Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 638 - A Drinking Problem

Andrew may not have a gigantic verbal vocabulary, but he knows enough words to get him through the day. If he wants more food to eat, he'll say, "More." If he wants to play with his toy cars, he'll say, "Car." If he wants a kiss, he'll say, "Voulez vous couchez avec moi ce soir gitchi gitchi ya ya da da daaaah!"

Another word Andrew knows is "juice" although every time he says it, it sounds more like "jews." For Emma and Andrew's afternoon snack, we give them a sippy cup with ice, water, and a splash of apple juice. We've read some articles that say you really shouldn't give any juice at all, but Lisa and I have ignored that advice. We have actually ignored a lot of advice, but our kids are perfectly healthy and happy albeit they complain of toothaches, unexplained rashes, and the unusual tendency to vomit an odd assortment of insects and fabrics.

But once they drink their cup of juice that is all they get for the day. The rest of the day they drink water, milk, and a nightcap of coffee and kahlua. Today, Andrew drank up all of his juice right away and asked Lisa for more. Lisa explained to Andrew that he could have more water, but no more juice. Andrew did not want water because he asked for more "jeeeews." Lisa then explained to Andrew that we are Buddhist, although Daddy knows many Jews in the entertainment industry.

Andrew screamed for more juice, but Lisa did not cave in. Just like the way Lisa acts in bed with me, Lisa completely ignored Andrew. But soon there was quiet, and a whiny moan from Emma. Lisa looked around to see what was going on, and what did she find? She saw Emma sprawled on the floor whining away while Andrew was in the corner of the room with TWO sippy cups.

As you can see in the picture, Andrew started to drink from Emma's sippy cup because his cup was completely empty. What I find especially amusing is that Lisa said Andrew was actually trying to hide from her and Emma. He scooted in between the floor speaker and bookshelf and did not want to be seen.

But what is most educational to me regarding this behavior is that Andrew is terrible at hiding. Look at him. Andrew isn't even trying that hard to hide. He's in full view with both cups in his hands sucking away at his juice. If he ever decides to work for the CIA, I apologize in advance to the United States for my son's ineptitude.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day 637 - Poll Results & New Poll


Last week, I asked whether or not the kids would miss Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa Ichikawa. An overwhelming 76% of you believed the kids were going to miss them. And the remaining votes helped me figure out which ones of you are racist bastards because you think all Asians look alike. I would totally hunt you people down, but it would just be a waste of time because all white people look alike anyways.

When Crazy and Lazy left last week, the kids didn't seem too fazed. They did seem a little confused that there was not a man perpetually lying down on the sofa and wondered why the house was becoming more and more unkept. But when they first saw Crazy and Lazy on the webcam, they were very happy. Emma and Andrew smiled and laughed and jumped up and down. So either they were super happy to see my parents or they were super happy to see they returned to Sacramento and would only have to communicate with them via the internet.

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Very rarely does this blog get comments, so when I do get a comment I'm always curious to see what someone wrote. Last week I received a comment from Anonymous who said:

Why do you use such foul language to describe yourself and your wife?

I assume this was in reference to when I called Lisa "my little whore" and "my infested petri dish of STDs." I suppose to someone who just came upon this site, I do admit it might be a little uncomfortable and awkward. But if you've been reading this blog from the beginning and/or know me personally, would you expect anything less from me? And as for myself, there is no way to describe me without using foul language. Ask Lisa! She just called me a jackass!

I admit it. My sense of humor isn't for everyone. And I also admit that I probably cross the line more times than not. But believe it or not, I have edited myself on this blog many, many times because I couldn't believe what I wrote. The bottom line is that this blog is my perspective on being a parent. And unfortunately or not, my perspective is often full of bad jokes, poop humor, and the repeated use of the words "whore" and "dumbass."

So what do you think? Do you think I need to be more careful what I write on this blog? Or should I go the opposite direction and embrace George Carlin's seven dirty words?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day 636 - Bite Me


As I've mentioned before, Andrew has occasionally bitten Emma. When he bites her, it's due to one of two reasons: 1) He is aggravated that she has a toy that he wants. 2) She has a dab of cake frosting on her arm that he wants to eat.

Lisa told me she has witnessed several more close calls, but with a twist this time. Practically every time, Emma is playing with a toy that Andrew wants. So Andrew will go up to Emma and try to take away the toy. If Emma fights back or Andrew is unable to take away the toy, this is when Andrew will go all "Twilight" on Emma's arm.

The twist is that while the two of them are struggling with the toy, Emma will put her arm next to Andrew's mouth taunting and tempting him to bite her. Look at how Emma is manipulating the situation; she truly is a woman! She knows that if she can only get Andrew to do a little nibble, he'll get in trouble and she'll get the toy all to herself. Either that or she's a masochist.

