Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 903 - Works (in progress) of Art

The kids are getting much better with their drawings. Instead of manic scribbles, they are now doing manic scribbles with flair. There are times when their doodles actually look like something, but I don't know if it's me doing a Rorschach test in which everything looks like Lightning McQueen or Minnie Mouse.

We've kept a few pieces of coloring and art that the kids have completed, but many of the more interesting things they have drawn are on their Magna Doodle boards. It was really killing us financially having to buy new Magna Doodles every time we wanted to save something, but I decided taking a picture would be easier and cheaper.

Here are a few doodles that the kids have done so far!

Kool-Aid Man
by Emma Ichikawa


Lightning McQueen
by Andrew Ichikawa


Nemo Fish
by Emma Ichikawa


Daddy Is a Poo-Poo
by Andrew Ichikawa

Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 902 - Poll Results & New Poll


Last week, I asked if parents should acknowledge their child's strengths and weaknesses. I'm pretty sure I haven't read your suggested advice in any child development book, but eighty-three percent of you stated that the only opinion you have about this question is that Lisa is way more muscular than me. And for those of you who either took the question more seriously or have never met Lisa and I, sixteen percent thought it is important to be honest with your children about their strengths and weaknesses, but not at such a young age like Emma and Andrew.

Oh wait. I correct myself. Lisa just grabbed her copy of What to Expect: The Toddler Years and showed me this excerpt on page 289:

Children need praise. But opinions vary on how, and how much, to praise. Some experts recommend bestowing praise freely and lavishly; others warn that Lisa Ichikawa can whoop her husband's ass with one fell swoop of her massive left forearm.

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Last week, Andrew called me poo-poo. This has created hysterical laughter from Emma, Andrew, and especially Lisa. Randomly throughout the day, I will now be called poo-poo. During dinner, Emma will point at me and say, "Poo-poo!" During bedtime, Andrew will point at me and say, "Poo-poo!" While sitting on the toilet taking a crap, Lisa will enter the bathroom and say, "Poo-poo!"

It doesn't really bother me that my entire family is calling me Poo-poo, but there's a part of me that worries that this nickname will stick. What if fifty years from now, Emma and Andrew engrave on my tombstone: Here Lies Poo-poo; Don't Step on It.

So for this week's poll, I would like you to help think of a new nickname for me. Something that won't embarrass me and the kids will be proud to say it in fifty years!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Day 901 - Bubble, Bubble, Toys and Trouble


One unfortunate thing about living in a condominium is that the kids don't have a yard. Sure, we have a top floor balcony with rappelling ropes the kids can swing on, but it's not the same as a nice, green lawn full of toys and your neighbor's dog's crap.This is why the kids are always excited when they have the opportunity to run in the park, a backyard, or a condemned dirt lot.

Today, our friends invited us over to their house so all of our kids could have a little playdate. There were a bunch of outdoor toys that excited Emma and Andrew: a slide, a water table, bikes, and the neighbor's dog's crap. But the one thing that interested them the most were bubbles.

I don't believe Lisa and I have ever given our kids bubble toys to play with yet. If I'm not mistaken, the recommended age for bubbles is three and up. Lisa and I aren't super strict with the recommended age precaution, but ever since we allowed the kids to watch The Deer Hunter (By the way, it isn't a sequel to Bambi.), we've tried to become more aware of the "recommended for ages..." phrase.

As we watched all of the kids start to blow bubbles, I noticed our kids were a little confused since they've never done this before. I went to Andrew and showed him how blow bubbles. I dipped the bubble wand in the bottle, pulled it out, and blew. Andrew was captivated and amazed by the bubbles.

I told Andrew it was his turn. He dipped the bubble wand in the bottle, pulled it out, put the wand directly to his mouth, blew, no bubbles came out, put the wand back in the bottle, licked his lips, got disgusted by the taste of the bubbles, wiped his mouth, realized his hands got slimy, wiped it on his face, his slimy hand touched his eyes, his eyes got a little irritated, dropped the bubble bottle, and threw a fit. Wow! That was successful.


