Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The voices in my head

It was a very long, very exhausting weekend. Gina was up in Northridge working her tail off and I was home again with the girls working off mine. Gina noted that every time she's MIA for a weekend I seem to fill up our schedule beyond capacity. On Friday night it was my mom's birthday, on Saturday morning the girls and I went to the beach with my niece and nephew, Saturday night was a party for Gina's cousin. Sunday we went to the Strawberry Festival and Sunday night we were back at my mom's for dinner with some family friends who hadn't seen the girls in quite some time. Monday was a party at my sisters in the morning and a party at Gina's BFF's house after nap. It all cultivated with Arianna stage diving off a cooler and face planting in to the concrete ground. She was OK but has the makings of a half human / half unicorn going on right now. I think I'll call her a hunicorn. Sounds prettier than uniman. Which sounds oddly alarming. Needless to say my sanity is greatly in question at the moment. In fact, Gina didn't have to leave for the festival until 9 on Monday morning so I thought I'd take a run and purge some of the craziness from my system. I did my normal 4 mile circuit around our stomping ground. Usually I take this time to reflect, be it on life or school or ambitions, whatever is eating at me. This time it was the "Silly Squirrel Dance" song from Sesame Street. Four miles. Four F#$@ Miles with that bloody song on a loop! Talk about a "marathon" experience. I couldn't think of any other song, any other subject then sucking my cheeks in, then puffing them out; raising my hands like I'm climbing a tree and doing the silly squirrel dance with the high soprano songstress from hell. I'm pretty sure I'm going crazy. ... maybe not certifiable yet, but I definitely have all the ingredients on the kitchen counter and the oven is preheating to 375.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Pic of the Week

"If you've got big shoes to fill, make sure they're comfy"










Thursday, May 26, 2011

Negotiating Bedtime

My girls are super easy when compared to some of the other kids I've seen out there. That being said, Arianna is my daughter. She has a personality that can only be blamed on me. Part of this personality entails the refusal to be controlled. It's not so much that we don't want to do what you are telling us to do - but because you're telling us to do it. ... we don't want to do it. Most of the time she's really good about over riding that loose wire in her system (better than I am at it) but when she gets tired her ability to over ride goes down and we end up in a stage 4 reactor meltdown. Last night we blew. Girls were great all night, not a single problem (except the constant search of Mama after she's left for yoga - "Mama?" "Mama's at yoga." "Mama?" "Yoga." "Mama?" "Ugh. Here, watch some Blue's Clues." "BoCoo?!"). That is until story time. I could tell she was getting sleepy because she was rubbing her eyes, so I fast forwarded to teeth brushing and on to the stories. Usually I have them sit in the middle of the room, they get their binkies while I fix the beds and then I'll pick out a couple of books to read. Well first Arianna decided she wasn't going to sit, she was going to scale the rocking chair. Whatever, I still had to fix the beds anyway so I gave her some line. Then I picked out the books and asked her to sit down with her sister - "No!" I gave her a second shot, explaining she'd lose the binkie if she didn't sit down. A vigorous head shake. I popped the binkie out and I might as well have pulled the plug out of a volcano because she erupted in a fit. I held my ground and she held hers. Genevieve, meanwhile, just sat there with a pleasant look on her face waiting for story time to begin. I finally got Arianna to stand next to her sister, but she was holding out the refusal to sit. She would bend over and touch the ground. She would squat. She would kneel. She would do everything BUT touch her butt to the ground. So I just read the books anyway. Genevieve seemingly blind to her sister and me trying to force a happy, whimsical voice as I read "little hands love soft, cuddly bears," as Arianna stood inches from my face, screaming directly in to my ear to ensure I had not forgotten she was there and that I was clearly receiving her message. After book number two we resumed negotiations and agreed on a compromise; she would sit. ... but it would be on my lap. Whatever. It's give and take sometimes. The crying stopped and we made it through book number three with only a slight quiver in her regained breath. After the book I got up to turn on the music and the nightlight and she laid her head down in the middle of the room (I told you she was tired). Of course by some crazy odds she managed to snag her earring in the carpet and we started the freak out all over again. I got the earring back in (I've improved my skills drastically) after what looked like a cowboy roping a calf at a rodeo. Bed time was obviously all we really needed because they were both out in about 35 seconds flat after that door closed. ... and then Daddy got to write 5 pages singles spaced on the effects of property law in modern culture. I'll take Arianna screaming over that any day. At least she makes sense.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Book Mark

