Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Basic Instincts

Hello there,

I'm sorry if I've caused any undue anxiety because of the delay in getting today's post up. (Though it's nice to know that you checked in anyway.)

Unfortunately, my tardiness is NOT due to the arrival of Bab-E Brother, who remains securely in the womb, ignoring the eviction notice and Dad-E's plea for a tax deduction (which evaporates in less than 48 hours).

No, it's been a hard week at work and an even harder week at night. Last night it was a battle between sleep and the blog, and sleep won (thankfully). As we continue to battle Little Brother over staying all night in his toddler bed, those 3 am awakenings/rockings got the best of me.

Apparently, Little Brother is giving us a foreshadowing of days ahead.

After all it's a basic instinct/mantra of new parents to "sleep when you can."

I've said this before, but I find it interesting how (at least) some aspects of our childrens' personalities seem to be hard-wired. They really do "come out of the box that way". A child's actions and interactions in the early moments of life can tell you a lot about that personality. Basic instincts, of sorts.

Big Brother was very quiet immediately after he was born. He just looked around and seemed to take everything in. At age 1 or 2 weeks, he liked us to carry him around the house, pausing to look at picutres and various other objects in the room.

Today, he's still on the quiet and calculating side. He's extremely curious and asks detailed questions. In new situations, he starts out acting very shyly, but as he becomes confortable, his vibrant personality shines through, which leads him to be surrounded by friends. He is a technophile: puzzles, trains, cars, legos, computers, and playing with his Mom-E's iTouch. When we go outside, he has to play with his bike, Little Brother's bike, and their foor-powered car. He has some interest in soccer, baseball, and running, but he's definitely more passionate about the technology.

Little Brother, on the other hand, screamed a lot when he was born. He was very "vocal." When we first brought him home, Mom-E and I joked that he fed for 30 minutes every half-hour. I have amnesia for the first week of his life; probably because we were horribly sleep deprived.

Today, he continues to be very vocal, repeating EVERYTHING EVERYBODY in the family says, though with good understanding. He doesn't like to sleep much, especially in his toddler bed. :( However, he's such a sweet, happy guy, it's hard to get frustrated with him for long. Whenever I'm home, he pretty much throws a tantrum if I don't carry him around. In contrast to Big Brother, who goes straight for the bikes, Little Brother is a budding ball player--golf, basket, foot, whatever.

(Although lately he does sleep with a plastic screwdriver under his pillow. Don't ask.)

It'll be exciting to see what Bab-E Brother is like in those first moments of life, and if that is reflected in his personality.

Of course, he's got to come out of the box first. Hint hint. C'mon dude, we're waiting.

See you in 2010!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Unwrapped

Ugh, it's Monday, and that means I'm back to work after 9 days of vacation. It would be nice to stay on vacation and just receive a complementary paycheck, but no such luck.

I sincerely hope that you had a wonderful Christmas.

Here at Busy-Dad-E, we had a very nice holiday in the comforts of home, with visits from friends and family alike, thanks to Mom-E's travel restrictions.

As I reflect on the past 9 days, I've compiled the following list (in no particular order) of remembrances and observations about this Christmas-time.

1. It's never too early (or too late) for HOT CHOCOLATE.

2. Diego = CRACK for 2 year-olds.

3. My favorite new way to ask for dessert, thanks to Little Brother, "I want CHOCK-IT in my mouth!"

4. Almost-5 year-olds have enough experience with Santa to know they'll probably get the item atop their Christmas list. Each time he opened a present, Big Brother asked, "Is this my Batmobile?" And every hour, on the hour, over the entire weekend, he asked, "What did Santa get me this Batmobile for?" Hmm, I wonder...

5. A TENT is absolutely the best gift for creative, imaginative play for boys under age 5, except when they want to park it in the middle of the kitchen while Mom-E and Dad-E are cooking.

6. Children who are obsessive about their jammies will eventually figure out that when Mom-E and Dad-E are tired enought, they can successfully demand to wear "regular clothes" OVER their jammies.

7. For children under 3, obey the 3-foot rule when it comes to Christmas trees: Only put those ornaments which you wouldn't mind being pulled off (and broken) 3 feet off the ground and below.

