Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Driven to Drink?

Not quite what you think...

Sure, there are some days when Mom-E and I definitely need enjoy a glass of wine after the kids go to bed.

But the other day, we couldn't help but wonder if WE did anything to drive Bab-E Brother to "drink."

At breakfast time, Mom-E caught him dipping his hand in the clean/unused toilet and licking it like it was Fun-Dip.

When lunch rolled around, Mom-E observed that he was doing "shots" of honey straight from the bottle.

And at dinner, what better way to unwind after a rough day then to arch your neck back and chug from the Hungry Jack syrup bottle!?!

What, might you ask, brought our little daredevil to this "interesting" choice in "beverages"?

Well, here it is, straight from the little booger's mouth.

And now you know.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,
Don't drink toilet water/honey/syrup and jump on the couch,

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Raw Pig

This is what happens when you let a 7 year-old play with the foam letters in the bath tub.

Man, did he think that was hilarious.

I guess the question that remains would be is this the name for Big Brother's
1. New sushi-ribs fushion cuisine restaurant
2. Pickin' bluegrass band
3. Clothing store for farmers
4. Latest book obsession

You decide.

Have a good week,

Friday, February 24, 2012

Infection Control

Happy Fatherhood Friday!

I hope I didn't mislead you with the title - nobody at our house is puking, currently or recently.

With 3 boys ages 2, 4, and 7, you can imagine that we have a lot of dirty fingers/feet/faces, pee dribbles on and around toilets, unflushed "presents", and a stinky Diaper Champ at our house.

And we do.

But we also have Little Brother.

Little Brother is our very own "reminderphile" (i.e., he LOVES to remind people about things.)

Seriously, he's better than your smart phone calendar, our "human siri" if you will (we don't have siri, so I'm just imagining here). Mom-E will specifically tell Little Brother things she doesn't want to forget, because his mind is like a steel trap.

And one of his favorite things to remind EVERYONE about is hygiene. He's definitely the infection control officer of our household.

While not a germaphobe, he's just got the picture that hygiene, particularly handwashing, is really important.

Whenever Big Brother comes out of the bathroom, Little Brother instantaneously blurts out, "Big Brother, did you flush? Did you use HANITIZER (our own word, short for hand sanitizer)?"

Every time. Even at 3am when both boys wake us up simultaneously to use the bathroom. I kid you not. The message is apparently hard-wired.

It also helps us narrow down the "suspect pool" (pun intended) when we find "presents" in the potty.

If Little Brother's hands get sticky from eating for even a few milliseconds, he's off to wash them, or at least ask for a wet wipe. (Napkins are apparently not good enough.)

He's gotten the same way about hanitizer. Most of the time, he's given it up in favor of good old-fashioned soap and water.

(It's quite a sight to walk into the bathroom to find his legs dangling in mid-air while he's holding on to the faucet with one hand and trying to get soap with the other.)

Once recently he handed something to Mom-E in the bathroom and despite not touching anything still asked, "Do I need to wash my hands?"

And because there's nothing like a good coincidence, Little Brother recently got a book as a kid's meal prize that's about Louis Pasteur and his work on the rabies vaccine.

You can imagine that generated a few thousand questions about "gray-bees" (as he calls them) and infections.

"Why that dog was foaming at the mouth? How did it get gray-bees? Where do gray-bees come from? What happens to people who get gray-bees?"

He started asking me about "gray-bees" before I even knew about the book. I though he was talking about some kind of weird colored honey.

Nonetheless, I'm thankful that Little Brother is so genuinely concerned about the health and welfare of his family.

Have a good weekend,
Flush and wash your hands,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Moments of Parental Zen

Let's face it ... parenthood is great fun, but it's also pretty darn trying and exhausting all the time at times.

At least at our house, there's a never-ending train of laundry to do and fold, dishes to wash, dry, and put away, lunches to pack, diapers to haul out to the dumpster, pee stains to clean around the toilets (what else would you suspect from 3 small boys with prototypical "aim"), etc.

