Wednesday, November 30, 2011

All I Want For Christmas

Well, we're half way there!

(But the other one is pretty lose and destined to come out soon!)

Here's to being able to drink through a straw without opening your mouth!

Cheers, Big Brother! You were a very brave patient, and very patient with your amateur dentist!

(Mom-E is very squeamish about loose teeth, so Dad-E is the default tooth puller.)

And LOOK! The Tooth Fairy knows how to write in cursive!

See you on Fatherhood Friday,

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Big Brother's Thanksgiving Break might be summarized in the words of Johnny 5, "Need input!"

In an attempt to empty our brains of knowledge, he asked Mom-E to show him how to write in cursive.

And write cursive he did.

He wrote his name in cursive, over, and over, and over, and over again.

I think every piece of paper in our house has Big Brother's name written in cursive on it. Enough to cover every square inch of wall space in our house.

And he was SOOO proud of this, showing anyone who would (or wouldn't) look at his handiwork. Again, and again, and again.

"Look, Little Brother, it's my name in cursive," said Big Brother.

"Stop it! I'm not looking! I'm tired of you showing me your name in cursive!", he retorted.

I did manage to get Big Brother to write/copy my name in cursive for the blog. Enjoy!

Have a good week,

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Better World

I recently had a tremendous experience, and it made me think how much better the world would be if we could all do this for each other at least once in our lives.

Have a dinner (or lunch), formal or informal, with friends, family, and other colleagues and loved ones.

Before the meal, the “guest of honor” stand up and gives a toast (you can just say a few nice comments) to every other guest in attendance.

Then, in turn, each guest then gives their own toast to the “guest of honor.”

And then sit down and enjoy the meal and conversation.

A much needed change from the frenetic, unrelenting pace of our American way of life.

Have a good weekend,

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I’m thankful this holiday to be home with family.

But another thing I’m thankful for this year is technology.

(Of course, the includes the opportunity to write this blog.)

I’m really thankful this year for Skype.

Recently, I traveled internationally for.

And while it’s always hard on everyone to be halfway across the globe, Skype made it much more bearable, amidst the chaos.

It’s amazing to think that with Skype and a wi-fi connection, I was able to talk to and see my family and home from thousands of miles away in real time, for free, all on a device that fits in the palm of my hand.


And, of course, my boys’ favorite Skype activity is to virtually “pick my boogers.”

“Simple things for simple minds,” my mother would say.

Thank you, Skype, for bringing me closer to my booger-picking family when I wasn’t so close.

And thanks to you, dear readers.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday!

Dear Little Brother,

It seems so recently that, according to Big Brother, we went to the “baby store” to “pick you out” when you were born.

And now you’re 4!


And though I call you Little Brother, your entire life you’ve never been little on personality and charisma.

You have a spirit that elicits the admiration of others around you.

Lately, your pastime has been superheroes and wearing costumes. You wear them ALL the time, and the word “all” includes sleeping.

And you change your costumes ALL the time, multiple times a day.

We had a wonderful time at your birthday party – a costume-themed party at a local park/playground. You and many (child) guests came dressed as a favorite superhero.

There were ~6 finalists, but ultimately you chose your Batman costume (you were wearing Captain America in the invitation photo).

Until you got a new superhero costume as a present, which you put on immediately.

And your presents from Mom-E and I were all superhero-themed: a Captain America mask and (disk-shooting) shield and a Spiderman web shooter (that really shoots webs! Sweet!)

This year has brought exciting changes for you. Most notably, you’ve started 2 days a week of pre-K.

Your teachers now say that you’re opening up at school – singing, talking, and interacting well.

This is funny o me because you’re ANYTHING but reserved at home.

But I’m excited to see you starting to draw people/figures, an increased interest in letters and numbers (you often refer to both of them as numbers), and a love of reading.

You’ve been invited to several birthday parties for classmates, which have been fun.

And so, some comments to try to capture your personality, interests, likes, and other amusing anecdotes. When you’re an adult, I hope you enjoy reading this.

