Thursday, December 31, 2015

See You Next Year

I'm very grateful for the way 2015 has played out.  I got a promotion at work, bought a new car, knocked a couple of strokes off my golf swing. ... oh, and that damn beautiful little baby.  I'm very excited for what 2016 will bring (hopeful not another baby ;) and I hope you continue to ride along with us.  Happy New Year everybody!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Irony

I've spent the last two days driving to multiple stores across Southern California, trying to get my hands on a total of 3 "Baby Alive" dolls for the girls.  Yesterday alone I hit three stores and logged nearly 100 miles to find the final 2 that we required.  In all of this, the irony is not at all lost on me that all the girls asked Santa for this year were Baby Alive dolls. ... meanwhile we have a real live baby sitting at home.  How come no one wants to change her diapers?

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Real Head Scratcher

It was bound to happen; all that long blond hair was just screaming for some company.  So, yesterday, while getting ready for school, Gina discovered Arianna had some new friends. ... lice.  Hooray!  By the time she called me in a panic she had already found some on Rosaline as well and was in full HAZMAT mode with Genevieve quarantined until inspections could be complete.  She quickly realized that she couldn't take on all three of the girls while juggling the baby as well so she called me about midday ("if you can come home now that be great, if not you better show up with a giant ass Starbucks and a bottle of wine"), so I came home early and we made it a real family affair.  I even learned something new: did you know a "nit" is a lice egg and that's where the expression 'nit picking" comes from?  Well I didn't. ... know it all. 

The girls were real troopers, it took us over four hours to finish combing, washing, combing, spraying, combing, rinsing, combing and gooping their little tote heads.  Finally we tagged 'em and bagged 'em for bed.  It was then that I realized we may have just stumbled upon the best Holiday Card ever!!!

No?  Yea, that was Gina's reaction too.  Bummer.  After all that work I thought we could share this experience with the world, but Gina's afraid of the stigma - so we'll keep it on the down low and just publish on the blog ;)
To make the girls feel a little better about the whole situation, I figured I'd get their elf in on the action too.

The only potential backfire here is them believing that Santa is responsible for their infestation. ... we told them Santa would give them presents if they're good and coal if they're bad.  So this must be what you get when you land in the grey area.  Maybe next year they outta step it up.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Our Hearts Grow Three Sizes Each Day

You may have seen this, rolling around the web the last 48 hours.  A five year old girl who lost her family in a fire and herself suffered severe burns and disfigurement is asking the world to send her cards for the Holiday.  You may have clicked the link, you may have read the story, you may have viewed her pictures and, like us, you were probably moved.  Now the question: did you write her a card? 

I saw this yesterday, like many, and when I got home I brought it to Gina's attention.  I'm big on the girls understanding - to a degree - the less fortunate in the world around them.  This expression often lends itself to the poor or the hungry, but fortune is just as much the blessing that tragedy has not struck you personally.  But explaining this. ... it's hard to play down for 6 years old and 4 year olds.

Arianna: "What are you talking about?"
Me: "A little girl who is sick; we're going to write her some Christmas cards tomorrow to make her feel better."
Genevieve: "How is she sick?"
Me: "She got burned honey."
Arianna: "Why?"
Gina: "Sometimes things just happen, we need to remember  how lucky we are that they didn't happen to us."
Arianna: "What about her parents?  Did they get burned too?"
Me: "Yes, they did."
Arianna: "Are they going to be ok?"

- And this is where you pause.  Death is hard to explain to a child.  It's often something we skirt or play down.  We'll see your goldfish again in heaven; they've gone to a better place; ect, ect, ect.  But to talk about a parent dying. ... that's a tough image for them to swallow. -

Me: "Actually, sweetie, the parents were burned really badly and they died.  (her face contorts to a whimper) but she's going to live with her Aunt who lovers her very much, just like your Aunts and Theas love you.

- And this is where they ask to see the pictures.  Judge me, if you will.  I understand those that may.  Kids are supposed to be shielded, we save the TV violence for after 9pm, right?!  We rate the movies high so they can't get in until their 17.  We dumb down the seriousness so the cat that gets blown up in the cartoon gets put back together again so he can return in the next episode.  But it's fake.  It's not real.  It doesn't teach them anything.  It doesn't grow their heart and compassion.  So we went through the photos; this girl their own age.  Her face and body scarred.  Her arm amputated below the elbow.  And it was real.  And they felt.  And they understood.  And today, when we sit down to write her as many cards as their little fingers can muster, it comes from a place of genuine understanding and compassion.  This won't be an exercise in "cutesy, holiday" revelry.  This will be a human experience, of three little girls reaching out to another little girl who has suffered.  This will be three little hearts, bleeding in support of another child that they desperately want to help.  We talked, a while past bed time, about how doctors can help her to get better.  That they can ease her pain and help some of the scarring.  How they can make "robot" arms so she can do some of the same things as them.  We watched videos of Oscar Pistorius running (we skirted his current activities) so they could see that she won't have to be limited by her amputation.  But, we explained, it's up to us and people like us to fix her heart.  Doctors can make our owies better, but it would take love from other people (even strangers like us) to help her sadness. 

It was heavy.  They cried a bit.  They gestated on it all.  But as a father who's raising children to be caring adults, it was a growing moment.  And I'm proud of that.  I'm proud of them.  When kids cry over toys or sweets or not having enough of the excess, it makes me nauseous.  To see my children cry because they felt for another, a stranger, someone they had never - and would never - meet. ... I couldn't be prouder of the people they'll become.  Hearts that big don't shrink, and it's my purpose to make certain of that.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Selfish Mourning

We've been selfish lately.  We've been hording what was never ours and we've been hoping to keep it forever.  And now it's gone.  Back where it belongs, back where it's right.  But we're still selfish, and our covetousness now breeds mourning.

When we moved into our home, we moved away from everything and everyone we knew.  Yes, it's only 60 miles.  But 60 miles in LA traffic (120 round trip) is the equivalent of an expedition to Antarctica. ... while wearing board shorts and flip flops.  It was terrifying.  We knew no one and we crossed beyond the boarder of our tightly knit extended family's unwavering support.  It was a new world and we were trepid.  Until a chance encounter at a shoe store brought a ray of light into our world.  Not to mention strange new ways of pronunciation.

Over the next three years the Bevans became the Hardy to our Laurel, the Cheech to our Chong, the Lloyd to our Harry.  It was one of those matches that couldn't be planned better.  Gina found a confident adventurer that drove her to places she'd never consider going on her own.  Arianna and Genevieve found a loyal companion that could be shared with out being torn apart- a difficult feat amongst children.  Rosaline found her soul mate. ... there's no other way to describe it.  And me. ... I found someone who wasn't embarrassed with my horrible golf game, who wanted to be my friend rather then had to be, and who carried me emotionally while I carried him physically.  And since Lorelei came along, she's found someone else to feed her for a change.

If family is a part of you, something you can't chose to attach or detach; like an arm or a leg.  Then your friends are what you chose to put on.  Some friends are an outfit that you wear to be showey.  Some are casual and comfortable.  Some you get tired of and discard and others you regret spending so much money on.  The Bevans, though they may not even realize, were our armor.  They gave us strength at a moment we needed it most.  They made us confident in a world outside of our own.  And now that they've gone, we feel exposed, fragile, perhaps a little cowardly. 

