Monday, May 31, 2010
Last week, I asked whether nap time is over now that the kids learned how to climb out of their cribs. I truly hope this week's poll result is correct because fifty percent voted that nap time is not over, but we will need to give it another week or two. And right behind, twenty-five percent thought it could be over, but we should try to train the kids how to relax and nap again.
For a little over a week, the kids have not napped at all in their cribs. They have on occasion fell asleep in the car, in their high chairs, or in the middle of the street (Don't worry. We placed traffic cones around them.), but never in their cribs. The most success we have had so far is that Lisa was able to keep the kids in their cribs for about an hour without them climbing out. I'm hoping this is the first step towards the kids taking naps again. And if not, I'm taking out my rainy day funds and purchase one of these:
Why they haven't made these baby cages since 1937 is beyond me...
Poor Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa have been more exhausted than usual because the kids are no longer napping. Grandma has become crazier and Grandpa has become lazier. They do everything they can do to keep the kids safely in their cribs. They give them books to read, dolls to play, and a dry sherry to relax. But as I've mentioned previously, the kids just are not napping.
Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa have started to lie down on the floor during nap time because they are afraid the kids might get into too much trouble. But all that really happens is that the kids start throwing their books and dolls at Crazy and Lazy from their cribs. I like to call it a Fisher Price stoning.
Although I understand Crazy Grandma's and Lazy Grandpa's hesitation to leave the kids in their room by themselves, I've been suggesting to them that they should not lie down with them during nap time because it probably just keeps the kids up. So far, my parents have not taken my suggestion.
What do you think? Am I right? Is it okay for Crazy and Lazy to lie down? Should the kids use real stones?
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Since we had a three day weekend, Lisa and I decided to take the kids to the park. The park is a great place to take kids because there's a lot of room to run around, it's free, and kids can learn the difference between dirt clods and animal poop.
We packed up a small bag of outdoor toys like Nerf balls, frisbees, and lighter fluid. But the one toy the kids loved playing with was the bubble bottle. Emma and Andrew sat on a blanket for the longest time blowing bubbles as if they were stagehands on the Lawrence Welk show.
Here's a short video of Emma and Andrew having their Memorial Day bubble fun...
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Although the kids are exhausting us quite a bit, they are becoming much more fun and interesting because they are starting to resemble little people. Albeit little people who still poop in their pants and cry when they can't find their bunny blanket.
The one thing I have noticed about Andrew is that he really enjoys being a goofball. He likes to make us laugh, and runs around the house like a bull inside a China shop (Although we are Japanese...).
Something that Andrew does that entertains me is when I tell him to throw a wooden block at Mommy's head. Another thing that entertains me is seeing him make different faces. He has become quite adept at facial contortions, so here are a few examples of Andrew's funny faces!
Here's a picture of Andrew making a happy face...
Here's a picture of Andrew making a fishy face...
Here's a picture of Andrew making an angry face...
Here's a picture of Andrew making a surprised face...
Here's a picture of Andrew making a Crazy Grandma surprised face...
Friday, May 28, 2010
Lazy Grandpa, Emma, Andrew, and Crazy Grandma all share a collective laugh as they watch home video of Scott's circumcision.
"...does mommy think i'm asleep? i can't eat another bite of this food...i'm going to start snoring again...zzz..."
Thursday, May 27, 2010
I don't know what it is about balloons, but people sure do like giving them to kids. The kids get a haircut, the stylist gives the kids a balloon. You go to the grocery store, the cashier gives the kids a balloon. You runaway from a scary homeless person, the vagrant tries to give the kids a balloon (Although to be fair, what we thought was a balloon was actually a severed cat head.).
Honestly, life would be a lot more simpler and stress-free if people did not give our kids balloons. There are so many things to contend with when the kids get a balloon. You need to make sure the balloon is tied tight enough so it doesn't fly away. You have to explain constantly that a balloon is not something you bite. You must listen to the whining and crying when the balloon loses its helium, pops, or gets eaten.
The most annoying thing is having to drive home with balloons floating around the car. The other weekend, the kids got some balloons when we were shopping at a children's store. While driving home, the balloons kept on floating into the front of the car. I had to slap the balloons towards the back of the car. Then the balloons got into the back of the car so the kids started to cry because they couldn't reach the balloons. To fix that, I began to break repeatedly so the balloons would start to float towards the front of the car again. On top of it all, my erratic driving reinforced the stereotype of bad Asian drivers for another three decades.
Lisa had an interesting conversation with Emma as her balloon began to lose its helium.
"Oh no," said Emma. "My balloon not fly!"