And that's just the fun that begins AFTER the boys go to bed. Let's not get started with all of the table 'dancing', knife juggling, ceiling fan-swinging fun while they're awake aka one never ending MMA match.

(Note to self: Create a "Sleep Bank" by which you can deposit extra sleep from your teenage years for withdrawal when you become parents.)

But I digress (and jest, though not about the Sleep Bank).

When you're a parent with multiple small children, you measure quiet dinners at home in seconds, not in whole yes/no numbers.

And when it happens, it makes a massive deposit into the "Good Dinner Behavior Bank" that helps get you through the next seemingly never-ending trail of dinner chaos.

The other night we had just such a dinner. In actuality, it may have lasted only 600 seconds, but it felt like an eternity. Everyone reverently said the prayer beforehand, no one rushed off to go potty, stand up and dance around, or run upstairs to get a favorite toy. No one threw anything. There were no scowls and no tattles. Questions about everyone's day were asked.

In short, I think Mom-E and I were so shocked we almost forgot what to say or do!

(Of course, something happened at the very end, something trivial I can't remember at present, which lead to a major screaming blow-up. But for about 10 minutes, it was total Zen.)

And the truth is, and I think most parents would agree, that parenting is about these brief moments of Zen. These are the things that keep us going through all of the tantrums, tattles, and frustration.

And personally I find it helpful to recall them, as evidence that things are better than they may seem when things aren't going so well.

In no particular order, these recently include:
-Seeing Star Wars in 3D in the theater with Big Brother.
-Playing board games with Big Brother before school when everyone else is asleep.
-When Little Brother asks me, "Dad-E, how was your day?"
-When Bab-E Brother says, "Mommy coot lake-y" ("Mom-E cute lady").
-Everyone in the family chasing each other in a game of tag in the back yard.
-When the boys share amongst each other without being asked.
-When the boys hug each other spontaneously.
-Playing piano with Big Brother.
-Games of hide-and-seek in the house after dinner, interspersed with dancing/chasing to iPod music.
-That the boys always "hide" from me when I get home from work. (Does it still count if Bab-E Brother screams out, "Dad-E, we're hiding!" from his hiding place?)

See you on Fatherhood Friday,

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Few Firsts

So we had a few firsts this weekend.

Big Brother saw his first Star Wars film.

And both he and I saw our first movie in 3D (it surprised me when I realized that I hadn't seen any 3D films before).

Big Brother has had, to this point, a more "peripheral" interest in Star Wars. Mostly I think because we haven't really "talked it up" than anything else. But he could recognize some of the characters, including Yoda and Darth Vader.

And I'll admit that the idea to go see the movie was mine (of course knowing full well that he'd like it, both the idea and the film itself.)

Mom-E and I had a long discussion about whether or not Big Brother was old enough to watch a Star Wars film.

Fortunately, despite having friends who have seen most all of the films and/or had a Star Wars-themed birthday party, we've been lucky that Big Brother hasn't pressured us with the "all of my friends have seen it" line (fortunately we haven't heard it about anything yet).

I read reviews on www.commonsensemedia.org (which incidentally is an interesting site), that said it was appropriate for age 8 and up.

As best as I can remember, I was about 6 the first time I saw a Star Wars film.

Mom-E and I also "previewed" the film (since we have them all on DVD).

And so ultimately we decided to let him (but he only, which resulted in a major meltdown from Little Brother - who will get his own individual date with Dad-E in the near future).

We both enjoyed the movie and company, especially the 3D glasses.

I think of Star Wars as one of the defining movies of my childhood, and so I'll remember for a long time Big Brother's introduction to this series.

And I'm also interested in your thoughts on determining what movies are age appropriate for your children. (I had already warned him that it'd be a while before we watched any of the other films.)

