Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It Was Nice Knowing You

Dear America,

It was nice knowing you.

As my mom used to say, "Be careful what you pray/ask for, because you just might get it."

There you go, America.  I hope you're happy.  I'm not.

As our country increasingly turning its back to God, let us be reminded how things worked out for those countries who did so.  Not so good, methinks.

And as another mom from Star Wars said, "So this is how democracy dies.  With thunderous applause."

I, for one, ain't clapping.

Pray for America. Hard.

Friday, November 2, 2012

An Extravaganza of Pumpkins and Tape

Happy Fatherhood Friday!

I hope you had a Happy Halloween!

Mom-E and I very much enjoyed ourselves, more so than in years past.

Perhaps this is because all small men were eager to ambulate and carry
their own Trick-or-Treat baskets (at least until the very end.)

This enabled Mom-E and I to just sit back and enjoy the boys in all of
their giddy excitement.

The boys made for an exciting entourage of superheros, dressing as
Iron Man (Big Brother), the Flash (Little Brother), and Robin (sans mask-
Bab-E Brother).

Big Brother wore the Dark Helmet-esque talking light up Iron Man mask
that was a favorite present from Aunt-E last Christmas.

Little Brother looked like a mini-Sheldon dressed as Flash.

And Bab-E Brother is just plain stinkin' cute.  Truth be told, he really
didn't even want to wear a costume, but a last-minute diaper change and
seeing his Halloween bucket proved to be enough of a distraction to
put a costume on before he had a chance to protest too much and try to
take it off.

And while Halloween was a great time for all, I'm not so sure that Mom-E
and I feel the same post-Halloween.

You know - the CONSTANT begging and whining for Halloween candy,
that if left to their own devices, would constitute about 95% of the boys'
diet the first week of November.

So, Mom-E and I have insituted a "one piece after lunch and one after dinner"
policy, as well as a "token economy."

That's right, negative behaviors mean that Mom-E and Dad-E confiscate a
piece of Halloween candy, and being extra helpful can earn them back.
So far, it seems to be a helpful motivator - at least after the boys figured out
we meant business and they lost about 10 pieces in a span of a 20-minute
dinnertime meltdown.

That's neat.  Yeah, fun.  Neat.  Neat.  Good times.

And of course no Halloween would be complete without...

If your kids are like mine, there's tremendous excitement about selecting a
giant pumpkin and talking about carving it up...

...until, that is, it actually comes time to do the carving.

At which point, the crowd murmurs something about the pumpkin smelling
bad, the pumpkin guts being gross, and "hey Dad-E, we're going to go
outside and swing while you freeze on the porch and carve the pumpkin
for us."

Thanks, loads.

However, in an attempt to satisfy the hunger of our Transformer-obsessed
beasts, I we opted to go for a Deceptacon pumpkin this year.  I was a little
leery about the associated level of difficulty, but this pumpkin carving hack
was pretty pleased with the result.

But the pumpkin obsession didn't end there.

No, the boys were adamant that we needed to get some kind of inflatable
Halloween decoration this year, and even offered to chip in some of their
pennies to assist.

Little Brother was delusional was certain that Mom-E had already ordered
a large inflatable BOO sign, when, in fact, they had just perused.

So, after much politeness, comments about how practical such a
decoration would be, how nice the house would look, Mom-E and I
caved and I took the boys to Wally World to pick something out.

Yep, we ended up with a 9 foot tall inflatable stack of pumpkins.

(It was either that or the $98 15 foot stack of ghosts, and my wallet felt
a little light.)

Fortunately, being 2 days before Halloween, the inflatable was 25% off,
so not too bad of a deal, and the boys were THRILLED.

I mean genuinely THRILLED.  Like Christmas level excitement thrilled.
Like actually willing to HELP set it up thrilled (and by help, I don't mean
run around the yard and play while Mom-E and Dad-E do all the work).

You might be asking yourself, "What's that white box atop the pumpkin 

Well, that's Little Brother's new "piggy bank."

Yes, you heard me right.  