Lisa explained, "That's what happens with balloons. When a balloon loses its helium, it doesn't fly anymore. Do you have helium inside you?"
"Not in my bottom, " responded Emma.
"Do you want helium inside you?" asked Lisa.
"I don't want to fly," stated Emma.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Lisa was going through a normal day with the kids which consists of dumping a box of cereal in a bucket, leaving the television on cartoons for eight hours, and drinking a bottle of vodka. But the end of the day revealed a surprise.
After giving the kids a bath, Lisa was putting on their pajamas. As she was pulling Andrew's pants on, she heard Emma say these words in the corner of the room, "I don't care for you, Mommy."
Before we go on any further, let me answer your first question: No, Emma did not say anything about not caring for me so I am still beloved by my daughter. Let's carry on...
There was nothing that provoked Emma to say these words. Lisa wasn't angry at Emma, Emma wasn't in a bad mood, and Andrew wasn't holding up cue cards. Even the tone in Emma's voice was light and conversational. Instead of saying something hurtful, she very well could've been saying, "I love puppies and gave CPR to a nun."
I think since there didn't seem to be any malice or intent with Emma's words, Lisa just shrugged it off and marked it down as one of those weird things that kids say for no reason. Although if I was Lisa, what I would question is when Emma said, "I don't care for you, Mommy," did that mean what she really cares about is me, her modest father? Wow, Lisa. You're stronger than I thought!
Literally. She just hit me.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Last week, I asked what we should do about our impending housing situation. Thirty-three percent of you voted that we should go for it and buy a house. Twenty-five percent thought we should buy our condo. And most telling, none of you believe we should rent.
As we have begun our search for a possible alternative to our condo, Lisa and I find it unbelievable that despite the purported affordability of housing, it's extremely difficult to find a home in Los Angeles. Much like any house search, we are trying to narrow our selection based on location, price, and the ability to hang a 55" LCD on a wall.
We are trying to find a reasonable home around the area we live now, but as I said it's very difficult to find something. If we had a million dollars, we could have a home like this:
Unfortunately, our finances forces us to look at something more along the lines of this:
The time has finally come: the kids can climb out of their cribs. As we prepare the kids for their transition from cribs to cribs with stunt pads on the floor, a surprising development occurred concurrently: the kids don't want to nap!
With this new found freedom to climb out of the cribs, nap time has transformed into play time. It's almost impossible for us to calm them down in their beds...without alcohol and weed...for us. So for the past week or so, Emma and Andrew have not been napping at all.
To make matters even worse, the kids have become extremely grumpy at the end of the day because they're not napping. There's more crying, yelling, and whining. It has really taken quite a toll on us and poor Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa who no longer have their 1-2 hours of quiet FOX News time.
So what do you think? Is nap time over forever? Will the kids nap once the novelty of escaping their crib fades? Do we need to condition them to nap? Or do we just invent in a good pair of toddler eye masks and ear plugs?
Sunday, May 23, 2010
What is the universal mantra used by schizophrenics, manic depressives, and psychotics throughout the world: I'm not as crazy as Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime... I'm not as crazy as Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime... I'm not as crazy as Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime... I'm not as crazy as Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime...
Every Saturday night my parents do two things: clip each other's toenails and watch a movie from Netflix. And if they drink a glass of wine, they often mistakenly send their nail clippings to Netflix.
Yesterday, Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa started to watch their Netflix movie. About thirty or forty minutes into the movie, Crazy Grandma says, "Gee. Dis is not what I thought Avatar would be rike..."
Lazy Grandpa shook his head and said, "That's because we're watching The Hurt Locker..."
Saturday, May 22, 2010
It is surreal to us that we can have simple conversations with the kids. We can talk about their toys, what food they want to eat, and whether or not BP is doing all they can do to stop the oil leak (BTW, the kids don't think BP is doing that great a job.).
But what's even better than these conversations is how random their spoken thoughts can be. Most of the time there's logic to their thoughts. If we're eating dinner, they might say something like, "Mommy burn chicken." But there are other times when their words might make no contextual sense at all. For instance, we might be playing with a puzzle and one of them might say, "My diaper has arms."
Best of all is when they say something cute and endearing without any provocation. Today, we returned home from a visit to the bookstore. As the elevator doors closed, Emma said, "Oh, Mommy. I love you so much."
Andrew followed right behind and said, "Me too, Mommy."
Ain't that cute? And I thought to myself how cute and heartwarming it would be to hear them say the same thing about their wonderful Daddy. So I waited. And waited.
We were soon going to reach our floor, so I cleared my throat. The kids looked at me. I gave them a big smile and said, "Hey, guys! How about Daddy?"
