Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 1237 - Poll Results & New Poll


Last week, I asked whether or not you thought the kids were going to nap at preschool.  The results were tied at forty percent each for not taking a nap and pretending to take a nap and then proceed to wreck havoc at home.  So basically, eighty percent were saying, "You're screwed."

Every day when I picked up the kids at preschool, I asked their teachers if they took a nap.  The answer they gave me was not too surprising.  Emma napped every day at school.  First of all, she is much more comfortable with school.  Also, if she had it her way at home, she would also want to nap every day if it were not for the distraction called Andrew.

As for Andrew, he slept more often than not; probably four out of the five days.  But he had a very hard time settling down and would occasionally scream in the middle of nap time waking the entire class.  The teachers would try to calm Andrew down by patting his head or back.  They would even try cuddling with him to keep him from running around the classroom and stomping on other toddler's heads.

One day when I asked him if he was napping, he said, "I don't like it!  Teacher hold me down!  She hold me down!'

I told him that the teacher was trying to calm him down and make sure he wasn't running around during nap time.  "Which teacher held you down?" I asked.

He specifically answered, "The purple one!"

I didn't notice a purple teacher in class, although one eerily resembles this childhood icon...


 **********

For those of you who have been regular readers of this blog, you probably noticed some changes to it.  First of all, I changed the look of the blog.  Secondly, I'm slowly in the process of expanding the blog into the world of Twitter and Facebook.  And lastly, and most importantly, I have decided to write the blog when I'm sober (Charlie Sheen totally did a wake-up call for me!).

I'm not totally finished with the update of the blog because I may do a few tweaks here and there in terms of text, color, and placement of gadgets.  But I would say the blog is currently 80-90% complete.  The rest of the improvements will basically be ad space for Snuggies, Pajama Jeans, and Toddlers & Tiaras.

So what do you think of the new look?  Is it better?  Worse?  And please leave comments if you have any suggestions!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 1236 - No Sleep for You!

Here's a syllogism to tell you what has been going on in the Ichikawa household for the past month:

Everyone in the Ichikawa house is sleepy.
Andrew is not sleeping.
Therefore, Andrew is screwing everyone over and pissing Scott off.

Pretty much since Andrew started preschool, he has stopped sleeping through the night.  He will wake up several times and occasionally stay awake fussing and crying for up to an hour.  We've tried several methods to keep him in bed, but nothing has worked (i.e. crying it out, soothing him, bungee cords).

Obviously, he is still dealing with some sort of separation anxiety.  Although he is perfectly happy at school, the night brings out his worrying.  He has become our little Japanese Woody Allen.

Preschool has also been the catalyst for other worries that Andrew now has.  As I mentioned in another blog entry, Andrew is still upset that Borders is closing.  Several times a week, he still asks me if Borders is closing.  I've tried to explain to him that if Borders was more prescient about online business and digital media, they may not have had to close down two hundred of their stores.  And all Andrew does to my explanation is pick his nose.  Hmph.

Andrew is also asking when Mommy is going to work.  There must be something wrong with my standard answer of "Tomorrow morning" because he continues to ask that same question at 9pm, 11:30pm, 2am, and 4am.  I must figure out a way to be less wordy with my reply.  Perhaps "Tom morn"?

I hope this is just another phase, but there's something a little more to it this time because we're talking about a personality trait.  I say this because I know when I was a kid, I also tended to worry and over-analyze things.  But I think those days are over because I feel much more well-adjusted with my older age.  As for Andrew, I stay awake at night wondering why he can't sleep and if there's something I could do about it, but there's only so much you can do for a three year old who refuses to sleep, yet it pains me to see him worry about things because worrying is just wasteful energy and it is so important for someone so young to get enough sleep and you really don't want to see a three year old be a worry wart about things that he should not concern himself with at such an age.

...and I'm worried that I'm thinking about how little sleep I've been getting.  Boy, I sure hope Andrew isn't like me.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 1235 - Conversations with Emma


Occasionally, there are times when my immature and poopy-centric mind gives in to a more sentimental side. It does not happen often, but when it does it is often interpreted as sarcasm and is met with a slap to the face. I just can't win...