Next, I went to Emma and showed her how to blow bubbles. I dipped the wand, pulled it out, and blew. Emma was captivated and amazed by the bubbles.

Apprehensively, I told Emma it was her turn. She dipped the wand, pulled it out, and then...put the entire wand in her mouth. Good grief...please don't let her become a teenager.


Eventually, the kids were able to blow bubbles after a little practice. But this entire incident made me realize that I sometimes forget that there are so many things that the kids have not done before. Something like blowing bubbles seems like an activity that every kid knows how to do, but there's always the first time. And even Lisa can tell you, the first time is often downright awful.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 900 - Sofa, So Long


After ten years, we said goodbye to our sofa. It was like saying farewell to a friend. Albeit a friend covered with poop, pee, barf, spit, and breast milk. But who wouldn't miss a friend like that?

Lisa and I had been contemplating for a long time whether or not to buy a new sofa. Our current sofa was still extremely comfortable, but it was a real mess. For every hand-sewn tear and hole, there were probably twice as many stains. If a sewage pipe burst in a convention hall full of people with botched plastic surgery, you would have our sofa.

It took several weekends to decide what type of sofa to purchase. We didn't want to buy anything too expensive or nice, but we also didn't want to buy anything so cheap that we wouldn't get our money's worth out of it (By the way, this is also my philosophy about prostitutes.). We ended up buying another sofa with a chaise because 1) it complements the space in our living area rather well and 2) we needed a chair that would facilitate Lazy Grandpa's television viewing habits.

As soon as our new sofa was delivered, we covered it with a queen sized blanket. Lisa and I hope this will prevent the kids from staining the sofa too fast. But I can already tell you that Emma used the side of the sofa as a drawing easel with a big, thick crayon. Thankfully, we also had the sofa treated with an environmentally-safe upholstery spray so that really helped us get the crayon off. Thank god we sprayed the sofa with asbestos and radon.

So except for the crayon incident, the sofa has been pretty good so far. We hope this new sofa will last us another 5-10 years, and the memories of sitting in breast milk is long gone. And for those curious as to what happened to our old feces-covered sofa, we gave it to Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa to use while they're down here in Los Angeles.

I assume if Crazy Grandma is reading this blog entry, she is spraying our old sofa with bleach and washing herself in a bathtub full of chlorine. Have fun cleaning, Crazy!!!

Our new sofa.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 899 - Picture Friday

Lisa explains to the kids how the fish in the aquarium can make a tasty sashimi dish with a light ponzu sauce.

Stay...stay...stay...good boy...stay...stay...stay...


"...and this drawing is SOLD to my mommy for a box of animal crackers!"


There's nobody that I know in this picture, but Lisa mistakenly thought that Asian person was me. Do I really have "poorly dressed dweeb" written all over me?


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 898 - The Best of Fiends


For the past few days, the kids have been randomly saying, "Mommy is the best." At first it was cute. But do you know that feeling of having a popcorn kernel stuck between your teeth? It now feels like that except instead of a popcorn kernel, it's an entire corn cob up your butt.

While getting the kids ready for bed tonight, Emma ran up to Lisa and said, "Mommy is the best." And then Andrew ran to Lisa and said, "Momma best." What's up with the cold shoulder? If this was a high school dance, I'd understand. But these are my two biological kids. The blood test proved it -- the results came in today (Lisa didn't seem too thrilled...).

As Andrew walked by me, I grabbed him and held him in my arms.

"Hey!" I asked. "Are you ignoring Daddy on purpose?"

Andrew just laughed at my desperation.

"Let me ask you a question. Mommy is the what?" I said.

"Best. Momma best," answered Andrew.

"Okay. So what is Daddy?"

Andrew stared at me.

"Daddy is the..."

No response.

"Daddy...is...the..."

Still no response.

"Come on, Andrew," I said wondering how much explanation I had to do. "If you and Emma say, 'Mommy is the best' all the time, then what is Daddy? Daddy is the..."