Little Brother, who is more obsessed with coins that that mummy from
the long-ago Scooby Doo episode...

(Coin! Coin! Coin!)

...decided to tape this white box to the top of the pumpkin inflatable
box, which happens to be just big enough to fit all of his pennies.

All I can say is, "That boy's got creative style.  And a black belt in

Lord help us when he discovers duct tape.

Have a good weekend,

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pursuit of Perfection

One of our boys is a perfectionist.  Imagine that.

Okay, so maybe all 3 boys have some perfectionistic

But Mom-E and I would probably agree that
Little Brother is the least expected to be a

(And that's not a criticism, he's just overall a little
more laid back.)

Apparently when we were wrong, at least when it
comes to drawing.

Very recently, he's hit a cognitive explosion where
he's suddenly been really interested in making letters
and drawing.

Only problem is that if he makes the slightest
mistake (or what he PERCEIVES to be a mistake),
he wads the paper up and puts it in "File 13",
complete with screams of frustration and Q-bert
like @#$%^&*!

As a result, he goes through REAMS and REAMS
of paper.  In about 5 seconds.

The other night he was throwing away working on
a series of trucks the other night.

Unfortunately, he got closer and closer with each
picture, before it ultimately bit the dust.

But I salvaged them.


See you on Fatherhood Friday,

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Cool Thing About Boys

Is that while they're in the bathroom, looking at the walls (instead of where they should be aiming), and they spot the handprint art they made a year ago,

they make comments like this:

"Dad-E, there's a Yoda in the middle of my hand!"

"Why yes there is!"

Fatherhood is the awesomest job on the planet, light sabers-down.

And because I'm nerdy like that.

May the force be with you this week, and always,

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dad-E's Law

Let's face it, parenthood isn't all rainbows and unicorns.

Interestingly, I think that social media doesn't help this, and in fact, might make things worse.

Most people put their "good face" forward, being much much more likely to share news/pics of smiley, happy kids and parents, than things that are negative or maddening frustrating.  I know I do.

It makes you start to wonder, "How is it that those kids seem so happy all the time?"

Maybe they are.  Or maybe that was 2 minutes out of the day, and the remaining waking 13 hours and 58 minutes was one continuous tantrum.  Or somewhere in between, most likely.

My boys are good boys.  They give us hugs and kisses.  They smile and laugh uncontrollably.  They sometimes even hug each other.  They have moments of genuine concern for the well-being of their brothers.  They help each other and play nicely together.  They sometimes help pick up their messes.  They sometimes even follow directions.

Other times their behavior is abysmal.  They embarass Mom-E and Dad-E in public.  They get "hangry".  They yell at each other and call each other names.  They punch and kick.  They fight over toys and won't share.  They talk back to Mom-E and Dad-E. 

And the other night, after a day that started out great and an evening that went downhill as small men got hungrier hangrier and more tired, the boys and I had a heart-to-heart talk.  Basically, they needed "put in their place."

We went over the laundry-list (including laundry) of all the things that Mom-E and Dad-E do because we love them, care for them, and want them to be good boys.  An "A to Z" from "Who makes sure you wake up on time and get dressed?" to "Who reads you bedtime stories and tucks you in at night?"

I think it helped remind them of how much we have to work together as a family.

The next morning, I planned to get up at 6am to workout.

Apparently, I neglected to set my alarm, because at 7:15am, Big Brother came into our room and WOKE ME UP.  "Dad-E, I'm dressed.  Can we get breakfast?"

I think I'll call it Dad-E's Law.  It happens when you're "guilty" of the very same thing you just reprimanded your kids about.

"You better be thankful Mom-E and I wake you up and get you dressed in the morning."  So thankful that you wake Dad-E up, after getting yourself dressed, when Dad-E sleeps an hour past his alarm."

Than you, Big Brother, so that I wasn't late for work, and for waking up and getting dressed yourself.

Let's face it.  We're all children of God.  We're all fallen.  We all screw up.

But we're all loved.  And we love each other.

