Thursday, October 29, 2009

Old MacDonald Had a Poop

Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone! I've recovered such that I'm ready to catch up on all of the great bloggers over at, and you should do the same.

You probably won't might remember from a little while back that Little Brother was showing some interest in potty training at about age 18 months, which was quite exciting.

Since then, we've just been going with the flow (literally and figuratively) with him, trying to be encouraging but not pushy.

Accordingly, his interested has waxed and waned.

Lately, however, we have seen a resurgence in his interest in using the (so-called) "big boy potty." All I can say is, "Man, does Little Brother sure want to be a big boy like his Big Brother!"

(If Big Brother licked a toad, no doubt Little Brother would swoop in for seconds.)

And so, we've had some luck with Little Brother going pee-pee in the potty, albeit inconsistently.

He is very proud of himself, and has enjoyed wearing regular big boy underwear over his diaper.

The only downside is that the first time he was "successful", Big Brother was going potty in the other bathroom (leading Little Brother to say, "I want to go potty, too!"), meaning Little Brother had to use our bathroom.

And so now the Elmo potty seat is a permanent temporary addition to Mom-E and Dad-E's bathroom, and Little Brother adamantly refuses to tee-tee elsewhere and throws a full-blown hissy fit tantrum prefers to potty there.

What adds to the fun of this potty training endeavor is that Little Brother has figured out a GREAT way to get attention is to yell out that he has to go potty.

This is a particular fun way to delay naptime, bedtime, etc.

Little Brother also ups the ante by taking off his pants AND diaper while in his crib. If you don't come and take him potty (fairly) promptly, you don't know what color of stain you might find in his crib.

Despite his interest in going pee-pee in the potty, he's still quite afraid to "drop the kids off at the pool."

So far, we've found a half-naked toddler nearby poop in:
1. His crib (TWICE)
2. Mom-E and Dad-E's shower (long story)

He's starting to become like Old MacDonald, because we seem to find a "poop, poop, here, and a poop, poop there. Here a poop. There a poop. Everywhere a poop, poop."

Fortunately we've only been graced with solid (versus mushy) poops.

While we're proud of his potty training efforts, it was a bit easier in the days when he just pooped in his pants.

Gallagher said "You don't have a baby, a baby has YOU!" I think it's time to replace "baby" with "child", and to extend that analogy throughout the lifespan.

Have a good weekend,

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bat Girl-Friend

There's been no doubt this year that Halloween has been a VERY popular holiday.

The boys have had so much fun, and gotten so much wear, out of their costumes that Mom-E and I are planning an entire super-hero wardrobe for them for winter they were worth every penny.

(If only they would put on regular clothes for school, church, or just so they wouldn't parade around the house naked etc. as willingly as they throw on their Batman costumes.)

Keeping up with the spirit of celebrating Halloween for an entire month, this past weekend, we took the boys to a trick-or-treat event held at a nearby zoo.

(Yes, this means a second major sugar rush trick-or-treat on Halloween itself).

It was actually a little on the warm side when we got there, and 30 seconds after putting on his costume, Little Brother wanted no part of his fleece Batman outfit.

Fortunately, he was wearing Thomas the Train jammies, and I wanted his candy no matter what we considered that to be good enough of a costume for a 2 year-old.

Big Brother, on the other hand, morphed into Batman faster than you could say Willie Wonka.

To make things humorous, while Little Brother was throwing a tizzy about his costume, Batman started talking about how he was going to "shoot" all of the princesses and dinosaurs as they walked by. (C'mon, he has to keep the "bad guys" away from his candy, after all.)

In short, the trick or treating was successful. The boys visited all of the "stations", amassing some candy, as well as crayons, masks, and vampire teeth.
Mom-E and Dad-E were able to stave off requests for waiting an hour to ride the merry-go-round (they always get to ride it when we regularly go to the zoo) and to pay $19.99 for a light-up device that will "burn out" the moment you get back to the car.

A highlight of the event was a kids dance party as you entered the zoo.

I was fully hoping that the boys would just bust-a-move as they did during recent air time of the Ghostbusters theme song at our house.