Over the past few weeks, Lisa and I have noticed a significant change in Emma's development. Not only is her vocabulary increasing, but she has become much more interactive with us and reacts to things at a higher comprehension level. Andrew has also been maturing both socially and intellectually, but he has always been about a month behind Emma with language. Also, he is a boy so he is not a natural manipulator like Emma. Shoot, I can't even get myself out of a corner with Lisa, and I have even been called "girlish" by my friends.

As we near the two year mark with the kids, I look forward to more moments like this with the kids. I can't wait to see how Emma will coerce me into buying her toys, letting her stay out late, and getting Maori tattoos all over her face. And as for Andrew, I can't wait to see him sitting on the sofa with me wondering how we got duped by Emma and Lisa again...and again...and again.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Day 635 - Gas Up!

I admit it. I fart.

"So what," you say. Everyone farts. Tis true, my young padawan. But do you fart so loud and proudly around the house that it disgusts and annoys your significant other? Probably not.

I knew when I met first met Lisa that she was the one for me. How did I know? I immediately felt comfortable enough to fart around her. Instead of the long farting courtship, I went from a casual friend to a boyfriend who was squatting over Lisa's head tooting away like a juicy lollipop whistle. If that's not love, I don't know what is...although Lisa may actually argue with that one.

I'm still not too sure what to say when the kids fart. I don't use the word "fart" because you don't want little 21 month year old kids saying "fart"; it's worse enough they call me "mama's dumbass." I've been experimenting with different words that are more kid-friendly, but none of them sound right: "yo gabba gassy," "spongebob stinkypants," "sesame stench," and "assbreath."

I bring all of this up because I had a farting incident with Emma. I was reading a book to Emma and Andrew on the floor, and Emma was unfortunately in the line of fire. Without really thinking about it, I released two gigantic tremors from my own tectonic plates with some aftershocks to boot. Emma was taken aback and scooted away from me a little bit. And with good reason! It smelled like Subway was selling day old egg salad sandwiches.

I excused myself from Emma, and continued reading the book. Due to the wretched smell, Emma took little interest in the book and instead focused on my butt. I split my attention between reading the book to Andrew and making sure Emma wasn't about to vomit or pass out near my Ground Zero.

Bravely, Emma crawled closer and closer to my butt. As she stared at my butt, she pointed to it, turned her head towards me, and said these two profound words...

"Poo poo!"

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 634 - Picture Friday

Andrew auditions for Nickelodeon's remake of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds."


Andrew feels saddened and rejected when Emma walks off with Parents Magazine's "World's Largest Baby Feet" contest.


Emma takes it seriously when we ask her to clean up anything that is dirty.


What causes Andrew's hair to stand up? 1) Static electricity 2) Hair gel 3) His diaper contents


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 633 - Andrew Speaks...Kinda

I thought it was about time to put some video of Andrew attempting to talk. As you watch the video, you hear me coaching Andrew through some rudimentary words. At first, he starts to repeat them. And when I start naming animals, instead of repeating the words back, he does animal impressions. Finally, when Andrew grows tired of these verbal drills, Emma expresses her frustration at the lack of attention I'm giving her and her annoyance at Andrew's inability to repeat a word.

I swear...when Emma becomes a teenager I'll have to change the name of this blog to "Edamames In A Pod & Parents On Vicodin."

video

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 631 - No Means No!

Let's get it out of the way: Andrew still uses his pacifier. But he's not the kid you see at Target or Costco (I would use other places but those are the only ones we go to now.) who is being pushed around in a shopping cart with a binky attached to his mouth. Andrew's pacifier is only used in the crib when he sleeps. And once a month, it is used outside of the crib as the designated belly button cleaner for the Ichikawa family.

From the reading I've done, doctors and experts don't condone kids using pacifiers all day long past the age of one. As for the way Andrew uses his pacifier which is only when he sleeps, the main concern is to make sure they are weaned off it before it causes damage to their teeth; the recommended age for this is anywhere between four and six. One doctor recommended getting your child off the bedtime pacifier addiction between the ages of two and three. By this age, your child has enough language comprehension and can understand why you're going to be a rat bastard and take away their one nighttime comfort because you hate being woken up in the middle of the night by their crying because their pacifier dropped on the floor.

Lisa and I make sure Andrew does not use his pacifier out of his crib. One of the first things we do when Andrew wakes up is place his pacifier on top of a bookshelf. But Andrew seems to know he shouldn't use his pacifier out of his crib too. When he wakes up, one of the first things he does is pop the pacifier out of his mouth. The second thing he does is pull down his diaper and spray pee all over the floor. Lisa and I really have to work on that second thing...

Last week, Andrew woke up from a nap and while walking around, returned to his crib and uncharacteristically grabbed the pacifier that we forgot to put on the bookshelf. And pop! it went into his mouth. Thankfully, our little Emma went up to Andrew and pulled the pacifier out of his mouth. She walked to the bookshelf and motioned for us to put the pacifier on the bookshelf. After Lisa put the pacifier on the shelf, Emma walked up to Andrew, pointed her right index finger in front of his face, and said, "NO NO NO!"