Finally, Andrew answered me, "Daddy...is...poo-poo!"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day 896 - The Best Has Yet to Come


I have been back at work for the past two and a half weeks after a two and a half month stay at home with the kids. It is a weird transition for me when I go back to work and when I return to be a stay-at-home dad. I don't know what the kids think about it because either way they don't respect me -- which is pretty much the same attitude I get from my co-workers.

Although my job in television production can be extremely stressful and tiring, the worst day at work does not come close to the worst day at home. Imagine an entire day of crying, whining, and temper tantrums. Throw in twelve daily diaper changes and now you know the difference between work and home.

Seeing how much the kids have developed over the few months I was able to stay home, I do wonder what I'm missing out on when I'm at work. What new words did they learn? Did they use the potty? Did they teach Lazy Grandma the difference between the HDMI1 and HDMI2 inputs on the television remote?

Thankfully, I have a thoughtful wife who knows what I'm going through with my transition from home to work. Lisa knows that despite my sarcasm and external emotional deadness, I'm a pretty sensitive fella. This is why while I was away at work, she took this short video of the kids saying something that really got to me.

video

Stay tuned for tomorrow's entry: The Kids Learn How to Use the Word 'Whore' in a Sentence.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 895 - Poll Results & New Poll


Last week I asked whether I should separate the kids in the bath so I could make the face a penis-free zone. The result was unanimous: let the kids take a bath together! Emma and Andrew are only two and a half so let them enjoy their innocent time together before all hell breaks loose in ten years.

Unfortunately, this unanimous vote is being contested by the Two-Bath Party. The Two-Bath Party strongly believes that boys and girls should not share a bath. As you read this, representatives of the Two-Bath Party are in my bathroom trying to put a stop to last week's poll results. Although I'm going to continue to give the kids a bath together, whether you agree with the One-Bath or Two-Bath party, the bottom line is that everyone needs a bath so let's move on.

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One of the tough things about raising twins is trying to make sure they are being treated as individuals and not as a pair. What I said might be different with Siamese twins, but nonetheless, it's still difficult. You want to encourage their strengths, help with their weaknesses, and be fair all at the same time. That's three things to deal with, and I can't even juggle two foam balls!

Yet sometimes I wonder whether or not it's fair to give equal praise and equal attention to the kids even though one kid may show a greater aptitude in something. Let me give an imaginary example using myself and Lisa. Let's say Lisa and I both enjoy weightlifting. Lisa is pretty klutzy and weak, and has absolutely no muscle definition and has actually been gaining a lot of weight. On the other hand, I am bench-pressing transit buses and I have to have all of my clothes tailor-made due to my bulging muscles and strength. Although Lisa and I both enjoy working out, it is obvious I am a Greek god and Lisa is a geek.

Although there is a large age difference (especially with Lisa) between us and the kids, I hope you understand what I'm getting at: at what point do you acknowledge a child's strengths and weaknesses with some sort of honesty. Is it fair for the child who actually excels at something to get the same praise as the child who isn't as good? Does fairness not become a part of the equation? Why can't Lisa build any muscle mass like I can? So many questions!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day 894 - Conversations With Andrew


Although Andrew has been increasing his vocabulary and stringing more and more words together, he still occasionally babbles. Sometimes he'll even make a funny face or twist his tongue out of his mouth to make some weird sounds and noises. And as a parent, if your child is making weird sounds and noises, you definitely want it coming out from the mouth and not another place (Hint: it smells like ass and it's shaped like a hole.).

One time of the day when Andrew babbles is dinnertime. The problem with Andrew's babbling is similar to my tendency to drag out a joke: For the first 30 seconds it's pretty funny and amusing, but once you start doing it for minutes the likelihood that someone is going to cover your head with a plastic bag increases tenfold.

Tonight, Andrew had one of his babbling marathons during dinner.

"Dadah dadah daaaaaadah daaaaaaaaah," said Andrew.

"Yes, I'm Daddy," I answered.

"Maaaaaaaah mamamamama maaaaaaaaaaaaaamamama," continued Andrew.

"Yup, that's Mommy in the kitchen scrubbing the burnt pan," I explained.

"Baaaaba gaaaaaaboooooo dooooodoooo maaaaaaataaaaaatah," screamed Andrew.