Although they were excited, they opted for an approach-avoidance style of dancing. (Translate: Dad-E carry me, and you dance so that it looks like I'm dancing, too).

However, we returned upon the dance party on the tail end end of our sojourn, and this time thanks to the sugar rush of a blueberry icee Big Brother really wanted to go dance.

And so we danced together, including the public debut of a new "signature move" we spontaneously created not long ago.

And then he saw HER. There was Bat Girl on the dance floor, and Big Brother was drawn to her by the magnets in their imaginary tool belts.

"Dad-E, come with me so I can give her a high 5."

Nice. Way to go, Big Brother, going after a 6 year-old Bat Girl. As long as I don't have to go with you on your prom date, we're doing great.

But then, of course, he got a little nervous. Big Brother called in for back-up, and instead asked for Mom-E to "help."

(Oh we're going to have fun when he's a teenager asking if we can come with him to help him talk to girls.)

It was as awkward as it was precious. Big Brother went up to Bat Girl and held up his hand methinks without uttering a word. Bat Girl looked a little confused, not sure whether Big Brother
1. Was the Joker in disguise
2. Wanted to dance with her (oh that would've been cool, since the video camera was
3. Was going to slap her

Fortunately, she caught on and gave him a high 5.

Again, nice job Big Brother. Well played. I was very proud. You definitely faired
much better than Little Brother's last zoo girlfriend , even if the relationship lasted only a few moments.

It was a fun-filled evening that we'll all remember, and I didn't even get into Little Brother smearing chocolate all over himself in the car

See you on Fatherhood Friday. For now, back to the Bat Cave,

Monday, October 26, 2009

Edith Ann Reincarnate

Hello everyone!

Mom-E and I got (a little bit) rested up this weekend following my "little" trip across the pond. That is to say that I got a (short) nap in on Sunday, which is pretty unusual. I was happy that Mom-E was able to nap on both Saturday and Sunday, which was an absolute requirement.

I'm still fighting the jet lag, but doing okay.

Of course, having two very active boys speeds along the process of recovering from the jet lag.

Do any of you remember Lily Tomlin in the Edith Ann sketch from Laugh-In?

In short, she plays an ornery girl who sits and offers commentary in a (massively oversized) rocking chair (which makes her look even more like a little girl). (See below)

Well, Little Brother has been attempting an Edith Ann impression lately.

In his neverending quest to imitate his Big Brother become a big boy, Little Brother has started to refuse being rocked to sleep at night in the rocking chair.

Instead, the precocious little bugger blurts out, "wanna rock BY MYSELF!"

This translates to "put me in the rocking chair while you still on the foot stool and rock the chair by pushing on it."

Or, occasionally, Little Brother will want you to sit beside him on a little 2 inch strip of rocking chair.

"Sorry, buddy. Ain't no one here with that tiny of a heiny except your stuffed animals."

He really is quite a sight in the rocking chair, which could pretty much swallow him whole.

Next thing you know, he'll be interviewing celebrities while he rocks.

There's such an interesting dichotomy with this latest expression of 2 year-old independence.

On the one hand, it's exciting to see him turn from a baby to a little boy, full of energy, enthusiam, preferences, a desire to imitate and learn from Big Brother, and a heaping spoonful of bull-headedness

On the other hand, it makes me a little sad--or at least sentimental--that as he becomes a "big boy" he wants us to cuddle and rock him less and less.

Fortunately, despite this desire to "rock solo", Little Brother still enjoys laying his head down on my shoulder and "dancing", which is pretty much rocking without the chair.

The end of "dancing" is probably around the corner, too, but therin lies (part of) the sweetness of having more children: the opportunity to prolong that phase of total dependence on Mom-E and Dad-E.

One of the best feelings in life is a small child cuddling in your arms, relaxing to the point of just melting in to you, filled with unconditional trust.

And That's The Truth. Plllllllllll.

Have a good week,

Friday, October 23, 2009

Home Sweet Home

It's great to be back in the land of Fatherhood Friday!

Don't forget to check out the great bloggers over at!

I, however, am excused from that activity for today.

