Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Day 548 - Climbing Beasts

Through the eyes of our kids, everything in the house is a mountain to be climbed.  The chairs.  The tables.  The sofa.  My flat ass.  I don't know why the kids would want to climb my flat ass because it really isn't anything to be conquered -- which by the way was my mantra in prison.

You can turn your head away just for a minute, and one of the kids might be four feet off the ground dangling from the edge of my beloved television screen.  A few days ago, Lisa was in the kitchen cooking dinner for the kids.  Emma and Andrew were on the floor playing with some toys.  A few moment later, Lisa turned her head and Andrew was sitting in his high chair and Emma had both feet on the edge of the high chair trying to get in.  The two big questions about this are:  1)  How did the kids climb into their high chairs so fast, and 2) when did Lisa learn to cook in the kitchen?

I wonder what the fascination is with kids wanting to climb all over the place?  Could it be our innate curiosity about things?  Or could it be our human desire to strive for things beyond our reach?  Or maybe it's simply that kids can be bastards and know how to annoy the hell out of their parents?

Beyond driving stakes into the middle of the living room and attaching Emma and Andrew to them with baby leashes, there really isn't too much for us to do to curb this natural behavior.  It will probably get worse before it gets better.  If they are climbing terrors at 2 1/2 feet tall, imagine the chaos they will create at thirty-six inches (There's a really bad joke about 36 inches, but I'll leave it at that...).  Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa probably have the best take on this developing behavior which is to let the kids explore, be curious, and be careful out there.  I think that's very similar to what that police officer said at the beginning of every "Hill Street Blues", yet a cop always got shot.  Should I still be comforted?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Day 547 - Poll Results & New Poll

Last week, I asked what you thought about those baby leashes. Forty-six percent of you thought it was a great idea to make your kid look like chained beast. Not too far behind, twenty-six percent thought using a leash was acceptable if it was decorated with charms. Those same people also thought genocide and cancer were acceptable if they were also decorated with charms.

I'm still on the fence about using a leash on our kids. Andrew is the one who needs it, but we would probably have to get one for Emma because she would feel left out much like the time we also had to buy her a jock strap. My ambivalence about the leash stems from my feeling that you should allow your child to explore while you take the responsibility to keep an eye on him. The only good thing about having your kid on a leash is that you can let him take a dump in your neighbor's yard and blame it on a stray dog.

**********

I enjoy doing this silly blog for the most part. At the end of the day, I'll bring my laptop into bed and type for 15-20 minutes. After I'm done, I'll download some porn, video chat with my various mistresses around the world, and then go to sleep. But as most of you are aware of, there are days when this blog just does not get posted for various reasons -- writer's block, long day at work, Andrew pooped on the keyboard.

Although it may take me 15-20 minutes to write an entry, what usually stumps me is what to write every day. It is much easier to write the blog when I'm Mr. Mom because I get new material constantly. But when I go back to work and only see the kids for thirty minutes total, it's harder to come back with new stuff; this explains why I rely on Crazy Grandma Ichikawa stories.

When I'm behind a few days, I still catch up and make sure I have an entry for every day. But is this necessary? Is it okay to skip a Cartoon Wednesday or Lazy Grandpa Ichikawa story here and there? What do you think?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Day 546 - Cross Dressing Baby

Emma still enjoys taking her clothes off around the house. She has only taken her shirt off once in public which wasn't too bad because a two year old boy slipped a $5 bill into her diaper (Yay! Blockbuster night!). Her nudity around the house hasn't caused any problems, but something unusual did happen today.

Emma was running around the house with her pink dress half on and half off. I assume she was copying the way I wear my sweatpants at home since impersonation is the greatest form of compliment, right? Anyway, Emma eventually got her dress off and started running around naked. I assume she was copying the way Lisa exercises on the Wii Fit since...ouch...Lisa just hit me. Anyway, Andrew picked up Emma's dress and...well...just look at the pictures.


That's right. We got ourselves a cross-dressing baby boy. Hopefully this is just a phase, but after cleaning Andrew's toy chest, I found high heel shoes, fishnet stockings, and a dvd of "The Devil Wears Prada." Does any one have the number for a good toddler therapist?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Day 545 - Lazy Grandpa's Birthday

Today was Lazy Grandpa Ichikawa's birthday. When we asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday, he lifted the bedsheets off his face and grunted, "...sleep..." That's no way to spend your birthday so we moved the remote control to the coffee table, and when Lazy Grandpa got out of bed to change the channel, Emma tackled him and we took him out to lunch.