"Okay, Andrew. That's enough."

But like any two year old kid, if you ask them to stop doing something this just eggs them on.

"Booooobaaaah fissssssssshhhhh yayayaya bababa mooooogeee!"

I ignored him.

"Jajajajaja yayayayaya lalalalalala mmmmmm WAH!"

Still ignored him.

"Ooooooooyaaaaaaaa haaaaahahahaha baaaaaanaaaaamaaaaaaa bababah!"

Finally, someone in the dining room had enough common sense to put a stop to this nonsense.

"Andrew, what ARE you saying?" demanded an annoyed Emma. "You sooo silly!"

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day 893 - Big Bass Day


Today, we took the kids to the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. Frugal me, I suggested to Lisa that it might be easier to take the kids to the Sherman Oaks Aquarium of the Petco, but Lisa called me a dumbass and made me drive to Long Beach.

The kids were surprisingly well-behaved and walked around the aquarium for almost the entire two hours we were there. They enjoyed exploring the different exhibits on their own, and figured out a way to simplify the entire kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species by calling every single underwater life form a fish.

When we returned home, Lisa and I were too tired to cook. So what could be a better way to cap off the day at an aquarium than with a delicious dinner of sushi. And please don't worry about us leaving out the kids. We gave them a handful of goldfish crackers.

Here's a little video of our day at the aquarium!


video

Friday, March 19, 2010

Day 892 - Picture Friday

There's nothing more fun than playing with a gigantic ball of Daddy's ear wax.


"Really, Mom? Can you emasculate me anymore?"


Andrew's Bad Celebrity Impression #54: Whoopi Goldberg.


Sadly, it was too late to tell Emma that she was not sitting on her potty chair.


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 891 - Border-line Offensive


Something we have started to do with the kids is take them to Borders. It's cheap, it encourages their interest in books, and it's cheap. Did I mention it's cheap?

After the kids settle down with a few books, I'll buy a snack at the coffee bar and then grab a few magazines to read. My subject matter has changed over the years from film and video games magazines to magazines that are more pertinent and important to me now like Parenting, Soap Opera Digest, and Juggs.

The last time we visited Borders something embarrassingly funny happened. Emma was a good little girl sitting on a bench breezing through a large pile of books. As for Andrew, he was a constipated little boy gripping a bench trying to push through a large pile of poop.

There are several places you don't want your toddler to poop: the theater, the library/book store, and your coffee mug. Ignoring the coffee mug which is a blog entry in itself, it has been proven to me that the quieter the venue, the louder the poop. Unfortunately for the other people in Borders, this was one loud poop.

When the time was right, Andrew walked away from the bench for a little more privacy. He took shelter next to a large bookshelf that had a bunch of puzzles and games. As his face turned a Clifford the Big Red Dog red, Andrew let out a series of loud grunts.

"Errrrrr! Grrrrrrr! Ahhhhhh!" groaned Andrew.

These sounds became a beckoning call for other young kids. It was as if Andrew's cries of constipation made him the Pied Piper of poop. A few curious toddles stared at Andrew wondering why he looked like he was in so much pain. As soon as the parents arrived, they shooed their kids away from Andrew as if he was a suicide bomber about to explode...which wasn't too far from the truth.

I asked Andrew in a soft whisper, "Are you trying to go poo-poo?"

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!" shouted Andrew in a voice that would've been more appropriate for a UFC championship match.

Andrew's attempt to give birth to a large ball of poop continued for several minutes more. By the end of it all, we had the entire children's book section to ourselves. You'd think that other people would be okay with a little boy trying to poop in the kiddie section of a store, but maybe I'm just being naive. I guess no matter the age, there's something a little uncomfortable and awkward about poop. For something we have to deal with on a daily basis (and on a good day maybe twice), it's rather odd that this is something we all get a little embarrassed about. All I know is that the next time I need a little privacy in a crowded place, I might just have to squeeze out a little friend.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day 889 - Conversations with Andrew


Although Crazy Grandma Ichikawa was still a little depressed because she would not be called Funny Grandma Ichikawa, she still found the energy to babysit and play with the kids. And it was a good thing she found the energy because all Lazy Grandpa Ichikawa did today was nap and watch the Weather Channel for seven hours straight (At least he was able to tell me tomorrow would be a high of 77 and a low of 52.)