And what was Andrew's reaction to this? "WAAAAAH!!!!"

I think the next child development topic I'll read about is how to deal with a bossy twin.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 630 - Poll Results & New Poll

Last week, I asked whether or not Lisa and I should be concerned about Andrew's speech development. Fifty-seven percent of you believed we should just keep an eye...err...ear on it and see what happens. And forty-two percent thought we shouldn't worry about it at all and soon enough he'll be talking about books, sports, and the civil unrest in Iran.

One of Lisa's student's parents is a speech therapist, so Lisa talked to her about Andrew. She told Lisa that twins and boys do tend to develop speech a little slower, but if they show normal development in other areas then a speech problem is less likely to occur. Lisa explained to the parent how I had speech therapy for years, and I had normal development. The parent answered, "I met your husband, and believe me, he's not normal."

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Tomorrow, Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa pack up their car and return to Sacramento. Although they will miss the kids, I think they miss their Northern California Indian casinos even more. My parents frequent these Indian casinos so much, they are on a first name basis with Tribal Chief Dances With Dice and Clan Mother Always Bet on Black.

After my current job ends in August, we plan to take a Northern California trip and visit Lisa's family in the Bay Area and my family in Sacramento; we may even bring the kids. I am sure the kids will see Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa on the computer with our webcams, but I wonder how much they understand that they won't be able to see them for a few months. The kids are 21 months now and seem to understand quite a bit. What do you think? Will the kids miss Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 629 - Happy Me Day!

Happy Father's Day! Or as I would rather call it: Without My Penis You'd Be Nothing Day.

It was a rather nice and relaxing Father's Day today. Lisa made a nice egg white omelette with a side of hash brown and turkey bacon. As I drank my cup of hot coffee, I was reminded of what a great dad I am. Why? Because I remembered to place my cup of hot coffee far away from the edge of the table unlike Auntie Anne (pretzel maven). See Day 572 for more details!

The afternoon was especially nice because the kids took a nap for almost 2 1/2 hours. This meant while Lisa was cleaning up the house and preparing tonight's dessert, I was able to take a nap for 2 hours and 28 minutes.

After a nice 30 minute jog after my nap, Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa came over for Father's Day dinner. Lazy Grandpa and I went to pick up dinner at this Japanese restaurant called Katsu-ya. When we returned, we had our vagina-afflicted significant others serve as dinner and feed us since after all it is Father's Day.

The day ended with Lazy Grandpa and I opening up our Father's Day presents. We bought Lazy Grandpa a new watch that he enjoyed very much. And by "we", I mean Lisa and I bought Lazy Grandpa a watch while Auntie Anne (pretzel maven) was kind enough to put her name on the card (I'm not kidding, people! Go sign-up at www.iheartdaily.com! Auntie needs to eat!). As for myself, Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa bought me a couple of shirts, and Lisa got me a framed picture of the kids as well as matching H&M shirts for Andrew and me.

As we put the kids to bed, I realized how terrific it is to be a father. I still have a hard time calling myself a dad, but I had the same problem calling Lisa my wife when we first got married. For the longest time, I would continue to call Lisa "my little whore" or "my infested petri dish of STDs." But as the years pass, you do come to terms with your new role in life. Taking one last look at Emma and Andrew before they fell asleep, I closed the door behind me thinking of how precious and fleeting these times are. And then they started to cry, and I ran to my PS3 telling Lisa, "It's still Father's Day! You take care of them!"

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day 628 - Dust Baby Dust

Remember awhile back when I mentioned how Emma has taken on Crazy Grandma Ichikawa's germ killing tendencies? Today, Emma grabbed her meal towel and went on a cleaning and dusting rampage! It was great! The place hasn't been this clean since 20 months ago. Is it too young to give her toilet cleaner and a brush?

video

Regarding the end of the video clip, we bathe them regularly. And by regularly, I mean monthly.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Day 627 - Picture Friday

"I crown thee, Lady Squinty Eyes."


"Damn these steps, and damn my short legs."


For some unknown reason, Emma gives herself a wedgie.


Drive-by balling!


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day 626 - Angry Andrew

Overall, Andrew is a pretty happy-go-lucky kid. He's pretty mischievous and ignores our reprimands, but he very rarely gets angry. Unlike today...

Andrew can entertain himself for a longer period of time than Emma. He can sit with a puzzle, look at a book, or continue to write his memoirs for minutes at a time. Today, Andrew was playing with some building blocks creating a massive, towering structure over six inches tall (that's very large for a baby not to mention any adult Asian...).