So I had this great idea to write a book that, unlike the first one which was just a collection of posts, started from scratch. I have this vision of modeling it after the Bible and calling it "The Word of Dad". ... too blasphomous? Anyway, I thought it would be a guide for other dads and each chapter would sort of draw inspiriation from a book of the Bible, ie. Genesis is the pregnancy, Exodus the birth, Numbers the finances - all the way to Revelations, which would involve a collection of thoughts accumulated through this experience called parenting. So I wrote out a rough version of the Genesis chapter and I thought I'd run it by you and gather some thoughts. Is this worth continuing; any ideas on what to refine or what direction to go from here? Am I going to hell? Whatever you think, let me know.


Genesis


In the beginning, you were probably drunk. Now the womb was formless and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the spirit of booze was hovering over you both.

And she said “Let’s get it on,” and you said, “well, alright!” And the lightness entered the dark. And the light was called “you” and the dark was called “her”. And this was the meeting on the first day; although it most likely occurred at night time because you both work for a living and “GLEE” was a rerun.

And the “you” found the “her” in the darkness and became one, now known as the “it”, because “your” sounds possessive and “hou” sounds Chinese. So the “it” began a rapid cell division to officially become a “zygote”, but only briefly – quiet possibly because it sounds like a futuristic livestock animal and preferred to be categorized differently – thus making its way to “embryo” hood. And it was good. And this was the first month.

And in the second month, the stomach separated from the genitals. And this too, was good. For the two should never remain conjoined for fear of literally making love to a cheeseburger in “it’s” early teens. And the eyelids formed and the tongue. And the limbs stretched and the “it” looked less like a tadpole and more like an alien in a bad science fiction movie. And it was good. And the heart began beating, and this was really good.

And the “her” began noticing that something was missing; though she wasn’t sure what. Perhaps she left the oven on, or forgot to call her great aunt on her birthday. Who knows! Maybe it will come to her later. Right now she’s late for yoga and it’s not a big deal.

And the “embryo” is now a fetus, and it was good. This was the second month.


And in the third month the tail disappeared, which was great because no one wants a kid with a tail. Unless you’re in the circus business, in which case this might be something of a desired feature. I’m not in the circus business, so know this I doth not. Although I have ventured to a circus or two in my day and see a child with tail I cannot recall. Thus I believe it may prove a money maker.


And the fingers were formed, in this, the third month. And the tiny fists began to clench, quite possibly in rage, and yet equally possible that the “it” was simply practicing for a roe, sham, bo tournament; though paper and scissors still needed some work.


And though the “you”, the “her” and the “it” have no clue, the gender of the “it” is starting to show. So the “you” will have need either to buy a weapon or increase your insurance coverage for the “it”, pending this discovery. If weapon be your need, you have some 15 years to determine how to use it. If insurance be your savior. … get a lot. Also, put the fire department on speed dial.


“Her” has by now realized what’s going on. And though she may not have shared the information with you – because let’s face it, you’re a man and whatever you say in response will be the wrong thing – she has shared it with her best friend, her sister and, most likely, her mother. And she is freaking out; and this is good. Well. … it’s not “good” good, but it’s good for the overall process.


And she is likely nauseous. And you will hold her hair, and she will vomit. And you will rub her feet. And she will moan. And you will hold a stick that she has peed on and think “F@#K Me!” And it is good.


And you will do outrageous math equations in your head. And you will forget that you have to factor in 18 years of increases when you calculate the cost of college. And you will plan for the “it” to be a sports star and get a scholarship, rather than think about them being a genius and getting an academic scholarship, because you are a man, and that is ok.


And you will likely have your first visit to the doctor. And if you are a good man then you will go. And that will be good. If not. … you’re kind of a dick. But that’s my opinion. And you will see and/or hear a heart beat (while simultaneously feeling yours about to beat out of your chest). And it will all be good. For that heartbeat will calm yours. And love will swell. And pride will swell. And your tongue will swell and you will choke slightly, playing it off as a cough, because now it’s real. Not that it wasn’t real before; but now it’s really real. Like, really.


And the fetus is now “your baby”. And you will say, “that this is good.” This was the third month.