During their playtime, Emma and Andrew went through their little basket of pretend clothes and pulled out their respective Mickey and Minnie Mouse ears. Emma placed her Minnie ears on her head, and Andrew just stood there holding his Mickey ears. As is often the case with Andrew whatever Emma has, he MUST have it first.

"Minnie! Minnie! My Minnie," shouted Andrew as he tried to take away Emma's Minnie Mouse ears.

"No, An-doo," said Crazy Grandma. "Emma iz Mee-nee Mouse and you Mee-key Mouse."

"No," corrected Andrew. "I want Minnie!"

"No, An-doo," repeated Crazy Grandma. "Emma a girl, so she Mee-nee Mouse. You a boy, so you Mee-key Mouse."

"Minnie, Minnie! My Minnie!" whined Andrew.

Crazy Grandma tried to reason with Andrew one more time. "I toll you. Emma girl so she get Mee-nee earz. You no girl, so you get Mee-key."

Finally, Andrew just walked passed Crazy Grandma, snatched away the Minnie ears from Emma, and said, "I girl!"

Monday, March 15, 2010

Day 888 - Poll Results & New Poll

Last week I asked whether I should change my mom's nickname from Crazy Grandma to her boring preference of Funny Grandma. Although my mom is indeed funny, eighty-two percent agreed with me that her craziness outweighs anything else. So, sorry Grandma...you're still crazy!
You may notice the new Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime picture that I posted for today's post. I want to clarify that this will not be the new graphic that I use every time I write a Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime entry. The sole purpose of the photo is much more simple: to increase the anger and annoyance of my mom realizing that her nickname is still Crazy Grandma.
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I wrote an entry a few days ago about Andrew's "bunny blanket" incident in the bathtub with Emma. I thought this story was pretty funny so I told a few of my friends. They couldn't visualize how a bunny blanket could resemble a boy's frank and beans. Only after I drew this picture of the bunny head did my friends get it:


That's right. You have to think of floppy ears. That's the visual key.

Anyhoo, one of my friends found this story a little disturbing. I think my friend wanted to smack me on the side of my head and tell me to give the kids separate baths. I told my friend this was all innocent fun on the part of two year olds, and we have to stop interpreting this behavior through our middle-aged perverted minds. Of course, I told Andrew he shouldn't shove his manicotti in other people's faces because his Daddy did that once in a park and got sent off to a "bad castle" for six months.

So what do you think about bathtime? Am I underreacting? Or is my friend overreacting like Crazy Grandma has been doing for the past twenty minutes ever since she found out Funny Grandma Ichikawa has been vetoed?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day 887 - Conversations with Emma


Preparing meals can be a difficult task when you have curious toddlers around the house. No matter how much you wish they would be like Daddy and not step a foot in the kitchen, they inevitably step into it over and over again.

Lisa was preparing a meal of burnt jello-kabobs and head of lettuce salad when Emma invited herself into the kitchen.

"What you do, Momma?" asked Emma.

"I'm making dinner," said Lisa. "But you need to go do something else."

I always wondered what little kids thought of the words 'something else' because they probably don't have a whole list of things to choose from. When you're only two years old I figure the only things they can do is annoy, destroy, and poop.

Emma continued to stay in the kitchen, so Lisa had to figure out a way to get her out.

"Emma," asked Lisa. "Do you want to color?"

"Okay! Color," Emma agreed jumping up and down.

So Lisa unfolded a blanket, brought out a few coloring books, and a box of crayons. This not only would keep Emma out of the kitchen, but this took just enough time for the first jello-kabob to burn.

While Lisa was snuffing out the jello-kabob, Emma started to fuss.

"Mamaaaaa," Emma called. "Mamaaaaa."

"What's wrong, Emma?"

"You color, too! Momma color," whined Emma.

Lisa explained, "I'm sorry, Emma. But Mommy is cooking. I can't color with you now."

