Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 992 - Conversations with Emma & Andrew

Before going to bed, we had to put the kids into their overnight diapers. Otherwise, we would greet the kids in the morning with their bladder-made water beds.

For some reason, Emma and Andrew were fighting over who would get their diaper changed first. They started pushing each other in front of the changing table.

"I'm first," shouted Andrew.

"No! I'm first," retorted Emma.

"Emma, no! I'm first!" demanded Andrew.

"No, Andrew. Me! I'm first!" Emma corrected Andrew.

"NOOO!" screamed Andrew. "I'M FIRST!"

And then Emma pushed Andrew and said, "I'm first because I'm the best!"

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 990 - Ripped Off

Andrew got a new, fancy book. It's a Cars pop-up book that comes with a flashlight. So when you're in the dark, you use the flashlight to create shadows with the different Cars characters. I hope I'm wrong, but one of the shadows looks like Sally is doing something awfully wrong with Lightning McQueen's exhaust pipe.

Emma still has a terrible habit of tearing things. She tears newspapers, magazines, stickers, and the heads off little animals (no larger than a vermin). So if you put the first paragraph and this paragraph together, I think you know where I'm heading (and no, Emma did not tear off Andrew's head).

I was on the sofa watching television, when I heard Emma say, "Oh oh!" On top of the coffee table was a piece of Andrew's new pop-up book.

"Emma!" I said. "What did you do to Andrew's book?"

"Oh oh!" screamed Emma as she ran to the hallway.

I went after her and asked her why she tore Andrew's book.

Emma cowered against the wall and whimpered, "...noooo...."

"You need to stop tearing books. It is not a nice thing to do!"

This time Emma flopped face down on the ground and said a little louder, "Nooooo!"

I bent down to the ground and told her she would need to apologize to Andrew for tearing his new book.

With her face still nuzzled in the rug, she then began to bawl uncontrollably.

...oh oh...


...what do i do?

Seriously. I had no idea that my reprimanding her for tearing a book was going to end up with her crying on the floor. This has never happened before. Usually this situation ends up with Emma ignoring me or her eventually apologizing to Andrew. But bawling on the floor? This is stuff I'm only used to with Lisa!

I went back and forth between comforting and scolding Emma like a bad Lifetime schizophrenic movie-of-the-week. I was tentative with touching her because I didn't know how sympathetic I should be. If you saw me touching her, you'd think you were watching a really bad zombie movie and I wasn't too sure if the zombie on the asphalt was dead or not.

Ultimately, I caved in and tried to comfort Emma. I figured she must have felt bad enough for what she did to Andrew's book and that was enough. The truly interesting thing about this incident is that I clearly saw Emma reacting to something that she knew would get her in hot water. It immediately reminded me of the time when Lisa came home early and found me in an uncompromising position with the entire cast of The Hills.

Call this entire incident a learning lesson for the both of us. Emma learned she should not tear Andrew's books, and I learned that it's a difficult call to figure out when to be the tough parent and the softy. Like right now...I think I'm going to let it slide that Emma just ripped the head off a rat. They're only this age once, after all.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 988 - Picture Friday

This position + beans = deadly combination.

Andrew is caught brown-handed fixing his diaper wedgie.

"Wait! I need another credit card."

"I can't believe I had this much ear wax."

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 987 - Conversations with Emma

Before I leave for work every morning, I try to muster up a bit of courage and respect by pleading and begging my family to say good-bye to me. By the time my eyes get misty from self-pity, the kids line up to give me a hug and kiss.

After Andrew gave me my hug and kiss, Emma went up to Lisa instead and said, "Mommy, you're the best," and topped it off with a big hug. While still hugging Lisa, Emma turned her head towards me and said, "Daddy is the poo-poo."

Okay, okay. I get it. I'm poo-poo. I've been called a piece of poo-poo by many other people before Emma came along, so I'm used to it. But I figured it's about time to teach the kids that it's not a nice thing to call their dad "the poo-poo."

"Emma," I said. "It is not a nice to call me a poo-poo. It makes me sad so please do not call me that again."

Emma looked at me with sympathetic eyes and said, "Okay, Daddy."

"So," I added. "If Mommy is the best, what is Daddy?"

Emma answered, "Daddy is SECOND best!"

...I think I preferred being called a piece of poo-poo...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day 985 - Happy Father's Day (Gratuity Not Included)

Father's Day is a great day for me. It reminds me of two things: 1) Two and a half years ago, Emma and Andrew were born. 2) Three years and three months ago, I had sex with my wife for the first time.