I'll miss having a house full of chaos to come home to on a Tuesday.  I'll miss imaginary weddings and the great adventures of Rozzie and Rafe.  I'll miss strangers thinking the big girls were triplets, and they way often acted as though they were.  I'll miss the strength you gave my wife.  I'll miss jumping dead batteries at the drive in.  I'll miss late night decisions for early morning golf.  I'll miss watching the memories we've made play out on the tv slide show.  I'll miss watching rugby and having no idea what's going on.  I'll miss picnic dinners long after the sun had gone down.  I'll miss kids sleeping on couches because we couldn't stop the evening.

As we stood against the airport dividers, heads craned up at the mezzanine in the Tom Bradley International terminal on Saturday, we watched them walk away, out of our daily lives towards the plane that would take them home.  These things we'll miss played out in our heads, betrayed by the whimpers and frowns.  But they were headed in the right direction, and that, unfortunately, was away from us.  Our lives were extraordinarily brightened by their presence in it.  But when winter sets in, and things get a little colder, we mourn the sun rather then celebrate the time we had.  We miss the warmth rather then remind ourselves how good it felt.  We forget, too, that a season isn't forever, and though the coming spring won't be quite the same as the summer, it brings with it the chance for summer to come again, if we let it.

So for now, we'll find solace in a log fire - which has no business being in Southern California.  We'll try to order curry on our own and see what we end up with.  I'll swing a club and swear like always, but I'll appreciate the scenery and the lack of rain.  We'll appreciate the beach, because not everyone has this.  We may even consider an earthquake survivor kit.  We'll order cider every now and again.  We'll make a roast.  We'll look at Diet Coke in a can and smile, knowing it's superior to the bottle.  We'll appreciate the National Anthem at sporting events.  We'll laugh at chocolate squares.  And we'll pour an extra glass of wine for the empty chairs at game night. ... and then we'll quickly drink them, because it's wine and can't be wasted.  I mean, c'mon!

To the Bevans, should you read this: know that you've impacted this family, from top to bottom, in more ways then you might ever realize.  Your mark is deep on each of us and though we're oceans apart now, and your day has become our night, you'll never be out of our sight, out of our thoughts or out of our hearts.

Monday, November 30, 2015

That Looks Painful, Let Me Try

What is it about kids and logic?  At what point does the human brain develop it and how, as a species, are we able to survive infancy with out it?!  We've been helping some friends pack up their house to move recently and last night we were finishing up some odds and ends.  There was a flood light set up to help us all see and at one point another little girl (maybe 18 months), part of another family helping out, grabbed the light and burned her little fingers.  As she's screaming and the two of us dads are trying to sort out where the burns are, but before we could think to turn the light off, that's when my Rosaline decides to see what all the fuss is about and walks up to the same light, pointer finger outstretched, and touches it.  Sure enough, she was burned too.  She watched this whole thing unfold, why would she touch the object that has just hurt the younger kid?!!  What's more, as I'm now rushing to turn off the light, a group of the older 6 years now starts migrating towards the light in curiosity.  WTF?!!!  Back up!  Fire, hot!  Knife, sharp!  Dog poop, stinky!  Somethings we don't need to test for ourselves.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Daddy Needs To Figure Out The Parental Locks

Yesterday was our "once a year birthday party" for all three big girls.  We're going to need to rethink this now that we have a summer baby as well and can't claim a mid November party to cover everyone in October and December.  Anyway, I got up earlier to get the backyard under control, while Gina attacked the downstairs.  We left the girls upstairs watching cartoons and out of the way.

After finishing the back, I walked by the stairway and I could swear I heard a quote from the movie Inside Out.  That's odd, I thought.  I'm pretty sure that movie just came out on DVD like last week.  I started up the stairs because this was going on much longer then a normal commercial and, by now, my interest was peaking. 

Sure enough, there it was on the upstairs TV, the newly released movie and all four girls sitting quietly, thoroughly enjoying it.

"Um. ..." I started.  "Are you guys watching Inside Out?"

"Yea, it's on TV." Genevieve responded gleefully.

"How?" I asked.  "We didn't rent the DVD."

There was a pause at this point, and the three big girls slowly swiveled there heads toward me with "oh no" reflecting in their wide eyes.

Another moment of silence before Arianna muttered "Lorelei must have pushed a button."

I love it!  Yeah, that must have been what happened.  They've figured out how to rent movies, they understand that it's going to cost money and I'm not going to be happy so they blame it on the four month old who has a hard enough time grabbing a pacificer to pick up the remote, locate the On Demand button and scroll to the new releases to find the movie for her older siblings.  Brilliant!  So guess what we're watching for the next three days - since that's how long we've paid for it.  Oh, and Honey, find that manual!  Daddy needs to figure out the parental controls on this damned U-Verse box!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Disneyland, Where Parents Act Like Children

Yesterday we played hookie from school and work and took the girls to Disneyland to celebrate all of their birthdays.  There are plenty of Southern California residents who renew their annual pass every year and trek to the Mouse House regularly because they've got nothing else to do on a Thursday night; but we want to make sure these experiences are special for our children so we limit our trips to every couple of years.  Ok, you caught me.  Have you seen how much they charge for a damned annual pass? I'd have to sell a kidney and that would only get me half the family covered.  And then how in the world would I renew the following year?  What's the run rate on a spleen these days?

Fortunately one of Gina's yoga students happens to work at the park part time solely for the ability to sign friends and family in.  She was gracious enough to come down first thing and help us get in to the happiest (and most overpriced) place on earth.

We had a wonderful day; like, flat out amazing.  The big three rode all of the big kid rides and wait times were 15-30 minutes maximum so we got on everything we wanted to before the sun set on our day and headed towards the exit filled with the wonder and glee Walt envisioned when he set out to build this place. And then some bitter and contentious woman had to go put a dent in the whole thing. 

As we were walking out of the park, down Main Street and looking for some ice cream to cap off the trip, it was obvious that folks were starting to line up for the big evening parade.  For those of you who aren't familiar with Disneyland, this is where the true madness really sets in.  It was 6:30PM.  The parade they were all getting their seats for (blocking every inch of usable sidewalk) wasn't scheduled to start until 8:30PM.  That would be two hours away. A parade.  A parade that most of the folks (a big portion are pass holders who only arrive at sunset for these things) have already seen a dozen tims.  A parade with a mouse - not the vets we are celebrating today or even bead throwing, boob flashing marti gras for christ's sake.  That's what this all centered around.

There was a brief moment, just in front of the ice cream shop we were all trying to get to (3 adults, 2 strollers and 6 "hangry" children), when a woman was standing shaking out a blanket she was clearly planning on putting down in the opening.  Our friend, who's charming British accent can usually turn folks into putty, asked extremely politely, "do you think we can buzz through here to the ice cream shop real quick before you put your blanket down?"

"Well," the "B" responded with the most snide and perturbed tone at our audacity.  "My blanket was already here, I'm just shaking it off.  So no, you're going to have to go down to another spot if you want to break through the line."