You see, yesterday, I was on the other side of the "big pond".

"Dad-E, how many airplanes did you ride?" asks Big Brother.

3! Yes, three.

And now Dad-E is:


And here's how everyone felt about Dad-E's return:


"Dad-E, did you bring us any dinosaurs?" ask Big and Little Brother (they think I rode all those airplanes to go buy them dinosaurs).


And here's how Mom-E is doing after my trip:

Completely EXHAUSTED! (So exhausted that she's now a teeny, tiny, Mom-E).

So the least I could do was bring her a relaxation "kit":


And here's what we're both going to do while the boys play with their new toys:


Have a good weekend!
Shh! I'm sleeping.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mickey D's: The New Subway

In Big Brother's world, there are pretty much only 2 places that are acceptable to go out to eat: Subway and Panera Bread.

And he prefers Subway about 95% of the time.

The other day, after the boys got their flu shots, Mom-E was going to take them to Subway as a treat.

However, on the way, Big Brother had to use the potty and they were near a McDonald's.

Both boys were intrigued (they've never been there before), and they actually wanted to eat dinner there.

Apparently, the boys were absolutely in love with the Ronald McDonald statue. They both climbed on him and sat in his lap.

Big Brother wanted to know who turned him into stone.

The boys ate a few french fries and polished off their apple slices, but of course wouldn't touch the chicken McNuggets.

As an aside, both boys are OBSESSED with apple slices right now. They're like the ghost Captain in the Pirates of the Carribbean movies: they could eat a whole bushel of apples in a week.

What's really funny is that Little Brother won't eat the skin of the apple. He'll eat the apple slice like it's a piece of watermelon; when he gets close to the skin, he'll toss the piece on the floor (if you're not watching him) to Pupp-E's delight.

What was even funnier is that although the apple slices at McDonald's do NOT have skin, Little Brother ate them according to his M.O. and left a little behind as if there were still skin on them.

The apple slices also came with caramel dipping sauce. Of course, Little Brother
refused to dip his apples, but thought the french fries tasted great with caramel sauce.

All in all, it was a very entertaining trip!

I somehow fathom that when I get home, I'm going to get a request to go to McDonald's, "The New Subway".

This brings back childhood memories of how I used to call McDonald's "Ki Ki Burger Fry Fry".

See you on Fatherhood Friday, back on my home side of the pond,

Monday, October 19, 2009

Busy Dad-E Phone Home

Hello everyone from abroad! As I mentioned in a previous post, due to work I’m actually on the other side of the pond right now, missing Mom-E and the boys very much.

Your prayers for Mom-E’s sanity (and everyone’s health and safety) right now are much appreciated. (She’s EXTREMELY capable, but pregnant plus 2 kids under 5 while hubby is away is stressful no matter how good you are.) She’s hanging in there so far, but we’ll both be very glad when I’ve returned.

Today I just wanted to share with you a story about how the important role that people and friendship play in our lives.

Including layovers, it took me 4 flights and 24 hours to get to my final destination. (Fortunately the return trip will take “only” 16.5 hours for a number of reasons).

Anyway, after my long (and fortunately uneventful) sojourn, all I wanted to do was call home and hear the voices of Mom-E and my boys.

We have used a prepaid calling card before on a trip here, so I was confident this would work.

I planned to use an online “callback” system to place the call.

The only problem was that the phone—the only phone where I’m staying—was a pulse and not a touch tone phone. So, when I went to put in the PIN number for the calling card, I got an error message.

Mom-E, of course, was at the zoo with the boys at the time, and she had no way of knowing exactly when I would arrive at my lodging to make the call herself.

Not wanting to make a credit card call for $10/second, I turned to the internet.

First, I emailed Mom-E and a few family and friends to let them know I’d arrived safely.

Then, I emailed everyone to say, “Hey, if you get this message, please call Mom-E to let her know I got here okay and am having trouble calling her. If you want, here is all of the information that she needs to call me where I am.” I also said, “I’ve been up for the better part of 30 hours, and I don’t know how long I can wait up before I’m going to crash.”