8. Boys will wear sweater vests to church in exchange for Scooby-Doo fruit snacks.

9. Coming home from church on Christmas Eve with one child with a bloodied lip and forehead bruise, and another child who dropped 2 Legos in the potty constitutes a "success." And Legos are magnetically attracted to toilet bowls.

10. Everything in moderation sometimes includes children. I must admit that the hour of peace and quiet I earned by going to the grocery store on DAY 8 of my vacation was a nice present.

11. On Christmas morning, it never fails that 1 child will want to play with new toys outside, while the other insists on staying inside to play. (See #6 above to make the "inside-child" willing to play outside.)

12. A Dustbuster is an acceptable gift for a full-term pregnant lady, so long as she's lying on the couch eating chocolate while you're using it.

13. If your children watched it for the first time over the vacation, forever and ever "The Wizard of Oz" will be a Christmas movie.

14. The best way to make a child lose interest in a toy they already have is to buy the same thing for their sibling.

15. Remote-controlled Thomas the Trains should be required by law to state on the package in BIG, BOLD, CAPITAL LETTERS that they require 6 SIX! AAA batteries to operate.

16. Be sure to ask Pa-pa just how big the toy garbage truck is before giving the "ok" to order/ship, only to find out that it's 12"x14"x24".

17. Children are very attuned to other kids making a "mess" in their rooms, but oblivious when they themselves are the perpetrators.

18. Some children will attempt to strip in church if they think that they'll get to wear their Pupp-E Jammies.

19. Even a 2 year-old knows that you need to dip your "scotti" in milk (Thanks to Kid-neE for the gift of home-made biscotti!)

20. If Bab-E's only knew that their Mom-E's would give them ANYTHING they want FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES if they would only allow themselves to be born about 2 weeks early, everyone would deliver at 38 weeks without an eviction notice.

And lastly, the best part of being a Dad-E at Christmas is the expression on your children's faces when they wake up to see that Santa has arrived (and taking Little Brother to his first movie at a theater.) I didn't need any other presents.

Have a good week as we close out 2009,

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone, from the Busy-Dad-E family to yours!

Happy Fatherhood Friday, too!

If you need something to read today, we're still waiting for Bab-E Brother's response to his eviction notice. Otherwise, go enjoy the day!

Have a great weekend,

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Eviction Notice

Dear Bab-E Brother,

This letter serves as your official notice of eviction from your residence at:

3 Birth Canal Court
Mom-E's Uterus, Her Body 00001

You are currently in violation of the Human Conception Residence Act, which you signed (okay we signed by proxy for you) at creation.

For approximately the past 9 months, you have resided at the above address without rendering so much as a single penny of payment, nor have you even made so much as an attempt to secure employment in order to pay rent.

You have therefore forfeitted your non-refundable deposit, according to the terms of the above act.

Meanwhile, your "partying" has cost your lanlord $1000's in medical expenses.

Your landlord has provided us with photographic evidence of the following violations of your lease agreement:
1. Exhibitionism.
2. Construction of an indoor swimming pool without proper permit.
3. Public intoxication (why else would anyone drink their own pee?)

Additionally, your landlord has provided documentation of the following collateral damages
1. Her pants keep falling down.
2. Her shirts keep riding up.
3. Simple battery (multiple, multiple counts).
4. A general lack of appropriately fitting clothes.
5. Alternating ear congestion and acid reflux with sitting/standing and lying down, respectively, such that no position is comfortable.
6. Fatigue within 30 minutes of awakening.
7. Chronic eczema.

If you do not comply with this notice and evacuate your current residence by December 31st of this year (so that your landlord may recoup at least some of their losses via tax deduction), your landlord reserves the right to attempt to remove you through spicy food, bumpy car rides, draining your swimming pool with a crochet hook or any other means necessary.

If you do not cease and desist despite these attempts by your landlord, they reserve the right to have the neighborhood physician smoke you out involuntarily.

The Management (Mom-E and Dad-E)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mr. Sensitivity

I hope that everyone got through the weekend without needing to use any raisins as a nasal decongestant.

Over here, we're enjoying the whole family being on Christmas vacation (except that Mom-E has to work one half-day this week).

Uh, Mom-E, I think it's time for you to come down with one of those *ahem, ahem* 24-viruses. I'm sure you're boss wouldn't want you to *aheam, ahem* work while you're sick.

