Thursday, May 28, 2009

Oh Bab-E

Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone! As always, thanks to for this great forum for dad bloggers (and a few, cool mom bloggers, too). Welcome to readers new and old.

All I can say is BIG NEWS this week from Busy-Dad-E and family. I’ve written a poem to celebrate.

YES It's Positive!
You're SURE Its Positive?!
#3 Is IN The Oven!!
Time To Go Buy A MINIVAN!!
No Doubt We Are REALLY Outnumbered Now!!!
I’m Going To Be A Dad-E Again…SWEET!!!

We saw/heard the heartbeat of our little cashew (just one) on Wednesday.

Mom-E is tired and nauseated (and not just because Big Brother trekked through chocolate pudding all over the carpet the other night), but hanging in there.

Iron Momma also deserves extra props for flying solo with the boys to California two weeks ago, especially now that you know she did it while pregnant (and nauseated).

More details and thoughts to follow next week.

Until then, have a good weekend,
Busy-Dad-E (of 3)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Parenting With Pop Tarts

If there’s a “picky eater gene”, it’s definitely dominantly inherited because I’ve passed it on to both boys.

The silver-lining is that with the help of the right woman, it’s possible to overcome the “picky eater gene”, even to the point of no longer being classified as a picky eater (thanks, Busy-Mom-E.)

In the mean time, Mom-E and I still have about 18-22 years of picky eating around the house.

Please note, this doesn’t mean an absence of trying to work on the “problem.” We continue to try to put a small amount of “new” foods on the boys’ plates at mealtimes.

This usually results in screams of protest to “take that away”, if not outright refusal to sit at the table. Still, we gingerly attempt to offer new foods.

Some parents would say, “Just let your kid go hungry. Eventually they’ll eat.”

If that were a viable option, then we’d consider it. However, in addition to the “picky eater gene”, the boys also inherited two copies of the “stubborn, type A personality gene.”

This means that before they would eat something in the category of “green” or “meat” or “new”, they would prefer to either:
1. Pass out from hunger.
2. Become unbelievably irritable and hyperactive secondary to hypoglycemia.

I’m going to give you a recipe now:
2 Picky Eaters, plus
1 Trip far away from home,
“Bake” for a few days, and you get

This summed up a portion of our recent trip to California.
You see, sometimes picky eaters become even pickier when they’re out of their surroundings (perhaps an attempt to gain more control over a foreign environment?)

We already knew that getting the boys to eat would be challenging, so early in the trip, we made the most of our downtown situation. We found a store and stocked up on as many of their favorites as possible.

The only problem was that we missed the memo that many of these things were off the preferred foods list.

Finally, several days into the trip, with the boys starting to get a little on the cranky, fussy, “stop playing with the light switchy”, “stop hitting your brothery”, “don’t jump on the bed while I’m trying to brush your teethy” from mild undernutrition, I broke down.

I bought a box of Pop Tarts. We don’t usually give the boys Pop Tarts, but it’s one “food” I knew they were highly unlikely to refuse.

And the clouds parted and the sun shone down upon us.

Big Brother ate two in a single sitting, and even Little Brother ate one.

You could almost feel the tension leave the hotel room.

It was amazing. Children with full bellies are amazing.

We became (quite a bit) more pleasant and cooperative, and even occasionally listened to directions (following them was another story).

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Pop Tarts saved our vacation, but they definitely helped.

I also wouldn’t go so far as to say that Pop Tarts are more effective at parenting our boys than either Mom-E or I, but they definitely helped.

IN SUMMARY: If they ever made a Batman-like “utility belt” for dads/parents, there should definitely be a holster for Pop Tarts.

What else would you have on your dad/parent “utility belt”? I’d love to hear from you.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,

Monday, May 25, 2009

Laptop Puter

For Mother’s Day I bought Busy-Mom-E an iPod Touch. She bought me an iPod Nano 2G for our wedding anniversary, and we’ve both enjoyed using it (particularly with the Nike Plus iPod for running).

I wanted her to have an iPod of her own so that she’d stop using mine we don’t have to fight over it we could each have one to use when I am away at conferences. (Not to mention, they’re fun and she’s a technophile.)