I happened to include a work colleague in the email, solely because she’d just responded to another email, and I thought perhaps she was online.

I thought right.

My work colleague was the first to reply, and was able to get the information to Mom-E.

After about 20 minutes and a few failed attempts, Mom-E was finally able to get through.

It was so wonderful to talk to them. Of course, I was utterly exhausted from the trip and Mom-E was utterly exhausted from trekking around the zoo with 2 tired, fussy boys, but their tired, fussy voices were still a little slice of heaven.

Of course, Big Brother and Little Brother didn’t really even talk to me much. They were preoccupied with zoo stuff. I could hear Mom-E ask them, “Do you want to talk to Dad-E?”

“No!” I could hear them reply in the background.

Strangely, it was still sweet music.

I just took it with a grain of salt, after all, they think that I’m going on this trip solely to get them toys.

At first, they asked for dinosaurs. Then, Big Brother became more general in his questioning. “What kind of toys do they have in ‘X’?” he asked.

“They have all kind of toys in ‘X’.” I replied, fighting back with another generalization to keep my options open, lest I corner myself into buying some remote-controlled Diego rescue pack. “I’m sure I’ll find something cool for you, if you’re a good, helpful boy for Mom-E.”

Some day I will enjoy explaining to them that I did not fly on 4 airplanes just to buy them dinosaurs.

Oh well, they also think that I’m only a few inches away on the map.

All I can say is that I’m very grateful for the help in phoning home. It made all the difference.

Have a good week,

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Holy Fatherhood Friday, Batman!

Check out! The people over there sure put the POW! BAM! SHAZAM! in blogging.

When we last left our caped crusader, our hero was thoroughly enjoying his get-up, but the Joker had captured his understudy's (Little Brother's) enthusiasm for his Halloween costume.

I'm happy to report that the enthusiasm has been rescued.

All it took was explaining to him that, "when you wear your costume for Halloween, you're going to get candy."

Nevermind the fact that he took this to mean that we would give him candy RIGHT THEN AND THERE if he put the costume on. (We didn't have any candy, but we did have some magic cookies.)

And so, here's Batman and "Batman, Too" sporting their Halloween regalia.

All of a sudden, Little Brother is now even more enthusaistic than Big Brother about wearing his costume.

"I want my costume. I want my costume," he exclaims.

The only (funny) caveat, is that Little Brother decided that he didn't like the Bat mask.

And so, now he INSISTS on wearing his Lightning McQueen hat and sunglasses with his Batman BatMcQueen costume.

Here's another shot of our caped (and hatted & sunglassed) crusaders. Note the need for liquid refreshment after a day of running amok in the house crime fighting, as well as the need to drape your cape over your little brother's head.

Have a good weekend. If you see Robin or BatGirl, send them our way.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Why Toddlers Should Go To Bed Before Midnight

SUBTITLE: Eatin' to Live

Those of you familiar with my blog know that both Big Brother and Little Brother have fairly restricted interests when it comes to eating (at least when they're at home). If you need to catch-up on their eating exploits, just click on the "Eating" label to your right.

Right now I'd say that Big Brother and Little Brother are tied in terms of the number of different kinds of food they'll eat. (Yes, it's more than 2.)

However, Big Brother has eclipsed Little Brother lately in terms of actually eating WHEN IT'S TIME TO EAT.

On many a day, Little Brother eats like a hummingbird that doesn't eat. He just bounces from place to place without actually putting anything IN to his mouth.

I don't know how he gets enough calories to keep going sometimes. Thank you, gummy vitamins.

Instead, he'd much prefer arranging the blankie and small cadre' of stuffed animals that he insists on bringing to the table. Which, in turn, if we're not careful, prompts Big Brother to want to go bring a truckload of legos, magna-logs, and Transformers to the table.

When the dust settles, Big Brother has usually consumed about 3 corn muffins, some fruit, and chocolate milk, whereas Little Brother has downed his milk and pinched the top off of a muffin (or five). That's about it.

The night before last we finished the bedtime routine at about 9pm. Big Brother was out like a light.

Little Brother, on the other hand, was screaming in protest, "Mom-E rock (in the rocking chair)." "Dad-E rock." "Want Mom-E." "Want Dad-E."