Emma and I were sitting on the couch reading books and having a nice time together. After I finished a book, Emma leaned her head on my shoulder and gave me a hug.

"Hey, Emma," I said.

"Yes?" answered Emma.

"I really enjoy spending time with you," I said as I gave her a little tweak on her button nose.

And Emma stared into my eyes and said with deep feeling, "I really enjoy eating ice cream."

...i just can't win...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 1234 - Picture Friday

"This would be more interesting if flames came out..."


Poor Andrew. He's plum tuckered out from playing, running, and the sofa pillow secretly dipped in chloroform.


What happens when you mistake a White Russian for milk.


Guess what Andrew is hiding behind: 1) Our sofa 2) Our bed 3) Big Momma's left thigh


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 1233 - Tea Party



I don't know how political the kids are at this age, but the one thing I know is that they love tea parties. They pretend to have tea parties on the stairs, the sofa, the coffee table, their beds, and the bathroom (Don't drink the yellow tea...). It's about ten minutes of them playing together nicely followed by a one minute of broken tea cups and third degree burns.

While I was in the kitchen, the kids were having a tea party on the coffee table. They began to laugh hysterically so I checked to see what was going on. The two of them came up with what they believed to be the funniest tea party since Christine McDonnell auditioned for Wicked.

And just so you understand what the kids are saying in the video, when they say "shi-shi" that's the Japanese baby word for piss. Yup. This is going to be a great tea party...


video

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 1231 - Tooth or Dare


Yesterday, Lisa was home because it was a holiday. And I was home yesterday because I haven't worked in six months and it was Monday. So what could be a better way to spend the day than to take the kids to their first ever dentist appointment?

Our pediatrician recommended this dentist that is literally a few miles away from our home. We figured why not try her out and see how it goes. The dental office was very inviting. It had a Finding Nemo theme which was much better than the other dental office which had an Inglourious Basterds theme. There were video games, a gigantic aquarium, large LCD televisions, puzzles, and books. As I looked at all of the toys, I suddenly wished I had a root canal the dentist could work on.

Lisa and I tried to prepare the kids for the dentist. We read them a book about the dentist office. We explained to them that the dentist were going to put fancy toothbrushes and tools in their mouths to make sure their teeth were extra clean. And I showed them a YouTube video on oral surgery.

That was a bad idea...

When Andrew's and Emma's names were called, Lisa and I told the dentist that Emma would go first. We weren't too sure how Emma was going to deal with the cleaning, but we were pretty sure she would be more calm than over-stimulated Andrew. Hint: Do not give your child an espresso before their first dentist appointment.

The dentist and her assistant were very friendly and explained everything that was going on. There were also little LCD televisions mounted on the ceilings so Emma could watch any number of movies like Madagascar, Toy Story, or Marathon Man.

The whole procedure went extremely smoothly with Emma. The dentist counted all of her teeth. Then she proceeded to clean, floss, and apply fluoride to her teeth. And it was all done. The only thing the dentist told us was that it looked like two of Emma's front teeth might be fused together; it's pretty common with baby teeth. She asked us to make sure we brush the fused teeth really well, and when it is time for her front teeth to come out, there is a great possibility that they may have to be removed because the roots are so large. I started to explain to Emma the possibility of oral surgery, but thankfully Lisa was next to me to kick me in the nuts.

Next up was Andrew. As the dentist greeted him and began to lean back his chair, things seemed to be okay. There was a little struggle as the dentist counted Andrew's teeth, but he soon calmed down as the dentist counted up to the number 20. Andrew selected watermelon toothpaste for his cleaning because he loves watermelon. As the cleaning started, I had an awful feeling that watermelon may become his most hated fruit.

First of all, Andrew did not like the gritty texture and taste of the toothpaste. Also, Andrew did not want the dentist to put strange probes into him mouth. I explained to Andrew that I have had plenty of strange probes, and I enjoyed them all. Since Andrew was not cooperating, the dentist asked if he wanted his Mommy to sit with him. Andrew nodded yes.