WHAAAAAATTTT????!!!!!!  This is an adult woman, surrounded by her own impressionable offspring, who is already up and displaced, flat out refusing to be a decent human being and instead forcing a few clearly out matched parents to go way out of their way to find another spot, just to come right back to where they were trying to go because, for lack of a better term, she woke up and decided to be a dick today.

Here are my issues:
1) Parents, you know how hard it is.  You've been there.  You've done that.  How can you not look at a person who's struggled the same road you have and not inconvenience yourself in the slightest capacity to make their life easier - just as you would have appreciate the same courtesy if the roles were reversed?  But here's the world we live in. It's all about me and never about you and the next thing you know you're on the news for all the wrong reasons.

2) You're children are watching you.  Trust me, they're always watching.   What they just learned is "I can be an asshole, if I want, for no apparent reason whatsoever."  So when your kid gets in trouble for being a little shit, and you say "I have no idea where he learns this!"  Just go back through your family vacation photo album and you can probably find all the evidence you need.

3) You realize in the description of the parade, this is what it says:

Watch in wonder as the vivid imagination of Mickey Mouse and his friend Tinker Bell’s enchanted pixie dust paint the night with dazzling Disney dreams, complete with a colorful palette of more than one million glowing lights!

You're a grown ass adult.  You just threw a tantrum to some complete strangers to see dazzling Disney dreams and pixie dust.  F*ck you, lady!

Now, I will complete my own written tantrum here by saying that none of these feelings or comments left my head.  We did respond with a "really?!' as we trekked down the street to find another opportunity, but we did not take the bait and set equally pitiful examples for our own children.  But I couldn't help but editorialize this scenario for the sake of at least starting the conversation.  Why must we be awful to each other?  Why?!  What harm or strain would this have caused her?  This "me, me, me; mine, mine, mine" mentality really irks me.  We stand here, destroying the world around us, claiming to be the pinnacle of civilization, but in the singular moments of our day we can't muster simple common courtesy anymore.  It wouldn't bother me if this was a one off, but it's a daily thing.  And it's sad.  And we're teaching our children that this is how people are supposed to act to one another.  Awesome.

Fortunatly, while that happened and it bothered me, we didn't allow a scene to unfold, and that means that all my kids remember of yesterday is this:
So what did your kids remember, lady?

Friday, October 30, 2015


I have the wonderful fortune to have grown up with two sisters.  Unfortunately, as you may have noticed, I'm a boy.  That makes me a brother, or a bother, and, in this case the odd man out.  There's something deeper in the relationship between gender similar siblings.  Brothers with brothers and sisters with sisters, it's just right. It's not to say that I can't, or don't, have good relationships with my sisters. ... it's just on a different level then what the two of them share.
As I watch my gaggle of daughters interact, I take joy that all of them will have this unique bond amongst them.  This lifelong army of sisters to back them through adventures and misadventures alike.  So watch out world.  You take on one Kopp Girl you take on all of them.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Midnight Updates!

We've had some issues the last few weeks with Rosaline wetting the bed in the middle of the night (despite our me taking her in her sleep around 11pm like clockwork).  So I can appreciate that last night, on her own, she got up around 2:30AM and went to the potty all by herself.  What I appreciate slightly less is her needing to wake us up to share the news immediately afterwards.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Of All The Days. ... A Lesson In Bullies

Today was a very special day for the twins; it was they're sixth birthday.  And it was also National Anti-Bullying Day.  But more importantly it was their birthday.  But more importantly, it was also National Anti-Bullying Day.  And Genevieve had her first taste of a bully.

It's not unexpected for us to think our kids would go through this; I think most kids have to deal with it at some point.  But, believe it or not, Gina and I were not always ever the cool kids growing up.  Gina was the awkward girl who preferred reading to playing at recess.  I was the kid with glasses that would make Mr. Magoo giggle, an affinity for musical theater and very poor choices in wardrobe. And yes, that is a mini glow worm doll in lanyard pouch around my neck in this photo.  Trust me, I know bullies.  I recall hiding in the playground tubes while my tormentors sat on top and sang out a clever little rhyme they made up at my expense.  I remember taunts and tricks that kids can play.  It all left it's mark, still there some 30 years later.  And those scars sting a little today.

When Gina went to pick the girls up from school and whisk them away to Chuck E. Cheese in celebration of the big Six Nothing, Genevieve was already in tears.  There's a apparently a little girl in her class who has been something of a thorn.  On this special day Genevieve got to be birthday girl in the class.  One of her duties is appointing a helper who has special privileges too.  Well the thorn used the classic "if you pick me I'll be nice to you and you can be my friend" (oh the old "if you pick me").  Needless to say, Genevieve sacrificed her choice and the bargain was not upheld.  Little thorn became a prick.  Even worse it shifted into a higher gear at lunch with the thorn pursuing Genevieve on the playground and taunting her with hurtful words (I won't repeat them because what's hurtful to a six year old doesn't always carry much weight with adults who aren't their parents and I don't want to lose sight of the fact that the words DID in fact hurt).  When the lunch monitors intervened it stopped, but "the mati" as we call it seemed to worsen through an unapologetic apology.  It struck her deep, this first of many blows.  So much so that after Mr. Cheese's and birthday dinner, ice cream and more presents, it was still a touchy subject when I brought it up during tuck in.  But I wanted to make sure she saw the bigger picture, so we talked.

It's important for her to know that the four eyed boy in bad clothes and after school plays learned what bullies really are.  They're children and adults who aren't as happy as you.  Their mission is not to bring themselves up, but to bring others down so they're not so lonely in the depths of their own misery.  It's awfully sad, and we really should feel compassion for them in between our own tears of hurt.  But we can't give them too much credence.  Words will always hurt, long after the sticks and stones have done their damage, but we can't lose ourselves in all of it, because that's the special light that draws them to us.  That special light is so important that they have to put it out.  They can't stand to see it shine.  But if we keep it lit, in spite of any pressure to dim, the glasses will eventually go into a drawer.  The fashion sense will improve. ... slightly.  And the degree in musical theater is how I met her mother.  I really don't know what to say about the glow worm necklace.

The light she carries is so strong, and the future before her is so bright.  She'll do amazing things as long as she doesn't let those little pricks of the world detract her.  It's easier said then done.  And parents words of comfort and support can often fall short.  But as long as she knows I've been right there with her, that I'm right here with her now. ... maybe I can drown out the negative.  If not me, maybe the outfit I'm wearing in this picture can.

At the end of our conversation, there was still one things that just bothers her to no end about this.

"Why did it have to be on my birthday?! ... And why on National Anti-Bullying day?!!!"

We concluded that the little thorn was not wearing orange today like the rest of the school to show support for the day and it's meaning.  I'm hoping it's because she and her parents did not know (that's easier to swallow then an intentional decision NOT to support Anti-Bullying, in which case our problems may increase with this one moving forward).  Perhaps that's a reflection of the lack of education and awareness that's still out there.  Just because your kid didn't come home crying today because they were bullied does not mean you should not address this topic with your children.  Maybe they didn't come home crying because they're the bully in this story.  And if that's the case, you've got a lot more damage to deal with tonight then I do. 