As a “middle child”, you do very well relating to others. You certainly look up to an want to do the same things as Big Brother, but you also play well with Bab-E Brothers. In fact, you appear to love babies in general. You like to get down on “their level” to interact.

I can see you as a pediatrician, but of course you are/will be encouraged to pursue a career of your own choosing. (Maybe arguing against being a pediatrician is your distaste for “ouchies”. You insist on a band-aid for most every hangnail.)

You are stubborn (we know which parents that comes from) and at times illogical. If we ask you to do something, and your response begins with a slow “Well … “, Mom-E and I know to expect a 5-minute BS answer.

Sometimes you will spend 5 minutes explaining why:
-You can’t pick up the napkin you dropped that’s right to you.
-You’re too tired to walk (or suddenly claim that you CAN’T walk)
-You’re too tired to sleep (or lie down)

I’ve carried you A LOT in the past 4 years. I love carrying you, but soon you’ll have to do more walking. When I get old and need back surgery, I will be asking you for help.

And your answer will NOT begin with “Well …”

I gave you the picky eater gene and you certainly express high levels of it. I’m sorry. We REALLY need to work on this one. If left to your own devices, you would have a liquid diet of chocolate milk and yogurt smoothie drinks.

You LOVE ropes. Or anything that can be remotely construed as a rope. A lot. You tie ropes around your waist like a belt. You tie ropes around stuffed animals/toys, and suspend them from other objects. Balloon strings are among your favorite ropes.

You like to store a variety of objects in your shorts. Some of the more amusing things we’ve found recently include balloons, Halloween candy, and a pair of latex gloves that Big Brother brought home from school (?)

You like to dance with me to loud music. And by dance I mean I carry you around and twirl.

Ouch, my back again.

It takes you a while to become “human” when you wake-up from sleep or a nap. In the morning, you need your morning cartoon fix before we can think about engaging you to get dressed (or just talk in non-grunts). In the afternoon, you often fuss mostly inconsolably for 20-30 minutes after your nap, and insist on being carried during that time.

(My back hurts just writing this.)

You still NEED a nap. Some days you’re willing, and some days not. It’s very clear to Mom-E and I when you don’t nap. We’ve had to resort to veiled threats to get you to nap (or letting you clean the toilet, which strangely is a motivator.)

But when you are fully awak, you ar ea jovial and very sweet and loving boy.

I’m very proud of you.

And I wish you a very happy 4th birthday.

I love you,

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bab-E Brother's Reading List

The boy who couldn't sit still for more than 0.12 seconds has literally transformed into a total book worm.

If he sees any of these titles laying around, you will be asked to read it.

Multiple times.

And then read it some more.

And then read them all again before nap time.

And once more before bed.

You get the idea.

So without further ado, here's his best-seller list, with his title in ()

(Book or Doggie, depending on his mood)

(La La La, his personal favorite)

(Book or Doggie, again)



(??????? Pretty much like Eddie Murphy in Buckwheat Sings, so maybe we should tell him it's Betty Davis Eyes)

What are your kiddos reading?


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Freedom Isn't Free

My mother told me once in my adolescent years that "you're happier when you're busy."

While that's true to a large extent, it's also important to take time to pause, reflect, enjoy, and pay respects.

(Those of you who know may be scratching your heads because you didn't know I actually have a "pause button", probably because it's usually broken.)

But on Veteran's Day, we pause to show respect and to remember all those who have fought/are fighting for our freedom, at home and abroad.

Thank you for giving me the freedom to enjoy my family.

May God Bless America,

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I Like #2

Sorry Big Brother, but #3 is completely OFF THE TABLE! (NO idea where that came from.)

Feel free to get started washing anytime. And two coats of wax, please.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,

Monday, November 7, 2011

We Got Skills

So in true school boy fashion, Big Brother appears to be on to the next fad.