And in the fourth month, the ears heard. So watch your damn mouth. And the legs kicked, and the “her”, if she’s able to feel it, thought this cute; and the “you” thought “just wait 5 more months.” But say it you did not, for you are not totally stupid.


And the organs finished their development, and the “it” looks more like a wrinkly old man, which is why “it” stays inside for another 5 months to get cuter. Because that cuteness will come in handy at 3:30AM on some dateless Wednesday; a time when an ugly baby would be left for the wolves in prehistoric ages. But your baby will be cute, and this is good.


And you’ve now told everyone you know, including the UPS man who comes by your office in the afternoons, the woman who takes your frozen yogurt order and the man who is fixing your cable. And it is good. For pride in self is sin, but pride in child is just being a good dad.


And the “her” is starting to feel some good hormones. Hormones that might make her want your light to enter her dark again. And this is good. This is really, really good. And you will feel trepidation that your light might injure your baby, but relax stud; for thine ego is bigger than the rest of you. No damage shall befall your offspring. For your light, even at its brightest, is still several watts short of reaching that part of her dark.


And thus the fourth month came to an end. And it was good.


In the fifth month the naked form of the “it”, whom hopefully you’ve now determined to be of one of two genders (if “it” is of a third gender then, good luck with that) has brought forth hair. Eye lashes, eye brows, and an ungodly amount of body hair for a baby. And the body hair He called lanugo, possibly for the sheer joy of saying such a silly word. And it was good.


And in this month “it” gained its first pound. For the rest of eternity “it” will battle to rid itself of such accomplishments. “Her” has also gained one pound. … or forty. And thou shall never admit to noticing. This is my commandment unto you. And that is good.


Thou shalt also go forth and acquire 20 books of which you will never read in order to prepare for that which cannot be prepared for. Purchase thou “What to expect”, and know to expect the unexpected when expecting, except when required to be accepting of all things. For this is thy destiny. Thus sayeth me. Of course, read this book. That is a given, right. Assumably you’ve already started and that’s how such conversation is now taking place. If not, I accept that I am talking to myself. And that is good.


In the sixth month God created the breasts. Your days of custody are limited so enjoy them now. To make amends, and say farewell, they’ve increased in size. And you’ve noticed. And they were good.


“Her” has received more of thine favorite hormones. And this is good. Enjoy, for this too, shall pass.


“It” has hopefully been named; unless you’ve chosen the name “It” which carries the meaning “thing previously mentioned”. An alternative meaning used by the gentiles is “Information Technology”. Please, do not name “it” “It”. That is not good.


In the seventh month, you saw that all was well and you rested. This was the last time you experienced such a thing.


“It” began opening its eyes and movement of feet and hands increased. “Eye of the Tiger” would the soundtrack of choice if you were “it” and had any sense of movie montages. For “it’s the eye of tiger; it’s the thrill of the fight; rising up to the challenge of our rival. And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night and he’s watching us all with the eye. … Of the tiger.”


In the darkness, taste buds first developed. Salty, probably; with a hint of lime. And it was good.


“Her” has returned to freaking out. Be cautions of what thou sayeth and tread lightly. And in this time the “her” has separated the “your’s” from the “it’s” and a new room was born: the nursery. In all its glory and beauty; its fresh paint and untainted textiles; take thou photographic evidence, for it shall never look this way again. By years’ end it will smell of old milk and shit. And it will look much the same. If thou hast raised a puppy, imagine what a puppy would do with opposable thumbs. Now add brains, and remove potty training. Enjoy thy sentence, father.


And the clouds part, and the sun shines, and gifts rain down in the coming showers of babies. Free stuff that will last you 2 months. 137 outfits for an infant that will outgrow them in 50 days. Ask for diapers. That is good.


In the eighth month the stress is all but peaked. The day is not far and you know not what the “f” you are going to do with “it”. “Her” will suggest some sort of class. This is good. Go. Listen. Learn. Eat not of the fruit of stupidity. A stupid man guesses. Eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Learn from the idiot who came before you and guessed wrong.


“It” has now begun to look like a baby. Fingernails have formed to scratch thine eyes and the brain has increased so by the time “it” is 13 “it” will be smarter than you. Fear not, for by the age of 30 they are dumb enough to need your help again. And this is good.


Tell “her” that she is a thing of beauty. For this is true. Forget not these words: You did this to her -you did this to her you bastard. For this is true, and she will tell you. Build thyself up now through good deeds and compliments, for you shall fall greatly in a month or two.