Despite all of this, a very Happy Birthday to my oldest girls
 I can't hold as well as I used to, but I'll never let you go.

Monday, October 12, 2015

You Want The Tooth?! You Can't Handle The Tooth!

So, warning: if you're not someone who can handle dentistry topics then maybe jump to another posting cause this might not be for you.

My kids love the dentist. ... weirdo's.  But it's true, they really do.  They think it's a magical experience and they are more then eager to visit the lady who get's the sugar bugs out of their mouths.  So last week they had their visit and for two out of three it was a typical good check up, but Genevieve had a little bit of an odd day.

It started when the Dr. thought she saw a cavity forming in one of Genevieve's molars.  It's odd, if only for the fact that she's only had them a short time now - it wouldn't seem possible with even basic brushing for one to have formed so soon.  But it was a deep groove and the Dr. wanted to make sure she treated it before it became any kind of real issue.  So she advised Gina and began the process. ... and then she paused.

You see, as she began to drill gently against the tooth, it started to gave in.  That's right, her tooth began collapsing in on itself.  The more she explored, the more of the tooth crumbled, until there was what I can only describe as Molokini crater in her mouth. .... HA!  I just read that out loud and realized we should call it Molar-kini crater. ... I crack myself up.  But I digress.  What I found most bizarre rather then expose root or nerve, underneath the fallen enamel was healthy, pink gum line.  What the Dr. believes is that her tooth never formed in utero.  In essence a bubble got inside and the tooth formed around it, so once pressure from the drill was applied it basically turned into a sink hole in her mouth.  Crazy right?!  Here's a pic (because what half way decent parent wouldn't shove their iPhone into their kids mouth during what may be an otherwise traumatizing experience):
All's well that ends well, though.  Dr. was able to clear out the void, fill it and seal it so it shouldn't pose an issue moving forward.  And Genevieve is the ultimate champ.  Five years old and she didn't even flinch during all of this.  Her father, on the other hand, soaked through his shirt with sweat sitting in that chair a week earlier for a routine cleaning.  Turns out my kid did not get her nerves of steel from me.
And shout out to Dr. Negar Derakshani - like the best dentist I've ever had!  If you're an avid reader you'll know this not the first unusal Kopp case she's had to deal with.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

That Bloody Moon

Here in lies the problem with my new found resolution to keep up with this blog; sometimes I am going to be a week late in posting stories relevant to that moment. 

Remember all the way back to LAST Sunday, when we had that Super/Blood Moon combo going on?  Well it hit the left coast right around 7:30, which was just after the girls had transition to bed.  But I chanced by an open window and saw it was a perfect night and the moon was situated just above the roof line.  My whole motto on parenting is making sure they experience moments of magic and wonder so I rushed back upstairs and pulled them from their beds.  I dragged them downstairs and into the street in their nightgowns, pointing at the moon and making certain they revel in the uniqueness of a moment like this.

Big mistake.

Arianna asked me if we can see it again tomorrow - I think her interest was more piqued by my obvious interest rather then her own - and I explained that a moment exactly like this would not occur until she was a grown up and had a family of her own.  I wanted to stress how special it was, make sure she grasped it. ... but for the next two hours (YES!  TWO HOURS!!!!) I had to consul a distraught Arianna over the fact that she would have to wait 30 something years to see a super blood moon again.  Yea. ... I did not see that coming.  It even extended to the following day as I had to promise that we'd look at all of the instagram pictures posted when I got home from work in order to finally calm her down enough to sleep.  And she was certain to hold me to that. 

The next cosmic event I'm keeping to myself; it might just be easier that way.  Stupid blood moon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I Found Me in the Process

The other evening I was making my rounds at bed time.  I make it a point to sit with each girl and give them a few minutes of one on one time to sign off the day.   Often times there's a tickle or a loaded question or something else to make sure the moment is unique.  On this night, as I sat on the side of Genevieve's bed and went over the days events with her, she did something that took me back; she subconsciously began to run her hands over my several days old beard.  It shouldn't shock me, after all there are obvious reasons behind her action: texture, tired hands, the closeness and the unique feature of me being the only male in the house.  But for me it got much more personal then that. ... as weird as that may sound.  You see my father had a beard for the entirety of my life to date.  And I would never have felt at ease stroking my father's beard.

My dad and I haven't talked in a decade.  And I don't mean we haven't talked in depth, or often enough; I mean we haven't spoken at all in 10 years.  Prior to that we haven't had much of a relationship in 15 or so years.  I don't need to go into the details of that relationship as this blog is not set up to handle that much of a load, but I rarely let my beard grow more then a few days length because of how mismanaged our time together was and how troubling it is that I begin to resemble him physically.

My one goal in parenthood was to do things differently, and I have.  I've chosen my own path and made deliberate choices in what I do, how I respond (even when my instinct is to follow his patterns) in order to ensure my kids never look at me the way I did at him.  And in this moment, as her small hands lovingly caressed the prickly follicles on my face,  I relished in the accomplishment that I had succeeded.  I was not the man I grew up with.  I was not the father I had known.  I am not in jeopardy of driving them away and living in isolation, wondering what's become of them and what I could have done to salvage it.  I've carved my own path by realizing what I did not want to become and heading in an opposite direction.  And I found me in the process.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Son of a Fish!

Sometimes it's to our own benefit that our kids don't fully listen to us when we talk.  Like today, when I was downstairs vacuuming the living room rug and attempted to pull out the waste bin to dump it.  At which point the bin literally fell apart in my hands and emptied months worth of dust, dog hair and questionable particles all over the recently (half way) vacuumed rug.  After my expletive response, Arianna calls down stairs "Daddy, what son of a fish are you talking about?"

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

To My Baby

Dear Lorelei, tonight as I rocked you to sleep, your little body wrapped up tightly in Mama's iron clad swaddle, your thin lips pursed against your pacifier and your bold blue eyes desperately trying to escape from heavy eyelids, you and I had a conversation you won't remember.  Much as I have with your sisters before you, I wanted to take a moment, a moment still in the infancy of this life of yours to tell you all the things that I want for you. 

Every parent wants for their child; it's a requirement for parenthood.  Those that don't never were parents to begin with, only hosts and donors.  But what each parent wants for the their child is unique to their own parenthood.  It may stem from their own lacking or short comings, it may stem fair their failures or successes, it may come from some article that they read in Time magazine which made no sense to them but which they thought you may understand one day.

For you, much like your sisters, I don't want perfection.  Perfection is boring, it's predictable, it's lacking.  It's the flaws that make us unique.  My deviated septum, my left eye, my chipped tooth - they create the image of me that you will come to know.  With out these flaws I'm a stranger in your eyes.  Now, I don't wish upon you any of these specifics flaws that I have, but I hope you embrace your flaws for what they are; a part of you.

I want you to be content.  Not rich, nor poor, but in it's own unique expression to you, I hope you find fullness in what you have.

I want you to be joyful.  Beyond happy, which despite expressions can be bought, as happiness is easily mimicked.  Joy, on the other hand, is the smile that you can't keep from creeping across your face as you drive in gridlocked traffic and a familiar song explodes from your radio and reminds you of some warming memory.