I also knew that she’d be travelling solo with the boys to California shortly after Mother’s Day, and the games and video might come in handy. Target had a nice deal on the iPod Touch, so I bought one.

Let me say that I detest keeping secrets when it comes to presents. As soon as I bought it, I wanted to yell out, “Hey, I just bought you an iPod touch for Mother’s Day!”

And as soon as I bought it, Big Brother wanted to know what we were getting Mom-E for Mother’s Day. Knowing that he was a high-risk to blurt out the surprise to Mom-E, and knowing that he would scream uncontrollably be insistent until he saw her “prize”, I made a compromise.

I showed it to him and told him we bought Mom-E a “little laptop computer.” That way, even if he leaked the secret, the actual item might still be a surprise for Mom-E. I even showed him the demo video on (This planted the seed for his metamorphosis into IRON MAN, which is previewed in this video).

Amazingly, we made it the entire 10 days until Mother’s Day without letting the secret slip, although Big Brother did ask me from time to time about the “Laptop PUTER” (as he calls it.)

Well, the iPod Touch was a big hit with both Mom-E AND Big Brother.

You see, Big Brother also inherited the technophile gene.

And he’s 4, and it’s hard to share sometimes, especially when you’ve already seen how you can play cool games and watch your favorite videos on the Laptop Puter.

In other words, Big Brother pretty much thought the Laptop Puter was a present for HIM.

Needless to say, there was initially some yelling and some tantruming about the ownership and use of this device.

Fortunately, we set some ground rules regarding time-limited use of the Laptop Puter for Big Brother.

I’ve written about this before, but I’m amazed at the ability of young children to use modern technology. Big Brother, who is 4 (and illiterate), has no trouble navigating this hand-held device. He can turn it on, select a favorite game or movie, and get it up and running faster than you can say “Do you have to go potty?”

They say that immersion is the best way to learn a foreign language. I think the same thing goes for technology. If you grow up inundated with technology, you’re so much more “comfortable” using it, even if the device is something “new.” By contrast, I got my first non-Commodore computer when I was in high school. I’m sure the specs on the iPod Touch blow that computer away.

And while I want my children to spend plenty of time playing and running outside (not inside the house naked after bath time), I still want them to become “fluent” with this technology.

The Laptop Puter has also been a nice behavior modification tool.

“If you keep acting that way, then you won’t get to play with the Laptop Puter today.”
(I should make an App for that--a voice that says the above phrase.)

Even with these limitations, I think he’s still used it more than anyone else in the family.
I just got to play the car racing game for the first time on the airplane ride back from California.

I didn’t play but about 2 minutes when I heard, “Hey, Dad-E, I’ll trade ‘ya.”

Next thing I know, Big Brother’s playing the racing game on the Laptop Puter, and I’m holding a set of alphabet flash cards. Go figure.

Maybe we should get a Wii, which at least has multi-player capabilities.

Then again, maybe not for a little while.

I’ll have to ask Mrs. Claus.

Have a good week,

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Iron Men and Iron Momma

Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone! If you’re new to my husband’s blog or missed the P.S. in last week’s post, this is Busy-Mom-E, wife of Busy-Dad-E and mother of Big Brother and Little Brother. Thanks to for giving my husband something to do creating this great forum for devoted, blogging dads.

To set the record straight, anything flattering Busy-Dad-E says about me is ABSOLUTELY TRUE. Anything less than flattering is NOTHING BUT A PACK OF LIES.

As a preface, some time ago I volunteered to fly solo to California with both boys to meet up with Busy-Dad-E at a conference. No, I was not drinking at the time. Yes, Dad-E must’ve slipped me a “WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?” pill prior to that decision.

And, if that wasn’t enough, after we’d booked the flights I realized the morning of my flight was my favorite race of the year (a 5-mile run where you get roses and chocolate at the finish line.) I mean, I’d probably run a race if you told me there MIGHT be chocolate at the finish line.

Given our recent experiences with airline travel, I was prepared for the worst.

As is often the case with children, they never fail to surprise us. Turns out, I got to travel with a RENOWNED SUPERHERO and his sidekick.