We let this go on for awhile, knowing that he can settle himself down.

Only he didn't.

At about 9:40, I went in to find Little Brother sitting up in his crib. He seemed pretty congested, which I thought wasn't helping him fall asleep. Given that he can't blow his own yet, I opted to torture help him by bulb suctioning his nose.

Despite the screams and tears, after it was over I asked him if he felt better, to which he replied, "Yeah!" in his characteristic soft, sweet, I-feel-so-good-now-like-I-just-had-a-big-poop kind of voice. So, I rocked him briefly and put him back to bed.

10:00 rolls around and he's right back at it. By now, CSI:Miami is on, and Mom-E and I can't hear one of the only two tv shows we watch with any regularity over the screams.

At this point, we opt to dim the lights, and I let Little Brother rest on my shoulder for the duration of the show. (Don't worry, his head was buried in my shoulder so he couldn't see anything.)

By 11:00, the show is over, and Little Brother is out in my arms. So back to bed we go.

Within 5 minutes, he's back to screaming again. By now, we're starting to think he's getting sick (because this is very unusual for him). I notice that he's just a little clammy, and suddenly it dawns on me.

The kid is hungry.

He'd had only milk for dinner, and Mom-E said he had fared little better during the day.

"Little Brother," I asked. "are you hunny (his word for hungry)?"

"Yeah!" he exclaimed (insert voice).

Over the next few moments he wolfed down a granola bar, 2 prunes, a few bites of corn muffin, yogurt, and a yogurt drink.

In between pretty much every bite, he would exclaim, "That's yummy."

"Of course it is, Little Buddy." I thought. "That's why they call it food. Since you need it to live, it helps that it tastes good."

He also paraded around the kitchen, taking great pride in throwing all of his trash away. I can't help but notice that Little Brother has more energy than Mom-E and I, COMBINED right now.

By now it's midnight. Little Brother happily returns to his crib without further screams. Nope, he's actually now SINGING nonsensical syllables in his crib while Mom-E and I are getting ready for bed. He was happy as a clam, and eventually passed out on his own (probably from sheer exhaustion.)

Note to self: Don't forget to feed the Little Brother.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom-E

Dear Mom-E,

I'd say we had a nice weekend celebrating your birthday.

I'll sneak it that we had the added celebration of an official job offer for me on Friday.

We had a late (for us) dinner at O'Charley's, and the boys humbled us with their usual antics, including:
-Little Brother playing with every sugar packet at the table (and tearing a few open). Within about 5 minutes, our table looked like a cocaine deal gone all wrong.
-Big Brother drinking pink lemonade, which apparently is the most potent diuretic known to man.
-Both boys bouncing on their seats like Tigger and trying to jump over the wall of the booth.

On Saturday, we were getting ready to have a nice dinner at home with your family. Big Brother and Little Brother put on a pre-meal naked parade, complete with towels wrapped arounds their heads (wouldn't want their hair to dry too fast). Little Brother put on a grand finale by throwing his towel down and peeing all over the floor. (Apparently the diuretic in his pink lemonade from O'Charley's was a little less potent.)

Following the nice dinner with your family, Little Brother put on a post-meal naked parade, although without towels (he substituted a somersault using the entertainment center as a platform for his fee). This time the grand finale consisted of Little Brother riding the cushion on the oversized chair like a bucking bronco.

(Okay to clarify the whole nakedness thing by Little Brother--which is far from typical--this was influenced by several things:
1. He finally got excited about his Halloween costume (more details on Wednesday), and originally stripped because he wanted to put it on.
2. He had a diaper malfunction after dinner, and apparently the only way to fix it was to take everything off (again).
3. He had an audience of 4 adults (Dad-E, Mom-E, Gramm-E, and Grampap-E) who failed miserably at attempts to choke back the laughter when he did a somersault naked. When this was coupled with fatigue, the combined excitement inspired him to put on a "show." )

On Sunday, we attempted to keep pace with the remainder of the weekend.
-Big Brother put on an absolute scream-fest in protest of going to church. He came within about 10 seconds of being put into the car wearing only underwear and socks.
-In church, Little Brother ate exactly half a waffle, and proceeded to play with the other half (which he referred to as a boat) for the remainder of the service.
-We got a wireless internet router, which has enabled me to blog from the laptop and
you to download addictive new games for your iPod touch.