We ate lunch at Houston's in Century City. Although I usually enjoy their food, I didn't have much time to enjoy it because I was trapped between two people in stinky diapers. So I left my seat between my parents and decided to sit between Emma and Andrew which was not any better.

Although Emma was pretty well-behaved, Andrew had stimulus overload. He constantly stood up in his high chair and tried to grab everything on the table including the candle. Thankfully, our waitress brought the kids a couple of portable Magna Doodles which the kids found fascinating. The only problem was that every time Andrew wanted his screen cleared of steel shavings, he politely tapped my shoulder and gently uttered into my ear, "AAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!" In turn, the couple sitting next to us would politely tap my shoulder and gently utter into my ear, "Shut the f*&( up!"



After lunch, we decided to walk around the mall. Wait. Let me correct myself. After lunch, we decided to chase Andrew around the mall. The first store he ran into was Victoria's Secret which was funny until he came out wearing a thong and a pink teddy. It became very tiring having to chase two kids around, so we returned home...to chase two kids around the house.

Later in the day, Crazy and Lazy came by for dessert and to open presents. The kids gave Lazy Grandpa a framed picture of his two most favorite things in the world: a pillow and a footrest. The rest of us pitched in and bought him a blu-ray player.

While Lazy Grandpa was opening the present, Crazy Grandma had her own one-sided conversation with him. "Doo yu know what ittis? I know what ittis! I could have tell yu wat ittis but I dident tell yu. Yup. I know what ittis. Hahaha! I know an yu don't! Go open! Hurry! Yu too slow!"

To end the day, my dad blew out the candles on his chocolate cake. I think he had a nice birthday with the family, and I think he had an even better night because I think he got lucky. And by lucky I mean he was able to sleep ten hours straight.

Here are a few more pictures:

Friday, March 27, 2009

Day 544 - Picture Friday

Andrew discovers Daddy's bookmarks (i.e. porn, porn, and more porn).


Emma does the three S's: smiles, squats, and sh!ts.


The secret comes out that Emma has a third hand on her chest.


Andrew's impersonation of an ice cube tray.


Desperate for a place to rest, Crazy Grandma pushes Andrew off the sofa.


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Day 543 - P.J. B.S.

For some reason, Emma and Andrew's bedroom gets especially hot during the day and cold at night. Because of that, we have the kids wear blanket sleepers over their pajamas at night and have them run around naked with ice cube pants in the afternoon (Poor Andrew's testicles retract so much that his groin has indentations.).

As with most boy and girl clothing, Andrew's blanket sleeper is blue and Emma is pink. I was initially hesitant about the whole gender color-coding of clothing, but I eventually succumbed to it because it took too much effort and thought to keep our kids looking asexual like Whoopi Goldberg or Ellen Degeneres. I guess the bottom line is that I eventually did not care what the kids wore. I should probably check myself with what I don't care about because the last time I did that I had the kids playing with matches and lighter fluid for two weeks.

The other night, we were getting the kids ready for bed and I couldn't find Emma's blanket sleeper. I looked in the bedroom. I looked in the living room. I could not find it anywhere. As is written law in the Book of Husbands, since I looked in two places I gave up, whined, and asked Lisa to look for Emma's pajamas. Strangely, Lisa could not find Emma's pajama either. She swore she saw it right next to her, but had no idea where it went.

After a few more seconds, I found Emma's pajamas: Andrew was wearing it! The whole time we were looking for Emma's pajamas, Lisa was putting it on Andrew. And so, as is written law in the Book of Husbands, I was able to call Lisa a "dumb whore" without any fear of being hit or having to sleep on the couch.

Here are a few pictures of the pajama confusion:

P.S. I did have to sleep on the couch...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Day 541 - Jumpin Jack Flashlight



Whereas many parents try to calm down their kids before bedtime, I do the opposite: I try to exhaust them until they beg for the comfort of their fire retardant cribs. Typically, I don't see the kids too much during the weekday. Not only do I have long work hours, but I have to squeeze in time to see my many illegitimate kids. On average, I see Emma and Andrew 15-20 minutes before I leave for work and about 30 minutes before it's time for them to go to sleep.