So Lisa got into the dentist chair with Andrew lying on top of her. The dentist quickly cleaned his teeth as the assistant kept Andrew's arm out of the way and I tried to keep his legs from kicking Lisa. As I stood back, all I could think as Andrew kicked his legs was how fortunate that Lisa did not have testicles.

The dentist did not want to spend too much time on Andrew because she did not want the visit to be an unpleasant experience and his teeth looked fine. As soon as the dentist was done with Andrew, he stopped screaming. Since there weren't any tears in his eyes, I realized it wasn't that he was scared or sad, he was just pissed off. Really pissed off.

Happily, the visit ended on a high note because they received a goodie bag. Emma received a Princess toothbrush, Princess dental floss, kid toothpaste, and a box of Crayolas. Andrew received a Cars toothbrush, Toy Story dental floss, kid toothpaste, a box of Crayolas, and a xanax.

As we walked to the car, we told the kids what a great job they did at the dentist. We were very proud of them, and the dentist said they had very clean teeth. When I opened the car door for Emma, I told her one more time what a great job she did.

"I know," she agreed. "I did a very good job."

"Yes," I said. "You and Andrew did a very good job."

Emma stopped me. "Not Andrew."

"Andrew, didn't do a good job?" I asked.

"No," she said. But then she thought about it and rephrased her answer. "Well, Andrew did a little bit not very good job."

And with that, we treated the kids to a little frozen yogurt to ensure that at their dental appointment they would have a cavity.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 1230 - Poll Results & New Poll


Last week, I asked your opinion about private versus public schools. Sixty-five percent favored public schools. Since Lisa is a public school teacher, she is eternally grateful for your support and will be sending each and everyone of you a scratch and sniff "You're Great" sticker. And twenty-two percent thought it didn't matter which school you go to as long as you give your child the support and guidance that s/he needs.

As I mentioned before, we are planning to send our kids to public school. We aren't against private schools at all, and if we had the finances to send our kids to a top-rated one, we would. We're just against the preconceived notion that private schools are automatically better than public schools. Sure, private schools may have smaller class sizes and cleaner and more modern facilities. But you know public schools have that private schools don't? Cold tater tots and chewy pizza. Take that, you homogeneous, uniform-wearing over achievers!

**********

For the past three weeks, I have been slowly transitioning the kids to a full day at preschool. The first week, I was with them for most of the day. The second week, they attended school from 9am to 12p. The third week, they attended from 8:30a-12:30p. And now this week, I am going to have them start to take naps at school.

Naps at home are often one to two hours of mayhem for me. When the kids nap in their beds, I let them bring one book so if they can't sleep, they can quietly read in bed. Oh, how naive I am. When one kid can't sleep, it often means the other kid can't sleep. And then screaming, running, crying, and the occasional class action suit follows.

I am told that kids tend to nap at school because of herd mentality. I am also told when kids get older, they tend to beat other kids up because of herd mentality. Not too sure about this herd thing.

So what do you think? Do you think our kids will behave like cattle and nap like all of the other livestock in their classroom? Or will they rise up against the machine and rebel against enforced sleeping?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 1229 - Conversations with Emma & Andrew



For the 3-day holiday weekend, a bunch of us went to our friend's house for lunch. Between all of the couples, there were five kids and one in the oven. And by "in the oven", I think I mean one of our friends is pregnant; I didn't have time to check their oven for a charred, missing kid.

We spent several hours eating, talking, laughing, reprimanding, mediating, and applying direct pressure to gushing toddler wounds. When it was time to go, we all had a great time and more importantly, the kids were exhausted which meant it would be a solid night of sleep for everyone.

As we were getting the kids ready for bed, I asked Andrew and Emma if they had a fun time today.

"Yes!" they both exclaimed.

"Andrew, what did you like the most at our friend's place?" I asked.

"I like...I like...I like," Andrew said with great concentration. "I like riding on the toy car and chasing people."

"That's good, Andrew," I said as I encouraged his introduction to road rage. "How about you, Emma? What did you like doing?"