We're in this together.

Have a good weekend,

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fruit Snack Fights

Perhaps one of the best things about kids is their idiosyncrasies.

And when you have several children, it's interesting how despite being genetically related, just how different each child is compared to their siblings.

This includes not only their likes and dislikes, but also in the ways they show and receive love.

Little Brother, for example, is all about "things" when it comes to how he receives love.  And not big things.  In fact, it's the opposite.  He absolutely loves anything that might be considered a little throw-away trinket or bit of junk.  Think Squinkies here.

And tape.  Oh my goodness is that boy OBSESSED with tape.  Just straight up Scotch tape.  Loves it.  Can't get enough of it.

(Can't find any in our house either, because of him.)

Seriously, I can't wait to see and hear his excitement when he wakes up on Christmas morning to find his stocking chock full of tape.

(Note to self, go out of your way to make sure he NEVER, NEVER, EVER sees/hears/learns about silly string, or the house is doomed.)

But I digress, slightly.

And another important way that he shows and receives love is through afternoon snacktime.

Every day, regardless of the weather, even if it's 110 degrees outside, that boy wants a cup of "hot" chocolate.  And as I've mentioned before, he has to put some kind of mint in it.

Again, the look on his face when he's drinking hot chocolate is truly worth $1,000,000 (at least).

But lately, in addition to hot chocolate, Little Brother also wants to share some fruit snacks, and have a "Fruit Snack Fight" in addition to his hot beverage.

And the Fruit Snack Fight basically consists of making little boy pretend battle sounds, and trying to make your opponent drop their fruit snacks (or just take it out of their hands.)

Apparently, Star Wars fruit snacks are the best for fighting (for obvious reasons).

I'm glad that Mom-E and Little Brother get to enjoy this quality time together - usually when Bab-E Brother is napping and Big Brother is still at school.

I was also fortunate a while back to get the opportunity to Fruit Snack Fight with him over afternoon hot chocolate during a random day off.

Out of the 23 hours and 55 minutes of chaos in the day (hey for parents even sleep time can be chaotic), these are perhaps 5 of the best minutes.  Just to sit down, have a snack, and play.

Carefree timelessness.  It's all about moments of carefree timelessness.  Even if it's only 5 minutes.  It makes all the difference.  At least to a little boy I know.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,

Monday, October 22, 2012

After-Church Snack

Hello there!  I hope you had a nice weekend.

I think it's safe to say that following the service, many churches have coffee, donuts/cookies, and fellowship afterwards.  Ours is no different.

After running around in the grass outside the church with some good friends (okay, they didn't run around with Mom-E and Dad-E's friends, but rather their children) for a solid 20 minutes, the boys were ready to munch.

However, this week the boys opted for a very different kind of snack.

Within about a minute of being strapped into his carseat (I guess technically we should call it his vanseat), Bab-E Brother had tossed off his shoes and his socks, and was happily "munching" on his TOES!

Yes, toes.  Yuck.  And for me, it makes no difference that he'd had a bath about 30 minutes before we left for church.  Toes = Yuck.  Period.

And not just a little peck or sniff.  He was going to town.

I guess this shouldn't surprise me.  After all, this is the child who likes to SMELL my sweaty shirt when I get home from a run.

"Dad-E, can I smell you?" he says with bright eyes and eager anticipation.

"Okay, if you really want to," I reply, with trepidation.

And we're not talking about smell like when you inadvertently discover that someone else in the room has effluviated, I mean like "getting your nose right into the pan of hot brownies from the oven and sniff as deeply as you can", kind of sniff.

So, if he likes that, I guess it makes sense that his toes are (somehow) desirable, too.

And I also learned there's a reason why people still ask things like "If your friend did [insert danger], would you do it, too?"

Because following the response to Bab-E Brother's "snack", the next thing you know we have a van-load full of 3 boys happily trying to stick their toes in their mouth.  Nice.

Really, I promise that we do feed our children actual food.  More than once a day, even.