So when I get home from work, I try to jam in as much play time as possible with the kids. I read books, play hide and seek, chase the kids, give the kids piggyback rides, whittle fishing poles, bungee jump, jet ski, and reenact our favorite scenes from "Gladiator" with our new pet lion, Morris.

As a part of our ever-changing bedtime routine, I have started to sing the alphabet song -- a much better song than "Thong Song." There is an alphabet chart on the wall, and as I sing to the kids I use a flashlight to point at the letters. One night, I realized that Andrew was fascinated with the flashlight. I pointed the flashlight on the floor, and Andrew started to chase the spotlight like a desperate C-list celebrity.

Here's a clip of Andrew and the flashlight!


video

Monday, March 23, 2009

Day 540 - Poll Results & New Poll


Last week, I asked if you thought parents could honestly admit that their kid was not cute. The results were a tie! Thirty-three percent of you thought parents of ugly babies lived in a world of ignorant bliss, and thirty-three percent thought parents knew their baby was not cute but would never say it out loud (No need to...the baby's face will do that for them!).

My personal opinion is that although the majority of babies are cute, there are a few of them that are better suited for the cover of Dog Fancy magazine. I refuse to believe that a parent can't tell that their baby is not cute because that very same person probably skims through People magazine critiquing how awful Megan Fox/Jessica Alba/Angelina Jolie looks like without make-up. This doesn't mean that the parent doesn't love their baby, it just means that in addition to a college fund there is probably also a botox fund.

**********

Have I mentioned recently that Andrew is a ball of energy? I think he can seriously generate enough energy to power China. I remember as a young kid, I would love to run around and hide from my parents in stores. At the right moment, I would break free and hide in the middle of clothes racks. And then I would peek through the clothes spying on my confused parents. I thought it was hilarious at the time, but now I realize I was just being a dumbass.

Andrew can't run fast enough to run away from us, but he certainly enjoys the freedom of awkward running. He'll waddle up and down the hallway screaming for joy while I find myself screaming for serenity. Although I've swore that I would never put a leash on my kid, there are times when it doesn't seem like too bad of an idea. Especially when you consider you have two kids to watch at the same time.

So what's your opinion about the baby leash? Is it a good idea? Bad? Or should I go all out and just get him a ball and chain?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Day 539 - Sporting Bad Genes

Andrew is a ball of energy. He never walks and always screams. He's an anime version of Sam Kinison. Sometimes I wonder what we will have to do to harness this energy besides using an actual harness. One possibility is having him do a sport when he gets older, but I have my reservations about that.

You see, Lisa and I are pretty unathletic people. I remember my dad taking me to the park to play catch. He'd give me a baseball mitt and start throwing balls into the air. But instead of trying to catch the balls, I'd cower in fear and use the mitt as a helmet...and that was just last weekend.
I also failed in golf, judo, and kick ball. But I did learn how to do a soft-shoe, jazz hands, and the "Shipoopi" dance from "The Music Man." That at least takes a little coordination.

As for Lisa, she's probably even less athletic than me. Probably two weekends ago, Lisa was in the living room and needed a napkin to wipe Emma's face. Since I was in the kitchen, I lightly balled up a napkin and tossed it to her. From the way Lisa was flinching you'd think she was either having a seizure or thought I was throwing a grenade at her. Lisa leaned back as the napkin approached her and put her arms up with her hands in a weird rigamortis claw. As if her body language wasn't scary enough, Lisa did the weirdest thing: she tried to catch the napkin with her face. It seemed obvious that with Lisa's sour face and death claws she was trying to avoid the object thrown at her, but against all odds she actually leaned into it...with her face! How the hell do you make sense of that?

Hopefully, Andrew will break the curse of his unathletic parents. He has many years ahead to develop his energy into something that is coordinated and constructive. And if not, that is okay too. He can just join his Dad and sister and throw different things at Mom's face to see whether or not she can catch it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Day 538 - 18 Months Old


Today the kids are 18 months old! We celebrated their 1/2 birthday with 1/2 a birthday cake, 1/2 a scoop of ice cream, and 1/2 a present which was unfortunately a puppy. I really should've thought that gift through a little more.

Although 18 months really isn't that long of a time, Lisa and I were trying recall what it was like the first few months and everything was a blur. Granted we were both heavily sedated (i.e. drunk), but you'd think we'd be able to remember some specific details. It's hard to imagine that the kids once weighed six pounds and couldn't even keep their head up without a chopstick taped to their neck.