"Hmm," wondered Emma.

"What did you like the best?" I said again. "Did you like playing with your friends? Or did you like playing with all the new toys?"

"Oh! I know!" exclaimed Emma. "I liked the popsicles."

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 1228 - Borders without Borders


Two months ago, our local Barnes & Nobles closed down. Last week, I found out our local Borders is going to close down. And today, I found out our local newspaper vending machine caught on fire. Good day to be illiterate.

As I mentioned to Lisa about Borders closing, Andrew's eyes and ears perked up. He furrowed his toddler brow and whimpered, "Borders closing?" I explained to him that the bookstore was closing down, but there are other Borders we could visit...like in Bakersfield, Goleta, and Folsom.

Admittedly, the Borders that is closing down is the bookstore that we have taken the kids ever since they were born so his reaction is understandable. There were so many weekends when we took them to Borders and had them browse through book hours on end. Of course, Lisa and I would eventually pick them up, but it all depended upon how long the movie we were watching was.

What I thought would be a passing concern has turned into something a little more. Andrew has been seriously affected by this news. For the past four days, there hasn't been a day when he asked me, "Borders closing?" There have even been a few nights when he came into our bedroom, crept up to the edge of our bed, and asked us "Borders closing?"

Andrew's worrying interests me quite a bit because he reminds me a lot of myself when I was a kid. Without aging myself too much, I remember being younger and worrying about the Cold War, nuclear bombs, the Vietnam War, the Spanish Civil War, and Stonehenge. We have always thought Andrew had a tendency to over think things, and I think this situation proves it.

I'm trying to address Andrew's worrying by telling him that there are plenty of other Borders to visit. I went online to see what Borders in our area we could visit. And what I found was that these Borders are closing: Sherman Oaks, Century City, Glendale, Westchester, Pasadena, Valencia, Long Beach, Cerritos, La Habra, Orange, Chino, Montclair, Oxnard, and Yorba Linda.

Suffice it to say, I bought Andrew a Kindle, and he's very happy right now.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 1227 - Picture Friday

"This shoots bubbles? How the hell am I suppose to hurt Emma with bubbles?"


"Mommy's cooking!"


A proper princess always farts lying down with her dress hiked over her legs.


Looking through the wrong side of a telescope doesn't matter when you have an eye patch.


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 1226 - Conversations with Andrew



The kids are at a stage in their development at which they are beginning to grow more curious about the world around them. They ask us how ice cream is made. They ask us why it rains. They ask us why Mommy would marry someone as unattractive and lithe as Daddy.

When the kids wake up from their naps, I usually give them fruit as a snack. I used to give them cheesecake, but their toddler beds began to buckle. The other day, Andrew asked for a banana, and we had this amazing conversation.

"Daddy? Where do bananas come from?" asked Andrew as he spit tiny pieces of banana on my Atari t-shirt.

"The grow on banana trees," I answered.

"No," Andrew disagreed. "They grow in grocery stores."

THANK YOU! GOOD NIGHT! DON'T FORGET TO TIP YOUR WAITRESSES!



andrew where do bananas grow?
me trees
andrew no. they grow in grocery stores.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 1224 - Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime



What do you get when you combine the Middle East riots, Lindsey Lohan shoplifting, and Watson on Jeopardy? Why you obviously get another edition of...Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime!

I was talking to Crazy Grandma on the phone about the kids and how they are handling preschool. Crazy Grandma was glad to hear the kids were doing well and told me that I should dress them warmly, pack healthy lunches that should be prepared the night before, remind the kids to wash their hands at school, instill good manners, have them make friends with the nice children, and make sure they change their clothes when they return home. But she reminded me these are only suggestions based upon having raised two children already.

Crazy Grandma told me that there was nothing good to watch on television so they were going to watch a movie from Netflix. She couldn't remember the name of the movie and the actor's name on the tip of her tongue.

"I dunno wha movie we watch, but it with dat f*ck actor," said Crazy Grandma.

Excuse me? Crazy Grandma say what? "What did you say?" I asked.