On the other hand, perhaps Mom-E and I have stumbled on a solution to chronic complaints of "I'm hungry", most often uttered 1) 2 minutes after we've eaten, or 2) when we're as physically far away from food or drink as we possibly could be.

"Hey, the last time you boys were hungry, you opted to stick your toes in your mouth.  Bon appetit!"

Have a good week,
Keep your toes inside your shoes at all times,

Friday, October 19, 2012

O Brother Where Art Thou

Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone!

As I was conceptualizing this post, I had this feeling that I was recycling the title of a previous post.  Sure enough, I am.  It was interesting to go back and see the ongoings over 3 years ago.  A good reminder of one of the reasons I blog - to remember.

Because we know that as parents we suffer from this mild (or not so mild) chronic fatigue and/or sleep deprivation-induced dementia that makes it hard to remember what we just said what we had last night for dinner.

That post was about Little Brother missing Big Brother when he started Pre-K.  Man, does that seem like forever and a day ago.

So this time, the tables are turned.

The other weekend, Mom-E ran a race, and all 3 boys had the opportunity to participate in a "Fun Run" for kids.

It made sense to enter all 3 of them, because they all pretty much run around all day, so while they're running around anyway, they can earn a medal and some other prizes.

I'll admit that we had slightly higher hopes for the length of the Fun Run.  We thought it was going to be a big loop, but instead they had the kids run about 50 yards and then suddenly stop.

Of course, Bab-E Brother, who despite being 2, avidly runs pretty much everywhere he goes, took one look at the gobs and gobs of kids, and decided that Dad-E should "chauffeur" him and carry him the entire distance.  (Suddenly, Dad-E is glad this was only 50 yards).

But Big Brother and Little Brother both took off at the start, although they got separated amidst the traffic.

When they got to the finish, Big Brother was VERY CONCERNED that he couldn't find Little Brother.  Indeed, it was a huge mess of parents and kids, made worse by the fact that all of the kids were wearing the same race day t-shirt.  Big Brother, in frantically trying to find him, happened to find me, and so we looked together.

He spontaneously told me that he was about to ask one of the race officials, "Can I get a medal and a bag for my brother, so that he's sure to get one, because I can't find him?"

This coming from the boy who would barely talk to his kindergarten teacher for the first half the school year.  For him to willingly want to talk to a "strange" adult speaks volumes.

Of course, Mom-E and found Little Brother, and we met up within a few minutes.

But I was very proud to see Big Brother so genuinely concerned about Little Brother's well-being.

Because let's face it, they're brothers.  Most of the time they're fighting about each other's toys, or getting annoyed at someone who keeps singing the Transformers theme song (over and over and over), or calling each other "doo-doo head" or some-such nonsense.

So it's good to know that when push comes to shove, they've got each other's back and they stick together.

Good boys.

Have a good weekend,
Don't get lost,

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Compound Words

On the way home from Cub Scouts the other night, Big Brother spontaneously blurted out:

"Dad-E, iceskating is a compound word."

"Yes it is, buddy."

"Baseball is a compound word, too."

"You got it!"

"And father."



"I know.  Father is not a compound word."

"Sure it is.  F-A-T ... H-E-R."

*Sigh*  "Not quite, buddy."

"What about FATTER?" interjected Little Brother.

That's my boys.  Almost 8 years of fatherhood, and the word "father" is synonymous with fat her.

Lovely.  Just bloody lovely.

See you on FAT-HER-HOOD Friday,

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wheel of Costumes

Hello there!

I hope you had a nice weekend.

Of the myriad of decisions our school-age children make, arguably one's choice of Halloween costume is easily in the annual top 3.

With just over 2 weeks to go, I'll admit that Mom-E and I have been running a "stall" offense.

You see, about 2 weeks ago, our Transformer-obsessed boys, with Big Brother as their fearless leader, decided that they wanted our WHOLE FAMILY to be a "combiner Transformer" for Trick-or-Treat.