When I returned to my parent’s house from the race, Big Brother said, “Grampap-E and I watched Iron Man!”

My first thought was, “You watched WHAT (he’s only 4)?” My dad clarified that they only watched the scene where Iron Man put on his suit. “Okay, that is all right.” I figured.

In retrospect, I should’ve known right away that I was travelling with a super hero, because in contrast to Big Brother’s usual screaming fit about taking off his shoes, he was quite helpful getting through security.

Before the long flight to California, we got something to eat and sat down by our gate. I let both boys out of the double stroller.

Big Brother immediately began running in circles shouting, “I’m IRON MAN!!!” Little Brother thought this was GREAT, and started running after him. For quite a long time, they just chased each other in circles, laughing and giggling (Yay! Children chasing each other now = tired children later.)

I said, “Big Brother, please use your inside voice.” His reply was, “I’m not Big Brother, I’m IRON MAN!” (Apparently, Little Brother was also dubbed (Little) Iron Man. Dubbing consisted of having a Cars sticker on your shirt)

After we finished eating, I took the boys to the family bathroom to get everyone ready for the long flight. I told them we were also going to change into our jammies!

Big Brother said, “Are they going to be Iron Man jammies?” I said, “Well, all we have are Spiderman jammies so we will have to use our imagination.”

That seemed to work just fine. Big Brother said he was very happy to put on his “Iron Man suit.”

Finally, we started to board the airplane. Each time we passed an empty seat, Big Brother Iron Man would say, “This looks like a good spot!” Just before we finally found our actual seat, someone greeted Big Brother saying, “Hey, Ironman!” (Apparently his antics were noticed by the other passengers!)

To my amazement, the rest of the flight was somewhat uneventful. Little Brother got tired at his usual bedtime and fell asleep in my lap. We were fortunate enough to be close enough to the potty that I could dash in to help Big Brother while Little Brother remained asleep in his seat. Big Brother, on the other hand, kept going strong until we landed.

I called Dad-E to tell him that we landed and that I couldn’t believe that Big Brother was still awake. After all, it was about 11:30pm our time. As soon as I hung up the phone, I turned my head and saw Big Brother asleep on the seat. Apparently this is Iron Man’s weakness: if you talk about his incredible endurance, he goes into an iron-hard sleep. It took a hammer bit of an effort to wake him up to get him off the plane!

Finally, we got off the plane. Both boys were VERY excited to finally see their Dad-E after four days away.

I was very excited to see him, albeit completely exhausted a little tired.

We picked up our luggage and drove to the hotel.

I was relieved everything went so smoothly. I just wish that Iron Man was as helpful at finding (affordable) breakfast in a foreign city WHEN YOU’RE STARVING AND HYPOGLYCEMIC AND SO IRRITABLE YOU FEEL UTTERLY EVIL as he was at airplane travel. But that’s another story to be continued…

Have a good weekend,
Busy-Mom-E (aka Iron Momma)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Young Charlie Brown

One of Mom-E's favorite phrases when things go awry is the Charlie-Brownesque

And when things go REALLY awry it comes out more like

Big Brother has not only picked up on this catch-phrase, but he's learned to use it appropriately.

Tonight we're all playing and laughing hysterically while swimming at the hotel pool, and Big Brother has to pee (frequent readers of the blog are utterly surprised at this occurrence :)

I take him to the potty, only to find out we need the key card to get in the locker room.

We also need the key card to get back into the pool area.

So there I stand, dripping wet, holding Big Brother, also dripping wet (only water), and we're stuck in the entry way.

"Dad-E, do you have a phone?" he asks.

"Nope. Sure don't." I reply, shrugging off temptation to either:
1. Go into a rant about "When I was your age, we didn't have cellphones..."
2. Stand somewhat dumbfounded at the logic skills of my techno-savvy 4 year-old.

"OH GOOD GRIEF!" he exclaims.

A pessimist already at the age of 4? I hope not.

Have a good week,

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone! This is the (lucky) 13th week of this fun-filled event from Welcome to readers new and old. If you were a fan of Big Big Brother's soccer season, then I’ve got more blog-worthy youth sports antics in store.

