Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kappa Gamma Nu


Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone. Join the "rush" to visit of all the other great bloggers over at dad-blogs.com.

At the age of 5, Big Brother is already pledging a fraternity: Kappa Gamma Nu.

But you probably know KGN by it's other name, KinderGardeN.

Now, I wasn't in a frat, but it sure seems like Big Brother is being "hazed" in a way, so far this year.

And by "hazed", I mean Mom-E and Dad-E are asked to buy or send something about every week.

The school is always sending notes home, "Please have your child bring in..."

This has included things like:
-50 cents for ice cream on Friday.
-2 apples for Johnny Appleseed Day
-Some kind of item for an Animal Rescue project
-Donations for the teacher's Christmas present (already)
-A "sweet treat" for teacher appreciation day
-An afternoon snack for 20 children once a month
-$20 for school field trips

All of this is coupled with the fact that Mom-E volunteered to sew seat covers for each child in the class (to store pencil boxes, etc.) The teacher told Mom-E to buy the materials, make them, and she'd reimburse her for what she spent. No other specifiers or instructions.

Mom-E bought the fabric (40% off), stayed up to all hours on many nights, and in total spent about $70 ($3.50/child). I didn't think that was too bad. There's no way you could buy something in a store for that price.

And then when Mom-E turns in the receipts, the teacher takes up a collection (of course: Please send in donations for seat covers), and we get an envelope for $40 with a note saying "is that okay?"

Well, it would be if you said you'd reimburse her up to $40.

(Guess what the teacher is getting for Christmas from us...SEAT COVERS. :)

When it's late and Mom-E and I are really tired, we can't help but extrapolate these requests. If they're asking for this stuff in the first 6 weeks, what's it going to be like next spring?

Some ideas:
1. Please have your child bring in a goat (already trained).
2. Together with your child, please choreograph a ballet for Monday.
3. Please send $250 for a plane ticket for your child (field trip with the goat).
4. A Dolce & Gabbana handbag for the teacher's birthday.
5. Lobster dinner for all children in the class (flown in fresh from Maine).

Can't wait for "rush" to be over. And neither can our wallets. But I have a funny feeling we're just getting started.

Hey, anybody want to by some Otis Spunkmeyer cookies? Big Brother has those for us to buy is selling those, too.

Have a good weekend,
Busy-Dad-E

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Telescope Time

Not long ago, Mom-E and I were rocking on the front porch after the crew was asleep, and we noticed a particularly bright "star".

A little reading revealed that the "star" was actually Jupiter, which is closer to Earth than it's been in 50-some years.

I couldn't help but think that the boys might get pretty excited about looking at the moon, Jupiter, and the stars with a telescope.

Apparently, I thought right.

We bought a small, "starter" telescope.

And now every night that's not cloudy or rainy, we go outside and play with the telescope before bed.

"Dad-E, can we have 'telescope time'?"

Not only has it been a great motivator for small men to promptly bathe, jammie, and brush teeth, but it's been nice bonding time.

And we have been successful in getting the Moon and Jupiter into focus. Albeit briefly.

Of course, every time Little Brother looks in the telescope, the first thing he does is grab the telescope and move it away from whatever I spent 10 minutes trying to focus on.

But when it's Big Brother's turn, Little Brother likes to go around and stand in front of the telescope, blocking any view.

But I don't care.

It's more about just spending time with the boys.

Of course, we have had some good questions.

"Dad-E, is Jupiter bigger than our house."

"Yes."

I opted for the explanation of "If the entire Earth is a marble, then Jupiter is the size of a basketball."

"So does that mean that Jupiter is bigger than my school?"

"Yeah, something like that."

I doubt we'll have any astrophysicists in the family, but I really enjoy this down-time at the end of the day with the boys.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,
Busy-Dad-E

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bagelmania

Here at Busy-Dad-E, we've been quite excited with Big Brother's recent progress in the new food department (it's on Aisle 5).

It's increasingly apparent that his taste buds are changing (either that or he's completely sick of granola bars, goldfish, crackers, yogurt, fruit, green peppers, cucumbers, and the occasional fruit snack).

You may remember our excitement over the "discovery" of peanut butter crackers. Big Brother has actually continued to eat them on a pretty regular basis.