And this was the eight month, and it was good.


In this, the ninth and final month, thine child flips for arrival. You too, are processing a flip, albeit out, and “her” is eerily calm. The fatty layers develop on “it” and the skin has colored in. While a translucent child would be awesome, it would easily be lost in a crowd. No one wants to fill out a police report searching for an invisible, lost child. That will render one into an institution. Which is, oddly, where most parents feel they belong after parenthood?


Thine deathtrap of a home is now proofed for baby. No longer can you access a toilet without combination, nor locate 409 without lock pick. Stairs are accessible from neither top nor bottom, and your dog has had his teeth capped. And this is good.


You shall feel nerves. You shall feel fear. You shall feel above all else, however, the purity of the feeling of love. This is not the “I do” love you spake to “her”, nor is it the love you felt for thine own parents. This is the love of eternity. The love of life. The love that knows no bounds.


And when that day finally comes, know this: it will all be good. Thus sayeth the Lord.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Morning Phone Calls

Got a call at work this morning from an outside line. I answered just in time to hear the click on the other end. A few minutes later my phone rang again. This time I was created by a shrieking "HIIIII!" and then a few moments of heavy breathing. In the background I could hear Gina saying "Are you talking to daddy?" There was no more dialogue after this, so Gina said "Alright now, say bye-bye". ... silence. Then she says "You can't keep waving at the phone, you need to say bye-bye." Instead I got a nice big kiss through the phone. I'll take that over a "bye-bye" any day. Of course, as soon as the phone hangs up I realize I'm still at work and my open office door allowed the rest of the building to hear my "baby-talk" conversation with a 1 and a half year old. Awe, screw 'em! That's the best phone call I had all day.

Monday, May 23, 2011

One Fish, Two Fish. ...



There's something about twins, something that makes people behave differently. I'm sure it's even more extreme with triplets, quads and Octomom but all I can say for sure is it's not something that singletons or normal siblings get to experience. Yesterday we went to the carnival portion of the Greek Festival (didn't make it there on Saturday - in fact, we never made it past the food section). Now I'm not one for carni games; I find no reason to spend even a few dollars on a game that's rigged to lose, for a doll that's poorly made and will be forgotten about in 3 days. But, they had a goldfish toss and the girls are really in to fish lately - they do this cute lip popping noise every time they see a fish. ... sometimes even if they just see something in the general shape of a fish. ... like a sideways cone or something. Anyway, we had to play just so they could see them. We bought 12 balls for 2 bucks and I threw the first one to show them what they were supposed to do. Amazingly that first one went right in for a winner! Then the girls proceeded to throw, but nothing went more than about a foot. The guy running the booth was extremely sweet though. He kept adding more balls to their pile - I mean who could resist giving them a little extra - so they probably got about 20 throws in. When the dust settled and we were ready to leave with our fish, the guy even picked Arianna up, brought her in to the booth and let her pick out a second fish to take home as well. Gina graciously thanked him and his response "Well, they're twins. I can't let them leave with only one fish." Do you know how many times I played such games with my sisters growing up? Do you know how many times we would leave with only one prize amongst the three of us? No one ever says "they're siblings, I can't let them leave with just one!" Something about twins. Even though, truthfully, they are just sisters born on the same day, people see magic in the idea of multiples. Anyways, all this for an introduction to the girls first pets - Dorthy and Dorthy. If you're not an Elmo fan, this is the name of his goldfish. To save time, I'll just refer to them as "the Dorthys" going forward.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Greek Squad

Well, after the girls woke up from their nap and it was determined that none of us disappeared in the rapture, we decided to go over to the Greek Festival and see Gina in action. Fortunately this is one of the two that's local enough that we can go for only a few hours. I'm not going to go in to details, but I'm going to say that we danced, we ate and we partied like mad Greeks. We tested the limits of soap upon our return and I've never heard so little argumentation on the subject of bed time. At one point in the evening we were sitting at a table with the girls, Gina, my sister-in-law, Gina's Yiayia and several others. There were so many hands flying back and forth, shoving souvlikia and pita in to other peoples' mouths. At one point I had a hand come in and shove meat in to my mouth from the right, then a hand from the left and shove in another piece . It was like being hand fed by Kali (six armed Indian goddess. ... c'mon folks, broaden your horizon). All this while Arianna sat in my lap with a kabob in each hand, tearing meat off the stick like a ravenous carnivore and Genevieve danced to the music (which her great-Uncle's band was providing). But hey! Such is a Greek Fest. Opah!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fool me once, shame on you. ... Fool me twice. ... not. ... um. ..not gonna get fooled again?