In all seriousness, I sincerely hope you enjoyed turning 25 again this year. (Don't worry, in just a few months we won't be the same age anymore. You'll make it...somehow.)

On your birthday, we celebrate your many wonderful roles: wife, Mom-E, sister, daughter, employee, and, last but not least, (highly attractive) pregnant lady.

And as always, I wish you happiness (mixed with the occasional lemon that makes you appreciate the happy moments even more), and I give you all of my love.

Have a good week,

P.S. Mom-E, any idea where the "parade around and dance on couch cusions naked when disinhibited" gene came from, because I daresay that it did NOT come from either of us? Hopefully just a random point mutation that won't get passed on to Bab-E.

P.P.S. Are we really going to have 3 boys soon? Can we make donations to the sleep bank now? Or at least hypnotize ourselves into thinking that things are "very easy" right now with only 2?

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Spider Says Woof

Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone!

Don't forget to creepy crawl your way over to to check out all of the great bloggers over there.

This week is one charged with excitement and anticipation. Today is day 2 of a 2-day (plus dinner the night before) all-day (half) marathon job interview for me. All is going well, but there's still some tension.

Fortunately, the boys have come through in terms of helping to ease that tension.

We were at the dinner table the other night when SOMEONE (who won't be named) ripped (albeit accidentally) a rather vociferous toot.

"What was THAT?" someone exclaimed.

"Why, that was a Barking Spider!" I replied without hesitation. "Did you boys know that I have a Barking Spider in my pocket?"

With dead silence mounting giggles, they asked, "What's that?"

I proceed to explain that sometimes if you STRETCH (i.e., lean over to one side), it opens up some extra space in your pocket, and that's when you can hear your spider BARK.


A cacophony of laughter ensued. (Big Brother thought this was hysterical, and therefore Little Brother--who probably had little idea what was going on--followed the lead and started laughing too.)

For no less than 5 minutes I had to repeatedly demonstrate how you STRETCH and WOOF, each time meeting with thunderous--literally uncontrolled gut-busting--laughter on the part of Big Brother and Little Brother.

Mind you, at no time during that 5 minutes did my spider bark.

And, of course, in the midst of his laughing fit, Big Brother's spider BARKED TOO, and this effluviation only led to a greater uproar of laughter.


And so now (forever and ever probably) if you ask Little Brother, "What does a kitty cat say?...Meow. What does a cow say?...Moo. What does a SPIDER say?"


Thank you boys, for this much needed comic relief. I'll never forget that dinner conversation.

Please pray that my spider does NOT bark during my interview today!

Have a good weekend,

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Play Play Play

All work and no play makes Busy-Dad-E a dull Dad-E.

Entropy exists, and on Sunday we let disorder take its natural course, and opted for some fun over work.

After church and lunch, we put the dishes into soak, left the house in mild disarray, took a Valium (except Mom-E who took placebo due to pregnancy) due to the anxiety of leaving the house in disarray, and we went out for a family date.

Having just been to a “jumping party” the day before, and being slightly perseverative toddlers/preschoolers, the boys requested more indoor jumping.

And so we jumped (again except for Mom-E who had fun supervising while just looking radiant with her pregnant belly. What can I say, she’s hot. Although Bab-E did his share of jumping inside her).

And we jumped, and we jumped. (To the tune of Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust”):

Jump, jump, jump. Three boys love to jump. Jump, jump, jump. Three boys love to jump. They go jump, jump, jump. Jump, jump, jump. Three boys love to jump. Hey! I’m gonna jump with you. Three boys love to jump.

(This is the song we sing when I help the boys jump on the bed. Yes, from time to time I help them jump on the bed—it’s the only time they’re allowed to do so.)

The jumping place had inflatable slides, and we slid down them over and over.