This go-around, we capitalized on Big Brother's penchant for cinnamon.

Mom-E finally "broke him down" a while back, when she made some deliciously iced cinnamon rolls for Saturday breakfast. This was pretty much the first non-cracker bread product the child had consumed "in 100 years" (to borrow one of his own terms).

So the other day, we were dining at Panera Bread (pretty much the other restaurant we go to when we can pry the boys off of Subway), when I suggested to Mom-E that we buy the boys a cinnamon crunch bagel to try.

Little Brother couldn't have cared less about trying the bagel, but Big Brother was tempted by the crunchy cinnamon goodness atop the bagel

One bite, and the kid underwent a metamorphosis into a cinnamon bageloholic.

He sat there, and nibbled at that bagel throughout the entire meal.

Mom-E and I sat there, stunned, and watched him eat the bagel (don't worry, we paid attention to the other boys, too).

And by eat the bagel, I mean, the ENTIRE bagel (that was as big as his head).

Okay, so maybe it wasn't the most nutritiously-sound idea to let the boy eat the 4,000 calorie bagel, but when he triples the number of lifetime bread-products consumed in one sitting, it's hard to direct his eating efforts elsewhere.

Fortunately, we didn't have to buy stock in Panera.

Instead, we opted for some Lender's mini bagels, which Mom-E gussied up with butter, cinnamon, and splenda.

He actually announced, "bagels are my new favorite food."

"BRING ON BAGELMANIA!" I say.

I'm thrilled that we've expanded our prom date dining options from Granola Bar Hut to any place with bagels or PB crackers.

Now we just have to convince him the PB bagels are awesome, too. Just give me another 5 years.

Keep up the good work, dude
Busy-Dad-E

Thursday, September 23, 2010

ChiLd UnawarEness LESSons


Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone. Unless you're "CLULESS", be sure to visit all of the great bloggers over at dad-blogs.com.

Mom-E and I are (members of) CLUELESS.

I wish I could say we're the founding members, but we're not. Although I did just make up the acronym.

CLUELESS stands for ChiLD UnawarEness LESSons.

Essentially, I'm talking about the work parents do after their kids go to bed.

As much as my children pay attention to detail, I'm amazed that they've never asked questions such as, "How do my clothes magically get clean, folded, and/or hung in the closet?"

It's something (I imagine) all parents have done--put laundry away in their kids' rooms while they're asleep.

But Mom-E and I took CLUELESS to a new level this past week.

You see, Little Brother is going to have a Wubbzy-themed 3rd birthday party.


And Mom-E is making him a Wubbzy costume (because he LOVES to go around in costume--Batman, Robin, Wolverine, Dale Jr--and will do so for hours at a time)

But she's had to do some of the sizing "on the fly."

This meant sneaking into Little Brother's room well past midnight. I sat him up in bed and held him upright, while Mom-E put the costume over his head.

And we had to do this twice.

We couldn't help but have a good laugh over the matter.

I mean, we have no doubt that Little Brother will go totally ape over the costume. Probably won't take it off until 2011. At the earliest.

Which makes it so funny (at least to us) that we actually tried it on him while he was asleep, and he's absolutely CLUELESS that it ever happened.

Makes me wonder what kind of stuff our parents did to us when we were little.

Gramm-E?

Have a good weekend,
Busy-Dad-E

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A-B-C-Eye-Aye

Little Brother is working on his A-B-C's, and blessed us with this rendition.

Gotta love the:
1) Voice modulation (he does this ALL the time). It's hysterical.
2) The "reference" to the See-Eye-Aye

Enjoy!

See you on Fatherhood Friday,
Busy-Dad-E

video

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Catch The Wave

If your first thought with this title was


Then you must be about as old as I am (or older).

No, today we celebrate a major milestone for Bab-E Brother.

Last Friday, I came home to find Mom-E and the boys hanging out in our room.

Bab-E Brother was sitting on the bed.

When I came in to the room, I said "Hi, guys!"

Without hesitation, Bab-E Brother flung both arms up in the air, smiled from ear-to-ear, and started jiggling such that I was glad Mom-E was right behind him, in case he fell over backwards.

