. The hunt was broken down by age group so there was a section just for 2 and under - which is a great idea to make sure the little ones aren't trampled and there's plenty for everyone. ... in theory. Waiting for the gate to open was reminiscent of driving cattle into a coral. A teaming mass of undulating parents desperate to prove something by means of a final egg count. The park staff had to keep telling people to move back and not press forward. ... that shouldn't have to happen at a 2 year old egg hunt. Gina and I stayed in the back; no way I was getting in the mix of that. My sister set up at the far end of the field with her camera and we locked eyes for a moment, each of us mouthing to the other "what the F#@!" The staff gave the go ahead and the swarm of locust descended on the plastic eggs like fire in mattress factory. We brought up the rear and it was amazing to note that the once colorful field of eggs was completely green by the time we got there. ... nothing but grass left. These parents were down on all fours shoveling eggs into baskets while their kids stood there looking on. We sat dumbstruck as they walked by us on their way out, baskets overflowing with eggs; some parents even holding the overflow in their outstretched shirts. We ended up with half a plastic egg shell and two pieces of candy that someone dropped. I was livid. I started in with my "what are you teaching your children here" speech that I could see actually got through to a few parents. One lady actually made her daughter hand over a couple eggs to the girls (daughter could care less, mother seemed more pained to see the eggs go). Seriously though. ... this is supposed to be for the kids. They're supposed to have fun picking up eggs and putting them in baskets; instead they sat there and watched their parents go crazy like it was a sample sale at Nordstrum's. That is not what they had in mind. My favorite moment, however, was at one point we noticed a really tall kid - probably between 8 and 10 - in the mix grabbing up eggs as well. ... in the 2 and under section. My aunt looks right at him and asks "so when are you turning 2?" To which he turned and continued picking up eggs. Oh well. What can you do. I reminded myself that these people probably weren't doing much for Easter, and maybe this was their one chance to give their kids the thrill of the hunt. We, on the other hand, are spoiled enough to get two Easters and there were plenty of opportunities to pick up candy laden eggs. They needed that moment more than we did. So take it. At least we got a good story to tell.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pic of the Week

My girls crack me up. My wife is one of the funniest people I know and, as you have figured out reading this blog, I entertain myself to no avail; so it's only natural that our daughters are as goofy and silly as can be. So I'm going to try (don't hold me to anything, ever) to post my favorite silly picture of the week every Friday going forward. Today's pick is simply titled:


Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Yes" means "No" and "No" means "Book"

This is the problem with communication: you're so confident that you know what you're saying that you often say the wrong thing. Just ask any Vice President of the past 30 years. The girls are at that stage where they understand a lot of things (still have trouble saying them, but comprehension is very good), but there are certain things that they think they know . ... and they really don't. For example, the head shake. This has become an immediate response to everything in the last week or two. You ask them a question and they immediately shake their head "no". A few seconds later, however, you'll find out that they did not mean "no" after all. "Arianna, do you want some juice?" Head shake. Put it in the fridge. Freak out and point up at the juice cup and then suck ravenously once she's gotten it in hand. Last night I'm trying to feed them dinner and they're being pills because their nap was thrown off a bit - Gina took them to a special church service during they day so they had to go down earlier than usual and then they didn't sleep enough. I ask Genevieve if she wants more of her noodles. No. Take the plate away and she screams about it. Then she starts moaning about something (we know words; I don't know why the last couple of days she just starting moaning all the time instead of trying words) so I ask her if she wants milk. No. You want more food? No. You want this book? No. I tried everything, and it was "no" every time. So she's crying and fussing and when we finally finish dinner I pick her up and ask her what it is she wants. She leans out, grabs the book off the table (the same one I asked her about) and starts giggling as she "reads" it. She then totters off to her room, book in hand, completely content. I'm going to stop asking yes or no questions and just try multiple choice or fill in the blanks from now on. Of course, they'll probably just answer "c" to everything. ... that's usually the right answer.

Monday, April 18, 2011

What do you mean the next flight is not for 7 hours?!

We're back from Arizona. Now, if I were to tell you that I spent the weekend at a ranch with two giants, a German man who spoke little English, a pug/doberman mix, my twin daughters and that at one point I heard the words "grab the guns out from under neath the babies car seats" you'd have the beginnings of a pretty good Christopher Nolan script. And to think that it all started when we missed our 7am flight out of LAX.