A "combiner" is when 5 or 6 individual Transformers combine to form a single, ginormous Transformer.  Those of you from my generation may know of combiners like Devastator, Superion, Bruticus, Defensor, Menasor, or Superion.

Did I mention that Big Brother wanted to hand-make each of the 5 combiner Transformers out of cardboard boxes?

And Little Brother is so on-board that he's been painting empty Capri-Sun boxes with WATERCOLORS to help prepare costume material.

Oh, and the best part is that when we become the combiner, Dad-E gets to carry two of the three boys (and Mom-E the third) around the neighborhood for Trick-or-Treat.  Which two doesn't matter, they're all heavy, especially when I start thinking about some of the hills.

And I'm sure that as a 2 year-old, Bab-E Brother will have no problem cooperating.  Especially because according to the older boys, "He wants to be a Transformer for Halloween, because we told him that's what he wants to be."

As recently as a few days ago, Big Brother was busy diagraming uninterpretable blueprints for how we were going to construct said MONSTER.

I meant to say TRANSFORMER instead of MONSTER, only I didn't want to.

Fortunately for us, children's minds about Halloween costumes change like the weather.

All of this is made more fun because - thanks to a donation by one of Gramm-E's coworkers - we have no less than 5 bazillion costumes at home.  Why would we want to wear one of those?

Oh, that's right, because that would be the EASY thing to do.

So, yesterday, Big Brother decided he was going to be Iron Man, complete with a Dark Helmet-style helmet from last Christmas.  Thanks, Aunt-E!

That sent Little Brother into a frenzy of costume changes more hectic than a hoard of supermodel divas at a fashion show.

It started with Wolverine, which was fine until he remembered that the Wolverine mask was not custom-made to fit HIS head.

It ended with a cross between a Red Power Ranger suit, and a white ninja mask belonging to Storm Shadow from GI Joe.

The best part is that Little Brother insists, no DEMANDS, to wear special gloves and boots with his costume.

And putting on said gloves and boots is a cross between scrubbing in for surgery and preparing for extended deep sea diving.  He puts on the costume, and then has me, one at a time, put on each glove, boot, and mask so that the costume stays tucked nicely inside.

Did I mention that the gloves are Lightning McQueen winter mittens?  And the boots are rubber galoshes with monkeys on them?


Oh, and the best part is that this whole costume frenzy took place while our lunch was sitting on the kitchen table getting cold.

I better go eat now - that food has been sitting there a long time.

Have a good week,
Chose your costume wisely (Mom-E and I will be wearing very authentic TIRED PARENT costumes, aka clothes),

Friday, October 12, 2012

Junk Food

So, to my knowledge, Mom-E has uttered about 3 indecent words in her entire life, and at least two of those were Freudian slips.

A favorite family story is that one time as a kid, Mom-E was really upset at Gramm-E.

Instead of calling her something straight out of Q-bert "@!#?@!", she mustered a, "You, you, you, you...YOU WRAPPING PAPER!"

That's right, if Mom-E calls you wrapping paper, assume that you threw paper, and YOU LOSE!

Fast forward to the other day.  Little Brother was angry with Mom-E, and spontaneously blurts out,

So, if the gene for an obsession with tape is on the Y chromosome, then the gene for hilarious insults is X-linked.

Have a good weekend,
No junk food,

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Difference Between Guys and Girls

When Mom-E's pink rose breaks off at the top of the stem while Big Brother is carrying it into the house, before we have a chance to give it to her, I saw it as a perfect opportunity for a little "surgery" with black electrical tape (or duct tape, whichever you prefer - the electrical tape was handy).

At least now I know Little Brother's tape obsession is a genetic, and it resides on the Y chromosome.

(And yes, 2 days later, it's still alive.  Droopy, but alive).

See you on Fatherhood Friday,

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Spider

Little Brother may be afraid of cats, but apparently he really likes spiders these days.

So much so, that he illustrated a spider picture book (complete with making me fold and cut the pages so that they would be squares).

And now, without further ado:

The Spider.  Illustrated by Little Brother.  (Unofficially) written (in invisible ink) by Busy-Dad-E

There once was a spider with 16 legs, 8 on each side of his body.