(Or you can pull Rachel's "Did you just offer to buy my baby" bit in exchange for some early vacation).

I started my vacation by organizing an impromptu "dress-rehearsal" of Christmas Day. You know, where Little Brother gets up at 5:45 and has interest in going back to bed.

Fortunately, Big Brother was sensitive enough to "sleep-in" until 6:45 before deciding that he was up for the day.

But that's just Big Brother's nature.

Seriously, when he's not giving Little Brother a royal smackdown, Big Brother is a really sensitive guy.

In particular, Mom-E and I have been struck by his curiosity and empathy towards people with developmental disabilities.

A few weeks ago, we were watching a news clip about a teenager with a very rare chromosomal disorder that caused remarkably accelerated growth. The boy had a tremendous amount of physical problems due to his extreme growth, but was able to play football despite his limitations.

Man, did we have to watch that clip a few (hundred) times.

Recently, there was a story in the local news about a boy with severe impairments since birth.

I hadn't even said anything about the story in the paper. Big Brother just saw the picture and said, "what's the matter with him?" It's interesting that he was able to tell from just the picture that there was something "different."

And his questions, oh the detailed questions. "Why can't he walk? Why can't he talk? Does he go to school? Does he have friends? Is he a nice guy? What does he like to do? What happened to him? I can walk and talk."

And none of our discussion is filled with anything negative or judgmental. Rather, it's filled with genuine concern and compassion, that someone else can't do some of the things he can.

I've said it before, but children are definitely inherently without prejudice, which is "taught."

Thank you, Big Brother, for your genuine sensitivity towards others. May you continue to cultivate this quality throughout your life.

Have a Merry Christmas week,

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Call Myself Busy-Dad-E

Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone!

As we approach Christmas, I advise you to:
1. DO enjoy time with family.
2. DO check out the great bloggers over at
3. DON'T shove raisins up your nose!

But first:

You may wonder why I use the blogger name Busy-Dad-E (though in almost a year, no one's been so bold to ask.)

If you've read enough of the blog, the "Busy" part is pretty obvious--life with (soon to be) 3 boys is a 3-ring circus of joyful chaos and drama (and the occasional head CT).

In fact, any parent, mom or dad, deserves the title of "Busy" in front of their name.

Big Brother deserves the credit for the Dad-E part. When he was about as old as Little Brother is now, when he called me "Daddy" to get my attention or request help with something, it never came out as a one syllable word.

Instead, it always came out as 2 very distinct syllables with a brief pause between them: DAD...EEE!

Kimono. Robe. There you go. (Sorry if you were expecting something more exciting, but I always thought it was pretty cute.)

And so, we resume the never-ending drama that is our lives.

Yesterday, Mom-E came home from taking Big Brother to school and running errands to find a realtor's business card on the counter.

Before you start clapping for joy about our FIRST SHOWING in 2.5 months, let me just say that, "THEY DIDN'T HAVE AN APPOINTMENT."

That's right, no appointment (our house is shown by appointment only, as are most these days), but they came in anyway.

"Holy breaking and entering Batman."

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me show you what's behind Door #3.

After coming in to our house without an appointment, you'll be greeted by a small but pesky Pupp-E who will bark and jump, breakfast dishes in the sink, blinds closed, and toys out & about.

Hmm, maybe there's a reason why our house is shown by appointment only these days. Could it have been that it was the middle of the morning with a woman who is pretty much full-term in her pregnancy had been running throughout the house chasing 2 kids under age 5, and a dog?

Of course, the realtor will be reprimanded for her actions.

Mom-E and I figured that the dog+clutter would be lethal. I wish I could say that in the end they made an offer, but as with our previous repeat visitor they (somehow) loved the house but didn't like the lot. :(

Of course, in the midst of all this, I found out that my boss, who is abroad, hadn't completed an important "technical" recommendation letter for me that's due at the end of the day today. And yours truly was "blessed" with the opportunity to write this letter (with Boss-E's approval.)

And of course, Murphy's law would dictate that if we didn't clean the house last night, yesterday's guests or someone new would want to see it today.

So after the boys went down last night, we cleaned until almost 1am.

I set out at work this morning to write the letter, and got a little done despite about 3 distractions. I was just getting ready to really hammer the letter out when...

Mom-E called from the OB's office (no NOT in labor).