Over the past year and a half, the kids have gone through so many changes. Not only do you see the physical changes like walking and growing hair, but you start to see their personalities develop and their need to communicate. But the one constant is that whether they were one week old or eighteen months old, they still crap their pants. Unfortunately, they are not the only ones in the Ichikawa household that craps their pants. I just did, and I'm extremely disappointed that I can't flush twice.

I started to look at the thousands of pictures we have of the kids and was shocked to see their birth pictures. They looked so alien-like and unrecognizable that I thought they might've been rejected models for a Spielberg extraterrestrial movie. Here are a few pictures to compare what the Ichikawa family looked like eighteen months ago and now...



18 months ago.

Now.


18 months ago.


Now.


18 months ago.


Now.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Day 537 - Picture Friday

"This is the flattest, stinkiest coffee table I've ever seen!"


After noticing Andrew climbing on dangerous objects, we successfully reprimanded him and continued our streak of being the best parents ever.


Introducing Princess Emma, Princess of Soiled Diapers.


We suck as parents...


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Day 536 - Showgirl


Emma has entered a phase in which she likes to take off her clothes. Cute for now, embarrassing later, and a misdemeanor eventually. I have no idea why she finds this entertaining or amusing, but she does.

Her defrocking usually happens when she is wearing something a little loose like a baggy t-shirt or a rain poncho. Emma hasn't quite figured out how to pull the shirt over her head yet, but she'll try to get her arms out of the shirt. She also knows how to take her bra off underneath her shirt, but I blame Lisa for letting Emma watch "Flashdance."

Thankfully her pants are usually too tight to take off which is great in two ways: 1) She won't expose her privates to strangers, and 2) whatever is in her diaper stays in her diaper. I really hope her stripping doesn't progress to her pants because I've already been told repeatedly by Lisa that I don't wear the pants in the house. We don't need two pantless Ichikawas.

Here are a few PG rated pictures of Emma partially dressed:

The Lego Stripper Pole was not assembled yet.


Andrew tries to steal a little attention from Emma's dance routine.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day 534 - Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime


What's crazier than Lindsey Lohan left alone in a Bev Mo? What's crazier than AIG executives receiving bonuses? I'll tell you what's crazier...Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime!

When I'm at work, I usually call my parents twice a day to see how the kids are doing. I'll call once around lunch, and then again at the end of the day. The reports range anywhere from boring to funny. As long as the words "severed" and "beheaded" aren't used in the report, everything is a-okay with me.

On the way home from work, I took out my scratched up Nokia and called my dad's cell phone. My mom answered and the conversation went a little something like this:

Crazy Grandma: Hello?

Me: Hi. How were the kids today?

Crazy Grandma: Hello???

Me: HI!

Crazy Grandma: Oh hi! So kids were pretty good today.

Me: That's good.

Crazy Grandma: What?

Me: That's GOOD!

Crazy Grandma: Why I no hear you? Is phone no good?

Me: I have full bars. I can hear you just fine.

Crazy Grandma: What?

Me: I CAN HEAR YOU JUST FINE!

Crazy Grandma: (to Lazy Grandpa) Why I no hear, Scotty? Hello???

Me: I CAN HEAR YOU!!!

Crazy Grandma: Can you hear me?

Me: YES!!!

Crazy Grandma: (long pause) ...hah-row???

Me: I'M HERE!!!!

Crazy Grandma: (to Lazy Grandpa) Stupid cell phone. I no know why I no hear. You take. Stupid...

Lazy Grandpa gets on the phone.

Lazy Grandpa: Hello?

Me: (relief) Hi...what happened?

Lazy Grandpa: Mom had the phone upside down.

...and this now explains why I occasionally find the kid's diapers on their heads.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Day 533 - Poll Results & New Poll


Last week I asked how long we should brush the kid's teeth. Forty-two percent thought we should brush their teeth as long as they will let us. I'm glad that got the majority of the vote because that is what we have been doing from the beginning. The only thing that scares me is that this is the same advice that all British dentist give their patients.

Lisa and I have been trying to make teeth brushing time as pleasant as possible for the kids. We sing songs about brushing your teeth, and we praise them when they brush their teeth by themselves. We also try to educated Emma and Andrew about the importance of oral hygiene by showing them pictures like this:


Although the kids have been having awful nightmares and night sweats, I must say they have really clean teeth now!