Emma frowned, looked up at Lisa and said, "Oh, Momma. You trick me!"

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day 886 - Wee Are Family


Although Lisa and I share all of the parental duties and chores, there are a few things that Lisa does more often me: cutting their nails and giving the kids a bath. Oh wait. She also cooks and cleans more. I also forgot that she does most of the diapers. And while we're on the topic, Lisa is more of a disciplinarian, teacher, and role model. But I definitely sleep more and play more video games than Lisa.

Back to my initial point, I don't give the kids a bath as often as Lisa. But tonight, Lisa went out with a friend to see a panel discussion about the television show, Glee. There was no need for me to go to this event since it was going to be extremely girly and would not interest me at all. So I figured after giving the kids a bath, I would have a nice, quiet night at home buffing my toenails and watching my Bette Midler DVDs. And as you would expect, bathtime turned as tragic as Bette Midler collapsing at the end of The Rose.

The bath started normally enough. The kids had their bath toys and were pouring water on each other with their cups and bowls. After washing them, I decided to let them play a little longer. Emma was sitting down, and Andrew was standing up. This gave Emma a clear view of Andrew's little baby groin area.

Emma started to stare at Andrew's baby junk. A thought suddenly hit her. She raised her arm, pointed at Andrew's family jewels, and shouted, "Andrew's bunny blanket!"

I didn't really get what she was saying until I imagined Andrew's bunny blanket with droopy ears. I tried to correct her.

"That's not a bunny blanket. That's Andrew's...umm...wee-wee," I explained.

"Andrew's wee-wee? Haha! Andrew's wee-wee!" laughed Emma.

Andrew found this hilarious and started to shout, "My wee-wee! My wee-wee!"

I tried to calm the kids down, but they continued to rant and rave about Andrew's wee-wee. Within seconds, Andrew started pointing and grabbing his wee-wee to make sure we all understood we were talking about his wee-wee.

Emma laughed even harder as Andrew repeatedly poked, slapped, and wiggled his wee-wee. I told Andrew to stop touching his wee-wee or else bathtime was going to end. He looked at me blankly and screeched, "MY WEE-WEE!" I haven't heard so much laughter about wee-wees since my honeymoon night.

I was quite flustered over this situation, but the thing that made me end bathtime was this: Andrew tried to shove his wee-wee into Emma's head. Understandably, this was just an innocent bathtime incident between two two year olds so I didn't want to make this into a big deal. I ended bathtime by explaining to Emma and Andrew that there were a couple of life lessons to learn: 1) You need to listen to your parents. 2) You need to play carefully when you're in the bathtub. 3) You should not shove your penis in other people's faces.

Ah. If I only knew of Lesson Three, then I might've had a prom date in high school...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Day 885 - Picture Friday

"YOU'RE LYING ON MY BALLS!"


The Twilight Saga introduces two new characters: Emma, a young, brooding girl, and her father, an old, embarrassing geek.


"F*^& off..."


Happiness is...fried food.


Andrew often files himself under 'A' for 'adorable.'


Have a great weekend (...or at least try...)!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day 884 - Hand Off the Dough


I have cooked homemade playdough on several occasions for the kids. It's a rather simple recipe, and all you need is the following:

In a large pot, mix these ingredients:

3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups salt
3 cups water

2 TB vegetable oil

1 TB cream of tartar

Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the pan and gets too thick to stir (about 10-15 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool until it can be handled. Place on counter or wax paper and knead several times until smooth. Store in an air-tight container.

And the best thing about this recipe is that after the kids have played with the dough for a week, I like to use the leftover as a crust for my famous chicken pot pie.

Amusingly, Emma and Andrew play with the dough in their own special way. Emma enjoys the texture and the malleability; Andrew enjoys whining and fussing about how dirty his hands get. I guess Andrew is either a finicky kid, or Crazy Grandma was successful in creating a clone of herself.