I want you to be loved, but more over I want you to feel love for another.  It's nice to know that your mother loves me; I find comfort in that.  But what truly blows my mind is how much I lover her.  How much I love you and your sisters.  This side of the emotion truly grows my soul.  I fear there are many people out there who are loved, but don't feel that love towards another.  They have no real understanding of what they're missing.

I want you to feel compassion.  I look at the world around me, the one we're passing to you in time, and given there are so many here, there are so few who seem to allow themselves to view the world through another's eyes.  They spend so much time worried about themselves and how this effects them and how that will change them. ... they can't stop for a moment and realize there are 7 billion other people on this earth who are also changed and effected in their own ways.  Have compassion for them, even if you can't help them or decide to choose what's best for yourself - still experience an understanding for them.

I want you to have gratitude.  I'm certain you'll find your way in this world and achieve your own successes for which you will be rightfully proud (as will I of you), but be grateful for that which you've not had control over.  You were born to a middle class family in Southern California, with several siblings who will support you and carry your load when needed.  Fortune will continue to bounce your way more often then not; be grateful for those moments, appreciate them.  Understand that you did nothing to deserve them and were blessed that they happened to you.  Don't let them go unnoticed.

Have faith.  Choose any religion, choose non at all - but have faith there is order and not chaos.  That there is right and not wrong.  That you matter, to someone or something that is beyond what any one who has ever lived on this earth will ever fully understand.  Have faith in yourself, that you carry all the potential to achieve anything you can imagine.

And that leads me to the final want.  I want you to imagine.  Imagine anything.  The only people to ever affect the world, where those that were capable of imaging they could.  Sure, imagination brought us computers, and the arts and space exploration and medicine.  But go back further.  Imagination brought us cars and trains and telephones.  It brought us ships and songs and language.  Watch a man ride a horse some time.  Eons ago, a similar man sat on the dirt and watched a stallion tear across the plains.  And that crazy son of a bitch imagined himself on top of it.

By the time you are reading this it will be too late for me to want for you.  You will already have grown down a pathway towards or away from these things.  I hope some day we'll  be able to finish this conversation.  Unfortunately your sister Rosaline just vomited in her bed because she was sucking on the cats tail instead of going to sleep like she was supposed to.  And yes, that's a live cat not a stuffed animal on whom she was sucking. .... did I mention I want you to have kids?  Dear god how I want you all to have kids!!!!


FOMO; it's new phrase for me.  Apparently it's how the trendy kids say someone has the "fear of missing out."  We all have it, I suppose.  That's probably why we fall to peer pressure so much.  But then there are those who fear missing out on things they may not have even been invited to - things they probably should be missing out on.  We've got a food FOMO kid over here.  Big time. 

Arianna has loved food, ever since she got away from the breast milk she's like an eating champ (most of the time).  And of all the girls, she's the most willing to try new things.  She gives the sample ladies at COSTCO a run for their money: sushi? yes, please.  mango salsa? sure, why not. dog food? ..... what brand?  But this willingness to try things has morphed into a near a panic when someone is eating something (anything) and she isn't having any.

On Saturday the girls were at my moms for the day and I went to pick them up that night.  Having not spent much time with my mom in a while we sat in the backyard talking for a bit while the kids watched a movie.  My mom, classy lady that she is, was having a glass of wine in a kids sippy cup because that's all she could find (hey, YOLO after all) when Arianna pops her head out of the back slider and glares at us.

"What are you eating?" She asks accusingly. 

"Nothing," I respond.

Her eyes narrow as she retreats back into the house, a look of distrust painted across her face.

Oh she'll find out what we're eating. ... and then she'll get some of her god damn own!

FOMO.  Big time FOMO.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Sleep Walker Potty Training

 This is what happens when you try and potty train a sleep walker.  When she's awake she's effective 99.99% of the time.  But when she's asleep. ... well, she can't quite make it to the bathroom before she falls back asleep on the living room floor and wet's herself there.  God love her for trying.  And for spending extra on the "puppy" pad when we had the carpet installed.  Who knew!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Trust Issues

As a parent you're hardwired to believe you're kid is always right.  If there's crying at the playground, some other kids is the cause.  If there's a report from school, must be the teachers' style.  If they grow up to be short. ... well those are her mother's genes.  But here's the ultimate paradox: what if you have more then one child and they're on polar opposite sides of the conflict?

We had one such issue today during the battle of who did what.  The world was hunky-dory all morning. ... until it suddenly wasn't.  I walked into the piano room to try and sort things out and it was clear it would not be resolved easily.  Arianna claimed Genevieve spit on her and called her a "poopy head".  Yes, that's right; a poopy head.  At five and a half I must explain there is no greater insult to bestow on one then that of the Poopy Head.  For her part, Genevieve was adamant that she had not uttered such a loathful phrase, nor had she allowed the saliva of her mouth to grace the form of her lowly sister.  A dilemma has been born.

Honestly, I don't care about who's a poopy head.  Everyone in this house deserves the title from time to time.  As Mama has pointed out, their father can be a real shit head so it's only natural that his offspring start as poopy heads and work their way up.  I was a little more disturbed by the spitting, but it's Genevieve and she was playing this god awful recorder some one brought her back from Mexico and with the absence of her front teeth at the moment she does spit quit a lot. ... like really, it's Daffy Duck incarnate at times.  What gets me is the lying.  The lying to my face, but even more so the lying in front of their sister who they're attempting to pin the blame on.

It got to the point where they were both in trouble until one of them confessed to what really took place.  Both were steadfast in their story; I mean this thing carried on way beyond where it should have.  Each of them was willing to take what ever punishment was dished just to enjoy the satisfaction of taking their sister down with them.  They ended up in their rooms on a permanent time out until one of them cracked.

About 20 minutes later Gina checked in on them and came down stairs with a message: they were ready to talk.

Turns out they were both lying.  Genevieve did intentionally spit on her sister but Arianna added the "poopy head" comment to compound the crime.

Those are my kids. ... a couple of real poopy heads.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

In the Dark of Night

It's among a father's worst nightmares; being woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of glass breaking downstairs.  Gina and I leap out of bed, she rushes to the girls rooms to make sure they're still safe and sound, I bound to the top of the stairs  in protector mode.  Our 90 pound guard dog remains fast asleep on his extra fluffy dog bed.  Gina joins me and confirms all girls are accounted for and together we peer into the darkness at the bottom of the stairs.

"Hello," Gina calls out.  I'm not sure what we expected.  As if a robber is going to merrily respond with "good evening folks, just here for the flat screen and I'll be on my way."

There was no response so Gina gently nudged me and I began a stealthy decent towards the living room.  It's during this moment that I realize I"m solely in my underwear and now I'm curious who would feel more awkward, me or the intruder.  I imagine we'd both be caught of guard for a moment.  Me by the sight of an actual stranger in my house, them by some very worn out Champion line boxer briefs that probably should have been retired long ago.