The kids looked confused.
"You know," I hinted to them. "Both of you said how much you love your mommy. How about me?"
Emma took a few steps up to me, held my hand, and said, "Daddy. You're the poo-poo!"
"Daddy is poo-poo!" screamed Andrew.
As we got out of the elevator, everyone had tears in their eyes. Lisa and the kids had tears of laughter, and I had tears of humiliation due to my newly developed feces-complex.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
One afternoon, Emma and Andrew asked me to sing a song. After five minutes of Ava Maria, they grew impatient and wanted something different. I had a mental block and did not know what to sing. Suddenly the melody of "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain" popped in my head and out came these Sondheim-esque lyrics:
Oh, Mommy wears diapers all the time.
Oh, Mommy wears diapers all the time.
She goes pee-pee and poo-poo.
She goes pee-pee and poo-poo.
Oh, Mommy wears diapers all the time.
Fine, it's not Sondheim. But I say it's at least as witty as any Cole Porter song.
The kids laughed and asked me to sing it again. At this point, I thought it would be hilarious if I could teach the song to the kids and then they could sing it for Lisa! I closed the bedroom door and begun to sing the song over and over again until it was ingrained in their little noggins.
"Do you want to sing the song for mommy?" I asked the kids.
Emma and Andrew nodded in unison. Eureka! This was going to be the funniest thing since Master P on Dancing With the Stars. I couldn't wait.
As Emma and Andrew sat on the sofa, I called Lisa into the room.
"Lisa," I yelled. "Stop shaving your back and come listen to the song the kids just learned!"
When Lisa entered the living room, I told her the kids had a special song just for her.
"Okay guys," I coached the kids. "When I count to three, sing the song I taught you. One...two...three!"
"Come on now. Don't embarrass, Daddy! One...two...THREE!"
"Please!" I pleaded. "Mommy's waiting to hear the song."
And then Andrew leaned forward on the sofa, and began to sing the song!
Ohhh...Daddy wear diaper all time.
Daddy wear diaper all time.
Daddy go pee-pee and poo-poo.
Pee-pee and poo-poo.
Daddy wear diaper all time!
Lisa looked at me quizzically as Andrew and Emma laughed at my expense. After explaining to Lisa what the song was suppose to be, she too laughed at my expense. I have no idea when this entire joke blew up in my face, but I have a feeling that I will always be outnumbered, outwitted, and outlasted in this household for a long time to come.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Since Emma and Andrew are spending so much time with Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa, it's always interesting to see what they pick up from them. Emma will say certain things that Crazy Grandma might say like, "Time to clean up!" or "Don't you do that!" And Andrew will say certain things that Lazy Grandma might say like, "I'm sleepy." or "Where's the remote?"
The one thing that I found interesting is that the kids have started to use the word "monster." Obviously, they did not pick that up from us because we don't dare use words like that. Now if they started to say words like "whore", "stanky", and "ass", then guilty as charged!
I found out from Crazy Grandma that before naptime they play a game called Grandpa Is a Monster. There's nothing more soothing or relaxing than identifying your grandpa as a man-eating ogre before hitting the sack. Basically it's Lazy Grandpa pretending to chase the kids around their bedroom...with a chainsaw and hockey mask.
While playing this soon-to-be patented childhood game, Crazy Grandma decided to change it up a little bit. She decided to call the game Andrew Is a Monster. Andrew loved chasing people around the room, but Emma was traumatized. She started to cry and told Crazy Grandma that she did not want Andrew to be a monster.
At first, I was going to pull out my childhood psychology textbook out and reread the chapter titled, "What To Do When Your Grandparent F*&ks With Your Child's Mind." I really hoped Emma wasn't going to be affected by this monster game because I no longer remembered how to use my electroshock therapy home kit.
But after I thought about it some more, I realized that the kids really have no idea what a monster actually is. Nobody ever explained to them what a monster was and what a monster looked like. In their minds, Emma and Andrew probably defined a monster as Lazy Grandpa chasing after them.
So I'm glad that my fear of the kids being afraid of monsters is unfounded. All I have to worry about is the kids correlating their fear of monsters with Lazy Grandpa. And why be concerned about a Japanese grandpa chasing after you with a Tivo remote in one hand and a cup of green tea in the other?
Monday, May 17, 2010
Long, long ago in a blog poll far, far away...I asked how we can prevent our children from climbing our furniture. Eighty percent said that we just need to make things as safe as possible and discipline the kids when they do climb. The remaining votes were divided evenly between there is no hope and electrified furniture could be a wise investment.