But the best part was that he blurted out a great big "HA!"

Besides my heart-melting from his response, Mom-E and I were overcome with excitement with his vocalization, which was closer to a "Hi" than when Ross and Rachel's baby on Friends said her first word, "gleeb."

And over the weekend, it appears that his attempts to say "hello" are intentional.

He's definitely started waving at family. Sometimes. When he feels like it.

But, of course, Mom-E and I can't stop eenthusiastically waving at him.

"Wave" to go, buddy!

Have a good week, :-h
Busy-Dad-E

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Security Sunglasses


Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone. I won't tell if you suck your thumb or cuddle with your blankie while visiting all of the great bloggers over at dad-blogs.com.

.
Although it's Bab-E Brother sporting the sunglasses here, the pair in this picture belong to Little Brother.

And it's a very rare occurence these days for Little Brother to go ANYWHERE without them (he must've been passed out taking a nap when this pic was snapped.)

It's funny how attached to the glasses he's become. We must know their whereabouts at all times, beware the wrath.

And he pretty much refuses to take them off.

He'll stumble into a dark playroom first thing in the morning wearing them, complete with unsteady gait and "I drank too many Capri-Suns last night" kind of appearance.

If you try to turn on the lights, he yells "that hurts my eyes!"

(Isn't that why you're wearing sunglasses, dude? What did they put in your Capri Sun?)

If we go inside, say, to the store, he still keeps them on. I'm sure people think he's either a movie star or a special security agent.

He even sports them in the bathtub, and occasionally falls asleep while still wearing them (while Corey Hart is playing.)

And Labor Day weekend, you can bet he brought them to celebrate Gramm-E's birthday.

(We almost didn't get to go. In what started out like an apparent encore performance of last year's Labor Day weekend, Little Brother got sick 12 hours before we were planning to leave.)

And by sick, I mean woke up in the middle of the night screaming in our room with a fever of 103 (he was neither hot blooded nor chicken at sea) and then proceeded to puke.

Fortunately, as paradoxical as this will sound, he got a lot more puke on me than on our bed (I'm much easier to clean than our bed and linens).

But this was one of those "therapeutic pukes", where after puking he seemed to feel much better, was able to go back to bed, and woke up pretty much himself in the morning.

*****
BRIEF DIGRESSION--If only many other of life's problems could be solved by one good therapeutic puke.
*****

But we made it to Gramm-E's and had a nice time. On Sunday we went swimming at the pool in Aunt-E's neighborhood.

And, of course, the one time he really needed them, Little Brother REFUSED to wear his sunglasses.

In true almost-3 year-old fashion, he couldn't stand the idea of his sunglasses getting wet in the pool (why that's fine in the bathtub requires an independent study course in toddler logic that I have yet to take.)

Oh well, such is life these days.

Have a good weekend,
Protect your eyes from the sun,
Busy-Dad-E

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Beary Sweet



(Big Brother's Kindergarten class has a class bear who takes turns hanging out with people on the weekends. He recently enjoyed his time with the Busy-Dad-E family. Big Brother was a sweet, well, big brother, and gave Bab-E Brother some cuddle time with the bear. Apparently both of them want--and can't have--some honey.)

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

See you on Fatherhood Friday,
Busy-Dad-E

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Jif-tastic

They say that if you hear something 10,000 times it becomes a truth.

Either we told Big Brother he has liked/will like peanut butter 10,000 times, or we were visited by the patron saint of Jif on Sunday (twice).

They say "Choosy Moms choose Jif" (R).

I say, "Move over Mikey. 5 year olds who eat fewer foods than there are letters in J-I-F choose Jif." Now that's saying something.

Big Brother had very brief periods where he'd eat peanut butter (like twice) and then go over a year without touching it again.

It started like any other Sunday, with Big Brother having an absolute melt-down tantrum about not wanting to go to the first day of Sunday school (in the same building with pretty much the same kids he went to pre-K with last year). It was bad enough that he had to be held by the teacher, kicking and screaming, as we walked out.

(Mom-E left pretty much convinced that our picture is now hanging on the wall in the Sunday School building, amongst the other blacklisted families who have a restraining order are gently ushered out from the building if they try to enter.)