What you don't want in LA during morning rush hour is for the police to shut down the most traveled freeway in the city to investigate a morning shootout with the cops. That put extra pressure on the freeway we needed to get to the airport and made what is normally a 20 minute trip closer to an hour. That put us at the airport 25 minutes before the flight. ... and 5 minutes after they locked down the check in. Next flight wasn't until 2:30. My mother-in-law was already back in route to pick up Gina's sisters and take them to school. By the time she got back to pick us up we'd pretty much have to turn right back around, so we toughed it out. We got some much needed Starbucks, played around in the terminal with all the luckier people going to Hawaii that morning. Grabbed some lunch at Chili's. Rearranged several souvenier shops and debated about a picture of a polar bear that the girls were convinced was a tiger like the stuffed white one they have. Hey, they understood it went "roar" so that's good enough for me. By then it was time to to take the tram to a remote terminal were we made friends with a drunk cowboy on his way to Boise and 9 month old on his way to Monterrey (with his parents, who looked relieved to know that someone else was facing a bigger challenge than them that day). Soon enough we were on our plane and 20 seconds after liftoff Arianna fell asleep on my chest. She didn't wake up until we had taxied to the terminal in Tucson. Genevieve gave Gina little harder time, but fell asleep about half way through. I have to say, this was my favorite plane flight ever. I've not had this much uninterrupted snuggle time since the girls were mere weeks old. It was fantastic. Plus I got to "stick it" to the crotchety lady sitting next to me who gave me the stink eye when I sat down with an 18 month old. As she was leaving she told me how impressed she was and I accepted her comment gratefully.

Tucson was great, we played at Grandpa's house the first night.
He bought us our own chaise lounge chairs for his gigantic wrap around porch,

we checked out his ducks, and we even hit up the sauna at his club (j/k, just the pool) and then we conked out after dinner with out much of a fuss.

We headed down to the ranch the next day, and had a great time even though it's not really a "baby" friendly place as there's not much to do but ride horses and shoot guns. But we found some rocks to throw, some flowers to pick

and did a little bird watching that kept us good and busy.

Plus, Gina's cousin came up and brought her dog (and her 6'7" boyfriend and his 6'8" brother - the giants) and he kept the girls good and entertained. ... although he did eat our beloved "monkey" doll. ... may he rest in pieces. I'm not going to go into the other crazy details, I'm just going to let your imagination run with it.

Back in Tucson on Sunday the adventures continued. First Grandpa saved a bunny from one of his dogs. It was the tiniest little thing, no bigger than a hamster. It was bleeding pretty bad, but he kept it in a bucket through dinner and by the end of the night it had stopped bleeding and seemed to be doing really well so he released it on the side of the house, away from the mutts. He also brought the girls a pony to ride around in his back yard. I don' think I have to tell you this, but Grandpa has perfected the art of spoiling. I think getting the least amount of time with them out of all the grandparents makes him go a little overboard. But the girls had a really good time and it was good solid interaction time with their grandpa and their 3 uncles, so you've got to go with it. It's important that they grow up knowing who these guys are, even though they've got such wonderful family members here at home. This is their family too - even if it takes 7 hours in the airport to get to see them.
Plan ride home was not as smooth as on the way out. We kept the girls up all day, hoping they'd conk on the plane, but they fell asleep the last 10 minutes of the drive to the airport. So they were slightly rested, but not rested enough which made them really cranky on the plane. The good news is there were two other babies and they were waaaaayyyy worse then us, so it made our 30 minutes of fussing look like nothing. Sometimes it's not about being the best, it's just about not being the worst.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Superman missing in action

So today is the birthday party for my best friend's son. He is turning 4 and his having a superhero party complete with his own muscle suit Batman costume. Now, there's something you should know about me. ... I'm Superman junkie. Always have been, always will be. I have a copy of "Superman Dies" that I haven't opened the blackout covering to see the cover of since I bought it over a decade ago. I have all the movies, a Superman blanket, underwear and yes. ... even a costume. But this is no $50 mass produced costume, it's custom one I built with Gina's help several years ago. So I was supposed to go to the party as a fellow Justice League member, but I'd forgotten we'd already had committed to go out to Tucson this weekend. So I thought I'd share with you the consolation prize. A little movie I made to explain my absence. I'm pretty proud of it and thought you'd get a kick out of seeing it too.