Little Brother had in all likelihood managed to shove a raisin up his nose. He was irritable but doing okay.

As 2 year olds are pretty unreliable informants, he oscillated between saying "yes" and "no" to a plethora of questions about what did and didn't go in his nose. And unfortunately, he really hasn't figured out how to blow his nose.

So I rushed over to the OB's office. Amazingly, Mom-E's OB had a scope to look at his nose (like the ones pediatricians use to look at ears)--for what I'm not sure.

Two people held Little Brother down in man-made 4 point restraints, and the doctor looked into his nose with the scope.

Apparently you couldn't see whether or not there was a sun-dried grape up there or just boogers.

Fortunately, Little Brother screamed so violently that he finally snorted, and A RAISIN CAME FLYING OUT. (Okay, it didn't fly, it just came out on his cheek. But all of his snot had plumped it up.)

With Mom-E's visit done and a a trip to the pediatrician's/ER avoided, I saw them off and headed back to work.

In 90 minutes I binged out the letter, got it sent to the right person, and still had time to write this blog entry prior to the next appointment on my calendar.
All we need now is for me to fly off into the sunset with Mom-E and the boys and we've got a regular Hollywood feature.

Shame on me for EVER thinking that I might run out of blog material.

Have a good weekend,
And now you know why they call me Busy-Dad-E

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wheel of Jammies

Welcome to the continuation of "Jammy Week" here at Busy-Dad-E.

We started a week ago detailing my boys' genetic infatuation with jammies.

Next, on Fatherhood Friday, we reviewed Big Brother's school play, and wished that we were home in jammies instead (okay, but only throughout the entire play for a fleeting moment.)

This week, we celebrated Little Brother's transition to a big boy bed, which, of course, requires you to wear jammies.

As an aside, this is going REALLY well. 3 nights in a row of successful sleep in toddler bed, and the last 2 we've gotten the boys to fall asleep in under an 30 minutes (take THAT Dominoes!)

And now today we attempt to "tickle the dragon's tail", by describing Little Brother's new favorite game:


Little Brother's obsession with jammies is on steroids has reached new heights.

I've never seen a child so fickle about which jammies he wears...

Well, maybe I have...

No, I haven't...

But there was that one time...

Anyway, speaking of genetic influences, I wouldn't know anyone who used to wear like 3 different outfits a day *cough, cough*.

The objective of "Wheel of Jammies" is straightforward: wear as many different pairs of jammies as you can in one night without requiring that any of the pairs be laundered.

Tonight we literally went through 5 pairs of jammies before finally settling on Elmo, despite Mom-E and Dad-E's attempts at "damage control".

The moment he got home, Little Brother ran into his room, stripped down to his diaper, and raided his drawer. He started with a nice pair of flannel Lightning McQueen jammies.

That pair lasted until we sat down to eat dinner, when suddenly we wanted Thomas jammies. (We let him throw his tantrum and sit on the floor through dinner wearing only his diaper--the best way to make the tantrums go away is to ignore them.)

Bath time followed with a ploy to change to cotton Lightning McQueen jammies.

Somewhere in the midst of playing with blocks, Little Brother reappeared wearing fire truck jammies.

And finally we settled on Elmo jammies for the night.

But not before laying complete waste to the nursery dragging out pretty much EVERY pair of jammies in his drawer.

(It only looks like we have sextuplets.)

Well, its time for the bonus round on Wheel of Jammies: sleep.

See you on Fatherhood Friday!

P.S. The "Wheel" reminds me of

Monday, December 14, 2009


Well, it's official...

Mom-E and I are nesting.

As a part of that behavior, we are trying to have evicted Little Brother from his room, so that Bab-E can have his crib (and room). CAN YOU TELL THAT SOMEBODY'S ALREADY A MIDDLE CHILD, AND DOESN'T EVEN KNOW IT? (AT LEAST HE'S A HAPPY GUY.)

(No, don't worry, we didn't move him to Big Brother's "old residence".)

Big Brother was almost 3 when Little Brother was born. We were able to get Big Brother out of the crib and into a new room (converted guest room) with a toddler bed pretty easily, based on the lure of a "new, big boy room with a big boy bed." (Keeping him IN the toddler bed was another story altogether.)