We've had so many, sometimes it's hard to keep track of all the Beyblades, Bakugan, Thundercats, Transformers, Spiderman, Batman, Wubbzy stuff.

This one is different however: Cup Stacking.

You may have seen one of the cool videos on Youtube of kids stacking and unstacking cups at Ludicrous Speed.

Apparently, Big Brother's PE class does some Cup Stacking on cold or rainy days.

But it was actually just before bedtime the other evening that he started talking about Cup Stacking.

Next thing you know I'm trekking downstairs to find 6 matching cups, so he can show off his skills.

I was impressed by his unstacking speed. Stacking the pyramid, however, was much harder because the cups kept sticking together.

But perhaps Santa can help with that.

One of the things I try to emphasize and talk to Big Brother about is how everyone has different talents, and how it's important to work hard to develop them and use them for good.

It pleases my heart to hear Big Brother to spontaneously start talking about how he's talented and cup stacking, and how he can't wait to show other family members.

And, of course, not to be outdone by his older brother, within about 5 minutes of the cup stacking exposee, Little Brother has spontaneously discovered a new talent, too: yo-yo swinging.

No, not yo-yo'ing (like up and down and walk the dog, etc.) I just mean swinging a yo-yo around and around in a big circle (such that it'd really hurt if he hit you with it.) (Fortunately, it's not a big heavy Duncan, just a cheap plastic yo-yo that he got as a birthday party favor (it broke instantly and he cried uncontrollaby until I fixed it with black electrical tape.)

You can't use it as a yo-yo anymore, but it still works great for spinning it in a big circle.

Hey, Dad-E, look at me! Look at this!

I love it! Couldn't ask for better entertainment. Keep stacking and swinging.

Just don't hit anyone.

Have a good week,

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Did You Ever Have One of Those Dinners?

Where, after a long, trying day, you sit down to the dinner table as a family, say the blessing, and start to take that first bite, when, in rapid-fire succession, the following happens:

The cell phone rings.

Then the house phone rings.

Then the dryer buzzes that it's done (and it's filled with a load of delicates that if not folded in the next 15 seconds will be wrinkled forever).

Then the doorbell rings with a kid in the neighborhood selling the same stuff your kid is selling.
Then Little Brother screams that he has to go potty.

Then the dog starts barking and scratching at the door (to go potty).

Then Little Brother returns from going potty, only to "tag out" with Big Brother who now also has to go potty.

Then Bab-E Brother throws his milk, which looks like he went potty on the floor.

Then you have to remind small men to flush and wash hands.

Then Big Brother decides he doesn't want to wear clothes, and runs upstairs to change into jammies.

Then Little Brother decides he should be wearing jammies too, and screams until you carry him upstairs to change.

Then the boys chug their "choky-juice" in one gulp.

Then they decide that suddenly they're cold (from the liter of fluid they just consumed) and need a blanket.

Then both boys have to go upstairs again to get blankets.

Then Big Brother brings a toy downstairs with him.

Then Little Brother is mad that he doesn't have a toy.

Then the dog whines to come back inside.

Then the dog whines to go back outside.

Then the boys are hangry to the point that they refuse to eat while simultaneously screaming that they're hungry.

And then we finally eat our cold meal.

Yeah, that's pretty much just a typical evening for us. :)

Have a good weekend,

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wheel of Costumes

Welcome to




(cue theme song.)

We're your hosts Busy-Dad-E and Busy-Mom-E.

We hope you had a Happy Halloween!

Those of you who have tuned in to the show know that the entire month of October was costume month on Wheel of Costumes, what with 2 of our 3 contestants wearing at least 1 (and sometimes 2 simultaneously) costume(s) an average of 18 hours per day.

And so coming down to our final show of the month, the big question in everyone's mind was "Which costume would the boys wear for the big Trick or Treat episode?"

The list was "narrowed" down to the following possibilities:
1. Captain America - Little Brother's original first choice and new costume for this year.