There's something to be said about lessons learned. For my long time readers you may recall a post back in February 2010. Obviously, I failed to learn that lesson thoroughly enough. Last night after getting the girls fed we went in to the living room to play a little before bath time. Arianna started climbing on me (her latest thing is to use me as a ladder to get on to the couch) and one thing led to another and we started wrestling around. I was flipping her up over my head (I'm seated, back against the couch) and landing her in a seated position behind me on the sofa. She thinks this is hilarious and the more she laughs the more I embellish on the flips and spins. Well. ... it was bound to happen. Just as I'm lifting her up over my head in an airplane like move she's laughing, I'm laughing, and in slow mode I see the flood coming at the end of the tunnel. Remember that movie Daylight with Sylvester Stallone? Of course not, nobody does. Well it was kind of like that. You notice something in the back making it's way forward, but you pause, uncertain of what it is; like a deer in the headlights. Only when it's feet from you, only then, much to late to respond, does it hit you and you start to panic. ... that's vomit. ... and it's headed right for us! Of course as I was mid laugh my mouth was wide open, and because our gazes were locked in a shared moment of laughter, her mouth lined up perfectly with mine. I didn't mind the taste of the blueberries so much. It was the half digested milk that I'll never be able to get out of my mind. As I sat her back down 4 thoughts crossed my mind: 1) thank god it's not on the carpet, 2) thank god it's not on her cloths, 3) it's only a white undershirt I'm wearing - I can toss it, and 4) there is no amount of Scope in the world. In the slow motion walk to the kitchen sink I briefly contemplated getting a picture and posting it with this piece. ... but I think in this case the thousand words are much more appreciated then the 1 picture. ... you're imagination is not nearly as disgusting as the actual scene. And Gina's response when she came home later that night? "That's what you get." So she plays the "mom" role perfectly and is rewarded with hugs and kisses. I play the "dad" role perfectly and I get a reverse "baby eagle being fed" demonstration. How rewarding parenting can be. I guess I can see why you get a lot of dead beat dads. They're not bad people, they just don't appreciate the taste of used food.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Feed Me!!!

Got home from work yesterday and everyone was hanging out in the living room, so I changed and came back to join them. I grabbed a bag of tortilla chips on the way since I was a little hungry and we hadn't sorted out our dinner plans yet. I sat down next to Gina and the girls instantly became intrigued with the bag. They saw me pull out a chip and eat it so they thought they'd do the same. They must have been amazed at how daddy can eat a whole chip in one bite because they quickly lost interest in eating the chips themselves and focused on putting them in my mouth instead. They tried Gina but she told them she wasn't hungry, to go feed Daddy instead. And feed they did. At one point I was trying to tell Gina something and I couldn't get a word out because every time my mouth opened another chip was stuffed in. Then they started double fisting it. A flurry of four arms stuffing chips down my throat. I felt like they trying to fatten me up for something. I came to the conclusion that this is their Greek side coming out. After all, everyone knows that a Greek woman can't help but force a man to eat even when he's beyond full. "You only eat two steaks for dinner. You look skinny. ... I make you a nice lamb."

Monday, May 16, 2011

Do it again Daddy!