Did I mention that I was a classically trained actor?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Packing up Twins

Started packing our bags last night for the girls upcoming 1st plane trip. Leaving tomorrow to go see Grandpa in Tucson for a few days. It's a quick flight so it shouldn't be too dramatic, but it's our first flight ever so it certainly might be. Should have plenty to blog about by touchdown. Seems like the girls are excited (although Genevieve has a couple teeth that started coming in yesterday and she never handles that very well). Although, we may need to rethink their packing methods. I see lots of toys, but no clothing in their luggage.

Always pack one baby at a time, and use lots of soft material; they're fragile.

Do they count as "carry on" or will they need to be stowed?

Giant pink tennis ball? Check. Yellow spikey ball? Check. Handy Manny Toolbox? Check. ... I think we're set!

Ok, fine. We'll put one more bouncy ball in there. In case of an emergency

Now, to gently cram it all in there. ....

And we're closed. Whew. ... packing is so stressful. Did you remember socks?!

Anyone travel with 18 month olds that has some brilliant suggestions for plane rides? I'm all ears!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Turns out passport photos look terrible no matter how cute you really are

We're going to St. Lucia in a few months which will be the girls first big trip, so we wanted to make sure we got the passports squared away with enough time to spare (not EEEVVEENN going to go into the passport drama we've had in our pre-babies past). We're headed to Arizona later this week so Gina wanted to get them done before we left. The photo guy at Kinko's told her he was only going to give her 10 minutes to get the photos and if they girls didn't cooperate she'd have to come back another time (dude, no faith in the mom with twin toddlers, what's that about?). Girls were perfect and they knocked the photos out in one try. After he removed his foot from his mouth he said he'd never had little kids do so well with the pictures. .... I think that's an apology. Regardless, their photos turned out just as awkward as the rest of ours do. So it's true - there is no such thing as a good passport/drivers license photo. That applies to adorable 18 month olds as well. At least coming back from a trip to a Caribbean islan, everyone in our family will have pictures that look like they're stoned. ... that's not suspicious. ... is it?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lessons Even My Toddlers Know

If you find something that doesn't belong to you, you give it back. My toddlers have grasped this concept (although sometimes it takes persuasion for them to follow through, especially if it's food), why can't adults? I lost my iPhone yesterday. ... well, not really lost it. It was in a pouch on the stroller while I competed in a mud run with my 11 year old sister in law and Gina and the girls were spectating. During the course of the day it either magically bounced out of the pouch while everything else in there stayed put, or someone walked by and snagged it. It was a mesh pouch so you could see everything in there. ... the little faith I place in humanity as a whole leads me to assume the latter. Anyway, they obviously don't have an iPhone otherwise they'd know the power inherent in such a device. I was able to track it with an app to an apartment complex in Fullerton (I get a five foot radius of it's location). Using Google Maps street view I was able to get the complex name, and then a general search turned up the property layout map that gave me the upstairs and downstairs unit numbers for the spot the phone was sitting. I locked the device remotely so they can't use it and then spent the rest of the night harassing them a la "I Know What You Did Last Summer". I can send messages through the tracker that display even after it's been locked. So I'd say things like "corner of Placentia and Madison, huh? Call me at xxx-xxx-xxxx so I can come down there and pick up my phone." And "I'd like my phone back. I know you're just a good Samaritan who's waiting to return it, right?" I finally followed up with "so I've narrowed down your apartment number to 20 or 33. ... should I just come down and visit" at which point the phone was promptly shut off. I know that they'll never be able to use it (serial number is reported stolen and police report will be filed later - they can't do it over the phone, I have to do it in person tonight) so now I'm just taking solace in screwing with them. But I just don't get people. A few years ago I found a hundred dollar bill on the gym floor. I promptly walked to the front desk and turned it. Didn't even cross my mind to keep it. In the years since I've lost sunglasses - called, they made their way to the managers office but by the time I got there to pick them up they'd "vanished"; had my wallet stolen at the gym - got to my car to cancel the credit cards and they'd already rung up $140 in gas charges; Gina's lost a necklace at the gym that was jacked from the locker she left it in; and now my phone. What pisses me off most is that in tracking it's movements I know it came with in yards of the Lost and Found booth at the race. They had every opportunity to do the right thing, but they just decided today was a good day to be an a**hole. I'll be horrified if I turn out kids who are capable of this. But something tells me I don't have to worry about it. In conclusion, if any of my readers live at the El Dorado Apartments, 1120 N. Placentia Ave, Fullerton, CA in either unit 20 or 33. ... I want my damn phone back. Thanks!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Victoria's Secret Models Were Toddlers Too