Just like when he was younger, Andrew becomes very proud of himself with any accomplishment no matter how slight. He applauded his gigantic building block accomplishment and gave a wide smile. Emma saw what Andrew made. And much like a drunken Mothra destroying Tokyo, Emma kicked and swatted Andrew's 8th Wonder of the World much to the dismay of little Japanese business men running for shelter.

This did not settle well with Andrew. He let out a rather girlish shriek much like the way I scream when I see blood or when girls see me in swimming trunks. But it did not end there! Andrew went up to Emma and bit her on the arm. And now cue the shrieking from both kids...

Biting is not an unusual behavior from toddlers or vampires. From what I've read, kids bite because it's a very strong way for them to protect themselves or display anger. Obviously, you want to prevent this from happening again, so what do you do? I suggested duct tape again, but Lisa just rolled her eyes and bitch-slapped me.

First of all, you want to identify why your child bit someone. In this case, Andrew bit Emma because she destroyed his building blocks. Then you want to make sure you reprimand the child. I initially shouted, "Emma! Look what you made Andrew do!" Then Lisa corrected me and told me we should reprimand Andrew. And then you should give the child a time-out or take away the thing that caused the biting in the first place. The latter was confusing to me because the thing that caused the biting seemed to be Emma's arm; without her arm, the biting never would've happened, right?

Hopefully, Lisa and I will be good enough parents to make sure Andrew doesn't continue with his biting. I think as long as we are firm and resolute with the offending child, we should be just fine. I'm just not too sure how we are going to deal with hickies in the next 10 or 12 years.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 624 - Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime

What does North Korean leader Kim Jong Il say is the only thing in the modern world that makes him look normal and boring? Why it is...Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime!

As the end of June nears, it means several things. First of all, it's the end of the school year for Lisa. Secondly, it's time for Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa to return to Sacramento. Thirdly, it's time for me to dust off my Speedos and make an appointment for my yearly bikini wax.

This weekend, Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa will begin to pack up their apartment and get ready to return to Sacramento. Lazy Grandpa is looking forward to home because instead of just sitting around all day in Los Angeles, he can now comfortably sit around all day in Sacramento.

As for Crazy Grandma, I know she is looking forward to going home, but she also laments the fact that she won't be able to see the kids every day. How do I know this? Because one day she told me, "I rament dah fact dat I won't be able tah see dah kids every day." She also told me, "Rah raisin dah bee iz dah rarry yu are tah mennfull." I just nodded my head in agreement because I had no idea what she said.

Since Crazy Grandma has been telling the kids how much she is going to miss them on a daily basis (yet says nothing to the child that actually came out of her belly), I thought I'd figure out a way for them to see the kids in July. Auntie Anne (pretzel maven) was thinking of visiting us again in July. Perhaps this would be a nice time for my parents to take a weekend trip down to Los Angeles.

This morning, as Crazy Grandma was giving the kids hugs and kisses and once again (cue the violins) telling the kids how much she will miss them, I decided I would mention my idea to Crazy Grandma hoping this would be a nice invitation and a way to mend her bittersweet heart.

"Hey, Mom," I said. "Since Anne is thinking of coming to Los Angeles next month, why don't you and Dad come down too?"

Crazy Grandma looked up at me as she held Emma and Andrew in her arms. I wasn't too sure what she was going to say, but I think I struck a chord with her because she looked very emotional. I braced myself for her response.

Crazy Grandma took a deep breath and responded, "Ooooooh NO! You kidding me? I wanna go home! I no want to come back down here after month. You crazy? Nooooo way! I been here loooong enuf! I need rest. Dese kids poop me out! You guyz on your own!"

Not exactly the response I was expecting, but emotional nonetheless...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 623 - Poll Results & New Poll


Last week, I asked whether or not Auntie Anne (pretzel maven) harmed the kids during her recent visit. The final vote was a tie: thirty-five percent thought she either did not harm the kids at all or she hurt them, but nothing major...like scalding hot coffee spilling all over their soft and delicate baby skin.

The answer is that nothing happened to the kids at all this time! Granted, Auntie Anne's visit was only five days, but a lot could have gone wrong: instead of using diaper wipes, she could've used sandpaper; instead of feeding them rice, she could've fed them baby maggots; and instead of spending time to bond with the kids, she could've used the trip to shamelessly hawk her website "I Heart Daily" which can be found at www.iheartdaily.com and through July 31st you can win a $25 gift card to Fred Flare every Friday as long as you subscribe to their newsletter which you can easily do at www.iheartdaily.com.

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I think I overthink things. I was thinking whether or not I overthink things, and I think I do. Not to a point where it becomes unhealthy, but I think I overthink things too thoroughly. I know Lisa thinks I overthink things too much because there have been times where the overthinking turns into worry and the worry never would've arrived if I didn't overthink. So I guess I overthink things to a point of worry but never beyond that...I think, I thought.