With Gina gone yesterday we jumped at the opportunity to go over to my mom's for breakfast in the morning (with out Gina to plan our lives we find our weekends pretty wide open and on the verge of boring). From there we tagged along on a local garden tour - sounds boring but with twins in tow it's always interesting - and then I took them back to her house to nap, hoping I could sneak in a decent run while they were out. I don't know what the deal was with them but they were not interested in napping at all. We started. ... check that, we attempted to nap at about 1:30. It wasn't until after 3:30 that they were both finally asleep. They crazy thing was they weren't screaming or unhappy; they were having a ball in there! The extra cribs are set up in my nieces room, she's 7, so there's just too much to get into with their long arms. The first time I went in there to settle them down Genevieve is standing in her crib with a purse slung over her shoulder, a bracelet on her wrist and a highlighter in hand. The next time they had moved everything from Arianna's crib into Genevieve's and somehow they'd gotten the CD player turned on and cranked up so the Tangled soundtrack was blasting away. The third time they'd gotten a hold of cardboard, no idea where from, and as I backed out of the room Genevieve pulled a pen from a hiding place and shamefully handed it to me with the guiltiest face you've ever seen. And this is how it went for quite some time. Gina's told me in the past that she sometimes has to stand right outside the door and pop in every time they stir to tell them to lie back down. I thought I'd give that a shot. I flung open the door and sternly said "Lie down! It's night-night time." They both slowly laid down with their wide eyes firmly fixed on me. The next time I didn't have to say anything. As the door flung open they both slowly laid down again. The third time it suddenly became a game. The door flung open and they both hit the deck. As I closed the door again I caught a giant grin spreading across Arianna's face and I knew I was in trouble. Now the game was "every time daddy opens the door pretend to be asleep". ... this game has no quarters, no periods, no innings. ... it just goes on and on and on. And apparently it got funnier every time we played. Talk about a backfire. Like I said, eventually everyone went to sleep. ... of course they were up again 45 minutes later. Made for an interesting evening.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Why yes, yes I have heard that before

Yay! Festival season is here! For the newer followers that means that the next few weeks (and through out the summer) I'm on my own with the girls for the weekend. ... by now you've probably picked up that the opening "yay" was, in fact, laced with enough sarcasm to bring down a small water buffalo. The up side of such weekends is I get my girls all to myself. The down side is I get the girls all to myself. So far it's much easier then last year. ... they're walking and we can have some what of a deep conversation on why it's important to eat your oatmeal. Although last year they weren't mobile and I still had the upper hand in the movement category. Today I took them to my sister-in-law's soccer game and getting to and from the car was a lot like herding cattle. ... small, easily distracted cattle with selective hearing. Anyway, enough rambling; on to the subject of today's post. We stopped by Starbucks on the way to the soccer field (not a good sign when I'm exhausted by 10:30am). As we're unloading this woman with two little girls (not little like us, little like 4th and 5th grade) merges with us on the sidewalk toward the front door. "Double trouble, huh?" she asks. I give my usual response to the comment, "yup" and force a grin. She quickly follows up with "you probably hear that all the time" which is what I was just saying to myself. I laugh and nod as she kindly opens the door. In fact, I heard it 3 times last night alone when we went to sushi. ... twice from the same lady! Anyway, we're not more than 5 steps in (she's right behind me) when another lady says "Twins! Look out, double trouble." I laugh and turn around to give the lady behind me a "see" look. She starts chuckling. We get in line and as we come up to order the barista gives us a smileand a "double trouble, look out". The lady behind me bursts out laughing. As I'm waiting for life blood in white cup to be placed in to my hands I put the girls on chairs at a table and Genevieve starts pretending to read a newspaper. ... upside down. The lady comes up, still giggling, "I'm sorry, but that's got to be so annoying. I didn't literally mean you hear it all the time, but I guess you do." Yup, I inform her it's either that or "are they twins?" Just part of being a twin parent I guess. Although I've decided that I need to come up with a witty response. Something epic. Something on par with the "nose insult" scene in Roxanne. It's worth watching if you've never seen it. Any ideas? I'm not looking to be rude, necessarily, just make a repetitive situation fun.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kiss of Death

We are driving in the car yesterday, girls in the back enjoying a snack, and I hear a strange combination of noises: Kiss crunch. ... kiss crunch. ... kiss crunch. I turn around in my seat to figure out what's going on just in time to see Genevieve pull a Teddy Graham (little cracker shaped like a bear) out of her snack cup, kiss it on the face and then promptly bite it's head off. ... kind of horrifying if you stop and think about it. It's the kiss of death; much like the praying mantis or Judas. And she thinks it's hilarious which only adds to the macabre moment. Needless to say, I'm going to be much more cautious when I go to kiss her good night from now on. ... don't want to lose my head or anything.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Remove foot, then drink coffee