I think Lisa and I have to get used to the fact that kids will be kids, and they are entering a stage in their development in which they are curious about everything and curiously ignore all of our warnings and demands. Overall, our house is pretty safe, and there is only so much you can do before you have to move your guillotine collection into a Public Storage facility. At this point in our lives, a day is good when nothing is bruised or broken. Especially my beloved television set...
About a week or so ago, we were given notice that the owners of our condo unit want to sell. Not only does this explain the sleepless nights I have been having, but it also explains why the blog has been lagging behind with new entries. Thankfully, our financial situation is okay so we are prepared to purchase instead of renting as long as we can find something we like.
But another option we have instead of moving is staying here at our condo. It's a rather large two bedroom and two bathroom unit, and it's plenty of space for the four of us. Yet there is still something appealing about moving to a three bedroom place just to have a little more room. The big nagging point for me right now is that it would be so difficult to move to a new place with two year old twins when our living situation is perfectly fine...except for the lack of space for my guillotine collection.
Taking into consideration the current housing market and economic conditions, what do you think would be a good idea to do? Buy the condo? Buy a different condo or townhouse? Buy a house? Rent?
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Auntie Anne (pretzel maven) has started another blog site with her friend. Her first site is still running strong and is a daily newsletter for young adult females: I Heart Daily. She also has a site that is getting unbelievably high traffic, but is attracting the wrong audience. It's all about her new pretzel concoction that she calls Pretzel Enhanced Nachos with Individual Servings. The website for that is www.penischeese.com.
But her latest endeavor is called Before You Were Hot. The concept behind it is very simple. You submit an embarrassing picture of yourself from your youth with a short description, and then after the jump, you see a picture of your miraculous transformation. Auntie Anne (pretzel maven) asked me to submit a picture of myself, but I told her I couldn't do it because there still has not been a miraculous transformation.
As for Lisa, she submitted a hilarious picture of herself from high school. Here it is as well as her own description:
"This is my ninth grade school photo. Notice the tinted eye wear and Duran Duran pins on my lapels. I loved Roger Taylor and John Taylor equally. Not only can I quote their music, but I can also quote their interviews! Don't ask about my hair -- I'm not quite sure what was going on there with the mullet." --Lisa
Lazy Grandpa was looking at the website on the computer with Emma and Andrew on his lap. When he scrolled down to Lisa's photo, he couldn't believe what he saw. He cracked up at Lisa's magenta tinted fashion sense, but Emma and Andrew were a little confused. They thought that might be their mother, but they also thought it might've been Linda Hunt from The Year of Living Dangerously.
Lazy Grandpa could see the confusion in their eyes, so he decided to explain to them that they were looking at a picture of their mommy when she was young.
"See this picture?" said Lazy Grandpa. "That's Mommy!"
Andrew stared at the photo, turned towards Lazy Grandpa, and countered, "That's crazy!"
Saturday, May 15, 2010
As an incentive to the kids doing their nightly routine (brush teeth, change diaper, regrout the bathroom tiles), Emma and Andrew get to watch 10 minutes of television in our bedroom. Usually we pop in a Disney video and let them watch a few choice scenes from The Princess & the Frog, Cars, or Pulp Fiction (Miramax was a Disney film division).
This particular night was a multimedia event because not only was the television on, but Auntie Anne (pretzel maven) was video chatting with the kids. Or at least attempting to because the kiddies were too entranced by the antics of Tiana, Lightning McQueen, and Vincent & Jules.
Soon the kids lost all interest in Auntie Anne's (pretzel maven) fascinating story about switching from sea salt to kosher salt on her delicious bagels. Sadly for Lisa, she was roped into a conversation with Auntie Anne.
As Lisa and my sister were talking about their obsession with Justin Bieber, Emma started to look very irritated. She scooted closer to the end of the bed trying to listen to the words coming out of the television; she did not hear what a Royale with Cheese was.
In all seriousness, Emma turned towards to Lisa, put her left hand in Lisa's face, and said, "Don't talk!"
Lisa tried to withhold her shock and laughter. "Emma! What did you say?"
"Don't talk!" Emma repeated. Furthermore she added, "I can't hear television!"
Ah, to be young and able to get away with such language. The last time I said that to Lisa, I was in traction for eight weeks.
Friday, May 14, 2010
In ten minutes, Andrew will learn what he thought was a meatloaf sandwich was really the good old Light a Bag of Poop trick.
Unfortunately, it took us a few days to realize the box of toys we donated to Goodwill had Emma inside.
Through time, Andrew will learn all of the tricks he learned from Daddy on how to pick up girls will fail miserably.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Over the past two weeks that the blog has been ignored Emma has grown to a staggering 7 ft 3 inches.