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I have some terrible news to share with you: Emma and Andrew were not finalists in that beautiful baby contest. I know...I know. The world just does not make any sense right now, but we will all get over this tragic news with the right attitude and the right combination of mind altering drugs. I thought the only way we had a chance of winning any beautiful baby contest was if it was based upon how much more beautiful the baby looked like in comparison to their father.

Lisa recorded all of the Live with Regis & Kelly shows that had the so-called beautiful babies. As we were fast-forwarding through the show, I must say that there were some really cute babies. There were some babies that were definitely cuter than Emma and Andrew, but there were also some babies that were arguably not cuter than our kids. So this got me to thinking whether or not parents have the objective ability to label their baby as cute or not very cute. To clarify, I'm not correlating cuteness with being loved, and I'm not valuing beauty over other things like intelligence, personality, and penis size. All I'm wondering is whether or not you think parents can be unbiased enough to see that their baby better grow up to become a rock star if they want to marry a supermodel.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Day 532 - Cheerios


Before we had kids, I found it odd that parents always gave their kids Cheerios to eat. No matter where I was at I saw babies eating Cheerios. Did General Mills make a pact with the Devil that Cheerios would be the Official Cereal of Life Forms That Come Out of a Vagina?

I suppose Cheerios are pretty healthy to eat. It's made out of whole wheat, and in case your baby chokes on one, the hole in the center is a built-in safety feature. But there are some ingredients that don't seem to shout out "Babies Love It!" There's tripotassium phosphate and mixed tocopherols. I have no idea what these things are, but I have never seen a blurb on a baby food box that says "Now with MORE Mixed Tocopherols." Nor have I ever seen a television commercial with a little kid pleading to his mom at snacktime, "Pleeease, Mom. Just a little more tripotassium phosphate? Pleeeeease?"

We have followed the pack mentality of parents and give Emma and Andrew Cheerios almost every day. Over the course of several months, I have come to glean two observations about Cheerios:

1) They get everywhere. Once you give your kid a snack cup of Cheerios, these little bits of mixed tocopherols find themselves in the most unusual of places. I've found Cheerios under the sofa, in the sofa, inside their shoes, inside books, in the elevator, down the hallway, in the car, under the car, and even undigested in their diapers. These damn whole wheat holes are all over the house. The last time I've seen this many holes was at last year's proctology conference.

2) They stay in one piece. Lisa and I made a bad decision to experiment with other cereals. We had the kids try Corn Chex and Corn Flakes. Bad call. With Cheerios, if they fall on the ground they are very easy to find and pick up. But with Corn Chex and Corn Flakes, they disintegrate into teeny tiny pieces. A couple of times around the house, I would walk bare foot and then a Chex thorn would pierce my tender foot. Oh the pain! But I found the best way to take out this cereal sliver is to soak your foot in a bowl of milk for a few minutes. Not only does the Chex barb fall out on its own, but afterwards you have a warm bowl of milk to drink and put you to sleep.

So for the Ichikawa family, Cheerios will be the main cereal for the time being. I'm sure we'll look into other cereals down the road, but I'm not too sure which one to try next. I've been thinking about Kix, but what the hell is trisodium phosphate?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Day 534 - Teaching the Kids to Box


One man's garbage is another man's treasure. This adage is not only applicable to hobos, but also to toddlers. Today, Lisa was cleaning up around the house and pushed aside an empty diaper box. Before you know it, Andrew made a small excitable shriek and jumped inside.

For some reason, the kids really enjoy climbing into things. You'll find Emma and Andrew in storage buckets, wicker baskets, boxes, and marsupials. The funny thing is that they each have their own purpose for getting inside a box. Emma will climb into a box, but take a book or a toy with her so she can actually play with it by herself; it's Emma's alone time. On the other hand, Andrew will climb into something to either destroy it or tip it over. Thank god Andrew only tipped the kangaroo over.

Here is a series of pictures with Andrew inside the diaper box:


Friday, March 13, 2009

Day 533 - Picture Friday

"Jump on Daddy's balls! Jump on Daddy's balls!"


Try Gerber's Banana Flavored Chewing Tabacco.


No one has the heart to tell Andrew he is not ten stories tall.


"I'm Salvador Dali!!!"


Have a great weekend!