Not wanting to be outdone by Big Brother, Little Brother was game for all the slides, too.

And by “game”, I mean that Dad-E carried him up to the top, and then he rode on my lap on the way down.

Let me tell you, it was like power squats for my arms carrying him up there (over and over again). I often had to use the safety ropes to keep us from falling over backwards pull us up.

It was also like power squats for my motion sickness. (Slides, coasters and graphically-intense
video games never bothered me as a kid, but they sure make me queasy now.)

At one point I asked Mom-E if it was hot inside the jumping place. The fact that she was shivering in a sweater told me it was just me. Apparently, I’d worked up a giant pool of sweat carrying Little Brother around.

And when Little Brother was kind enough to give me a reprieve from carrying him, Big Brother was ready for me to race him down the slides.

Forget running or spinning or Tae Bo or cross-training for that matter. Just go take your kids jumping and “ride” with them—you’ll get a killer workout.

Oh yeah, and don’t forget to rehydrate afterwards with a nice, cold Icee. Nothing better for kids who are already wound-up to who-tied-the-pup then to top off their tanks with liquid sugar.

The initial hyperactivity is a little rough, but the “crash” when their blood sugar plummets ensures some quality nap time.

Seriously, Mom-E and I were able to enjoy some time just watching the boys play and jump. And fall over each other, and laugh, and do it over and again ad nauseum.

I haven’t felt that content in a while, just watching them play.

Oh how I wish I good extract and bottle the energy of those boys. I may be training for a half-marathon, but they can still run circles around me.

See you on Fatherhood Friday now that I’m feeling more balanced,

Monday, October 5, 2009

Work Work Work

It's been a challenging stretch for us here at Busy-Dad-E.

Our house has been on the market for a month now. There's always something to do for the house: mow, weed, plant, stain the deck, touch up the paint, vacuum every 90 minutes (Lord, where does all the dirt come from?).

The biggest challenge is trying to leave the house each day as pristine as possible in case there is a request to show it. It would be hard enough if only 2 adults lived there, but throw in 2 tornadoes young boys and you'd have better luck getting a bull out of a china shop without breaking anything.

Throw in a dash of Mom-E entering her 3rd trimester, and the frustrations of, "I have all these things I need/want to do, but I'm just too tired."

(No, Mom-E, you can't make hand-carved wooden boxes as gifts for all the baby shower guests.)

Couple all of the above with the fact that today is work day 13 of 19 in a row for me. (That's pretty uncommon, it's due to an amalgam of factors, and fortunately last weekend was just mornings both days). However, at least days 18 and 19 aren't technically work days, but rather a big 2-day job interview.

(Note to self, don't screw this one up.)

You can understand how Mom-E and I decided yesterday that when Bab-E is born, we're just going to hand him a rag and some Windex, and ask him to start cleaning his room. (Thankfully, to there credit, on many occasions lately, Big and Little Brothers have been VERY helpful about picking up and putting away toys. Thank you, Grampap-E, for your genetic contribution to cleanliness.)

Did I also mention that I'm training for a half-marathon right now because I have nothing else to do?

Oh yeah, and I have to go overseas for 6 days (including 2 travel days) later this month for work. I know that Mom-E is really looking forward to keeping the house spic & span while I'm gone, in addition to chasing after the boys non-stop with her pregnant belly. Not.

(It's not like it takes a full-time effort from both of us just to keep up.)

Neat. Neat. Neat. Good times.

Someone please help me to:
1. Learn to say "No."
2. Stop my head from exploding.

Needless to say, I've been frustrated lately that even though I'm still home for dinner regularly, playing with the boys, giving baths, wading in poop, reading stories, and sometimes even sitting down for breakfast with them, that I've felt somehow emotionally distant as a dad.

I try my best to focus my energy on the boys when I'm home, but it's been so hard lately given the multitude of distractions.

And maybe I think it's bothering the boys more than it's really bothering them.

However, Little Brother suddenly wants Mom-E to rock him to sleep every night. Don't get me wrong, this is a good thing. We just went through a stretch where he wanted me to rock him, and he certainly alternates between being Mom-E's boy and Dad-E's boy at times. It's just that at the moment where I really want to just sit quiety and rock him for a few minutes at the end of a hectic day, he suddenly screams at me until I hand him off to Mom-E.