WeaselMomma, this post carries a Yellow Level "Pee-Alert", so please protect your furniture accordingly.

It’s the middle of spring, which can only mean one thing: pee tee-ball season!

Big Brother had his first tee-ball practice last week, and it did not disappoint.

I really enjoyed being on the parent-END of practice, instead of the coach-END. First of all, I got to sit on my hind-END during practice (most of the parents pretty much tailgate with folding chairs and snacks).

Second, it was reassuring that the one kid who threw a FIT complete with screaming, crying, and refusing to play was the COACH’S son (aka NOT MINE). This really helped normalize my soccer experience. I felt bad for the coach, but it was still quite refreshing.

Big Brother, on the other hand, had a LOT of fun. In fact, he got SO excited that he had to pee, and pee, and uh, pee.

If there was a small bladder club for 4 year-olds, Big Brother would be the VEE-PEE.

In the course of a 50 minute practice, Big Brother went potty 3 more times than the other 10 players on the team COMBINED (they went zero times). (It probably didn’t help that he drank part of a lemonade at Panera Bread before practice, and that his bladder capacity is about the size of a peanut shell.)

He was quite a sight standing on the pitcher’s mound. You knew he had to go potty when he started jerking around like a cross between a Fernando Valenzuela's wind-up and having ants in his pants. (If he continues to be able to dance like that in high school, he’ll have his pick of prom dates.) But he was having so much fun that he protested leaving the field.

And there were more signs that it should really be called PEE-BALL.

Even though his team is the White Sox, their team hats and jerseys are YELLOW.

Not only are the jerseys yellow, the “sponsor” is JIFFY LUBE.

One of his two coaches, who rides a Harley and looks like he once wrestled in the WWF (not WWE, I’m talkin’ old-school), wore a shirt that said “Size Matters.”

Let me tell you firsthand, that it DOES matter. If your child has a small bladder, then they will have to pee A LOT.

And the best part is that there’s only one Port o’ Potty at the baseball field (the same place where they had soccer). The THIRD time Big Brother had to pee, there was another kid who literally spent about 10 minutes in the potty. The other kids waiting in line started throwing rocks at the door. This did not speed things up. It felt like we were in “A Christmas Story” when Randy had to pee while Raphie was busy decoding Little Orphan Annie’s secret society message. You know, if you drink a lot of Ovaltine, that’ll make you have to pee, too.

Big Brother found it completely hysterical when the kids started throwing rocks at the Port o’ Potty. He giggled uncontrollably. (He probably would’ve thrown rocks, too, if I didn’t proactively give him the “we don’t throw rocks” speech for about the millionth time (only a million more before it finally sinks in). Obviously throwing rocks is potentially dangerous, but sometimes it’s still hard to tell your kids not to do something with a straight face when you yourself find it a little funny.) The rock-throwing only made him have to pee even MORE. We finally resorted to peeing on a tree (far) behind one of the dugouts.

Still, Big Brother managed to field the ball a few times, throw (albeit underhand), hit off the tee, andrun saunter around the bases once.

It was the hitting and running the bases part where shades his personality really came out. You see, Big Brother is like his Dad-E in that in social situations he is rather shy, quiet, and reserved (he talks in a whisper and he could make you think he’s deaf, but he’s really just taking it all in). By contrast, in the comforts of home he is quite outgoing and outspoken.

So, when it came time to hit the ball, he swung the bat like he was in a china shop, unlike at home when he tries to smack the tar out of Little Brother with any toy that resembles a bat (Don’t worry Little Brother, someday you may be bigger than Big Brother, and you can pin him down on the ground and hold ice on his forehead). And unlike when he has to pee, when he hit the ball it trickled out to the pitcher’s mound.

And when it came time to run the bases, you’d think the child had never run before. The same boy who literally FLIES around the house naked and requires two adults to catch him had to be coaxed to circle the bases.

After practice, the coaches had snacks for the players. Of course, Big Brother, my picky eater, snarfed down a bag of Spicy Nacho Doritos?!? He who would never eat anything spicy or nachoey at home. Go figure. Apparently if it’s a chip, he’ll eat it. Frito-Lay needs to start making chicken chips and peanut butter chips.