"You know dat guy. Dat guy in all those f*ck movies," clarified Crazy Grandma.

First of all, I feel uncomfortable hearing my mom say the f-word. Secondly, I feel really uncomfortable hearing her suggest that she might be a fan of pornography.

"Mom, are you saying the f-word?" I asked.

"No no no! I no say dat word. Dat guy! Dat guy who keep on making f*ck movies," said Crazy Grandma with growing impatience.

She called out to Lazy Grandpa. "Honey! Honey! Who dat guy in dah movie we see tonight? Oh yah. Ben Stiller."

I shook my head in disbelief. "Are you talking about the movie Meet the Fockers?"

"Yah! Those f*ck movies," said Crazy Grandma.

I didn't have the energy to correct Crazy Grandma's pronunciation. All I could think was, "What the f*ck..."

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 1223 - Poll Results & New Poll



Last week, I asked what we should do about Andrew's propensity to hold his pee and poop. Seventy-one percent suggested that we keep on feeding him prunes until he needs to shout, "Thar she blows!" The rest of you thought we should either just let this phase pass (Get it? Pass. Giggle.) or continue to emphasize to him how holding his pee and poop is not a good thing to...ahem...doo (Oh mercy! The puns!).

Lisa and I decided to do a combination of prunes and constantly reminding Andrew that it is not healthy to hold on to your pee and poop. Every morning, I give Andrew some pureed prunes, and when he returns from school, I give him a little prune juice. I also went as far as drawing the lower intestine on his Magna Doodle to demonstrate that if he doesn't go poop when his body tells him to, then it starts to get backed up with more and more poop.

Perhaps the Magna Doodle drawing was a little overboard, but it was a much better idea than my PowerPoint presentation.

**********

Although we are years away from the kids starting elementary school, I know we are fortunate that not only will the kids be able to go to Lisa's school which is a big scheduling bonus, but her school is one of the top five LAUSD elementary schools. As for middle and high school, I'm not too sure what will happen, but that is at least eight years away and if need be, we will buy the kids flak jackets.

Unless we hit the lottery or someone hits me and we are awarded a large settlement, our kids will be attending public school. I figure that as long as we can live in an area where there are decent schools, I'm perfectly comfortable having the kids attend a public school. I also hope that we will be decent enough parents to teach the kids how to make wise decisions, both academically and socially. If the kids look up to me as a role model, I know the kids will be just as geeky and unpopular as I was. Hurray!

So what do you think about private and public schools? Are you saving your money to get your kids into a great private school? Are you fine with public schools? Or are you going to home school them with PBSKids, the Discovery Channel, and OWN?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 1222 - Conversations with Emma


Emma and I were watching the song "Do Re Mi" from The Sound of Music on television. While viewing the most hummable of all Nazi movies, Emma voiced a few questions and concerns to me.

"Where are they?" asked Emma.

"They are in a country named Austria," I said.

"What are they on?" questioned Emma.

"They're on a mountain," I said.

"Is all of that grass?" wondered Emma.

"Yup. They're all on the grass singing and dancing," I said.

Emma thought and replied, "They better be careful because there might be a lot of dog poop on the grass."

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 1221 - They All Scream For Ice Cream...literally.



Lisa and I have done a pretty good job at keeping the kids away from certain things like video games, massive amounts of television, and Middle Eastern beheadings and stonings. But one thing that we had a pretty good grasp on, but the reins are slowly loosening is sweets.

We never introduced anything very sweet to the kids. The version of juice that they know to be is basically 98% water with a splash of apple juice. All of the sweet snacks has always been the stuff you find in the baby aisle like crackers, cereals, and baby powder (it's amazingly sweet!). And to this day, the kids have never had a chocolate bar or any other candy you may find in the candy aisle.

I don't want to sound like Sugar Nazis, but we figure as long as we have a strong grasp on what they eat, we might as well let them eat as healthy as possible. But we are okay if the kids eat something sweet at school, a friend's house, or a special celebration like a birthday or the equinox.