I bring this up because after I wrote about Andrew being behind with his speech, I did a little research on it with some books we had on childhood development. According to the books, it does seem like Andrew is a little behind. By the time a child is 24 months, they should have a verbal vocabulary of 40-60 words. I think Emma has that right now, but Andrew is not even close. Andrew is 20 1/2 months year old and probably uses under 20 words, but understands much more.

So I started to worry...because I was overthinking. You see, when I was a kid I had to do speech therapy for about nine years. All the way from preschool through 6th grade, I had speech class. The class itself wasn't that terrible, but it was the occasional inability to communicate that would frustrate me. Do you know how maddening it was to be unable to pronounce the word "restroom" as a child in school? Do you know how many corduroy pants were sacrificed for this???

What do you think? Am I needlessly worrying about Andrew's language development? Or should I do a search for Anne Sullivan's next of kin?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Day 622 - Blah Gah Goob Bah! HAHA!

I've been talking quite a bit about Emma's entrance into the world of verbal gossip and ridicule, but I haven't mentioned too much about our little boy, Andrew. Andrew isn't progressing at the same rate as Emma with the speech. Emma has a larger vocabulary, and although she doesn't say too much, when she does speak actual words are spoken. Conversely, Andrew has a smaller vocabulary, but you can't keep his mouth shut from yammering away.

It might be a blessing in disguise that Andrew doesn't say too many actual words because from day to night this kid gives his vocal cords as much a workout as a 50 year old man undergoing his first colonoscopy. Andrew loves to scream, laugh, babble, and make new and odd sounds with his mouth. He also likes to make new and odd sounds with his butt, but that's another blog entry.

Whereas Andrew has always been ahead with the motor skills, Andrew falls a month or two behind Emma with speech and language. Emma is probably a little bit behind herself compared to other toddlers, but twins tend to lag behind with language development. This can be caused by a variety of things: twins sometimes develop their own special language which hinders actual speech; parents of twins are often overwhelmed and tend to not converse with their children as much (but isn't that what television is for?); many twins are born premature.

This isn't to say Andrew is a Forrest Gump. Andrew can and will say words, but only on his own terms. Lisa and I can tell Emma to repeat certain words, and she will. But if we do that to Andrew, he'll just stare at us like the idiots we are and trot off to get his head stuck in a bucket. Yet there are times when we are driving, and Andrew will point outside and shout "CAR!" over and over and over again. And since we live in Los Angeles and are often at a stand-still on the freeways, Andrew will shout "SAME CAR!" over and over again.

I'm sure in a month or two when Andrew is around 22 or 23 months year old, he will be further down the road on his way to verbal elegance. I find this language stage in childhood development to be an extremely interesting and fun time. It creeps up on you rather slow, but once it starts, it never stops and just goes faster and faster -- much like an elephant in heat.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Day 621 - Dirty Dirty!

Someone mentioned to me that Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa Ichikawa probably spend more time with the kids than I do. So I reached into my back pocket and pulled out my trusty abacus. After a couple of quick flicks of the beads, I figured out that my parents probably spend about 5-6 hours more time with the kids than I do.

Inevitably after babysitting the kids for the past three months, you figure the kids must have picked up some habits and nuances from Crazy and Lazy. And you're right! Just like Lazy Grandpa Ichikawa, Andrew enjoys lying down in front of the television with the remote control and yell at Crazy Grandma for another bowl of corned beef hash. As for Emma, she has actually picked up Crazy Grandma's germaphobe proclivities!

We have noticed over the past month that Emma has become increasingly clean and neat. If there are small pieces of food in her high chair, Emma will point to it and say "dirr-tee." If Emma's clothes gets dirty with crayons, she will point to the mark and say "dirr-tee." If Emma looks inside Lisa's handbag, she will say "verrry dirr-tee annn ex-treem-lee un-orr-gan-nize."

Today was our friend's kid's second birthday. It was outside, and they had a plastic ball pool and a tented house with some books inside. Emma was inside the house reading a book, and decided to come out. As she crawled out the door of the tent, her hands got on the grass. When she stood up, she looked a little horrified at how her hands looked like with the mixture of grass, dirt, water, and fecal matter from a variety of animals. While looking at her hands, she uttered the words, "Dir-tee. Dir-tee."

No joke! Look at the picture!


I told my Dad how Emma has become this clean freak because of Crazy Grandma. He responded, "Better clean than dirty, and pass me the remote control." I suppose there is some truth to his answer that it could be a good thing that Emma likes to be clean. Of course you don't want her to become this anal retentive anomaly, but there isn't anything inherently wrong with being spic and span. And as long as she continues to poke her poop with her finger, I don't think we have to worry about her going overboard.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day 620 - Picture Friday

Crazy Grandma Ichikawa demonstrates what she would like with a face lift on Emma's face.


Scott and Lisa's nightmare: Emma grows up looking like Auntie Anne (pretzel maven).


Children should not play with used hemorrhoid pillows.


Answer: See above picture.
Question: Andrew, pick one thing you want to play with.