This year, we decided to go to the Americana and have lunch. The Americana is this combination of shopping, eating, entertainment, and residences that has a park and water fountain in its center. Think of a high-end Disneyland Main Street and you kinda get the picture. But instead of Mickey Mouse, you get a bunch of Asian tourists.

The day was going great until we decided to eat lunch. Since I'm not one to point fingers, I won't name the restaurant that made my Father's Day a disaster. So I shall just recount the story without any names.

As we walked up to Katsuya at 702 Americana Way Glendale, CA 91210, the hostess told us there was no wait and it would only be a few seconds before our table was ready. Five minutes later, the hostess sat us down at our table with one one high chair. She told us they were looking for the other high chair. Only after our lunch did I suspect that the other high chair was probably being used by another customer to commit suicide.

Crazy Grandma was extremely aggravated that Andrew did not have a high chair. So she started snooping around the restaurant looking for one. She did find another high chair, but it was broken and more importantly, dirty. The hostess came up to us minutes later and told us they could not find the other high chair. Being a group of Japanese customers in a Japanese restaurant, we did what any other Japanese family would do: politely thank her for her help, and after she walked away, talked behind her back.

It took another five minutes before a waiter came by to ask us if we wanted anything to drink, but at least he apologized for his tardiness because he was in the middle of building another high chair out of chopsticks and a spare pagoda. When we finally got to order our food, I was at least happy that my plate of sushi came out right away. It's just too bad that we didn't have any napkins or utensils at our table.

The remainder of the meal was a comedy of errors. When our drinks came, the drink order was wrong. When the drinks came correctly, a minute later another waiter came with our drink order again. When they brought out the napkins and utensils, they didn't bring us enough. We ordered three bowls of rice, and it took almost 10 minutes to come out (I guessed they must have a rice patty in the kitchen.). Once again, about 5 minutes after that another waiter came with three more bowls of rice. And you NEVER mess with a Japanese family's bowl of rice.

At the very least, the waiter was nice and apologetic. He volunteered to take a picture of our family so we would always remember never to come to this restaurant again.

Looking at this picture, I remembered that Father's Day shouldn't be about the restaurant, the bad service, or the food we ate. Instead, Father's Day should be remembered for this simple fact: Dad's are awesome! But as I looked closer at this picture, I realized that perhaps to some people, this day might've been about the food...

I'm telling you...don't mess with a Japanese person's bowl of rice.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day 984 - Belated Birthday Bonanza

Auntie Anne (pretzel maven) is in town visiting for a few weeks. Although she is often thoughtful (mostly about herself), she forgot to send our mom a birthday card last month. And since you know what our mom is like, you can imagine the high drama.

A few weeks ago, Crazy Grandma was asking if a birthday card from Anne came in the mail. When I told her no, she went into this incoherent tirade, "No card for poor momma. I take picture of cards, but I wait. I wait for mail. But no birthday for me. I take picture with no card for me. Oh well. Poor me. No birthday for card."

Well imagine Crazy Grandma's surprise when Auntie Anne not only gave her a coupon for a delicious cinnamon sugar pretzel, but a birthday card with an extra special surprise inside. Here's a video that captured the joyous (and crazy) reaction.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Day 983 - Picture Friday

Emma imagines her time-outs as a relaxing day at a Sandal's resort.

"You, woman! Stop this nonsense with my hair!"

There's nothing more adorable and disgusting than wrapping your head with used gauze.

As Andrew picks his nose, Lisa looks on secretly picking her butt.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day 980 - So You Think You Can Shake?

When Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa babysit, there's always a time in the day when they play music for the kids. Unfortunately, my parents forgot in their old age that they don't actually know how to play any instruments so they smartly resorted to the good old CD player.

Crazy Grandma grew tired of the CD I created for the kids which was a mixture of Disney songs, Broadway overtures, and Gregorian chants. As she snooped through our music shelf, she found a CD that had a bunch of children songs. She might as well have struck a triple 7 jackpot at her favorite Indian casino because the kids LOVE the CD.

There's this one particular song sung by the ever-affable and forever annoying Raffi called "Shake Your Sillies Out." Although I do believe this song title was once a dating catchphrase in San Francisco and West Hollywood in the mid-80s, this Raffi song is one of those children's songs where you're suppose to dance along with the lyrics.