Andrew had to talk all of his toy cars off the ledge because they became suicidal over Scott's inability to update the blog.
Emma shows that the only thing Daddy was able to accomplish the past few weeks was to grow a hideous moustache.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
What's crazier than a pipeline 5,000 feet on the ocean floor not having a simple shut-off valve although every westernized toilet has one? Why it's...Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime!
Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa had a tough day babysitting Emma. Emma was in one of her moods, and there's very little to do to comfort a grumpy toddler. All you can do is let them throw their temper tantrums and watch them hit their head repeatedly against the patio door.
Crazy Grandma told me Emma even gave her the evil eye a couple of times. Emma would just stare at Crazy Grandma with her eyes saying, "Make a move and I'll shank you, beeeeeatch!"
While recapping the day's events for me, Crazy Grandma said, "Oh! Dat Emma! She one toughy cookie, I say! She not happy today not at all. But kid be dat way sometime. Dey human, you know."
For once, I agreed with what Crazy Grandma said. Despite her inability to say the letter R and the difficulty she has with grammar, I understood what she was saying. Just like any person, Emma will have her bad days and that's just the way it is. Continue to love her for who she is, and get on with it.
Regrettably, Crazy Grandma continued to talk and ended our talk on this note...
"I tell you, Scotty. You tink she bad now? Wait until she get her period!"
And with that, I'm going to turn off my laptop and roll up in a fetal position.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Last week, I asked what we should do about Emma's fear of flies. Interestingly, fifty-seven percent of you suggested that Emma watch The Exorcist to show her how silly her fear of flies is. Nothing like a possessed teenage girl with a bad case of acne and a tendency for projectile vomit to ease a toddler's fear of tiny insects. And with twenty-eight percent of the votes, the increasingly unpopular parental practice of support and comfort came in second. Who needs love when you have a rated R movie to teach you life lessons?
Over the past week or so, Emma would continue to cry if she thought she saw a fly outside. So what I decided to do is to show her that the fly would not hurt her. As she sat in her high chair, I opened the patio door and walked outside. I pretended to shoo all of the flies away and explained to Emma that the flies were gone and they didn't hurt me at all. Emma smiled and seemed satisfied with that explanation. I think what Emma learned from this is that she can be just as brave as her dad since everyone knows I'm at heart an extremely wimpy and emasculated person.
When did our house become a playground? The sofa is a moon bounce, the bookshelf is a rock wall, and the bidet is a water fountain. The kids are having a great time being able to explore new and higher places, but it's making us nervous. We could turn our heads for five seconds, and Andrew is on top of the desk. We could turn our heads for five minutes, and Emma moved the sofa into the bathroom.
We're obviously taking steps to make sure dangerous objects (i.e. scissors, letter openers, ninja stars) are out of reach. But I also feel there is a certain line in regards to how much we can and should do. Crazy Grandma is going crazy and dumping all of our items on the shelves into boxes, but I think the more important thing to do is to discourage the kids from climbing on our furniture.
What do you think? Should we rearrange all of our furniture or should we just pack the kids into boxes?
Sunday, May 2, 2010
Last weekend, we took Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa out to a fancy lunch: I told my parents they could order as many things as they wanted from the Dollar Menu. After complimenting the chef and not understanding what language he was speaking to us, we packed up our stuff and walked to the parking lot.
As we were saying our good-byes, Crazy Grandma noticed a yellow squiggle on her shoulder. A bird peed on her! Since Crazy Grandma is such a neat freak and health nut, she lost her mind. She hated the fact that a bird peed on because who knows what disease she might get from it. Perhaps the bird flu or worse a urinary tract infection!
The kids were confused by all of this pigeon pee drama. Emma kept on asking, "What happen to Gaga?" I told her that a bird went pee-pee on her, and Gaga was not happy.
Andrew didn't say a word and was just soaking in the situation. Eventually, he pointed at Crazy Grandma and said these words: Pee-Pee Gaga!
Except for Crazy Grandma, all of us (including the bird) started laughing at what Andrew said. This motivated him to say it again with more feeling, "PEE-PEE...Gaga!"
On the drive home, I began to think that Andrew actually made a joke. He knows that pee-pee is a funny word because it makes us laugh. He also knows Crazy Grandma is a walking, living punchline. So if you combine them together, you strike comic gold!
It's interesting to see the developing interaction between Emma and Andrew because he is definitely the one who tries to make the other one laugh. Whether it's a goofy face, a ridiculous sound, or a belly flop on the sofa, he enjoys making people laugh. I'd like to say that he gets it from me, but Lisa corrected me and explained that people just like to laugh at me.