All I'm saying is that men fantasies about beautiful women, but if they stop and think for a moment that every beautiful women was once a toddler, their fantasies will be dashed. I have no doubt my girls will grow up to be gorgeous, but I find it my responsibility to remind all future suiters that between those two stunning women, in a single day, one of them ate a handful of dog food under her own desire, while the other sneezed a giant snot bubble and ate it before I could wipe it with a tissue. That just happened. So good luck fella's. I don't care what kind of lingerie you may be seeing them in, there's no amount of lace that will erase those facts. I just feel it's my parental duty to report those facts.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Here, let me help you with that

Every time I read an article profiling a murderer it talks about how they used to abuse animals when they were younger. Knowing that common denominator I'm thrilled with how much my girls love our pets (although our pets might consider some of the actions torture, they're done with as much love and gentleness that someone who just figured out how to use their hands a few months ago can muster). Especially through out this Karma saga; they have been beyond sweet. Last night may have taken the cake though. Everyone gets home and Karma is moved into her little area in the living room. I fill up her water and lay it next to her and head back to the kitchen. A few minutes later I hear Gina yelling about "wet pants" and we discover that Genevieve, in an attempt to help Karma drink, poured the bowl of water all over the dog and her bed. Fortunately we have a towel under the bed (dog is restricted on movement and has to be carried to the bathroom so you never know when an accident might happen) so the water went through the bed, then the towel before hitting the rug - which stayed pretty dry. I thanked Genevieve for her help and sent her to play in the other room while I cleaned up and refilled the bowl (half way this time). I brought the other dog bed out from the bedroom and set Karma back up. Gina left shortly thereafter to teach and I let the girls play while I picked up. I came out of the hall and in to the living room about 5 minutes later, just in time to catch Genevieve pouring the last drop out. ... again. Now the other dog bed is wet and there is no towel down this time. I tried (in vein) to explain that Karma can drink on her own and she doesn't need any help. I cleaned up a second time and put the water bowl in the sink. I started getting dinner ready at this point and as I turned to get something out of the fridge I saw Arianna walk by with Karma's food bowl (which gets left in the kitchen) full off food in her arms. She looks at me with a labored face and smiles with that "I'm helping" look. I tell her she needs to put it back and that the bowl needs to stay in the kitchen. Reluctantly she puts it back and I continue with dinner preparations. I then hear the scurry of little feet out in to the living room and back. Out in to the living room and back. Out in to the living room and back. The fourth time I look over my shoulder and see Arianna bend down at the bowl, pick up a single piece of dog food, run to the living room and try and put it in Karma's mouth (which doesn't work so she just lays it next to her face on the floor). These girls are too much! I'm laughing hysterically at this point. All they want to do is take care of Karma, make sure she eats her food and drinks her water so she gets better and can play again. I swear, if it was any sweeter I'd have cavities.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Crash Test Daddy