The one thing that the kids were introduced to and really love is ice cream. Towards the end of last year, I think we were at a restaurant up in Sacramento and our dinners came with a scoop of ice cream. The kids were really curious about it, so we let them take a bite. And another bite. And then the bite became a first step towards an audition for The Biggest Loser.

Since then, we would occasionally let them have some frozen yogurt. At first they only liked vanilla; they did not like chocolate because it reminded them of something that squeezed out of their butt. But now they really enjoy mixing vanilla and chocolate together. I suppose their new favorite flavor is mulatto.

Trouble arose when the kids started to ask for ice cream all the time. If we passed by an ice cream or frozen yogurt store, they'd ask for ice cream. If we pushed them down the frozen aisle at the grocery store, they'd ask for ice cream. If we walked by an obese man in a large, white parka, they'd ask for ice cream.

We refused to give into their constant pleas for ice cream. An idea I came up with was to give them something that looked similar to ice cream, but steamed cauliflower in a waffle cone did not work out.

Our ultimate solution was to designate Saturdays as Ice Cream Saturday. So once a week, after they eat dinner, they receive one small scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt ice cream. It has worked out really well because not only does it solve all our ice cream problems, but the kids now know one day of the week. The way it's going, I can teach them the days of the week with Apple Fritter Sunday, Cheesecake Monday, Creme Brulee Tuesday, Popsicle Wednesday, Chocolate Cake Thursday, and Broccoli Friday. Hell, you have to feed them some vegetables, right?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 1220 - Picture Friday

Andrew has an awful habit of picking his nose and wiping it on random places. Disgusting.


"Little town, it's a quiet village. Ev'ry day like the one before. Little town, made of wooden blocks..."


Andrew also has an awful habit of pretending to pat Lisa on the head when he's actually wiping a booger on it. Hilarious.


"Preschool germs suck."


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 1219 - Dreaded Phone Call



There are a handful of phone calls you do not want to receive. You don't want to receive the phone call in the middle of the night from a family member or friend because that inevitably means someone passed away or passed out. You don't want to pick up the phone when a perky telemarketer from your college asks you for a donation that you inevitably give due to scholastic guilt. And you don't want to answer the phone in the middle of the day from your child's school.

As I was finishing up my lunch, the phone rang. It was the preschool. My heart jumped a bit because the mixture of parental anxiety and chili cheeseburger was a bad combination. The kids' teacher was on the phone and said, "Hi Scott. I need to talk to you about Emma."

Oh crap. What happened? Did Emma get injured? Did Emma injure someone? Did Andrew bitch slap her on her head again?

"Emma?" I gulped. "What's going on with Emma?" I tried to keep my voice calm as I anticipated the worst.

The teacher continued, "While Emma was eating lunch, she noticed that I was making macaroni and cheese for myself. She asked if she could have some of my food. Is that okay?"

"Umm..yah. Sure," I answered.

I hung up the phone a bit perplexed. I built up this stressful anticipation of bad news when all it came down to was permission for a bowl of macaroni and cheese.

All I can conclude from this situation is that Emma really knows how to rile me up, and Emma really loves pasta.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 1217 - Trouble Maker



The kids have been doing a good job at preschool. Emma enjoys the arts and crafts, and Andrew no longer cries or whines about going to school. And the most glorious thing of all is that I have three and a half hours to myself every day. It's just long enough for me to run a few loads of laundry while completing several gory levels of God of War 3. Ahhh...the perfect life.

When I picked the kids up from school today, the teacher pulled me aside and told me Andrew got into trouble today for hitting. Immediately I told the teacher that I have never hit Andrew, although what my wife does is another story. The teacher just rolled her eyes and explained what happened.

When they came in from the play yard, all of the kids lined up to wash their hands. From what I could understand is that Andrew already washed his hands, but wanted to do it again. The teacher told him that he already washed his hands so he could go into the room to play. Probably from the germophobic influence of Crazy Grandma, Andrew wanted to wash his hands still and became angry. So he walked into the classroom and took his frustration out on another kid by smacking her in the head.