Oh yeah, and they had Capri-Sun drinks, too. I think that made him have to pee another 3 times after we got home.

I’d tell you more, but I have to go pee now myself.

Have a good weekend,

PEE-S: Next Fatherhood Friday, we’re going to have the first guest-post ever on Busy-Dad-E. That’s right, Busy-Mom-E is going to steal the show. “Why?” you may be asking.

I’m currently out of town for back-to-back conferences. On Saturday (tomorrow), Busy-Mom-E is going to fly SOLO with the boys to California so that we can all rendez-vous at the site of the second conference. Oh yeah, and she’s running a 5-mile race that’s 90 minutes away from the airport 6 hours before her flight because she doesn’t have enough to do that day.

I mean, flying with young kids is easy for two parents, so it shouldn’t be a problem for one parent, right?

Please note that she spontaneously volunteered to do this. As a peace offering, I got her an iPod Touch for Mother’s Day. Hopefully a few games and videos will help ease the burden slightly.

But I don’t think it’ll help when Big Brother has to pee, and she has to fit him, herself, and Little Brother in an airport lavatory. Talk about “three’s a crowd.”

Who votes for fluid restriction for Big Brother?

If you see a woman in an airport with two young kids looking frazzled, please be nice and offer to help because it might be her.

Stay tuned! If I don’t post between now and then, you’ll understand that I’m bus-E helping her recover from the flight.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Let Go and Enjoy the Ride

Teaching a child to ride a bike is a good metaphor for fatherhood.

Right now Big Brother has figured out how to really pedal that Thomas the Train bike with training wheels on his own.

It seems like just yesterday every 10 seconds on the bike he needed another push to get started. Now he just takes off and goes.

On the other hand, putting on the brakes and remembering to look forward (so you don’t veer into the middle of the road) are two things we’re still working on mastering.

Watching him ride that bike stirs in me a swarm of emotions.

Bittersweet sadness, that he’s too big for us to push him in his ride-in toy car or tricycle.

Pride, that he’s growing and developing well. I can help but cheer for him, “Wow, that’s great. You can ride a bike by yourself. You’re such a big boy.”

Excitement, that someday not so far from now, we’ll be ready to take those training wheels off and learn how to ride a bike with two wheels.

Fear, that he’s going to crash the bike because he forgets to brake, and needs a SECOND head CT.

The past few nights, we’ve enjoyed riding bikes after dinner.

It really hit me how riding a bike is like fatherhood.

I want the best for my boys. We try to give Big Brother all the tools he needs to ride: a bike, helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, practice time, guidance, praise, and gentle reminders (with a few loud pleas to “brake” and “stay close to the curb.”)

All of those things are necessary and important, but at some point you just have to “let go” and let him figure it out on his own. He has to learn by doing.

We cheer like mad when he does well.

And we offer comfort and encouragement when he crashes. And I’m sure there will be a crash at some point (so long as it only involves scrapes and not head CTs)

So goes life.

We try to provide/instill in our children all of the “tools” they’ll need to succeed. Family. Unconditional love. Commitment. Work ethic. Self-esteem. Honesty. Morality. Faith. Education.

And then at some point it’s up to them to take what we’ve given them and “figure it out on their own.”

Of course, we’ll always be right there for them, through the highs and lows.

And even though Big Brother is only 4 and we’re only talking about riding bikes for now, I know there are bigger things lurking just around the corner.

Fortunately, just like learning to ride a bike, learning to “let go” as a father, to let my each of my children live and become their own person is also a gradual process. And like riding a bike, it’s a process filled with sadness and pride and excitement and fear.

It’s an amazing process. Enjoy the ride.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,

Monday, May 11, 2009

Magic Cookies

My dad once told me, “Just remember that children will remember the way you first explain something to them. Whatever you say, that’s how it will be.”

His comments on the impressionability of our children ring true.

In this instance, it was something happy, fun, and, well, yummy.

Several months ago, Grampap came by the house. During that visit, he gave Big Brother the “penny item” from Publix that week: a package of Publix-brand Oreo cookies.