One day, he lost some legs.

And the legs that were left started to grow, and grow, and grow.

Until they broke off.

That made him hungry.  So he swallowed a jelly bean, WHOLE!

But that made his legs break off even shorter.  

Suddenly, he started to get a tummy ache.

And he turned GREEN.

The spider felt sick...all day.

And the next day.  And the next day.

Finally, he digested the jelly bean, and felt MUCH better.

And his legs started to GROW AGAIN! 

And he was so happy that he started to swing with his web.

But little did the he know that the jelly bean was RADIOACTIVE!

And he mutated into a person!


Have a good week,
Use your imagination,

Friday, October 5, 2012

Mom-E Needs More Training

Happy Fatherhood Friday!

Mom-E had been trying for a couple of days to remember something funny she meant to tell me (you know, all parents have this form of amnesia where if we get distracted when we're about to say something, that thought gets lost, sometimes forever.)

She finally remembered last night, and I found it too cute not to share.

Faithful readers of the blog know that Little Brother is quite obsessed with ropes (not that any of us have a clue as to why).  Anything that can be remotely construed as a string (or has length but not width) counts as a rope.

And perhaps his favorite thing to do is to swing the rope rapidly in a circle in front of his face (kind of like a mace in Gladiator).

So the other day, Little Brother was using an old pocket watch chain as a rope.

He proudly showed Mom-E his efforts.  "Look Mom-E, I can swing this rope fast because I'VE BEEN TRAINING."

And immediately follows this up with:
"Mom-E, I bet I can swing this rope faster than you because you haven't been training."

Immediate thoughts were:
1.  You can tell he's been exposed to a Dad-E who is currently training for a marathon, and a Mom-E who has run 2 marathons, when even things like swinging a "rope" are referred to with an emphasis on "training."

2.  How funn-e would it be to suggest that Mom-E do some rope-swinging "training" while we pack lunches, do dishes, clean up mess, and do laundry after the kids go to bed.  I can just picture Mom-E swinging a rope with one hand while folding a shirt with the other.  Ha!

Of course, the other thing you need to know is that rope swinging training can be quite hazardous, even beyond the obvious risk of smacking yourself (or your brothers) in the face with the rope.

No, yesterday, the boys were messing with the pocket watch chain, and Little Brother managed to get it caught through his finger like a fish hook.  Amazingly, very little blood.  Fortunately, able to bend his finger and feel pain.  So, after taking the "rope" out of his finger, a little soap and water and bandaid + a lot of tears (he told us he was too sad to drink some motrin) + 1 episode of Power Rangers, and he was ready to start swinging ropes again.

(Not that we let him.  In fact, the pocket watch chain has now permanently disappeared - or "up-in-here'd" - as the boys used to say.)

Have a good weekend,
Train hard,

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Liebster Award

I was delighted that Bill over at bequeathed upon me a Liebster blog award.  The Liebster is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  "Liebster" is German for favorite.  This award is the "favorite blog award" then.  The 
I wish this "major award" came with a leg lamp, or something fra-gee-lay in a giant box, or a lifetime supply of Tum-E Yummies.  But alas, no.

So, here's the scoop:

The Rules:

          1.  Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
          2.  Answer the 11questions the awarder has given you, the awardee.
          3.  You, now the awarder, create 11 questions for your nominees, who are now the awardees.
          4.  Choose 11 awardees, link to their website, and notify them. 
          5.  No award-backs.

11 things about me: 

1.   I'm currently training for my first marathon.

2.   I've lived in 3 different states.
3.   My work has afforded me opportunities for foreign travel.
4.   I once won a Bob Ross "Joy of Painting" t-shirt in a trivia contest.
5.   I love watching episodes of my childhood cartoons - such as Transformers, GI Joe, Thundercats - with my boys.
6.   As a high school senior, we were required to learn the prologue to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales IN MIDDLE ENGLISH, and I've never forgotten it.
7.   My paternal grandparents have been married for 76 years, and my grandpa turns 100 in 2013.
8.   One of the best perks of fatherhood is getting to play with toys.
9.   I don't read for pleasure.
10. I wish that pizza was a vegetable.
11. I love to ballroom dance with Mom-E.  