And guess who that kid was? Emma! That's right. Andrew walked into the room and whacked Emma on the side of her head.

The teacher continued to tell me that she thought Andrew was initially going to go to Emma for comfort and support, but was shocked when he smacked her like a cheap whore's ass. Andrew had to sit in a corner with the teacher while she explained why it is unacceptable to hit at school.

As the teacher finished speaking, I nodded my head and thanked her for relaying the information to me. But the only thing I could think of is that at least Andrew was smart enough to hit Emma and not a stranger.

If I was in his situation and wanted to release my frustration and anger on someone, who would be the one person who you would be comfortable enough to hit? Who could you hit with little consequence? Who could you hit who you've hit hundreds of times before? Mommy. But since Mommy was not at school, the patsy would be Emma.

Although I did tell Andrew that it was wrong to hit Emma or anyone at school, there was a part of me that understood his toddler logic and methodology. Of course it helps that I too have the emotional and mental intelligence of a three year old, but that's besides the point. I hope Andrew will be able to keep his occasional temper tantrums at bay when at school, but to make sure Emma will be safe, Lisa and I bought a new outfit for her. I think it will help.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 1216 - Poll Results & New Poll


Last week, I asked what the kids were going to think of preschool after their first week. The result was unanimous: one hundred percent of you thought the kids would love preschool. Obviously, none of you took into account the strong, loving relationship that this family shares. A bond so strong that a hint of separation would cause an emotion rift so cataclysmic...

...oh fine. The kids loved preschool. Emma fit right in and did not have any problem with the transition. Andrew had some difficulty when I would leave, but after a few minutes he would stop crying and join right into the fun. It is a little bittersweet and exciting to see the kids begin to develop new friendships with kids their age. But as their mommy says, the kids will always have their daddy at home who has the emotional maturity of a three year old.

**********

It's great that Andrew loves to play hard, but his focus on his play interferes with two important things: peeing and pooping. For the past month, Andrew refuses to go to the bathroom until the very last moment. He could be doing the pee dance and grabbing himself like a Japanese midget Michael Jackson impersonator, but if we ask him if he has to pee, Andrew emphatically tells us "No!" And if we carry him to the bathroom, he makes his legs go limp so it's impossible for us to get him to stand to pee.

As for his poop, I'm just assuming he is holding it in because he has had bouts of constipation the past few weeks. I feel sorry for him when he tries to poop because it becomes so difficult for him. He usually ends up pooping during nap time when he is relaxed, and at that point I feel sorry for myself that I have to change his ginormous poopy diaper.

Lisa and I tell him over and over that it is not healthy for him to hold his pee and poop. I've even gone as far as drawing his lower intestine and colon on his Magna-Doodle board showing him the back-up he's creating.

So what do we do? Is this just a phase? Do I need to feed him prune juice via an IV? Any suggestions before the inevitable explosion?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 1215 - Conversations with Andrew


Every night, I tell the kids a made-up story. I usually tell them a story that is pertinent to their day like preschool, their toys, or the Cairo riots. Since Emma is once again sick (DAMN PRESCHOOL GERMS), I decided to tell Andrew a story about his sister needing his help to get better.

"Once upon a time, "I began. "The famous car driver, Andrew Ichikawa, had to help his sister, Emma, get better. Emma asked her brother to go to the doctor's office to pick up some medicine to make her well. Andrew jumped into his car and drove off. But on the way to the doctor's office, he saw a Chuck E. Cheese. What was Andrew going to do? Go to Chuck E. Cheese to play games or go to the doctor's office to pick up Emma's medicine?"

"Doctor's office," Andrew answered.

"Are you sure you don't want to go to Chuck E. Cheese?" I quizzed.

"No. Doctor's office to help Emma get better," Andrew confirmed.

What d'ya know! Lisa and I must've done something right raising these kids. I've got to tell our social worker about this.

I continued the story. "You picked up the medicine at the doctor's office and started to drive home. On the way home, your friend, Chick Hicks called. He asked you if you wanted to come to his home to play some car games. But you still had Emma's medicine. Are you going to go to Chick Hick's house to play games or are you going to..."