Worn out from the Mother's Day festivities of yesterday I slept through my alarm this morning and dashed out the door with "the Flight of the Bumblebee" playing in my head. I was dragging major time so I swung by the Starbucks to get some life juice. As I'm pulling in to the Drive-Thru this woman in a white Mercedes comes flying around the opposite side of the building and tears in front of me (I'm already mid turn, about 1/4 of the way in to the lane) and cuts me off. I'm not a confrontational person normally. ... and today I was too tired to even consider making an exception. So I bit my tongue and muttered as I started checking off reasons she was a five letter word that rhymes with "itch". New Mercedes, check. Vanity plate, check. "Diamond" encrusted license plate frame, check. Over sized chic sunglasses, check. Velor jogging suit, check. The list went on and on. She gets her stuff and peels out of the drive thru, cutting back in to traffic with out even stopping. ... figures. I get to the window with my credit card already outstretched and the barista informs me "the lady before you said 'thanks' for letting her go first and she bought your stuff for you.". ... um. ... what? It's going to be hard to drink my coffee with my foot so firmly jammed in to my mouth. Here I am constantly advocating NOT judging "books" by their cover and what do I do, I toss For Whom The Bells Toll in a shred pile because it's got a crappy drawing of mountains on the cover. I'm now trying to come up with a 7 letter word that rhymes with "gas-pole" to accurately describe myself. Let me know if you have any suggestions. For now I'm just enjoying my coffee, which has a slight hind of shoe lace.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Cystic Fibrosis Walk



First of all I just want to thank all of you readers; some of the comments you've left me and the consistent flow of traffic to this blog are really touching. I am so happy to be a part of your lives and I'm so happy to share our life with you. That being said I wanted to take a moment to ask you for something more. Every May my company takes part in the Great Strides Walk for Cystic Fibrosis (you may have noticed the button on the right), and I've made it a point to participate with the girls. This not only helps us contribute to the cause, but it gives my girls the opportunity to grow up with the mindset that it's our responsibility to help those around us when and how ever we can. We don't have any personal tie to this disease (the girls are not affected nor are any of our family and friends) but it's one of those few diseases that really targets children more than anything; partly because until a few years ago those afflicted rarely survived to adulthood. With all the advancements made, thanks in large parts to campaigns such as this, those with CF are seeing a much longer life span and a much fuller life at that. I'm all about my kids, and my one goal in life is to see them grow to be amazing adults; that's why I am asking for your help. Support our campaign to see other peoples children also have the opportunity to grow into amazing adults. Until a few years ago, they never even had that option. Click here, or on the logo above, to go to our fundraising site for the May 21st walk. For my blog on last years walk, and some more insight on to why I feel this is important, go here. The way I see it, if half of my daily readers just dropped $5 towards our campaign we'd nearly doubly the goal that I have set. Thanks guys!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Two for Flinching!

Am I the only parent that finds themselves constantly bracing for impact at this age (there's not mine)? It seems like, at any moment, they might swing around with that block they're playing with and bash me on the head. Or when we're exploring the features of the face ("that's Daddy's mouth, that's Daddy's nose, that's deep inside Daddy's nose") one of those fingers always seems on the brink of gouging out my eye. I get my hair pulled, my ankles smashed, my toes stepped on. ... it kind of feels like being Jack Hannah; sure they're cute and cuddly, but they've got teeth and tempers too. And it's not just the physical violence, it's also the psychological. Like last night, Arianna and I were playing on the floor - she thinks it's down right hilarious to sit on my lap and squeeze the air out of my cheeks to make a farty noise with my mouth. So I'm bracing because her hands are up on my face (she's a known eye gouger), she's sitting on my lap (Dad's always have to watch this region. ... just watch an episode of America's Funniest Home Videos) and on top of it she's got this runny nose, so the more she's laughing the bigger this snot bubble in her right nostril is getting and, like a scientist on an active volcano I know it's going to blow some day soon. I'm watching the thing inflate and then deflate a little; inflate more; deflate a little. ... it's like a scene from "The Blob", it's an uncontainable force. And what happened? Well, she successfully wiped the snot bubble on my shirt as she belly laughed so hard she leaned in to me. ... and then bit my shoulder. I suppose I deserved two for flinching in the first place.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Great minds think.