I put together a short video to show you how Andrew gets increasingly frustrated over his sticky hands. Also, you will hear Andrew droning on about how his hands are "gee gee." It's some sort of Japanese baby word for dirty. Hmm...the only one who speaks Japanese is Crazy Grandma. Gee...I wonder who taught him that word...


video

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 882 - Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime

What's the one thing that would drive Crazy Grandma crazier after a previous blog entry that described how much Crazy Grandma hates being called Crazy Grandma? It could only be another crazy edition of...Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime!

Today is the first week of Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa babysitting the kids again. Lisa and I prepped the kids by explaining to them that Crazy and Lazy were going to babysit while Mommy and Daddy went to work. I think the kids were okay with that because they responded in unison, "About time."

The great thing about Crazy and Lazy is that they both use their own specific talents to babysitting. Crazy Grandma is very good with the kids because she loves to play and shower attention upon them. As for Lazy Grandpa, he loves to show them the proper way to nap and sleep.

Today, Crazy Grandma was entertaining Emma by making funny sounds. After depleting all of the air in her lower intestine, Crazy Grandma continued to make funny sounds with her mouth. Each sound that Crazy Grandma made would elicit a hearty laugh from Emma.

"Phbbbbbt," said Crazy Grandma.

Emma laughed.

"Cluck cluck cluck!" clucked Crazy Grandma.

Emma laughed.

"Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr," sirened Crazy Grandma as she rolled her tongue on the top of her mouth.

Emma was silent.

"Rrrrrrrrrr!" repeated Crazy Grandma.

Continued silence.

"RRRRRRRRRRR!" roared Crazy Grandma at one last chance to make Emma chuckle.

This time Emma stood up, walked up to Crazy Grandma, and held up her hand front of Crazy's face.

And then Emma said with complete seriousness, "Stop, Gaga! You scare me..."

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 881 - Poll Results & New Poll


Last week, I asked what toddler activity would be best for Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa to participate with the kids. First place was a tie between music and gym classes; they each received twenty-six percent of the votes. And not too far behind was indoor playgrounds with twenty-one percent and art classes with fifteen percent. And I received one anonymous e-mail that said the following: I tink the kids wil be very hapy to just have thier grandma and grandpa around to babysit them. THey do'nt need to go out where it dirty with germs. Dirty dirty outsid. I wish not to say who I am, but I am not crazy.

I did ask my parents if they wanted me to sign the kids up for any activities, but they told me to hold off for now. I gave them some information regarding the indoor playground down the block, and how Borders has a children's storytime every Friday at 10:30a. Enough options were given to them to make a decision, but for the meantime the kids will have to be entertained eight hours a day by Crazy Grandma's nagging and Lazy Grandpa's sleeping.

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Speaking of Crazy Grandma, she has never enjoyed the nickname I chose for her, but a recent incident has made her hate it even more. A week or so ago, Emma was talking to Crazy Grandma via vidchat and she said, "You Crazy Gaga!" But what I thought was a cute and funny slap in the face, Crazy Grandma just saw it as a slap in the face.

Crazy Grandma has requested to me that we no longer call her crazy. I then rattled off a list of other possible nicknames for her: Nutty Fruitcake Grandma, Queen of Purell Grandma, Can't-Pronounce-the-Letter-R Grandma. Surprisingly, she vetoed all of them and suggested we call her Funny Grandma from now on.

What do you think? Crazy Grandma (awesome!) or Funny Grandma (lame!)?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Day 880 - Pick Up Carrot Sticks


There are two sides to Emma. You have her sweet and playful side that makes her want to give you a hug and a kiss. And then there's the stubborn and angry side that makes her want to give you a slug in the kisser. The other night, Lisa and I had to contend with the latter.

It was dinner, and Lisa made the kids a lovely meal of fried chicken, french fries, potato chips, and a glass of cold vegetable oil (The kids need to eat their vegetables!). Emma hardly touched her vegetables, but she was demanding her fruit.

Lisa explained to Emma that she must eat her vegetables before she received her fruit. Emma's response to this was standard: she threw her vegetables on the floor. And by standard, I meant a common action that you find in an epileptic vegan restaurant.

Immediately, I told Emma, "Don't throw that."

Emma looked at me and dropped her sippy cup to the ground.

I said, "Don't drop that."

Emma tossed her napkin.