Andrew isn't too fond of shaking his sillies, but Emma loves to dance along with the song. Here's a short video of Emma shaking away!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Day 979 - Poll Results & New Poll

Check back later for the poll results and new poll. Currently, there is a poll gadget problem with Blogger. From what I understand, one of the trunk lines owned by BP is leaking bits and bytes. But no worries...I'm sure they have it under control.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 978 - Conversations with Andrew

Every week we go to Costco, we usually buy the kids a little something like a toy, book, or a 190 count box of Nicorette gum. This past weekend, we bought them a hardcover book of Disney stories called Tales of Fun & Friendship.

The book has six different short stories centered on friendship based on Disney movies: Finding Nemo, The Wild, Lilo & Stitch, Toy Story, Cars, and Apocalypto. Of course, Andrew wants us to read the Cars story over and over again.

The Cars story recaps the movie, but is better in two ways: 1) It focuses on the friendship between McQueen and Mater, and 2) it is 114 minutes shorter.

Today, Andrew ran up to me with the book and started shouting, "Cars book! Cars book! Read Cars book!"

So I sat him down, turned to page one, and began to read.

"McQueen was a race car. He was shiny and fast. He wanted one thing...to win the big race!" I read to Andrew.

"McQueen car fast! Ka-chow!" screamed Andrew.

I turned the page and began to read again.

"Mater was a tow truck. He was old and rusty. He wanted one thing -- a best friend," I told Andrew.

"Mater brown truck!" shouted Andrew.

And Andrew continued, "Grandma! Old rusty too!"

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Day 977 - Don't Say Cheese!

Look at that kid of ours! Look at those beaming eyes! Look at that joyful smile! Enjoy it while you can because it ain't going to last much longer.

Andrew has as good a natural smile as any other kid his age. The simple childhood pleasures of playing, running, and freely peeing in your pants can bring a grin to any toddler. But realizing that very same child with a great smile falters when asked to smile on cue makes you grateful for having an affordable 8 gig memory card in your digital camera.

Recently, when we have asked Andrew to smile for the camera, he gives this really forced grin. Using the word "grin" to describe Andrew's facial expression is probably an insult to those who can actually grin. What Andrew does when we ask him to smile is the following: he bends his neck, squints his eyes, furrows his forehead, and makes his mouth crooked. A smile it is not, but an impression of Daniel Day Lewis in My Left Foot is quite a possibility.

For the time being, we find Andrew's smile pretty hilarious. I wonder how long this crooked smile is going to last, but I'm thinking to cover it up instead of telling Andrew, "Say cheese," I may say instead, "Say Stephen Hawkins." Is that totally wrong?

Here are a few pictures of Andrew's forced smile:

Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 976 - Picture Friday

#49 on Emma's bucket list: Wear a bucket.

Look at how smart Andrew is! He placed a cardboard ramp inside the toy oven, used a red container to support the ramp, and rolled his toy car down it! A genius, I tell you! Genius!

Emma learned the hard way that sometimes if you grit your teeth, close your eyes, and wish really, really hard, all you end up is with a little dingleberry in your pants.

...umm...now Andrew is pushing a hot dog down the ramp...

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 975 - Sticker Explanation

I confronted Crazy Grandma about the stickers on our computer desk. I tried to be gentle and easy-going about it because I knew if I became too confrontational, it would only make Crazy Grandma defensive and angry.

So I said in a very calm manner, "What the hell happened to our computer desk, woman?"

Crazy Grandma explained that she and Lazy Grandpa were in the kids' room keeping an eye on Andrew while Emma was in the living room. Crazy Grandma noticed that it was very quiet in the living room so she figured either Emma was getting into trouble or the patio door was open and Emma made a break for freedom.

It took a little bit of time for Crazy Grandma to find Emma. Not because Emma was well hidden, but Crazy Grandma got a little hungry and made some tempura and tea for herself during the hunt.

I told Crazy Grandma that we tell the kids that they can only put their stickers on paper, and they shouldn't put it anywhere else. Crazy Grandma shrugged and told me that kids will be kids.

So then, I told Crazy Grandma that maybe the next time they give the kids stickers to play with, they should keep a closer eye on them. Crazy Grandma shrugged and told me that kids have never got hurt on their watch.

Enough was enough, and it was time to be honest. I told Crazy Grandma that I wasn't happy that Emma stuck stickers all over the computer desk, and if it the stickers don't come off the desk would be ruined.

And it was now time for Crazy Grandma to be honest, "Good. I never liked that desk anyways."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 973 - Sticker Lineup

Emma is similar to her mom in many ways. They both enjoy calling me poo-poo. They can both be very understanding and open-minded.* And they are both detail oriented in their own specific ways.