To provide some background, you must understand that Grampap is a master of telling “stories” that young children believe with absolute certainty. For years, Mom-E was convinced that you had to beware of “moon burn” at night, and if you ate a watermelon seed, it would grow inside your stomach and make you look pregnant.

He proceeded to explain to Big Brother that the cookies were “Magic Cookies”, and that they could only be eaten if you dipped them in a glass of milk. Completely captivated, Big Brother soaked all of this in, literally.

And then we all ate cookies.

Like my dad said, however you first explain something to a child, that’s how it is.

And so, there’s now only one way to eat a “Magic Cookie”. (Unless you ask Little Brother, who prefers to twist his open, lick all of the cream filling, then dip it in mild, and proceed to smear chocolate cookie EVERYWHERE!)

It warms my heart to know that for the rest of his life, this is how Big Brother will eat Oreos, and each time he will think of his Grampap.

In fact, Grampap just brought us a second package of “Magic Cookies.”

Even Little Brother can spot their hiding place atop the refrigerator.
“Coo-kie!” he exclaims.

“What are magic cookies doing?” Big Brother replies.

They’re creating memories that will last a lifetime.

So tonight, take a moment away from the frenetic pace of life, pour a glass of milk, sit down with your little one(s), and talk about your day while enjoying a “Magic Cookie.”

They really are magic.

Have a good week,

Friday, May 8, 2009

Honey What'd We Forget Now

Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone! A special welcome to new and returning guests from

I'd hope that this week would bring an opportunity to write about Big Brother's first tee-ball practice, but unfortunately it was cancelled due to rain. Hopefully we'll be able to chronicle the adventures of 4 year-olds with metal bats (DUCK!) next week. Assuming I don't forget.

You see, there's lots of names, depending on the stage of life and situation, for forgetfulness.

For young children, it's called an immature hippocampus.

For pregnant women, it's called "pregnesia".

For middle-aged folks, it's called CRS.

For the elderly, it's called senility or dementia.

For parents with multiple children, it's called "Honey what'd we forget now?"

I think it should be an official disorder. If the boss asks you why the report is late, you can say "I suffer from 'Honey what'd we forget now?' syndrome. I have a note from my doctor. But I forgot to bring it. Because I have a disorder."

I remember (at least I think I remember), the days when we could go to the grocery store, buy a week's worth of groceries, and get everything we needed for the WHOLE WEEK in one trip.

Even after Big Brother was born, we could still do this the vast majority of the time.

Sure, every now and then, you'd realize you needed an extra lemon for a recipe or something.

Then we had Little Brother...

...and apparently our level executive function took a hit, and we started showing signs of "Honey what'd we forget now?" syndrome.

We absolutely can NOT go to the store without forgetting AT LEAST 1 thing.

We have to pretty much go to the store daily for something.

On Sunday, we'll just be unloading the groceries at home, and I'll look in the pantry and realize, "Darn. We forgot to buy Fladdoodles," even though I swear we had Fladdoodles before we left.

On Monday, we'll use up the last bit of laundry detergent just as Little Brother paints his last pair of pj's with yogurt. Back to the store we go.

That night we'll realize Big Brother is now out of allergy medicine, and so it's another trip to the store on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, we'll use the last of the "chocolate juice". Hmm...protesting 4 year-old or another trip to the store. Tough call.

On Thursday, we'll run out of skim milk.

You get the idea.

It does not matter what we do--lists, detailed inventory, electroshock therapy, etc--
we still forget stuff.

I chalk it up to chronic fatigue from chasing after two high-energy boys under the age of 5 "Honey what'd we forget now?" syndrome. There's just no way to anticipate and remember everything we need.

I've gone to work (more than once now), wearing a black tie and navy blue pants, despite checking carefully (in the relative dimness of the closet) that the pants are indeed black.

It's amazing that we get everyone out of the house, dressed, breakfasted, and lunch packed before 8am. By the way, did I remember to feed the dog?

Fortunately, there is a cure for "Honey what'd we forget now?" syndrome.

It's called a vacation for Mom-E and Dad-E in St. Lucia.

We'd like to go for our 10th wedding anniversary. That is, if we remember to book the trip.