The girls are already proving the old adage true: women are terrible drivers. ... when they're 18 months old. We've been in the "pushing" phase for quite some time. Pushing toy cars, pushing walkers, pushing each other. At Yiayia's they have those little popper things that look like they're trying to teach kids the fun side of mowing the lawn. At Grandma's it's a little toy ATV. At home it's a Cozy Coupe (red car with yellow roof, you know the one) and a little sit down scooter that converts to a walker. For some reason, now, it's not just fun to push the toys, it's fun to crash them. And despite being surrounded by walls, they seem to have a habit of crashing in to us. Now, I'm a not a shoe guy. I'm a So Cal boy, so if I'm not at work or a funeral, I'm barefoot or in sandals. When I come home I put on shorts or some mangled jeans, an equally well worn t-shirt and that's it. I'm now considering adding my steel toe boots to the mix because my ankles and heals are battered, bruised and blistered. Last night I'm making dinner and I get the scooter to the back of the ankles at full force. Later my foot is run over by a speeding Cozy Coupe. I'm filling up the bath and I get the same runaway coupe to the lower back (how they managed to get said coupe through the door way and into the bathroom with out hitting anything yet still managed to strike me at full speed is as confusing as it is alarming). Karma is grateful she's secure behind her rehab gate, and the cat's have long since found hiding spots high off the ground, because they'd wind up road kill in this house. I'd suspend their licenses but I'm pretty sure you need a license to drive. ... they're not driving so much as careening out of control. God help me if this is any indication of how they'll be at 16. If that proves true I'm buying a lot of city bus passes. I'm thinking of your safety people. I'm thinking of you. Karma Update: For those following the dog saga, Karma got her stitches out and is now cone free (yay)! She's still confined with mobility but is allowed to go for leashed walks up to 10 minutes total per day. She's started to put some weight on it and the vet was quite pleased with that. So all in all we are making some good progress. Only about 9 more weeks of rehab to go.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Through the looking glass

I've mentioned in the past that when we bought our place it was supposed to be a "two year" starter condo. ... and then 2008 came. Five years later we're still in the two year starter with limited signs of relocating any time soon. It was fine when we moved in. The area wasn't ideal but it was in our price range and it had enough space. We were newly weds and it worked fine. As the girls came closer to arrival not only did the space issue start to concern us, but we suddenly started noticing another problem. ... our neighbors. It's not the adults that are the problem (although a few are less then ideal), it's mostly their kids. In the last five years they've gone from a multitude of little toddlers to a roaming pack of wild dogs, conjuring images of Lord of the Flies rather than elementary school students. There's never an adult present, they swear like seasoned sailors and they leave a wake of destruction in their path with trash strewn about, broken fixtures and someone always crying. We've made it our goal that the girls never interact with these children, we'd get out of here long before that possibility arrived. I'm afraid we are now at the threshold. The little girls in the pack wait for us to exit the building and then swarm us to say "hi", always commenting on shoes and hair. They're actually very sweet little girls (although I'm disturbed by the fact that most of their mouths are completely silver at 6 years old - seriously, it's called a tooth brush parents!), it's the boys that I really dislike. These little. ... ahem. ... boys curse to no end and they are out of control with their "playing". ... I've even seen one swinging away with a golf club and golf ball only about 5 yards from my front door, I've also seen them throw rocks at each other just to pass the time. Yesterday, after getting the girls out of the bath I heard a commotion out front. I went in to the living room to see two 8 year olds in a fist fight (again, no parents around) and the other kids gleefully egging them on. My girls plastered their faces to the window to watch, which upset me even more then the other's swelling faces and the five year old who shouted "kick his ass". I flung open my door and yelled "stop it right now! I am not going to allow this to go on in front of my home. If you need to do this you need to move it elsewhere. Do you really want to set this kind of example for my little girls to see?!" To which one of the fighters replied "whatever" then turned around and punched his opponent. I was mortified. Add to everything else, now it's evident that this grade schooler has zero respect for any adult, and I'm quite an imposing adult at that (6'3", 225lbs). I pulled my girls from the window and closed the blinds, but Arianna was adamant about watching and kept returning and pulling them back up. I finally moved them both in to their bedroom and closed the door. I could hear them outside for another 20 or 30 minutes, so we read books and listened to music until is subsided and then I put them to bed. When Gina made it home the first thing from my mouth is "we need to get out of here." I don't care what it takes. If we have to shack up elsewhere and rent this place out so be it. I'm not going to have my children associate with and by influenced by a bunch of other peoples parenting mistakes. And before it's suggested that I talk to the parents, I'd like to note that I have no clue who the parents are. As mentioned before I've never once (not in 5 years) seen a parent amongst the ruckus. This is not a world I'm willing to let my children walk through. God help me, I'm gonna find a way out of here. And I'm going to find it fast.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Sorry, but we've got our hands kind of full