Auntie Anne bonds with Emma over lice-picking time at the Ichikawa household.


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day 619 - And Now A Word From Our Daughter: Part Two

As described in the entry a few days ago, Emma likes cookies. She likes cookies so much that she now asks for them by name. I'm expecting in a few weeks, she will know several other words like "brownie," "pie," and "bear claw."

Today, the end of the meal conversation that took place between Emma and me took an unexpected twist. After a healthy serving of fresh fruit, I asked Emma and Andrew if they were finished eating.

"Okay! Are you all done eating?" I asked.

"Noooo," answered Emma predictably.

I teased Emma and asked, "What could you possibly want?"

"Coo-kieee," she said with a smile.

"Well, okay. But you ate a lot already, so I'm only going to give you one cookie."

I turned to get the cookie box, but I was interrupted when Emma added one more thing.

"Nooo. Twooo," Emma requested.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 617 - And Now a Word From Our Daughter...

Over the past month, Emma has been increasing her vocabulary. In the beginning, she could only say simple words like "mama," "papa," and "douche." She is now at the point where she can repeat almost any one syllable word and can intentionally say certain words like "self," "book," and "youembarrassmedada."

It's quite amazing and surreal for me to see this little baby who did nothing but poop, cry, and sleep turn into this wonderful little person who poops, cries, sleeps, and says one syllable words. Human development. Amazing!

As for Andrew, he has always been about a month behind Emma in the communication department. His repertoire of spoken words is much smaller than Emma, but he understands just as much as her. Andrew's two new favorite words are "more" and "car"; I'm hoping we can parlay this into the word "mocha."

Tonight, Lisa told me a funny story about Emma while feeding her dinner. After giving the kids their usual dinner of foie gras, baby bok choy, and a nice port wine, Lisa gave them their sippy cups to wash the meal down. After a few sips, Emma put her cup down and then coyly said, "...coo-kie..."

Lisa was taken by surprise, so she repeated to Emma, "What do you want, Emma?"

"...coo-kie..." Emma repeated.

So Lisa went into our stash of baby food and pulled out a box of toddler animal cracker cookies. She gave each of the kids two cookies which were immediately devoured by them.

Emma looked at Lisa with her mouth full and again said, "...cooooo-kieeee..."

"No more cookies, Emma," said Lisa.

"More!" Emma demanded. "More!"

"Emma. No more cookies."

"Coo-kie! Coo-kie!" Emma shouted as if doing a really poor impersonation of a Muppet.

Lisa was adamant about not giving Emma another cookie, so she thought of a compromise. "How about if I give you some cereal?"

Emma thought about it and then said, "No no no no no!"

Lisa never gave into Emma's food request, but in the middle of the night we heard rustling in the kitchen and found Emma eating an entire roll of Toll House cookie dough in front of the fridge. It's quite strange to have a pseudo-conversation with a 20 month year old child about anything, much less cookies, but it's the first step towards years of wonderful exchanges such as "I love you, Daddy," "I hit a home run, Daddy," "You don't understand me, Daddy," "I hate you, Daddy," and the ever endearing "F*(& you, assh*(0! I can't wait to leave this s*(&hole of a house and live on my own, Daddy!"

Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 616 - Poll Results & New Poll


Last week I asked whether or not it would be a good idea to enroll the kids in a summer class although Lisa would have to do it alone. Fifty-six percent of you thought we should enroll the kids in a class, and there will be other people there to help Lisa out (i.e. the eighteen year old teenager who has never changed a diaper in her life). Twenty-five percent thought a better idea would be to drop the kids off in Sacramento with Crazy and Lazy for an eight week summer retreat. I'm sure Crazy Grandma Ichikawa would come up with a bunch of fun activities for the kids like Q-Tip Faucet Cleaning, Dusting for Bunnies, and How to Talk Without the Letter 'R'.

We haven't really done much research into summer classes for the kids yet, but I know there are certain places that will give a small discount for twins. Conversely, I also know there are places where you must have a guardian/supervisor/crazy grandma for each child. Perhaps the compromise we might do is find some classes that we can do on the weekends, and then Lisa can arrange play dates with other kids during the weekdays. And if nothing else works out, there's always the 8 week retreat in front of the television set.

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Auntie Anne (pretzel maven) visited for a few days this past week. Crazy Grandma was prepping the kids for Auntie Anne's visit by showing them a photo of her and repeating, "Auntie Anne is coming!" I was prepping the kids for Auntie Anne's visit by showing them a photo of her and repeating, "Auntie Anne might spill scalding coffee on you again! Beware!!!"