Fortunately, even though Little Brother is recently-turned 2, he has been pretty receptive to the idea of boarding with Big Brother (temporarily, for about 3 months, until they get their own rooms in the new house.)

And Big Brother, that sweet and patient guy when he's not being an utter terror, was actually pretty excited about the idea of having a roomie. (They really do play together pretty well.)

Of course, we sweetened the deal by upgrading Big Brother to a twin bed (with new Transformer bedding for Christmas from Gramm-E and Grampap-E). Thanks to CY-Aunt-E (aka "Beast") for hauling the bed back to us.

And Little Brother is excited, albeit in an approach-avoidance kinda way, about his "new" toddler big boy bed. (He too, will score new Thomas bedding for Christmas, again courtesy of Gramm-E and Grampap-E.)

The first night, the boys were so excited about their new bed arrangements that they claimed they wanted to turn-in around 6pm.

That idea didn't last long. About 30 seconds later, Little Brother stood up in his bed to announce, "I still awake!"

Big Brother did exclaim, "I have a great, great, big, big bed! Can I have it forever?"

(I opted not to have the discussion that unless he marries Donna Reed, at some point he may be asked to upgrade to a little larger bed.)

Still, we knew this was going to be a hard transition for Little Brother. There's a strange security for a 2 year-old in a caged cell crib.

So far, we're batting .500. Little Brother took a nap in his new bed on Saturday (and it only took 2 hours, and rocking him to sleep in my arms, to get him to "fall asleep" in the new bed). We also had major success on Sunday night (this time only about 90 minutes, but he fell asleep on his own and I got a short nap out of the deal while hanging out in their room.)

Of course, Big Brother fell asleep long before Little Brother, who perked his head up to ask, "What's Big Brother doing?"

"He's sleeping buddy. You know, what YOU should be doing right about now."

And so, here's to a new era in our household. Those two boys already are are going to be thick as thieves, and this opportunity will no doubt contribute to that bond.

Lord, please help us.

Have a good week,

Friday, December 11, 2009

Blue Christmas Play

Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone!

Don't forget to check out the great bloggers over at, (and then come back :)

Well, last night was Big Brother's school Christmas play.

In the first 5 minutes after we arrived (5 minutes late), Little Brother had to pee, and I managed to bonk my forehead on the metal part of the urinal (while trying to suspend him, half-naked, in mid-air, such that if he did pee, he would not completely douse his pantalones.)

I seriously thought my forehead was bleeding, but alas it was just a foreshadowing of the rest of the event.

Meanwhile, a very pregnant Mom-E attempted to get Big Brother to join his peers in the staging/dressing area, of which he wanted NO part.

And at this point in the pregnancy, Mom-E chasing after Big Brother is about as fruitful as digging for rhinestones in a dung heap.

So, I tagged in, and Mom-E tagged out with Little Brother.

I dragged escorted Big Brother to the dressing room. He was to be a shepherd, and wanted nothing to do with his costume (a brown tunic and long hat).

With the help of a straight jacket persistence, I managed to get the tunic on (which was twice his height), but the hat remained a big “no.”

(Still, we managed to avoid winning the Oscar for “Refused to Wear Costume”, which was snagged by another kid who refused to transform into a lion.)

The poor kid looked like a tootsie roll, so I guess I can’t blame him too much for being dissatisfied with his get-up. To top it off, his sheperd's pole was missing. The teachers couldn't seem to locate it.

And so, when it came time to line up to enter the “stage”, Big Brother yelled refused.

He did walk in with me behind everybody else, but proceeded to plunk down in the row with Little Brother, Mom-E, Gramm-E, and GramPap-E (who traveled especially to witness this debaucle) in the “peanut gallery.”

Little Brother immediately started in with “Why is Big Brother wearing jammies?” (he was already mad that he didn’t get to wear jammies to the event.)

And so we sat there through the whole play (except for the time I had to take Little Brother potty again, and the other time that he got fussy and started to blurt out, “I wanna go home now” and I got up to walk around.)

(Me, too, little buddy. Me, too. )

After the play I was a bad parent, and we skipped out on cake & refreshments afterwards because I picked up both boys and made a bee-line for the minivan I didn’t particularly want to “reward” his behavior.