By the second half of the staircase (you move extremely slow in a situation like this, almost hoping they have taken the valuables and vacated by the time you get to them) and that's when I hear it.  The heavy, labored breathing. ... of our cat with a deviated septum.  Now trepidation has been replaced by frustration as of course it's that damn cat - keep in mind both dogs (including that 90 pound guard dog) are still fast asleep upstairs.  She had knocked a large drinking glass off the center of the kitchen island and it's shattered across the floor downstairs.  So now Gina and I are on our hands and knees trying desperately to find every last shard before the sun comes up and little girls come bounding downstairs in bare feet. 

We finally get it all and begin our retreat back upstairs.  I'm cursing "my wife's cat" because she has always had this habit of trying to drink out of human glasses so this isn't the first "oop's" she's had.  Gina says something along the lines of "wouldn't you feel terrible if she was out of water?"  I shrug that off and mutter something even I couldn't understand in response; it is 3AM after all.  And then it hits me: it's been 100+ the last week.  She's got one of those giant auto water bowls but I can't remember the last time I filled the reservoir or the last time I even checked it.  So as I pass by I peak into the laundry room and sure enough, it's bone dry.  Damnit!  Now I DO fee bad.  ... a little; it's my wife's cat after all.

So I take the reservoir out and head to the bathroom.  It's so big that the only way you can fill it aside from a hose is in the bathtub.  I top off the few gallons worth that it holds and as I'm putting the base on I hear a very soft "pop".  But I shrug it off and flip the apparatus back over.  Now the way this thing works is the reservoir sits above the drinking dish.  Because it's airtight it allows the water in storage to sit above the dish, waiting to dispense down below without spilling all over the place.  It's the same effect that happens when you fill a cup with water in a lake, and slowly raise it up above the surface.  The water in the cup is able to remain above the surface with out dropping down below.

Well, turns out that "pop" was a small crack in the top of the plastic reservoir, so as I begin walking back towards the laundry room with this multiple gallon water unit, the laws of physics kick in and air coming in the crack pushes the water in the reservoir down and I've now got a full on flood cascading over me and the carpet in our hallway as I desperately try to run back towards the bathroom and the tub.

All of this on my Friday night, the night I'm supposed to get to sleep in because I don't have to get up at 4:30 on Saturdays.  But I should look at the positives, after all it's not a total loss.  The guard dog was still able to get a solid 8 hours.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Preschool for the Kamikaze


Our third little journey of learning has officially begun.  Yesterday little Rozzie Kamikaze started pre-school for the first time.  She was so excited, like Christmas morning excited, in the days and morning leading up to going.  She was talking about all the stuff she was going to learn, what she was going to do, new friends she was going to make.  But then, as we walked toward the front door, it seemed that something dawned on her for the very first time: she was going in alone.  She's always had this exuberant energy; this need to compete with older sisters that drives her to be louder, faster, more unpredictable.  It's been as much an issue for us parenting as it has been a blessing for seeing a little one with so much life.  But that comes from this place of being the baby, and you're not "the baby" unless their are older siblings on whom you can rely.  Anywhere she goes she can be loud and boisterous because her big sisters have her back.  Any obstacle in her way she can vault over with a triple axle because her sisters will be there to catch her.  Anything she doesn't know she can confidently shout an answer for because her sisters will correct her if she's wrong.  But she doesn't have them here.  For the first time she has to walk a path alone, with out support, with out guidance, with out anyone.  For the first time in her little life I saw shyness creep in.  When the teacher greeted her, she retreated briefly.  Hidden was the confidence.  Reserved was the calamity.  It was unsettling.  Fortunately, it seems not to have lasted long.  Before the first day was over she clearly found her own footing with out her supportive siblings and I doubt it will be long before she loses that fitting, breaks another bone and realizes she can also pick herself up with out assistance.  It's a first step in a long academic journey, but I can see she's going to continue to run instead of walk.  And that makes me happy.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Oh Baby. ....

With my work life at a very different place then it was when the first three were born, I'm sad to say that my involvement with Lorelei in infancy has been limited (by comparison).  In the middle of the nights I've let Gina take the load so I can still get out of bed at 4:30 and function till I get home at 6.  By the time I'm home now, she's already on her way down, and I tend to run point on showers and jammies for the big three while Gina gets to nursing and wrapping her up.  There is a small part of me that misses that.  I feel like somehow our bond won't be as tight because I'm not there as much as I was for the others.  And then last night happened.  I'm good now, I'm good.

Gina was invited out for a girls night with some of the other ladies in the community.  I could tell she really wanted needed to go and since Lorelei recently started taking an occasional bottle I figured "I got this."  By the time I got home, however, World War 3 had already broken out.  Rosaline had fallen asleep on the drive home from where ever they had been that afternoon.  She not only woke up on the wrong side of the car, she woke up on the wrong side of the galaxy.  It got so bad that I actually banished her from the dinner table and sent her to bed.  Of course by that time the baby had started to scream as well, but Gina had just nuresed her before she left so I didn't want to waste my one bottle that soon.  I tried every position of holding her, I paced the house for an hour, I tried the bouncy seat and the playmat; I even strapped her in her car seat and swung her till my arm felt like it was going to fall off.  All of this going on while simultaneously having to march upstairs every five minutes to confront Rosaline for what ever new trouble she was getting into.  OH!! And in the background I got to listen to the dialogue from Disney's new cinimatic treasure "The Descendants". ... for the second time.

Finally I had no options so I pulled out the bottle and she drained it in a horrifying split second.  Then she looked at me with her big blue eyes as if to ask for more and I had nothing.  And so she cried.  And then she screamed.  And then I cried.  And then Rosaline screamed.  And then the twins plugged their ears.  And we all cried.

Movie was done, baby was a little less upset, so I sent the twins up to brush their teeth (don't forget, Rosaline was banished to bed like 2 1/2 hours ago) when I hear Genevieve yell "Daddy, come look at my sink!".  I trudge upstairs to find toothpaste smeared all over the counter.  That little f........ 

Before I even got to the door I can hear her apologizing from with in.

By the time Gina got home the baby was fast asleep in my arms, big girls fast asleep upstairs, and I was well on my way.  And she wanted to know why I didn't respond to any of her texts.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Indoor Summer Campout

Three summers ago we experienced our first August residing more then 10 miles from the beach and it's coastal breezes.  Growing up in Long Beach we never had an air condition in our house; why would you?!  Any hint of heat you just open up the windows and let the salt laden air flow through.  In Corona?  Not so easy.  No matter how hot it gets, you keep those windows closed and those blinds drawn or the wrath and fury of hell will overpower all things holy within those four walls.  After that you crank on the AC and pray to the gods of Southern California Edison that there are no rolling blackouts in your area. 
This weekend with Gina and the baby enjoying the coastal breezes of Santa Barabra and a festival, the girls and I opened our Bibles straight to a page in Revelations when the upstairs (where the bedrooms are located) AC conked out.  We have a warranty that will fix it, no issue - but they couldn't get a tech to us for 3 days.  So the first night, I tried fans on the stairs to bring up the downstairs cool, I pushed the roaters on the ceiling fans to the brink, I put everyone in the least amount of sleep appropriate clothing I could - but by 3am it was still 88 degrees and everyone was miserable.  I know. ... 88 degrees. ... anyone reading this in Mumbai is punching out their screen.  But we're sissy's, ok?!  So night two I went a different route.  If you can't sleep upstairs, blast the AC downstairs and have an indoor camp out!  We watched movies, we ate ice cream, we even put on long pants at one point. ... it was glorious!  Except for me who slept on the couch in case anyone had issues in the middle of the night.  Life Lesson #482: when buying a new sofa, take a nap on it just in case one day you need to know if it'll do the trick.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Why Mommy Doesn't Blog

Let me begin by stating this is not my story.  This is the story of my wife who does not blog and, if anything, is meant to show you that I'm not the only one who survives some of these parenting fiasco's.  I just blog about them to make myself feel better. ... she prefers Pinot Grigio.