Have a good weekend,

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Legend of the Purple Dinosaur


This is NOT a post about THAT purple dinosaur (aka He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named).

Nope, this is a post about ICE CREAM (and head CTs and messy eating. Read on.)

Bruster's Ice Cream offers a free kids-sized cone to anyone under 40 inches tall.
Free ice cream = SWEET! (Especially when it's big enough for a small adult = LEFT-OVERS FOR MOM-E AND DAD-E)

One of the flavors is called "Purple Dinosaur." I assume it's named for it's purple color, because I don't think it tastes like a dinosaur. (In fact, it's actually pretty bland, but the name makes it exciting.)

Despite it's lack of great taste, the flavor is still AMAZINGLY popular with our boys. After all, what boy wouldn't want to eat a purple dinosaur?

About this time last year, we went to Bruster's with our friend Rosi and her family. Big Brother was very proud and excited about his Purple Dinosaur cone. He went to sit on a (NARROW) bench to enjoy his cone, when he proceeded to fall over backwards (from a distance of about 2 feet) and hit the back of his head on the concrete.

He cried immediately and didn't lose consciousness. Within 5 minutes, he was eating his ice cream and happily running around, giggling, and playing with Rosi's daughter.

When we got home about an hour later, it was bedtime. Big Brother seemed a little tired, but he hadn't napped that day. We started to get him ready for his bath.

Mom-E asked if there was anything that we should watch for with Big Brother. I no sooner uttered the word "vomiting" than a stream of "Purple Dinosaur" came spewing out of his mouth.

This bought us a late-night trip to the ER for a head CT. Fortunately, Big Brother was just fine (Okay, if just fine means he screamed hysterically and had to be held down by me for the head CT, but was calmly watching Thomas and Friends the rest of the time in the exam room).

Big Brother still talks about the time when "the purple ice cream came out of my mouth."

We went back to Bruster's the other day for the first time since the famed incident. Amazingly, Big Brother wanted another Purple Dinosaur cone. (You'd think that after what happened the last time, he'd have a conditioned response not to eat one of those things.)

Instead, Big Brother calmly enjoyed his ice cream started running around like a wild man the moment the sugar hit his bloodstream.

Dad-E calmly enjoyed his ice cream freaked out about Big Brother's every move. "No, he can't sit on the bench. He might fall again." "No, he can't play hopscotch on the grass because there are 3 manhole covers, and he might fall and hit his head on one of them." "NO MORE HEAD CT's PEOPLE!"

(Sure, tell that to a 4 year-old.)

Or, I just needed to take a "chill pill."

We also got Little Brother a Purple Dinosaur cone.

Little Brother calmly enjoyed his ice cream sucked the cone till it was flimsy, had purple ice cream smeared all over his face (and hair and hands and shirt, and my shirt, and Mom-E's shirt), all while I'm holding him.

We couldn't keep the napkins coming fast enough.

Again, I thought another one of those neon signs was appearing over my head. "I can multitask. Just not now."

We took a picture of his shirt, which actually made him look like a purple dinosaur. Hope you enjoy it.

And so, the Legend of the Purple Dinosaur lives on.

Live long and eat ice cream (without having to go to the ER).
(And buy stock in Shout.)


Monday, May 4, 2009

Bye Bye High Chair

Little Brother is growing up too fast.

He's also a little strong-willed. (Not that he takes after either Mom-E or me. Nope. Not at all.)

Almost from the outset of his days in the high chair, he pretty much REFUSED to wear bibs. Apparently he thought they made an inappropriate fashion statement, and he preferred the more mature look of yogurt in your hair.

He also quickly reached a point where he REFUSED to let us feed him. He must've been thinking, "I don't care if I can't use a spoon or a straw yet. I'm a big boy and I'll do it myself, thanks. I also don't care if I end up wearing most of my food on my outfits, because they magically appear clean in my closet."

And now, his high chair days are over, too.

Little Brother, oh so eager to be just like his Big Brother, decided he was ready for his own seat at the dinner table.

And of course, he really isn't too thrilled about the idea of a booster seat. No, he's figured out how to pull himself up onto the regular chair, dragging his body and then sitting up.