And while it might’ve been good for Big Brother to socialize with his peers, I really wasn’t in the mood to schmooze with the other parents (I’m a wallflower at parties/in large gatherings). I can picture the conversation with a total stranger:

“My child was one of the wise men, how ‘bout yours?” they’d say.

“Well, mine was supposed to be a shepherd, but he opted to play the role of the undercover, plain clothes policeman who hung out in the audience for crowd control purposes.”

I think that was in the version of the Christmas story from the Book of Lies.

Of course, not long after we got home, Big Brother was his usual, giggly self.

And of course he managed to stab me in the heart with a silver dagger by asking me, “Dad-E, are you still mad at me?” (At least he reads emotions well in others.)

“I was never mad at you.” I replied. “I love you. I was just frustrated that you didn’t want to participate in the play. Why did you get so upset?”

“Oh I didn’t like that my costume was brown. I wanted it to be blue. Blue is my favorite color.”

This is true. Meal time is much smoother these days if we have a blue cup and plate.

And perhaps the next time we go to a play, we’ll opt for Blue Man Group.

Have a good weekend.
Let me know if you find Big Brother’s shepherd’s pole. Otherwise, I want my 5 bucks back.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Jammy Time

One of Little Brother's favorite books right now is "Pajama Time" by Sandra Boynton, which we more affectionately refer to as "Jammy Time."

It's a cute, quick little read, great for toddlers.

Due to a growth spurt, Big Brother recently picked up some Scooby-Doo, Horton, and Superhero jammies.

Due to hand-me-downs, Little Brother recently picked up some Elmo and Thomas jammies.

Lately, both boys have been all about their jammies.

In fact, if left to their own devices, both would probably wear jammies all day, without so much as a thought about wearing "regular" clothes.

In reality, once it starts to get dark, they put on jammies with jackrabbit-like quickness.

"Hey, it's almost goodnight time," says Big Brother (at 5pm).

It doesn't matter if Mom-E just served up a heaping plate of granola bars and chocolate milk for dinner, Big Brother rushes of to his room and emerges in jammies. Little Brother invariably follows suit.

While this is all really cute, it reminds me of a funny story.

Sure, kids like jammies, but I'd have to say that there is a genetic component to this infatuation.

When I was growing up, putting on jammies was the last thing you did before you went to bed. Prior to that, you pretty much just hung out in your "regular" clothes all day. Especially if there was company at the house.

Mom-E's family was quite different in that regard. At their house, it was pretty much a national pastime to put your jammies on and gather by the fireplace/tv after dinner. (And this was tastefully done, with most everyone wearing robes).

I, on the other hand, wear boxers and a t-shirt to bed. I don't think I've ever owned a robe.

And so you can imagine the slight shock to my system the VERY FIRST time I met/visited Gramm-E and Grampap-E.

We had no sooner finished dinner/clean-up, than Grampap-E said, "Hey Dad-E, why don't you go put your jammies on and we'll all gather round the fire."

"Uh, I just met you. And while I like you and am confident in my manhood, I'm not sure I'm ready to take our relationship to the 'next level' of hanging out together in jammies just yet," I thought to myself.

I don't remember exactly what happened next, but I'm pretty sure that I didn't wear jammies that time.

Eventually, however, I grew in my comfort (when in Rome...), and wanting to make a favorable impression and "fit-in" with the rest of the family, I started wearing jammies (invested in a pair of jammy pants) after dinner with them.

Oh, the things we do for love.

And today, I don't mind hanging out in jammies, but I know with certainty that Mom-E has passed that "gene" along to the boys.

So today, we honor Mom-E's family with the dance from "Pajama Time":

"Jammy to the left. Jammy to the right. Jamma, Jamma, Jamma, Jamma, P!J!"

See you on Fatherhood Friday,

Monday, December 7, 2009

Holiday Harp

"Happiness is the fruit of the desire and ability to sacrifice what we want know for what we want eventually."

I've always really liked this quote. I don't consider it a "personal motto", but it summarizes a belief that's important to me.

These days over at Busy-Dad-E, we have many exciting upcoming changes, for which we are very thankful and blessed. Bab-E Brother is coming soon, we just got a minivan, we're building a new house (and hopefully selling our house), and I'm starting a new job in a few months.

(Can you tell we're like Sam's Club over here, and just like to package big life changes in bulk?)