Our plan was to go to breakfast yesterday. I love plans. One day, my goal is to have a plan that comes to fruition. ... that would be awesome. Anyway, Gina wanted to go to spin in the morning, so we were going to go as soon as she got back. But when she got back we realized we were out of diapers (well, we knew we were out, we'd just not thought about when we were going to get more) so we had to go to Costco first. ... where we ended up with $150 worth of non-diaper items as well. So we went to lunch instead. As the lady led us to our table we noticed there was another little girl about our age at the table next to us. They had the parents and the grandparents all there and they seemed to be enjoying themselves. Naturally, as the circus parked itself next to them, they started up a conversation with us (their daughter was only about a month older then the girls, so they were right at the same level). The problem is they had a 4 on 1 ratio at their table. Four adults for every toddler. We've got a 1 on 1 ratio. ... so while they kept wanting to continue conversations, we were more focused on the flying avocado and the arms up to their elbows in ranch dressing. They were very nice people, but it didn't dawn on them that our lives were just a little more complicated then theirs at the moment. I noticed a couple times, later in the meal, the parents just staring at us as we each fed a baby with on hand, simultaneously feeding ourselves with the other, and some how managing to wipe up the spills and splats with a yet unidentified third arm. I quite imagine that we look like cartoon octopuses operating a New York City switchboard. Or at the very least like those aliens in "Men in Black" who operate the computer. And this wasn't the only example of the dichotomy this weekend. On Saturday we took the girls to the Santa Anita Race Track because they were having a food truck festival in the infield. Thought it would be fun. ... I was wrong. 80 trucks each with a minimum wait of an hour (or about 150 people per line). And we didn't get there until late in the day so half the people who weren't there with children were drunk and passing out on the infield grass. Not a really good "family" environment even though that was the pitch I heard on the radio. So we left and got In N' Out instead. ... which was a great consolation prize. But as we're walking back to the car (stroller would have been a good thing to bring today) Gina was exhausted from carrying a baby the whole time so I had to muscle up and carry both. Both girls are on the brink of 30 pounds, and while 60 pounds isn't that much. ... it really is when you had to park in the very furthest spot in a really long parking lot. As I'm walking (and I'm hoofing it, almost 20 yards in front of Gina because my arms feel like they're going to fall off any second and I'd hate to drop a baby in a parking lot) people are pointing, and awing, walking by us with their one baby in a nice little stroller. ... with wheels, and making comments that indicate they'd like me to stop so they can see the girls and talk with me. I just wanted a shirt at that very moment that said "Hello, 60 pounds of baby. Take you're picture and get out of my way." But that's our life. And when we get back in the car and the circulation returns to my thumbs and the burger rests nicely in my belly. ... I wouldn't want things any other way. Because when your hands are full, it keeps them out of trouble.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Bean Counter

My kids are pretty good about eating. Since they made their way to solids there's relatively few foods that the refuse - which is good because we're pretty healthy so there are a lot of vegetables that kids stereotypically refuse. In fact, just to give you an idea of how Gina has modified our menus: instead of spaghetti and meatballs we eat spaghetti and broccoli. Macaroni and cheese has peas added in (I call it Macaroni and Peas). Basically anywhere there's an opening we shove a vegetable in. So last night I made the girls dinner; chicken, some noodles - and I thought I'd add in some green beans. For whatever reason the green beans weren't a hit. Arianna ate up pretty well, wolfing down hand over hand. So I thought it strange that her plate wasn't getting any emptier. I went to walk away and, as I did, I glanced over my shoulder to see Genevieve, arm stretched to capacity, dropping off some of her green beans on Arianna's plate. Caught in the act her eyes widen and she contemplated a second before pointing at her sister and simply saying "she". As in "these are hers, I was just returning them". Sure you were. Cleaver little girl. Karma's confined to her bed for then next several weeks so she's found a new outlet to eat the dinner that she doesn't want. Her sister. On a side note HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY. This is my moms favorite day, so in honor of her I made my office a batch of blue berry muffins. Gina made me promise that I would take credit for the baking as she doesn't want anyone to think she had a hand in it. The secret ingredient? 1/3 cup of salt, 1/4 cup of pepper and just a dash or two (ok nine) of garlic powder. What's cracking me up is everyone is so polite. They sit there, choking down the bites like they don't want to offend me. It's awesome. Once I tell them the b-line for the water cooler. ... ahhhh, I love this day. I'll try and post some video for you tomorrow.