When she finally arrived, the kids recognized her and started playing with her right away. It was nice to see them all play together: three Ichikawa's all with the same intelligence and level of maturity. As I was watching the three of them fight over building blocks, I wondered whether or not Auntie Anne might do something that would be unsafe for the kids (i.e. put a mug of coffee on the edge of a bookshelf). What do you think? Did Auntie Anne screw up or was she on good behavior?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Day 615 - Rock A Bye Babies


Our bedtime rituals have changed over the months, but currently they are as follows: brush teeth, change diaper, carry into bed, if fussy wipe away tears and boogers, and pat back. Now that you know what I do to put Lisa into bed, here's what we do with the kids: brush teeth, change diaper, walk around the room pointing and talking about the pictures on the wall, give hugs and kisses, and then drop them into their cribs warning them not to wake up in the middle of the night or else their cries will kill a random, innocent child somewhere in the world.

One new thing that has been introduced to the bedtime ritual is something I have done with their bunny blanket and their doll. With the blanket, I place the bunny head next to the doll's head and then wrap them together as if they were going to sleep with each other. Emma likes to use this little bundle as a pillow, and Andrew likes to use it as a punching bag to expend his last gasps of manic energy.

Andrew has been going through a phase where he wakes up in the middle of the night crying. About 99% of the time, this means he dropped his pacifier. The other 1% of the time, he dropped his cigarette. So Lisa and I end up searching for his pacifier on the floor with a flashlight; it's much easier to find the cigarette because the tip is usually still glowing.

Last night, Andrew woke up in the middle of the night crying twice. And both times, the pacifier was in his mouth. So why was he crying? Because he wanted his bunny blanket wrapped around his Mickey Mouse doll! Lisa told me when she entered the room, Andrew was standing on the edge of the crib with the blanket in one hand, his doll in the other, a cigarette in his mouth, and he was waving his hands which indicates that he wants them wrapped up.

Suffice it to say, Lisa was rather aggravated at me for starting a new habit with Andrew. But who would've known that doll wrapping would be so habit forming? I suggested that we do a family intervention with Andrew and try to address all of his addictions: pacifier sucking, doll wrapping, cigarettes, and cross-dressing (Although I attribute the latter to Crazy Grandma Ichikawa occasionally confusing Andrew for Emma.). Ultimately, we plan to wean Andrew off his pacifier during the summer, and hopefully the doll wrapping will be a non-issue at that time. Otherwise, I will be very careful not to start any other habits with the kids.

Whoops! Gotta go because Emma is crying. I bet she wants another Xanax.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Day 614 - What's Your Point?


Although the kids very rarely take a second nap, we still put them in their cribs around 5pm for a little rest time. We'll tuck the kids in with a book, a toy, or a baby mammal of their choosing, and let them relax for about 15-30 minutes. This 15-30 minutes is the perfect amount of time for Lisa and I do to what consenting adults do when they have free time: sleep.

Today, the kids were very quiet during their rest time which made us think that they might've fallen asleep. But before you could say "Scott's on unemployment again," Emma started to scream. I rushed in to see what happened. All I saw was Emma standing in her crib pointing at the wall. I turned around expecting to see something horrifying like a burglar or Crazy Grandma Ichikawa with cold cream on her face, but the room looked completely normal.

As I approached Emma, she still cried with her index finger pointed out. This was quite perplexing to me. What was she trying to tell me? Did she hurt her finger? Did she imagine something on the wall? Was she doing a really bad E.T. impersonation (Her Lisa impersonation is still kickass!)?

I was right at the edge of Emma's crib and tried to comfort her. I patted her back and wiped away her tears. With her finger still out, she started to point at my face. Did she suddenly realize with terror that she is related to me? I bent down closer to Emma and held her finger when a strange smell hit my nose. Did she poop? I checked her diaper. Check. But that's not where the smell was coming from. This specific smell was coming from somewhere else...

...her finger.

There was poop on her finger. The finger that I was holding. Crap...

After cleaning diapers, butt, and fingers, I mentioned this to Crazy Grandma and she told me Emma did this once before. Emma is getting to the point where poop in her diaper will occasionally bother her and she'll check her diaper on her own. I'm not too sure how to explain this to Emma in terms that she will understand, but if you poop yourself...YOU DON'T HAVE TO TOUCH IT! BELIEVE ME! IT'S THERE! If poop comes out of your ass, I'm 100% sure it's in your pants.

I'll have to leave you on that note because I just checked my pants and my finger is wet. I think I might've peed myself.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Day 613 - Picture Friday

Possibly ahead of her time, Emma's fashion statement of stapled origami flowers to her head has not quite caught on.


"Emma's bothering me!!!"


After nine months, this cocoon gives birth to all of Anne Geddes's baby models.


"Emma's stillllll bothering me!!!"


Even as a parent, Scott still gets beat up for his milk money.


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Day 612 - Come On Down!

Just when I thought it was bad enough when Andrew learned how to climb up the sofa, Andrew has now taken a big step and learned how to climb down from the very top of the sofa. Crap.