Although Emma can make our house look like a state of emergency (No need to call FEMA; Lisa and I would clean it up faster.), she also has this peculiar trait of lining things up in a row. She will do it with practically anything: crayons, dolls, dominoes , convicts, road kill, etc.

I suppose there is a simple pleasure in being able to create a row of things. The repetitive rhythm and the motor skills necessary to do this is probably something that instills a sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction in the development of children. Or they're just bored and don't know what else to do with their time.

As Lisa and I were watching television tonight, Lisa noticed this new work of art that Emma created. Emma took a sheet of stickers and created a nice line of sea creatures:

Notice how neatly Emma placed the stickers creating a superb line of sticker art. It's quite impressive to see your kids maturing from these little boob-fed blobs into these little people.
But what's even more impressive is if you uncrop the picture to see the full-length version of Emma's sticker art...

SHE PUT LIKE A HUNDRED F*^&ING STICKERS ALL OVER OUR DAMN DESK! How did this happen? This must've taken Emma forever to do! What was Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa doing? Were they watching Avatar back to back to back to back (...and by Avatar, I mean The Hurt Locker...)?

And how the hell did she get the stickers to the top of the desk hutch? Emma's only 31" tall. Did she disassemble the hutch, place it on the floor, put the stickers on, and then return the hutch back on the desk? Or more likely, she probably used this scaffolding that I found in her crib to reach the top of the desk:

Lisa and I started to take the stickers off the desk, but thought it would be a better idea to wait until the morning to teach a lesson. At first we thought we would make Emma take off all the stickers and then lecture her how stickers should not go on furniture. But then we realized the better thing to do is to give Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa a couple of spatulas and a bottle of Goo Gone. Good luck!

*What I meant to say is that they're both stubborn and defensive. Shhh...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 972 - Poll Results & New Poll

Last week, I asked if Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa should continue to lie down with the kids during nap time. Sixty-six percent of you must have as high an intelligence quotient as myself because you agreed that Crazy & Lazy need to leave the bedroom. And the remainder of you adorable Forrest Gumps thought it was all for naught because nap time is officially over.

All I have to say to those of you who believe nap time is over is...IN YOUR FACE! Nap time is NOT over! Pop the bubbly, cue the confetti, and generously tip the prostitutes because the kids are taking their naps again. Although my parents felt uncomfortable leaving the kids unattended in the bedroom, Crazy and Lazy took my suggestion and decided to leave the kids alone. After a few days, the kids were back on their regular nap routine, and Crazy and Lazy had to admit that their son was a parenting genus...geneus...jenius.

...that their son wasn't dum.


I have something to admit. Just like their parents, our kids have a drinking problem. Granted, they don't have Lisa's vodka problem or my 10W30 motor oil problem. But our kids definitely have a drinking problem: they don't know how to use a damn cup!

Our kids are over 2 1/2 years old. They can talk, count, draw, and complete four sides of a Rubik's cube. But give them a cup of water, and they act like a turkey with its head cut off. They dip their hands into the cup, they blow bubbles, they pour water in their plates, but the one place the cup should go is a restricted area.

We explain to the kids that they should not play with their cups, but we are ignored like an A/V Club president on a dance floor. What do we do? Do we let the kids be kids and hope that one day they will use cups properly? Do we take away their cups as soon as they misbehave? Or are we going to have to pack up sippy cups for the kids when they eventually go off to college?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Day 971 - Conversations With Emma

I was home alone (AHHHHHH!!!) with the kids, and Andrew took a gigantic dump. It was one of those dumps when you open up the diaper you think to yourself, "I'm never going to eat meatloaf again."

Andrew was being very difficult and did not want his diaper changed. He was twisting his body and kicking his legs -- not a good combination for a diaper change.

Soon he began screaming, "I want car book! I want car book!"

At this point, I had Andrew's diaper off and there was no way I was going to be able to get the car book that was on the floor. But if I did not get the car book, there was no way I was going to be able to change his diaper without some sort of crap catastrophe.

Suddenly, I remembered I had another child in the living room that could help me.

"Emma! Emma! Can you help Daddy?"

And just like the good daughter she is, she came running into the bedroom with a cheerful, "Hi Daddy!"

"Emma. Can you help Daddy?" I asked as I continued to wrestle with Andrew's ankles and ass.

"Okay," said Emma.

"I'm trying to change Andrew's diaper, but Andrew wants one of his car books. Can you get one for me?"

Emma turned around and saw the stack of car books on the floor. She walked towards the books and said, "I do not want to get you a car book."