However, all of this comes with a "price tag" associated with being extra bus-E.
The days she's not working outside the home, Mom-E spends her time going to all kinds of appointments related to the new house and errands, in between taking Big Brother to-and-from school. She feels like Little Brother is pretty much constantly kept "in-tow" in the van.

When I'm not at work these days, I'm "in-tow" with Mom-E and the boys to these appointments as well. Additionally, I'm picking up some extra work hours 3 times a month, in order to help with the (upcoming) down payment on the house.

This fits into the "Happiness..." quote at the top. While I'm trying to instill in my children the importance of work ethic, that message is just hard in the instant gratification world of an (almost) 5 year-old, and a 2 year-old who just clings to Dad-E when he's home.

I mean, when he's hungry, Big Brother has trouble waiting 10 minutes without pitching a fit, so it follows that the concept of--"Dad-E's working extra so that our family can have a house with more space, and your own room (he'll be bunking with Little Brother when Bab-E Brother arrives), and a bigger yard to play in--is infinitely harder to grasp, even though he's been at the construction site for the house, including standing in his new room.

The other price tag is that I'm definitely more irritable than I'd like to be.

Frustrations get under my skin easier when "there's always one more thing to do": the house needs cleaned, the light fixture needs fixed, the paint needs touched up, the meeting needs scheduled etc., etc. etc.

(These days I feel like I have to schedule my trips to the bathroom.)

And I tend to harp at the boys. In fact I feel like these days a big chunk of my interaction with them is harping (that's an exaggeration). Still, it definitely tells me I'm frustrated.

Granted, it's not cool when they run out of our sight in a store, or come within inches of toppling over a display, but I definitely could be cooler in how I handle it.

"Come over here. Don't touch that. Get your finger out of there. Don't stomp the Cheeze-its into the carpet with your feet. Pull up your pants when you're not in the bathroom. Stop swinging by a rope from the ceiling fan." (Okay I made up the last one, but all of the others are genuine.)

While I don't think anyone has been permanently "damaged", we all definitely need to shoot each other once with my to-be-invented VALIUM DART GUN, to just chillax a bit. Or at least I should just "smile and have a Coke." (Thank you Richard Pryor.)

Boys, when you read this down the road, just know that all of the "sacrifices" Mom-E and I are making are because we love you and want the best for you.

And right now, all I'd really like to do is sit on the floor and play trains and cars and Legos and Play Doh and puzzles with you...

...but if I don't make this scheduled trip to the bathroom right now, I'm going to be really uncomfortable all week.

Have a stress-free week,

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Don't Touch My Butt

Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone!

Just want to clarify that at no point before, during, or after the writing of this post was there any actual hand-backside contact. Nor is this a post about cigarettes. You'll see.

And while you're looking around, don't forget to visit, and all of the great bloggers over there!

So Wednesday Mom-E had her latest OB appointment, and the whole gang came along, due to the occasion of the 3rd trimester ultrasound.

Everyone, the boys included, was excited about seeing "pictures" of Bab-E.

The boys were fired up in usual form, sans nap and having only picked at lunch, except to drink their chocolate milk, resulting in the following equation:

Tired + No Nap = Hyperactive + Chocolate milk = Urinary urgency

Big Brother had to go, which meant Little Brother wanted to come, too.

Since going potty is a "boy thing" for us, I took them. Big Brother went first to avoid any flood damage in the OB's office.

Then it was Little Brother's turn. Despite just turning 2, he's shown a lot of interest--and some moderate success--in going #1 in the big boy potty.

We bought him a portable, plastic, Elmo potty seat, lest his BUTT fall into the potty.

Today he did not want to use the Elmo potty seat, but preferred to "stand".

And by "stand", I mean I hold him up to improve his general aim, since the potty comes up to his mid-chest.

PICTURE IT: I'm (gently) harping at Big Brother to stop parading around naked in the bathroom and pull up his pants, while holding up Little Brother in mid-air so that he can pee like his Big Brother. (Both of my hands are under his armpits).

As you can imagine, Little Brother takes several moments to "think" before going potty. (Read: he's taking his sweet-BUTT time).

Eventually, my shoulders get a little fatigued from holding 25 lbs fully extended in front of me. I opt to "prop him up" by resting his BUTT on my knee.

Instantly, Little Brother blurts out LOUDLY, "DON'T TOUCH MY BUTT!"