Even though they haven't dropped yet, Andrew has quite the set of baby balls. He's actually pretty cautious about things, but once he figures out the cause and effect of something, you better watch out. I'm quite interested to see what happens now that he has the confidence to climb down things. As an experiment, I may install rock climbing walls into the kid's room.

Here's a short video of Andrew bumbling, yet ultimately getting down off of the sofa.


video

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Day 610 - Would You Like Your Poop Caffeinated or Not?


I am not a very religious person, but ever since the kids were born and I entered my sleep-deprived state of being, I have found salvation in a church. And that church is called Starbucks. Almost every morning on my way to work, my faith sends me to the House of Starbucks where I pay my tithe to the Green Mermaid-like Goddess On My Insulated Cup. In return, I drink the Liquid of the Gods (Quad split-shot grande in a venti cup, one pump mocha, one pump cinnamon dolce, non fat, with whip and mocha drizzle, americano misto) which sends me into a state of peace and tranquility. In Starbucks, We Trust.

Honestly, I have never drank so much coffee in my life until the kids were born. Throughout college, I was not a coffee drinker; I preferred absinthe. Once I started to work, I would drink the occasional cup. And up until 20 months ago, I would drink maybe a cup a day; sometimes I would drink nothing. But once the kids were pulled out of Lisa's gut, a cup of coffee became my all-in-one survival kit.

A few times a week on the way to work, I will stop by my local Starbucks to pick up a cup of coffee and the occasional reduced fat baked good. But today I felt like I could get away with a chocolate croissant. After all, I was wearing an untucked shirt and Lisa's pregnancy jeans (They're super comfortable!).

I always believed eating in the car is just as dangerous as using a cell phone, yet you can only get a ticket for one of them -- unless you're eating something unusual like sizzling fajitas or a human head. I have three safety rules to drinking and eating in the car: 1) Use your hands, not your eyes. 2) Don't miss your mouth. 3) It's okay to be messy. Strangely enough, these are also my three safety rules in bed.

But as I was eating my chocolate croissant in the car, I broke all three rules. When I was taking a bite of the croissant, I felt a small piece of it fall right on my lap. More specifically, my crotch. I tried to use my hand to find the small piece, but I couldn't find anything between my legs (NOTE: Please submit all small penis jokes at a later time.). I quickly looked down and found a quarter-sized piece of chocolate on my pants. When I removed it, I looked down again and found a large, brown stain. Great! It looked like I pooped through my penis.

I grabbed a napkin and tried to clean my pants. Yet the more I cleaned, the worse it looked. What might've been a fairly inconspicuous spot transformed into a stain of embarrassing proportion. I wasn't too sure what I was going to do at work, but I noticed when I got out of the car my shirt covered my crotch fairly well. Besides that, who would have enough nerve to ask me whether or not I pooped on myself?

This incident is not going to stop me from getting my coffee and baked good in the morning, but I will be more careful when eating something that could possibly look like poop on my crotch. And although nobody at work seemed to notice a brown stain on my crotch, it looks like next week's episode is about a Chinese man who has his girlfriend defecate on his lap. Whew! I'm Japanese! Close call!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Day 609 - Poll Results & New Poll


Last week I asked whether or not we should buy two of each toy. Sixty-one percent of you thought that purchasing the same toy for each kid is a sure way to spoil them rotten. Right behind that, twenty-three percent thought that we should get the kids the same toy only if they fight over them. And Crazy Grandma Ichikawa's write-in vote was: Dey are so preshush and dahling dat you should give dem anyting dey want. Also for those of you who are new to the blog, my mom has a Japanese accent -- she's not a stroke victim.

For the most part, we have very rarely bought Emma and Andrew two exact same toys. I have read that it is important for them to identify certain things as their own toys, so they have their own toy car, doll, blanket, and backpacks. But we also think it's equally important for them to be able to share things, such as books, blocks, diapers, and rectal thermometers (which we also use as q-tips). Although I'm pretty much against buying two of the same things, I'm sure there will be a few occasions when I will have to give in. After all, how can you not buy two Lego sets when you want to purchase two 55" LCD televisions sets (Despite the fact that the latter is a bare necessity!).

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It is almost the end of the school year which means two things for the Ichikawa family: Lisa will have her summer vacation, and Lisa can once again be drunk during the daytime. Unfortunately, the television show I am working on will have me working through the first few weeks of August so Lisa will have to take care of the kids on her own which is a full-time job in itself.

I was thinking whether or not it might be nice for Lisa to enroll the kids in some sort of weekly summer activity like My Gym or weightlifting at Venice Beach. But my concern is whether or not Lisa will be able to take care of the kids by herself. Please remember that Lisa is a little Japanese girl. She's only 3' 2" standing up, but 5' 3" lying down (Lisa has a big appetite!). Do you think this might be a bad idea? Would it be easier for Lisa to entertain the kids at home with playdates with other kids? And should I be jealous that my kids seems to have more friends than me?