Have a good week,
May the force be with you,

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

No Kissy Kissy

I hope you had a nice Valentine's Day.

Besides the candy, turns out Big Brother really isn't into the whole "love" and "kissing girls" thing, as evidenced by his Valentine's Day school work.

Apparently this was his in-class work, because Mom-E and I didn't see it until it came home in his folder.

But you can bet we sure got a good smile and laugh out of it.

I thought that the puke look particularly realistic.

Great spelling, too, buddy.

Have a good weekend,
No smoochin!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bab-E Brother's Library

For the longest time, Bab-E Brother could care less about books.

Every night we'd sit in the rocking chair with him, start to read something, and about 5 words into the story he'd hop off your lap to go do something else.

But all of a sudden, some months back, he became obsessed with books.

It was like flipping a light switch.

Suddenly books are the only way to get him down off of the ceiling fan.

"Bab-E Brother, if you juggle one more knife, you're going to time out."

"He he he he he."

"Bab-E Brother, stop dancing the Macarena on the kitchen table or we'll put your TRAINS in timeout."

"Hey, Macarena!"

"Bab-E Brother, do you want to go read about Mickey and the Beanstalk."

"[Suddenly I don't care about my plan to jump off the couch, use the cushion as a springboard, and attempt to land on my brother's back]. Mickey! Mickey! Read Mickey! "

We can choose to read him at least 8 different books before bed, or the same story 85 times, whichever takes longer.

After you wake up from passing out while reading finish the bedtime stories, he usually wants to do a little more reading in bed before falling asleep.

Yes, Bab-E Brother has quite the library in his room crib.

Chances are, if you're looking for something, it's in his "card catalog" under B for Book.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Go Speed Racer, Go!

Congratuations, Big Brother and his Speed Racer car, 2nd Place Tiger Cub at the Pinewood Derby!

A big thank you to car co-engineer, Grampap-E!

The whole family had a good time, and Big Brother was a good sport.

We'll get 'em next year, tiger!

Have a fast week,

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Disinformation Strategy

The other night at dinner, Big Brother told us that one of his classmates, 'Bill', "He's on vacation. They went to Hawaii."

Sure, why not. Just take your kid out of school in the middle of February for vacation.

So tonight, I asked Big Brother if 'Bill' was still in Hawaii or if he was back in school.

"Actually, he didn't go to Hawaii. He puked at school on Tuesday (again, apparently 'Bill' has puked the past 2 Tuesdays) and was out sick."

So what made you think he went to Hawaii?

"I dunno."

And that's why a 7 year-old is still a (sometimes) unreliable source of information.

Have a good weekend,
I hope I puke end up in Hawaii,

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Den Ringer

Hello there!

Before Christmas I wrote about passively becoming Big Brother's de facto Cub Scout Den Leader, pretty much by process of elimination.

Well, that didn't go so well, and it didn't last long.

In part, some changes at work have made things more difficult for me.

In another part, frankly, I didn't want to do it.

And years down the road when he reads this, I want Big Brother to know that there's a clear distinction between "not wanting to" and "not caring and quitting."

I think Cub Scouts are wonderful, and an activity that will build character and important skills. I want Big Brother to participate, and I want to be involved in it with him.

But it's equally important that we recognize our own strength and limitations.

And as the boys have more activities and Bab-E Brother has gotten extremely mobile (and frankly is a total daredevil), things at home have become even more hectic for Mom-E and I.

And while my personality works well in some groups/settings, amidst everything else on my plate right now being a Cub Scout Den Leader just isn't a good fit.

I believe in finishing things that you start, so I didn't want Big Brother just to drop out of scouts.

We were fortunate to find out from a friend at church about another Den that meets very close to our house, with a Den Mother who is one of those excitable extroverts who is just really into scouting.

So we defected to this "new" Den, and the difference is night and day.

And Big Brother is again very excited about scouting.

In particular, we're looking forward to the upcoming Pinewood Derby, which will no doubt be the inspiration for a future blog post.