Mortified, I can only imagine that the entire OB office is eavesdropping at the bathroom door, and that Child Services is poised to take them away the moment we step outside.

Fortunately, Little Brother successfully goes potty, and we successfully exit the bathroom, apparently not having drawn attention to ourselves.

We proceed to make it back to ultrasound.

We were most thankful that Bab-E is growing (almost too) well, and that all parts appear to be intact and functional. And he is still clearly a boy.

A major reason for our thanks is that they spotted some excess fluid around one of his kidneys on the 2nd trimester ultrasound. While this is a common finding, especially in males and usually of no significance, Little Brother had the same issue, and for him it did not go away.

This meant a referral to Pediatric Urology, fears of the need for surgery in the first year of life, a bunch of tests, and ultimately the relief that it's just an anatomical variant of no significance. Had they not done a 3rd trimester ultrasound, you'd never know there was an abnormality.

And so, we're very relieved that Bab-E will not have to endure what Little Brother has gone through.

I'd love to show you ultrasound pictures, only Bab-E is of sufficient size and was hiding his face such that we really couldn't see anything.

The one picture they gave us looks like a hand trying to touch a BUTT. No joke.

Have a good "hands-off" weekend,

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ban Restaurant Balloons!

(Don't worry, I'm still pro-balloon animals.)

We had lunch with friends this past weekend at an establishment that provided kids with free helium balloons as they walked out the door.

While I'm all for making myself sound like a chipmunk, as I thought about lived with the aftermath of the balloons, I came to the following conclusion:


I've decided that this seemingly gracious gesture is actually one more passive-aggressive attempt by the restaurant to "stick it to the parents."

Like Jack Black in "School of Rock", the balloons infected me with stickittothemaniosis.

I know, I know. Kids love balloons.

For about 5 minutes.

I mean a balloon is great fun at first, but much like eating pancakes, pretty soon you grow tired of holding it or bouncing it up in the air, until eventually you're sick of it(thank you, Mitch Hedberg, for the analogy).

Let's be realistic here and talk about the Top 10 "WONDERFUL" things that can WILL happen with balloons.

1. Your child will let go of the balloon immediately once you get outside, followed closely by a crying fit until you go back inside and get them another one.

2. If your balloon survives the trip from the restaurant to your vehicle, the child will let go of the balloon once you open the door at your next destination, resulting in an even more problemmatic crying fit.

3. Your child will be like Little Brother, and cry when they let go of the balloon in the minivan and can't reach it, and then cry again when you give it back to them. @#$%^&*!

4. Like our boys, your child will try to eat the balloon, risking actual serious injury. Threatening or actually taking it away results in a crying fit with intensity somewhere between that in #1 and #2.

5. Once you get home, the balloon becomes a weapon with which the older sibling can bludgeon pets and smaller siblings (read: more crying here).

6. Once pets and small children have secured shelter, your children will start letting go of the balloon and watching it rise to the ceiling. The string on the ballon will, of course, be about 6 inches higher than the child's vertical leap, resulting in repeated requests for Mom-E or Dad-e to, "Get my balloon! Get my balloon!"

7. Your children, like ours, will ingore pleas to "Don't sit on the balloon or it'll pop" until it actually does pop. A major crying fit ensues when you deny having the superpower of being able to reinflate a busted helium balloon.

8. You throw away the broken balloon in the trash, only to have your smallest child repeatedly try to fetch it out of the trash and plead for you to repair it.

9. For days after the original "incident", your child incessantly asks you, "Where's my balloon? What happened to my balloon?"

10. You have more than 1 child, but are eventually left with only 1 surviving balloon, which results in a "No Holds Barred/Royal Rumble" Screaming Fit-Pushing-Hitting-Spitting Contest. The winner gets to play with the balloon until it, too, is busted as a result of attacks by smaller siblings to take it away.

So, until they're banned, the next time we're at an establishment that tries to give the boys balloons, perhaps I'll just take a hit off the helium tank, and hopefully my silly voice will distract them long enough to get us out of the restaurant sans balloons.

And you wonder why people like to pop bubble wrap. I vote we start popping the restaurant balloons until they take the hint.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,

P.S. Is it just me, or is resteraunt restraunt resterant restaurant one of the hardest words to spell in the English language? Discuss.