And Big Brother has his own frustrations, too. He has been doing much better with his "nocturnal continence", including waking up on his own, although the enuresis alarm still goes off from time to time.

That happened Saturday morning at 2AM, and I went and helped/changed him in his stuporous state. When he woke up, he was absolutely FURIOUS about why he was wearing a different genre of jammie top and shorts.

I, of course, was in a rush to head out to work. Instead of hugs and tickles, I was greeted with door slams and yells to, "Go to jail, Dad-E." (NO IDEA where that phrase came from.) It makes the phone calls of old for "Dad-E, come home." seem very benign.

I know that if I step back, I'll realize that all of this will be short-lived, and that no one at home will suffer any "permanent damage."

Still, it's hard to explain to the instant gratification-based minds of a 4.5 and 2 year-old why Mom-E and Dad-E have had to work so hard lately.

Hopefully one day here they'll realize that we did it all for them.

Have a good week. Don't work too hard,

Friday, October 2, 2009

School Daze

Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone!

School is in session, and so is Your homework assignment this week is to check out all of the great bloggers over there. And there WILL be a pop quiz afterwards.

So, around here at Busy-Dad-E we’re “settling in” to the new school routine with Big Brother starting preschool this year.

And by “settling in”, I’m referring to the definition by folks under age 5, which means that sometimes we’re excited about school, and other days we scream bloody murder until we pass out not so much.

This week we had one of those “other days.”

Little Brother fell victim to the weather. Not sick. Rather, the cooler temps have brought long pants out of the depths of his closet.

Having grown extremely fond of his shorts, Little Brother threw an absolute fit about having to wear pants.

“No! Too BIG!” he exclaimed.

(I just love the concreteness of toddler logic. Big. Long. Whatever.)

Picture Mom-E running about the house, pregnant and flying solo (I was at work early that day), with a toddler insisting to cruise around in a diaper.

Frustrated with Little Brother, Mom-E turned her attention to waking up Big Brother.

Fortunately, Big Brother woke up extremely pleasant and content (which isn’t altogether uncommon for him).

Unfortunately, pleasant and content hung around for only about 5 minutes.
Then Mr. Hyde Big Brother also “expressed” his displeasure about wearing pants, and by “expressed” I mean screamed bloody murder.

(I’m telling you, young siblings must have telekinesis about this kind of thing. They just know to be upset about the same thing at the same time. Please note that I’m only speculating here, as I was an only child.)

Too busy to spit, Mom-E still had to put a letter in the mailbox and wheel out the trash (long story as to why, but please just know that while the image of pregnant Mom-E carrying a toddler in a diaper while wheeling the dumpster down the driveway was undoubtedly an interesting view for anyone driving by, if it could’ve at all been helped, I would’ve taken care of it myself).

Next thing you know, Big Brother has joined them in the driveway, sporting only his jammies, barefoot and in the cold. He promptly decides to start drawing a Diego rescue backpack on the driveway with sidewalk chalk.

“Hi neighbors. There’s a variety show at Busy-Dad-E’s house this morning. Come check us out.”

And they did. Of course, the new neighbors decided to call child protective services on us go for a morning walk while everyone was on display.

Fast forward to about 15 minutes before school starts.

Poor Mom-E, exhausted before her work day officially starts, is still trying to lasso Little Brother into his carseat while Big Brother is now frolicking around the garage sans pants.

Afraid of being “exposed” in front of his peers, Big Brother reluctantly agrees to cover up his Transformers underoos.

Did I forget to mention that it just happened to be Picture Day at school, Big Brother was about 3 months overdue for a haircut, and his teachers decided to fasten ALL of the buttons on his shirt.

This has all the makings of an appearance on

I’ll let you know how it turns out.

It’s okay though. I mean, soon will have 3 boys, which will make having 2 boys seem that much “easier”.

And by “easier”, I mean completely exhausting.

Have a good weekend. Rest up to put those pants back on Monday,