Answer the questions from the Awarder:

          1.  Were you pleasantly surprised or slightly irritated when I tagged you with this?
Pleasantly surprised.  Yours was the first non-spam comment on my blog in about 2 weeks.
          2.  Do you think I am sorry for that?
Not in the slightest.
          3.  If you were to smack me upside the head for passing this on to you with your favorite book, 
               what book would that be?
I don't really have a favorite book.  I'd probably use the Thomas and Friends Railway Stories anthology, because it's really thick and already falling apart.
          4.  If you had back the (enter minutes spent on this exercise here - 20), what would you do with 

Sleep in.
          5.  Do you think perfect strangers should stalk around the Internet and bestow odd awards and 
               ask random questions?  Why or why not?
I'm cool with that.  So long as it's on the up & up, and one's anonymity isn't compromised (if they so choose to keep things anonymous).
          6.  How can words be so beautiful to read and so frightening to write?

If you write from the heart, there's nothing to fear.
          7.  Do you like my hat?

Yes.  I'm bald.  I'm a big fan of hats.
          8.  How many hotdogs do you consume on a weekly basis?

Zero.  I'm much more of a brat than a hotdog guy.
          9.  You seem like a decent person, how did you become so?

My parents "raised me right."
         10.  Pop-up toaster or toaster over?

Pop-up toaster.  4-slice.
         11.  Where do you physically blog, as in, where are you right now and, did you ever suspect 

                blogging would be this damned complicated?
I usually blog in our "play room" after the kids go to bed.  I often find that blog-spiration comes in spurts.  Several wacky things will happen, and I'll bing out a week's worth of posts in an hour.

My questions for the Awardees:
1.   Coke or Pepsi?
2.   Pepperoni or Plain Cheese?
3.   What are you most passionate about?
4.   Do you believe in absolute truth?
5.   Where in the world would you most like to visit?
6.   Which of my posts are your favorite?
7.   What is your favorite thing about being a parent?
8.   Do you floss before or after brushing?
9.   What makes you truly happy?
10. What is your favorite hobby?
11. What one question would you like to ask me?

America was born as a nation of rebels.  And I'm going to exercise that same American spirit here.  Honestly, I wouldn't know 11 people to nominate for the award.  I know there are tons of great bloggers out there - it's just not feasible for me to follow or find them.  So I will name 2, and if anyone else wants to answer the questions, go for it!

1.  the woRD on fitness
2.  O'Shea Family Weblog
3.  AnOrdinaryDad

See you on Fatherhood Friday,
Thanks again, Bill,

Monday, October 1, 2012

Paper Costume

So, being 4, Little Brother is all about superheroes and costumes.

As you can tell from mask, right now we're all about Power Rangers.

I'm sorry, but if "Go go Power Rangers!" has to play in my head all day, then I will re-gift to you.

But, upon closer inspection, you might notice some "oddities" about Little Brother's costume.

No, he does not have casts on all 4 limbs.  Those are, in fact, pieces of paper that he decorated himself and then had Mom-E assist with taping.

And by taping, I don't mean Mom-E wrapped the paper around a limb and then taped it together.

I mean that when Little Brother wants to use tape, he WANTS TO USE tape.

Thus, the paper legs are taped to his socks.  The paper arms are attached to the Iron Man gloves he's wearing.

As you might imagine, this leaves our superhero in a bit of a quandary should he be paged for assistance.  The options are pretty much either:
1. Move quickly and rip your costume.
2. Move slowly/waddle without bending your legs or arms (and risk the bad guy getting away - to a tree, where they live according to Bab-E Brother, incidentally).
3. Don't move at all.
4. Don't ever take the costume off (because well, you can't, at least without ruining it.)