And as she left the room, I eventually was able to change Andrew's diaper despite me looking like an abused Ding-Dong left out in the sun.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Day 970 - Freak Out

I'll have more to tell you about our ongoing struggles to put the kids back on a nap schedule, but today's blog is proof that the kids still need a nap. We had a busy afternoon because we were out looking at homes again. When we returned home, Emma actually took a nap today because she was so tired, but Andrew did not. Much like the college student who drinks his first double espresso during finals week, Andrew will be wired for several hours, but quickly crash and burn before the end of the day.

Before bedtime, the kids were playing with their toy cars. I made a long car ramp out of cardboard so Emma and Andrew found this very exciting. As you watch the video, I hope you will be able to tell the point at which Andrew's short fuse explodes. It's a little subtle, so watch really carefully...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 969 - Picture Friday

The kids try to save Crazy Grandma from the clutches of Gold Robot Cate Blanchette.

Emma realizes she just bit off her thumb.

As part of their bedtime ritual, Scott reads to Emma and Andrew his prenuptial agreement.

What started out as an innocent tea party turned into a disastrous game of strip poker for Andrew.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Day 968 - Is That All You Got?

I feel as if we have a reached a point in parenthood in which very little phases us. Lisa and I were talking about our day over dinner, and she began to tell me a story about Andrew. Andrew was a little constipated, but he eventually emptied his dump truck and all was well with his intestinal tract.

As Lisa was cleaning up the living room, she noticed a small trail of little brown M&Ms. But these M&Ms were the ones that you would not want to melt in your mouth or your hands unless you have some sort of fetish with feces. That's right. Lisa did not notice that somehow, Andrew left a track of little constipated, concentrated ka-ka balls all over the living room.

My reaction to that was, "Oh. Were you able to clean everything up?"

"Yah. I just sprayed a little carpet cleaner on the floor and wiped it," said Lisa.

"That's good," I responded as I continued to eat my spaghetti and meatballs.

Now, if we didn't have kids and Lisa told me this same story, I think my reaction would've been more along the lines of, "What the f*&^? That's is the most disgusting story I've ever heard! How the f&*@ does s*(t fall out of a kid's diaper? That's f#&(ed up parenting! And why are you telling me this over dinner? That's especially f&*(ed up! I'm outta here!"

But after two and a half years of dealing with pee, poop, boogers, rashes, blood, pus, and other human liquids that you may find in any local hospital or dark alley, Lisa and I have truly gotten to the point where very little disgusts us. After being sprayed with poop or pee by your child, little poop balls on the floor is amateur hour.

At this point, my standard reaction to these stories is laughter. You laugh at it because there's really no other reaction that is suitable; if you can't laugh at it, you're going to drive yourself crazy. Although I still find it very difficult to find any humor in the kids calling me Poo-Poo Daddy. Seriously. What's so funny about being called something that comes out of an ass?

Excuse me while I wipe away a pathetic tear from my face...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 966 - Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime

Let's go through the checklist to make sure we're all ready for Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime! Wash our hands? Check. Make our bed? Check. Tidy up the room? Check. Use q-tips to clean around the bathroom faucets? Check. Rearrange the furniture in our house so it's unrecognizable when we come home from work? Check. Say you're on a diet yet you eat up all of our baked goods in two days flat? Check. Now we're ready for...Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime!

When we last visited Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime, I recounted a story in which Crazy Grandma thought she was watching Avatar although she was actually watching The Hurt Locker. It is a common enough mistake with Crazy Grandma. She has confused Slumdog Millionaire for Ghandi, Forrest Gump for Turner and Hooch, and Beauty and the Beast for According to Jim.

This past weekend, Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa mustered enough energy to babysit the kids one night while Lisa and I went out for dinner. I told my parents that I could download a movie on our Tivo so I gave them a couple of choices.

"Do you care what movie you watch?" I asked Crazy and Lazy. "How about Valentine's Day or It's Complicated?"

Suddenly, Crazy Grandma turned towards me and scolded me. "What you mean it's complicated? You no tink I understand movies? I read blog where you say I taught I was watching Avatar. But I can perfectly understand movie. Don't you go around tinking dat movies are too complicated for me to see!"

I then explained to Crazy Grandma that It's Complicated is actually the name of a movie.

"Oooooh," she said. "Dah one with Meryl Streep? I rike her. I watch that one."

And after she watched It's Complicated, Crazy Grandma told me that she didn't think Sophie's Choice was going to be that funny.