"Don't toss that."

I was getting very frustrated with Emma, so it was time to show her who wore the pants in the house. I went into the bedroom, put some pants on, and then returned to the dining room. I calmly and sternly told her that she must eat her vegetables or else she would not receive her fruit and dessert.

Emma flipped over her plate, and all her food dropped to the floor.

That was the final straw. We took Emma out of her chair and asked her to help pick up what she dropped on the floor. I told her it was not nice to drop the food that Mommy cooked for her no matter how awful or burnt it might be.

Emma laid on the floor crying and kicking her legs in the air. Lisa and I decided to ignore Emma's temper tantrum hoping that the lack of attention would cool her down. In a few minutes, she stopped crying and stood up. She approached us. What would she do? Say sorry? Give us a hug? Nope! She tried to knock our salad plates and the bottle of salad dressing off the dining table.

Eventually, Emma calmed down, picked the food off the floor, and told us she was sorry. It was a pretty crappy dinner, and I'm not just talking about Lisa's casserole. I'm trying to look at these tantrum incidences as a learning experience for both child and parent. The kids need to learn that certain behavior is not acceptable, and there are consequences for their actions; and we, the parents, need to learn how to nurse the liquor cabinet a little more because we have another sixteen years of this at home. Excuse me while I return this bottle of vodka to the wet bar and exchange it for a step stool and a noose...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Day 879 - Return of Crazy & Lazy


Most likely for the last time, Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa returned to babysit Emma and Andrew for the next 3 1/2 months while I return to work. Crazy and Lazy told us they would help babysit the kids until they got old enough for preschool. I tried convince my parents that the new minimum age for preschool is eighteen, but even Crazy Grandma didn't fall for that one.

One obvious plus about this arrangement is that Emma and Andrew are able to spend time with their grandparents. And for a couple of senior citizens who misplace half a dozen objects a day, they do a great job and still haven't lost a kid. But a less obvious perk is that I get a humongous amount of material for this blog from Crazy Grandma's antics.

Crazy and Lazy have only been in Los Angeles for one day, but I already have two stories courtesy of Crazy Grandma. Here is just a small taste of many delicious stories that will be coming your way over the next few months!

STORY #1
Crazy Grandma was doing the dishes and placed our souvenir New Orleans ceramic ladle in the drying rack. As she began to stack more and more dishes into the rack (Did I mention she loves to clean?), the ladle got pushed out and fell to the floor in pieces. Even though the ladle was probably one of those crappy $3.99 souvenirs, I was still a little saddened that it broke.

When I told Crazy Grandma that I was disappointed it broke, all she had to say to me was, "You tink dis waz gonna last your entire life? Nooo way. This would've broke before you die. No big deal. You alive, spoon dead."

STORY #2
Crazy Grandma played with the kids for a long time this afternoon. When the kids took their nap, she recounted to me this elaborate imaginary trip she took with the kids.

"It was soooo cute," she started. "At first I told dem we go to zoo. So I take stuffy animals out and we go visit dem. After dat I said we go have tea. I take blocks and make rittle tea cups and we all have tea. Soooo cute! Den I tell kiddies dat we should go visit Auntie Anne in New York. I take basket upside-down, put over our heads, and pretend it airplane. Soooo cute! And den when we land, we take taxi to Auntie Anne. So I push kiddies in the basket across room. At last we knock on door and pretend to visit Auntie Anne. So tiring, but sooo cute!"

"Sounds like fun, but what basket did you use that you all were able to fit in?" I asked.

"Dat big white basket in dah living room," said Crazy Grandma.

"You used that basket? I was doing the laundry and that was the dirty hamper for our socks and underwear!"

"WHAAAAAT?" sputtered a disgusted Crazy Grandma. "I put dat dirty ting on my head? Ack! I got your poop in my hair!"

Friday, March 5, 2010

Day 880 - Picture Friday

For the Amazing Emma's next trick, she will levitate the speared cucumbers magically into her mouth.


"How funny! I had what I was looking for in my hand the entire time!"


You make the call: banana or booger?


You make the tougher call: banana or booger?


Have a great weekend!