(We also have one of those pictures at the local Chili's. But that's a story for another time.)

Of course, Big Brother apparently had just a wonderful time at Sunday School and did not require a white coat was pleasant and cooperative after we left.

So, I decided to use this against him.

About 4:30 pm (3 hours after lunch), Big Brother said "I'm hungry".

We first went through the obligatory, "if you ate some protein, your tummy would be happier longer."

(Amazingly, this did not elicit an "I know everything.")

Being unrelenting, I sat down with Big Brother on the steps and we had a little Jif-to-Jif heart-to-heart.

"Big Brother, Mom-E and I would never encourage you to do or eat something that was bad or yucky. We told you that you'd have a good time at Sunday School and you did. We've told you that there is peanut butter in the peanut butter granola bars you eat every day. TRUST ME. YOU WILL LIKE PEANUT BUTTER CRACKERS. THEY WILL MAKE YOUR TUMMY FEEL GOOD. THEY WANT TO GO TO THE PARTY IN YOUR TUMMY."

And then I sweetened the peanut butter deal with, "And if you eat one--a whole one--you can have an extra 15 minutes of computer time."

(Computer time:Big Brother = Moths:Flame)

If we didn't restrict his access, the kid would play on the computer until he seized.

And then Saint Jif must've showed up because Big Brother decided he was going to eat peanut butter crackers.

And not just eat one, but make them the new staple of his diet.

Over the next 90 minutes, he proceeded to down a total of 6 Ritz PB cracker sandwiches (i.e., 12 Ritz crackers). He specifically requested PB crackers for dinner AND his lunch on Monday.

The best part is that whatever Big Brother does, Little Brother wants to do, too.

Consistent with his online name and stature, Little Brother opted to eat Ritz Bitz sandwiches instead, but he must've polished off 5 dozen or so, as if he'd started training for competitive eating.

When I packed Big Brother's lunch, I had this looming feeling that the world is going to end, because it actually looked like a "real" lunch--PB crackers, pretzels, yogurt, fruit, veggies, and a drink.

In the meantime, we're going to eat lots and lots of PB crackers, because it might be another year before he decides to eat them again.

But for this moment, this glorious day, it looks like he will not be taking his prom date to Granola Bar Hut.

Instead, they will go to Target to pick up some PB Crackers.

Have a good week,
Busy-Dad-E

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mister Know-It-All


Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone. I'd tell you to go visit all of the great bloggers over at dad-blogs.com but you already knew that.

They say, "Everything I needed to know I learned in kindergarten."

But apparently Big Brother was playing telephone when this was said.

Because his new favorite catch phrase is "I know EV-ERY-THING!"
(said in a throw-back-your-head-loud-whiny-nasally kinda voice.)

He doesn't say this phrase in a grandiose way.

Rather, it seems to mean "please spare me the reminder/speech you've already given 99,999 times."

This makes for some interesting conversations.

"Big Brother, you need to do your homework before you play computer."

"I know EV-ERY-THING!"

"Well then, you already know that homework comes before computer."

*He sighs in disgust*

Makes me wonder if Big Brother could be used to unlock the secrets of the universe.

"Big Brother, what's the meaning of life?"

(If he says 43 I'll fall over backwards.)

"I know EV-ERY-THING!"

(So tell me then. I want to know.)

As you can imagine, this phrase was slightly funny at first, but now much less so.

Mom-E and I are a little at a loss as to how to correct him.

Right now, I'm going with a firm "You need to stop saying that" with each utterance.

Or perhaps I could just ask Big Brother how to make him stop?

(But before you do, please tell us why you won't try any new foods.)

I'll tell you to have a good weekend, but you already knew I'd say that,
Busy-Dad-E

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Uvular Giggles

Hello Everyone!

Sorry for the delay. I took Labor Day off to enjoy time with the fam.

Last night was another chapter in the epic battle of "Blog versus Sleep".

And sleep won.

*****

So we're all adjusting to the new school routine.

For the most part, Big Brother is enjoying himself, and starting to "open up" more around his teacher and peers.

(The teacher asked us if he was really quiet at home.

Mom-E and I had to bite our lips to avoid asking her if she indeed was talking about Big Brother. Although inviting the teacher over for dinner might be an interesting way to have a quiet dinner at home?)