Thoughts of falls and head CTs flash before my eyes as he giggles with pride at this accomplishment.

We have, however, had some limited success with the booster seat. The sight of milk or watermelon is usually enough to distract him for 2 minutes so that he can be buckled in to the booster seat.

And so, the other night, we sat down for our first dinner with everyone sitting at their OWN chair at the table. It was wonderful. It felt like we'd entered a new phase of life. Big Brother said the blessing sincerely without trying to eat or drink. Little Brother clasped his hands together, and then waved at me from across the table. We talked about what we wanted to do after dinner. Make paper airplanes? Go for a walk and feed the ducks? Color the driveway with sidewalk chalk.

It was a beautiful 2 minutes.

-Big Brother had to go potty.
-The dog had to go potty.
-Little Brother was tired of sitting in the booster seat and was screaming and struggling to escape.
-The phone rang.
-Big Brother returns from the potty with pants still around his ankles.
-Big Brother decided that running around half-naked was more fun than eating.

You know, just the usual family stuff that happens on an (almost) nightly basis.

Oh, the joys of parenthood are counted and enjoyed in moments
(because if you wait another few seconds, things are apt to break out into complete pandaemonium.)

Here's to that joyous chaos,

Friday, May 1, 2009


Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone! A special welcome to new and returning guests from No matter what kind of week it’s been, come Friday, you’ll have lots of entertaining reading to peruse thanks to this event.

(Weaselmomma, no "Pee Alert" here, but there is the possibility of a "Tear Alert", so please put anti-wetness precautions into effect.)

Dear Big Brother and Little Brother,

Over this past weekend, your great-grandparents celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary. (That’s right, their seventy-third, 7-3.) Someday, I hope you’ll both come to appreciate that this is a tremendous accomplishment.

Your Great Grandpa is 96 and your Great Grandma is 94. They’re still both “sharp as a tack”, and although they live in an assisted living facility, they remain pretty independent. Your Great Grandpa still drives to the grocery store and the pharmacy. Four years ago, he was still playing golf. Nowadays, he likes to come over and help Pa-Pa with yard work.

In a society where divorce is common and the word commitment doesn’t hold the same significance that it once did, your great grandparents are an inspiration to Mom-E and I, and married folks everywhere.

Even though we live somewhat far away from them now, we still visit when we can. I can’t predict what kind of memories of them you’ll have in the future. Big Brother is old enough that he probably will have some. No matter what, I’m very happy that we have pictures and video of you playing with them. I’m particularly fond of pictures of four generations of “men” in our family: Great Grandpa, Pa-Pa, Dad-E, and you guys.

Big Brother, you’re favorite thing about visiting them was playing with Great Grandpa’s red model VW Bug. Great Grandma always wanted to have (a real) one, and so as a joke Great Grandpa bought her a model car. Big Brother, Great Grandpa bought a gray toy VW Bug for you when you were little.

Boys, of the many things they taught me over the years, I hope you will remember a few of them.

First, marriage is forever. You’re spouse is your love and your best friend. I suggest that you find someone you really enjoy talking to and someone who makes you laugh. When you get to the age of your great grandparents and you can’t see or get around very well, you’ll be especially glad you did. (You probably won’t hear well either, but hearing aids can help that one.)

Second, be a gentleman. Especially as she had more trouble getting around, Great Grandpa would ALWAYS carry around Great Grandma’s purse for her. He carried it more than she did. (It was his “man bag.”) He ALWAYS opened doors for her, and they ALWAYS held hands when they walked.

Third, pray together. Plain and simple. Prayer is powerful.

Lastly, I want to borrow something from Great Grandpa’s golf game. I remember going golfing with him once or twice a summer, more to spend time with him than for my interest in golf. He didn’t hit the ball terribly far, but man did he hit it on a straight line, almost every time. “The secret of success is constancy of purpose.” (I’m not sure who said it.) And that’s a good metaphor for marriage: two people, loving each other unconditionally, journeying through life together, whether it’s a hundred yards or one day at a time.

In their case, it’s been 26,645 days. Happy Anniversary! We love you!

Love you boys, (73 years of marriage kind of love),