Big Brother is SO excited about making his car. We've tried to balance encouraging him that his car will indeed be cool and (hopefully) fast. But even if he loses, we've emphasized that the most important things are to do your best and have fun.

Of course, if he does win, then we may be accused of being a "Den Ringer", switching packs just for the Pinewood Derby.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Back To Beginnings

Hello There,

I hope you had a "Super" weekend.

This past weekend, the entire Busy-Dad-E family went to Little Cousin's 3rd birthday party.

Turns out that the party was held at the very same playground that was the inspiration for my very first blog post ever.

Man did that bring back some rather unpleasant memories.

I enjoyed thinking about how some things have changed.

Turns out they actually DO have a bathroom at the park. I was at a "new" stage of fatherhood with two boys when we last went to that park 3 years ago, and apparently too dumb tired to figure out the location of the loo.

And other things have not changed.

Despite the awareness of the location of the bathroom, we still peed in the bushes (being on the other side of the park right when urgency hit). Twice.

I longed to go back to easier times.

3 years ago, Little Brother was tiny enough that I could carry him around in the Baby Bjorn. Bab-E Brother is such a daredevil, he would be so much easier to contain if we could carry him around in a little backpack.

Although we did have an easier time this go around.

Despite Bab-E Brother's failed attempts to knock his teeth out, no blood was shed.

And there was plenty of post-party entertainment.

This time, instead of a bathtub filled with blood and poop, we had 3 boys eating Happy Meals on the ground outside of a Chinese restaurant. And then while Mom-E and Dad-E attempted to eat ate, the boys put on a "show" for Gramm-E and Grampap, who were treated to the Bab-E Brother "wiggle and squiggle dance in Dad-E's arms" while Little Brother did a magic trick where you drop your chopsticks on the floor and then stick them in Mom-E's water.

So much has changed, and yet nothing has changed.

Happy birthday, Little Cousin! We had a great time. And Aunt-E's chocolate cupcakes were to die for.

Have a good week,

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Security Towel

At the end of a long, hard day, Bab-E Brother takes his bath, brushes his teeth (or at least attempts to), curls up with Mom-E or I to read 85 stories (or 1 story 85 times), and then snuggles up with his favorite...

...(kinda) wet bath towel?!?

Yep, to each his own.

Many children might prefer a stuffed animal, or a blankie, or a burp towel (Bab-E Brother prefers to hold about 5 simultaneously)...

But not Bab-E Brother these days.

Lately, he's been inseparable from his bath towel.

From the moment he gets of the tub, he holds onto that towel for dear life.

Any drops of the towel or attempts to take it away results in loud screams of "My towel! My towel!"

And so Mom-E and I have attempted to stay dry despite adjust to his new "wubby".

We can't help but smile and giggle seeing him all cozied up in his crib with a balled up towel that's almost as big as him.

At least the towel is pretty much dry when he wakes up.

Have a good weekend,

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I Scream

You scream...

We all scream...


If you're like us, 3 boys = laundry pouring out of the windows of our house that perpetually replenishes itself like a never-ending basket of fries (note to self: must be hungry).

And while ice cream is a wonderful treat (and sometimes a reinforcer of positive behavior), BOY DOES IT MAKE A MESS.

In the words of Chandler, "Could it BE more stain-o-genic?"

Whenever we have ice cream (or frozen yogurt, doesn't seem to matter much, our sinks overflow with stained garments, and the folks at Shout and Zout go "Ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching."

Never fear, dear readers, I have the solution.


Sure, it didn't work out so well for Pepsi, but as a parent I would love this (so long as it doesn't look like Swill.)

Here's there slogan:
"Eat all the ice cream you want, without having to worry about the mess. Because with Clear Chocolate, you're in the CLEAR."

Think about it people.

Meanwhile, Mom-E and I gotta go treat some stains.

See you on Fatherhood Friday,