But I digress.

I've been surprised that Big Brother going to kindergarten has been hard on me, too.

Between staying at work about 30 minutes later with my (newish) position and Big Brother having 10 minutes of homework + going to bed a little earlier, I feel like I've "lost" a sizable chunk of time with him during the week.

(I know, I know, it's only going to get worse as he gets older. But it's still an adjustment. And I always get discombobulated for awhile after we spring forward/fall back with time changes.)

One of the most difficult adjustments for Big Brother is having to go to "After School" 2 days a week.

Mom-E usually picks him up by about 5:30, and he seems to be having fun playing computer games and such, but he starts to get sad when his friends get picked up before him.

And on a couple of occasions, Mom-E has had to pick-up a rather tearful little guy Big Brother.

*****

So, the other night, Big Brother and I were washing hands with his SpongeBob soap, when he asked me "What's that in SpongeBob's mouth?"

"Why, that's his uvula. You have one, too. Wanna see mine?"

Apparently "uvula" is a REALLY FUNNY word to a 5 year-old. We unabashedly laughed about uvulas and looked in the mirror for quite a while, almost to the point of causing a delay in bed time.

***

On the days Big Brother goes to "After School", I get to take him to school.

As we're driving to school the other day, Big Brother spontaneously blurts out, matter-of-factly, "Dad-E, if I get to feeling sad at After School, I'm just going to think about my uvula."

And he proceeded to darn near bust a gut kackling.

"Sounds like a plan, buddy."

So, I can now gauge what kind of day Big Brother has had by asking him how many times he had to think about his uvula.

Hey, whatever works and whatever makes you giggle.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,
Busy-Dad-E

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I LIke Your Face


Happy Fatherhood Friday. Don't forget to check out all of the great bloggers overa at dad-blogs.com. You'll like what you see.

The mind of a toddler is a curious thing.

I think all children have their idiosyncracies.

And Little Brother has one of his regarding Mom-E and I from the neck up.

For a long time now, Little Brother can not STAND it when Mom-E put her hair up in a pony tail.

If he spots her with an "up do", he very bluntly asserts "I don't like your hair. Mom-E, why your hair like that."

Anybody got some good recommendations for tact lessons?

Trying to be equitable in his disdain, Little Brother speaks equally bluntly if he sees me without my glasses.

"Dad-E, where are your glasses? I don't like your face."

(I had no idea the glasses made my appearance so much less repulsive.)

But on the flip-side, at least he can be complimentary.

Wearing my glasses sometimes garners me a spontaneous smile and a "I like your face."

And not to be left out in the cold, he'll complement Mom-E on her hair, too.

Apparently we have a future critic.

Have a good weekend,
Busy-Dad-E

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

You Need More Arms

I think that any parent with more than 1 child is entitle to (at least one) a free pair of extra arms.

It's only fair.

And not scary looking extra arms


Just regular "people arms" that fold-up discreetly and compactly when you don't need them.

I mean, even Big Brother recently commented, "Mom-E you need 8 arms, so you can be like an octopus."

(Except that Mom-E is WAY cuter--and less slimy--than an octopus).

But seriously, that's saying something if even a 5 year-old recognizes that you need more arms.

2.5 year olds, on the other hand, lack that awareness.

You see, we're at a point now, where the moment I get home from work, I'm greeted with smiles and hugs, and requests to be carried by not 1 but 2 small boys.

And I don't mind so long as I don't undo that hernia surgery, mostly because those two little guys are just so frickin' cute that I can't say "no" to those smiles.

(Just to clarify, I can't say "no" to picking them up. If I had a nickel for every time I told them "no", I'd have a truckload of nickels.)

But I couldn't help but laugh the other day when I came home from work.

30 seconds after walking inside, I'm holding 40+ pounds of children, spread over 2 arms.

30 seconds later, Little Brother looks directly at me and asks, nonchalantly, "Dad-E, can you hold this bouncy ball for me and throw away this tissue."

"Sure pal, but only if you want me to put you down (which I already know you don't.)"

"Hey, Mom-E! Got any arms you can spare?"

See you on Fatherhood Friday,
Busy-Dad-E