Last Friday my beautiful wife of 9 years, mother of my 4 children, decided it was necessary that Costco be conquered that day.  She loaded the troops and headed off with a brilliant plan of attack.  She would feed them, stuff them with ice cream and then rush the aisles quickly before the food coma wore off.  This is why I don't make plans.

She got in line with the baby for the hot dogs outside of Costco.  She sat the three big girls at a table and told them to stay right there where she could see them while she ordered.  She repeated to Rosaline - STAY.

Not thirty seconds go by when she feels a clammy hand wrap around her thigh.  She looks down to see Rosaline beaming up at her.  "I told you to stay with your sisters," she says.  "I just wanted to tell you I love you," came the reply.  Gina points and she trudges back.

Perhaps another minute passes before she catches a mop of curly blond hair out of the corner of her eye. "I love you Mama!' Rosaline screams as she high tails it back to the table.

A beat of a butterflies wing later she's back again, only this time she's not even sure why.  So Gina lost her patience, as all great mothers do. No ice cream for you.  Mount Vesuvius erupts.  Now she's trying to order hot dogs, twins at the table perplexed, Rosaline full tantrum mode on the ground, the world watching.

Somehow they survive the dogs and, as promised, the twins get ice cream to follow and Rosaline does not.  By this point she's reduced to a stuttering whimper but the baby is now hungry as well.  She rounds them up, back to the car to eat their ice cream and feed this baby.

Twins are in the way back enjoying their dessert, baby is latched in the front with Mama and Rosaline is in the middle seats, plotting her revenge.  She notices Arianna is buckled but the car is not moving; she's found her chance.  Rosaline jumps up and leaps into the back to force Arianna to unbuckle her seat belt.  In the melee that proceeds, the buckle is indeed disengaged, it coils back, hits Arianna's ice cream and Jackson Pollacks the car in frozen confection.

Now Arianna is screaming, this of course causes Gina to turn and baby to become detached mid stream.  So now breast milk is spouting like a ruptured sprinkler head all over the car, Arianna is hysterical, Gina screaming behind her grabbing at childless air, Rosaline cowering, and Genevieve peacefully enjoying her ice cream pretending she's adopted.

Somehow they still made it through Costco and got everything from the list.  Even a magnum of Kirkland Pinot Grigio.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Wedding of the Year

"Four girls!" they exclaim; as if I wasn't aware.  And 99% of the time they follow this up with "that means four weddings!!!"  So far no one has calculated in a funeral, but there's still time.  Yes.  Yes, it has dawned on me that there's a good chance each of these girls will be married at some point, and yes I realize the traditional rules say that Gina and I are due to pay host these events.  I'm serious that my hope is they will all meet and fall in love in the same 3 month window and we can talk them into a doing it all in one shot.  Of course that's unlikely.  The other hope is my father-in-law still owns his wedding facility - La Mariposa - and we can convince the girls to hold festivities in Arizona. 

Fortunately, it seems at least one of my expenses has been covered.  I came home the other day to find  out a ceremony was in progress and Rosaline was marrying her long time bff Rafe from down the street (finally!  these kids have been together like 2 1/2 years already; it's about time).  It was a wedding destined to happen so who really cares if it happened 14 years before it's legal in this state.  Mazel Tov you two; my blessings upon you.  Now Rafe cut your hair and get a god damn job.

Something to point out as well: Rosaline and Rafe are the real life Taylor and and Ed from this music video. ... it's eerie because they look so much like then but even eerier that they act so much like them.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Big Enough to be Big Sisters

The family experience is much like a river flowing; no similar activity is exactly the same because the water drifting by is never the same is at once was.  The big sister job is much different this time around because the ages of the girls are so much different.  The twins were barely two when Rosaline came along.  They wore "big sister" shirts proudly and posed for the cameras with the newborn sis in their laps; but they were still as much babies themselves.  With Lorelei it's vastly different.  The twins are coming up on six and Zozz is nearing four  - they really are big girls and are embodying a much more active role as big sisters.  This morning, while breakfast was being made and coffee still brewing, I changed a diaper and passed the baby off t he Genevieve's open and eager arms.  And there they sat, comfy on the sofa for the next thirty minutes or so.  Any time she cries or coo's, three sets of feet come running to check; to plug a binky in her mouth or report on a spit up that needs cleaning.  So far no one is willing to change the blowout diapers. . .. but there's hope yet.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sweet Baby Lorelei

I have a new goal; to blog consistently once more.  Perhaps I'll need to find time in the evening to do so, now that my day light hours are so booked - but I'm on it.  And for good reason.  The Kopp Girls are now a quartet.  On June 19th, only 2 weeks before she was due, our little Lorelei made her appearance.  There's not much to say about her yet - she eats and sleeps and poops. ... and poops - but I'm sure she'll come with plenty of new stories to share with you all as the weeks progress.
I've already noticed the dynamic change of 3 to 4. ... it's like moving from the realm of non-fiction into science fiction.  To put that better, there's the book you read about a real experience and you can compute exactly how everything in the plot came about.  Then there's the book about an interplanetary battle between humanoid rabbits and a subspecies of foot fungus that's gained self awareness.  The words all make sense in your brain but the concept still leaves you going "how could this ever be a real thing?!"  Every time we make a simple journey to the store or someone's house, I feel like I lose track of the headcount because the numbers so high and there are so many moving parts.  It's like counting fish; everyone stop moving and looking so damn much alike. And they do!  They all look exactly the same some times.  And Lorelei, though her hair seems a little darker thus far, is nearly a carbon copy of the rest, right down to her bright blue eyes.  I feel we're not so much procreating as we are simply cloning at this point.

And the questions are a little different when you're dragging around 4.  People used to ask "are you going to try for that boy?"  And they always had this smarmy way of saying it like they weren't serious.  Now people feel like they're egging us on. ... as if we'd already passed some point of sanity so the next stop is Duggar station.  People don't even mention the "boy" card any more, simply when is number five coming?  And there's that little part of you that wonders "why not?"  As the weeks go on I'll be reminded exactly why not. 