Scientist are constantly pursuing a glimpse of the universe's creation; desperate to find some meaning in the "beginnings" of all that is. I wonder if they've spent so much time in their labs that they failed to see the recreation of such an event taking place in their own homes (this, of course, is operating under the assumption that they weren't such incredible dorks that they failed to find a partner and reproduce). Watching my children grow, they're minds working on complex thoughts. ... it's . ... magical. Last night I snuck up behind Arianna as she played with her ring/stack game. I hoped up on the bed and lay down, just staring at her. She had the rings completely out of order and, for a second, I thought about hoping down and helping her sort it out. But something said to leave her alone, and I'm glad I did. They weren't out of order, not for her. She was not looking at the puzzle the same way I was, she was looking at it as project, a piece of art, something with no wrong or right answer. She was creating a pattern all to her own design. When she felt a piece was out of place, she moved it accordingly. Sometimes she changed her mind and put it back where it was before. But her little wheels were turning, her imagination was spitting out images, she was creating. Some 19 months ago she was a screaming little blob. Now she's a little artist; a little scientist; a little wonder that I could watch for hours on end, stacking blocks or sorting rings. Imagine where we'll go 19 months from here; my how the world will change in that time.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

From half crazy, to half dead



I'm a stupid boy. A stupid, stupid, stupid boy. There's this little voice that resided in people's heads that warns them of approaching dangers; tells them when they're being absurd; keeps them from asking the slightly overweight stranger in the elevator when she's due. I bound and gagged that little voice years ago and locked him a closet near my temporal lobe, so he doesn't bother me anymore. This, of course, is what I get. Gina had this great idea when she got pregnant with the girls: after the babies were born she was going to make it her goal to complete a half marathon. She'd been a runner for a long time, but never competitively and never more than 6 or 7 miles. Being the supporting spouse that I am I quickly offered to do this with her. Of course I was much less of a runner at the time; maxing out anywhere between one half and three fourths of a mile. But, a few months after the girls were born, I was invited to compete in a 5k mud run race and with that my training started. I hate running, but I found out I love competing, so I was able to use one to balance out the other. After 5 mud runs, a 10k and a sprint triathlon in the past year alone, I was ready for this half marathon of doom that Gina signed us up for. ... until Friday. Starting around Wednesday last week the girls brought home a nice little bug that involved fever, cough and lots of mucus. By Friday night it was clear I was coming down with it too. I'd come too far (and there was a no refund policy) to back out of Sunday's race so Saturday night I got hopped up on NyQuil and packed a giant bag of Halls and went to bed. Oh, and we had to be up by 3:30am to get to our 4:45 shuttle for our 6am race time. It's like someone thought "how can we make a 13 mile run MORE miserable? Oh, I know. We'll make them do it with no sleep!" It worked, it was a pretty rough morning trot. Although, I will say, it was the most beautiful misery I've ever encountered (well, second; the first night with my girls in the hospital was much more beautiful and much more miserable). We ran along the beach as the sun rose up in the east and up through the Newport backbay as it started to sparkle off the water. Basically it was the opening credits of the "OC" tv show from a few years ago just on loop for 2 hours and 15 minutes and with out the Phantom Planet song playing. When I finished I informed my run partner (a seasoned marathoner who had no problem holding conversations the entire run and seemed more refreshed when we finished then when we started) that I would let him know when I found some part of me that DIDN'T hurt. Gina and her sister finished just below the 3 hour mark, so I was very proud of her as well. Of course, running in my condition only made the sickness worse. By Sunday night I could feel the fever setting in to my eyes and when I woke up at 5 on Monday morning to go to work I couldn't even get out of bed. My legs and feet were killing me from the run (I swear my toenails felt like they were going to fall off) but the rest of me was throbbing from the sickness. My back hurt, my neck hurt, my head hurt - even my fingers were achy. I was completely soaked from the fever and I was hacking up some ungodly material straight from the pit of hell. Gina refused to let me go to work so I called in sick and slept until almost 10:30. At that point the door to our bedroom swung open and two little midgets tried to tickle my feet and brush my hair, which actually made me feel a little better. Gina carted them off to her moms house for the day and I spent the rest of the sun soaked hours moving between the couch and my bed finding that neither was very comfortable. I couldn't even go on the computer because the light hurt my eyes to much (so I'm like the last person on earth to know that Osama Bin Laden is dead. ... and did you hear we landed on the moon?!! Congratulations ever body!). Today, with the help of a sugar free energy drink and the promise of an inbox full of e-mails at work, I'm feeling more like the walking dead than the totally dead. ... so that's a good thing. I'm also rethinking my plans for tackling the full marathon in October. ... maybe I'll have to push it back a few months. ... Nah! Now get back in your closet little voice. Don't make me get the hose out.