2. Ryuga (the main "bad guy" on the Beyblades tv show - Big Brother's original first choice and new costume for this year, which he did wear for Trick or Treat Night at the Zoo, as well as a Halloween Picture of the 3 boys.

3. Superman - Bab-E Brother's costume - NOT picked by him, but chosen based on cuteness by your loyal hosts. In fact, if left to his own devices, Bab-E Brother would probably be content with tennis shoes and a diaper (and nothing else). The only way to successfully put a costume on his person is to be actively feeding him chocolate as a distraction while doing so.

4. Red/Original Spiderman - Birthday present from Gramm-E and Grampap-E for Little Brother's 3rd birthday.

5. Black Spiderman - In true Black Spiderman, this costume was a late entry, a personality changing "dark horse" poised to topple Captain America from the pole position. About a week before Halloween, Little Brother suddenly decided he NEEDED this costume. Discussions were initiated with Pa-Pa about a potential early birthday present. And in true 3 year-old fashion, Little Brother expected the costume to be delivered to his front doorstep a mere 12 hours after he made his wishes known. When this did not happen, much chagrin and anguished was experienced by Little Brother and his parents alike. Fortunately, the ability to track packages on the map via UPS helped to slightly diffuse the tension. When the costume did arrive, as is the way of the virus known as Black Spiderman, it became an immediate source of conflict between Big Brother and Little Brother, who fought incessantly over who got to wear it, complete with repeated attempts (some successful) by Big Brother to pull the mask off and reveal Black Spiderman's true identity. Within 3 days, the costume had more runs than your mother's pantyhose, although still wearable. I found it funny that Little Brother actually thought the costume was the character Venom (who's costume is midnight blue). When challenged on this fact, Little Brother was ADAMANT that Black Spiderman was NOT Peter Parker.

6. Batman - Last year's Halloween costume.

7. Dale Jr.

8. Wolverine

9. Buzz Lightyear

(7-9 were passed to the boys a while back as gifts from one of Gramm-E's coworkers.)

10. Wubbzy (from Nickelodeon's "Wow Wow Wubbzy" - Big Brother's "(Not so) Dark Horse". Both Big Brother and Little Brother have a Wubbzy costume that was hand-made by Mom-E, during a phase in which our house was all Wubbzy all the time. In true child fashion, after multiple late night efforts from Mom-E to make these costumes, the boys wore them a grand total of about twice. When they started asking Mom-E recently to make them Black Spiderman pj's, I reminded them about how they pretty much never wore their Wubbzy costumes. This passive guilt trip attempt worked for Big Brother, who started wearing his Wubbzy costume around the house in the days leading up to Trick or Treat.

On the day of the big show, the boys could literally not make up their minds, changing costumes at least 6(7,000) times.
But finally the clock ran out and when forced with "pick a costume or miss part of Trick or Treat", they picked.

And so, without further ado, this year's costumes were:

Big Brother - Wubbzy

Little Brother - Captain America

Bab-E Brother - Superman (following a chocolate bribe)

In contrast to all of the stress leading up to it, Trick or Treat was actually wonderful no-stress family fun. Everyone behaved (chocolate is a powerful motivator). The weather was crisp and beautiful. Little Brother and Bab-E Brother enjoyed being pushed around in a stroller. (I'd love to have someone push me from house to house, and I just hold out a bucket and rack up a bunch of candy). Their excitement was contagious (a neighbor had a large inflatable Scooby Doo, and Little Brother started busting out a song about Scooby - to the tune of Caillou). The boys loaded up their buckets, but didn't complain about being limited to two pieces of candy that evening (which was still enough to send Bab-E Brother into a sugar-induced locomotion frenzy in the bathtub, not unlike the scene in Corky Romano when Chris Kattan speaks to a group of children visiting the FBI after being engulfed in a dust storm of cocaine - "Question. Question. Yes. No. Yes. Question. Question.") Big Brother even voluntarily practiced piano afterwards, while still in costume.

What fun! Love you boys!

See you on Fatherhood Friday,