Gina sent me an article recently that talked about how hard it is once you've "decided" this is your last baby.  I think many people with one, two or three never officially close that door, it's just kind of how things round out.  But for those that decide, this is the last one, you then start to realize all of these "last firsts" that you'll go through.  Last first smile, last first steps, last first word.  And it really makes you teary to dwell on it.  Of course it'll also be the last first tantrum.  The last first "some how I got shit in my mouth and I'm not even near the baby".  The last first puke on my new suit jacket.  The last first who put my watch in the toilet.  The last first we  haven't slept all night and I have a presentation in zzzzzzzzz.  So yes, it will be emotional, and amongst those emotions will be a little hint of joy and maybe a slightly heavier pour of longing.  We'll see.  And you will too.  Assuming I'm able to keep up  my half of this new bargin.

Here we go!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Once, Twice, Three Times a Bunkmate

We just can't get out of the pull up's at night time with Rozzie.  Accidents during the day are pretty much down to nill, but we can't conquer those long summer evenings yet.  Most of the time she's dry the next day; in fact it's probably twice a week at most that we need to toss the pull up in the morning.  But every now and then. ....

And we know the cause; the kid clearly has a drinking problem.  She's obsessed with drinking the shower water. .. like seriously obsessed.  Our conversations when it's her turn in there are:

Don't drink the water
Soap you bottom
Don't drink the water
Stop drinking the water
Did you drink the water
Wash out your poupou
I said don't drink the water
Wash your face
Wash your face
Stop drinking the freakin' water!

So then we brush teeth and try to use the potty, but all that shower water hasn't quite made it down to the bladder just yet.

When I go to bed around 11, my last job of the night is to take her catatonic body back to the toilet for one more try.  It's good bonding I figure.  She tries to sleep walk off the toilet and I have to wrangler her back to the seat to avoid getting piss all over me and the floor. ... magical really. 

Well last night I went in to take her and she'd already pee'd and it had leaked out of the pull up on to the sheets.  Great.  I take her to the toilet and call Gina in to watch her while I change the sheets out.  Of course she's gone now so there's nothing left, so we put her back to bed.

Well who comes in around 3AM to announce she's wet the bed for a second time in one night?!

And it's not even like "sorry Mama and Daddy, I wet the bed again."  It's more like "Hey, you!  Clean up on aisle four!"

Friday, June 5, 2015

Because this really happened


Well hi there; it's been a while.  You'd think it would be one of the big things going on in our life right now that would bring me out:
Twins just wrapped up TK
Zozzy's gone a full 9 months with out breaking any part of her body
Baby number 4 is due any day now
But no. ... it's a much more crass reason.  My daughter inadvertently drew a penis on a birthday card for our neighbor.  It's the little things really.
Our good friend and neighbor had her 42nd birthday over the weekend and the girls (who adore her) were desperate to make birthday cards in celebration.  Keep in mind my neighbor is also home the past 2 weeks recovering from surgery.  So they get out their pencils and markers and start to work.  Our neighbor is an avid gardener so the girls drew flowers and trees and. ... apparently a shovel for her to garden with.

Naturally I made sure they gave this card to her - no way I was going to pass up this gem.
Happy Birthday, here's a d**k!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Super Bowl

Because it wouldn't be a party if one of my kids didn't shit all over the bathroom of someone else's home.  Rosaline's been doing really great with number two's.  Like so great that we've completely moved out of the potty training phase.  Unfortunately we spent the weekend up at the cabin and one by one the girls came down with a slight case of the diarrhea. ... of course, when has a slight case of diarrhea ever been slight?  Rosaline was the last to get hers, just after we got home and a few hours before we crossed the street to our neighbors to watch the big game.  At the time Gina noted how lucky we were that her bought happened before the party started.  I stared at the words as they hung in the air above us, then I shrugged my shoulders and moved on with life. ... like there was no reason what so ever to be concerned about the uncontrollable bowel of my recently potty trained offspring who has a propensity to dissapear upstairs at strangers houses and test the very finest cleaning solutions the planet has to offer.  Sure enough, two minutes into the third quarter - "Momma?!  Daddy?!  Zozzie has khaka on her legs."  She did.  It was true.  She also had it on the bathroom counter, the lid of the toilet, the outside of the toilet, the tile floor, the tub oh, and every inch of herself.  Touchdown!!!!!!!  I love how a bunch of the commercials yesterday were geared at dads, tugging on their heartstrings about the beauty of fatherhood.   You'll note that not one of them showed a kid covered in fecal matters and their pregnant wife bent over a toilet screaming the words "go get the Clorox wipies - we need reinforcements on this one!"

Thursday, January 22, 2015

And then there's this damn thing!

Do we really need all the dad's in the United States crying in unison?

Midnight Barter

The other night Rosaline came into to snuggle.  She's pretty consistent with these visits, but we try to limit them to a short time and then take her back to her bed.  Some times it's just her, sometimes she brings stuffed friends - sometimes she brings all her sisters like she did Sunday night and it's a real party.  This time she brought only her precious "buvvy" doll.  She's had this thing since day one so it's very important to her. ... like, "she'll cut you" important. 

So she comes in, get's her cuddle on, a few minutes (maybe hours, hard to tell between 12 and 2am how much time is really passing) and Gina takes her back to bed.  I fall back asleep but am woken back up a short time later with a proposition.  Rosaline has left buvvy in our bed and I am no sleeping on top of him/her/it (can't make up our mind on the gender of this half elephant half blanket thing).  Clearly I was cuddling and Rosaline felt back about the request, so she had brought me her back up buvvy - known as "khouka buvvy" because of it's female doll like head.  Naturally I accepted the swap and cuddled happily with khouka until it was time to get up.

I just love the thoughtfulness of a three year old.  She could have easily screamed and demanded that I return her precious, but instead she took my feelings into concern - perhaps I loved buvvy equally as much - and tried to make sure that after the buvvy removal, I would still have something to cuddle with.

I don't want them to grow up.  I mean I do, I do.  ... but I don't just the same.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Coming Down the Mountain

One of my all time "looking forward to this" moments finally came to fruition this past holiday weekend.  We took the girls up to the mountains and the twins took their first snowboarding lessons.  I was so proud.  I had always wanted them to start early before fear and trepidation really took hold.  I was up on skis by 3 but they've not always shown great command of their bodies or the over all desire to try new and exciting things.  But this year they were ready and - happily - they loved it.  Neither of them showed any reluctance and both were equally excited as we were getting their rental gear squared away.  Gina and I watched the first bit, for our own reassurance, but the further up the mountain they went the harder it got to observe so we finally retreated back to the cabin and waiting the 3 hours until class was done.  As we entered the ski school to pick them up, we braced ourselves for unhappy "why did you do this to us" children.  But there they were; laughing, drinking hot cocoa, completely thrilled with their day.  As they grow up in to womanhood I have no idea where they will go; how they will be; what they will love.  My hope, though, is that no matter where their lives take them or what passions they find for themselves, there will always be little bits of me in there; seeds that I have sewn, that we still have in common.  Even when they become the first sisterly President and VP of the US combo, we'll still strap our boards on together and slice up a mountain or two.
oh, and Rosaline puked about 1/3 of the way through the drive back down the mountain. ... nothing like cleaning up a vomit soaked kid and carseat on the side of a windy, narrow mountain pass while drunk snowboarders yell obsenties at you as they pass.  Thanks for that guys; makes parenting so much easier.