On Friday (when this all went down), we decided to go out to eat, and of course Little Brother announced that he would be wearing his costume to dinner.

Channelling my inner Cousin Eddy, I said, "When he gets fixated on this, Mom-E, it's best to just let him finish."

Of course, we don't even get out the door before Little Brother bumps into something or someone bumps into him (truly accidentally) and the costume rips.

The solution to which is MORE TAPE!  (Did I just here a cowbell?)

Well, by the time we get into the van, we've had several rounds of ripping and tape.  Finally in utter frustration, Little Brother basically shreds his costume onto the floor of the van.


Amazingly, the next morning he's at it again with more paper taped around his legs.

And not so amazingly, the paper is ripping and frustration and tears are mounting.

Finally, Mom-E and I have to step in.  We have a heart-to-heart talk about "Have you ever seen a costume at the store made of paper?" "Why? Because it's hard to move in one and they rip really easily." "You're so creative.  This is such a wonderful idea, but it sure seems to make you frustrated."  "Would you like to make another book about spiders?"

Yes, he's been illustrating books about spiders lately.  More of that to come later.

Until then, have a good week,

Friday, September 28, 2012

Parental Equation

Parents + 3 Boys =

(Mom-E + Dad-E) – Sleep – Sanity – Privacy – (Being able to find ANYTHING) – (A moment to sit down and do NOTHING) + Picky Eating + (Unflushed toilets x Dribbles on the floor)^3 + Transformers theme song (ALL DAY LONG) + Mess^3 + Laundry^3

= Love^(infinity)

Have a good weekend,

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

And They Called It Puppy Love

(The funny part is that despite it's cuteness, if Little Brother awoke to find Pupp-E snuggled up against him, he'd likely scream bloody murder).

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Monday, September 24, 2012

40 Minutes

So the other evening, Mom-E and Dad-E went on a nice little date.

We have some good friends with two boys who are the same ages as Big Brother and Bab-E Brother, and the 5 boys enjoy playing together.  So, from time to time, their boys come over to our house while their parents go out on a date, and vice-versa.

Side note - everyone has a good time when they come over, and Mom-E and I have gotten a glimpse of what it would be like to have 5 boys between the ages of 2 and 7.

*Hold on a minute...I need to go take a nitro.*

(Seriously, the boys are all well behaved, it's just loud, controlled chaos at times.)

Anywho, so Mom-E and I are driving on our date.  We're going to quickly get a sandwich and then catch a movie.

Suddenly, I look at the clock on the dashboard and realize, "We only have 40 minutes to eat and get to the movie!"

Still being in "parent mode", I mentally break down our to-do tasks.  Mom-E and I have 40 minutes to accomplish the following:
1. Get out of the car.
2. Walk into the restaurant.
3. Order our food.
4. Get our food.
5.  Eat our food.
6.  Go to the bathroom.
7.  Walk back to the car.
8.  Get into the car.
9.  Drive to the movie theater (about 5 minutes away).
10.  Park at the movie theater.
11.  Get out of the car (again).
12.  Wait in line for tickets.
13.  Find our theater.

Of course, as you can imagine, Mom-E and I actually breezed through our "to-do" list, with ample time for leisurely, laughable dinner conversation, an extra bathroom break, and enough time to make an extra stop at the grocery store to do all of the weekly shopping.

Okay, so we didn't actually go to the grocery store, but we were not pressed for time.

Apparently, I forgot that when it's just two adults, 40 minutes is an ETERNITY!

Granted, if the boys were with us we'd have to add about 6 more "Go to the bathroom" steps, and a couple more for the eating step, including:
a.  Dance on the tables.
b.  Run around the restaurant screaming like wild monkeys.

I'll clarify that joke by saying I'm just joking.  At least about item (a).

But it's true that what took Mom-E and I 40 minutes probably would've taken us about 2 hours as a family.

And I'm cool with that.

Trust me, a date with Mom-E every now and again is refreshing and relaxing and, well, VERY NECESSARY.

But I still like the joyful chaos.

Have a good week,