"Go play games," answered Andrew. And to assure me he made his decision, he repeated, "Go play games."

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 1214 - Clean Getaway



As has been proven by medical tests and studies, it is conclusive that I am a man. Despite what you may have heard from my elementary, middle, and high school friends. Despite what rumors you've gleaned from my parents and wife. I am a man. And as a man, I have always found one particular thins hilarious and intriguing: poopy.

I did a quick calculation with this blog, and out of the 1100 entries I've written, 152% of them are about poopy. I have no idea where the 152% came from, but I'm Japanese so my mathematical skills must be correct.

I bring all of this up because I have realized that there is something very special and unique about Emma. The kids have been potty trained for about three months, and they're both doing a good job. But as I have continued to help the kids wipe their bottoms when they poop, there is a distinct difference between Emma's and Andrew's ass wipes. On average, I usually have to do 3 to 5 wipes to make Andrew's ass clean. But with Emma's wipes, there must be something magical about her butt because quite often from the very first wipe...it is already...clean.

***CUE HARPS, BELLS, AND TRIANGLE MUSIC***

I have never experienced anything like that in my life. In my thirty-something years sitting on the crapper, I don't know if I've ever had a Windex moment (i.e. streakless). I don't know what it is about Emma's magical ass, but I'm thinking it must some sort of scientific experiment gone bad. Remember the movie The Fly? Maybe Emma was futzing around with a teleporter, but a teflon pan was accidentally placed in the other pod. And the end result was a no-stick butt.

As I explained this to my wife, she obviously had no interest in my story because she said to me, "I have no interest in your story." Perhaps this is one of those things that divides men and women. Yet the world would be a better place if both sexes could one day respect, idolize, and revel in the awesomeness of a no-wipe poopy.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 1213 - Picture Friday

We knew Andrew's hot air would be useful for something.


Preschool has really pressured Emma to hit all the books on coloring, cutting, and pasting.


Andrew looks to see whether his cars are male or female.


"Daddy's socks aren't only fashionable leg warmers, but they kill lice upon direct contact!"


Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 1210 - OUTBREAK!!!



Please excuse the tardiness of my blog entries, but for some reason the entire Ichikawa household is sick. I don't know how we all got sick because the only place myself and the kids have been for the past week is...PRESCHOOL. DAMN PRESCHOOL!

The one thing I dreaded about preschool is the ease at which germs and sickness is spread. The first day I accompanied the kids to school, I noticed the large number of kids who either had runny noses or crusty noses. I swear I haven't seen so many people with nasal problems since Cocainefest '77.

Over the few days I attended class with Emma and Andrew, there was this one particular kid who became very friendly with me. Unfortunately, he was a walking petri dish of boogers and I tried to politely shoo him away.

I didn't want the other teachers to think I was this curmudgeon with kids, so I attempted to keep a cheery look on my face as I said to the kid, "Go away! Your face scares me." But day after day, he would some how sneak up on me unexpectedly and hug me while his mucus-filled nostrils spread across my Members Only jacket.

I don't know if I got sick by Booger Boy, but illness quickly spread in the house. On Thursday, Andrew complained about his ear hurting when eating. We took him to the doctor, and he had the beginning of an ear infection. On Friday, Emma had a low fever, but it quickly broke and was better by Saturday. On Sunday, my entire body began to ache. It was either a cold or due to my strenuous workout with 5 pound weights. Although Lisa did not have any signs of stuffiness, she certainly had signs of runniness...in her pants; she got a stomach bug. Finally on Monday, Andrew started to get a runny nose and he is pleasantly fighting off a cold.

People tell us that all of this illness will build up the immunity in the kids' body. So I did a little research, and it is true. Studies have shown that kids who go to preschool tend to get less sick in elementary school versus those kids who did not attend preschool. But the catch is that IT TAKES ONE YEAR FOR THEIR IMMUNITY TO BUILD UP. ONE FU*&ING YEAR!

Although this is depressing news to me, I guess all I can do is start to stash up on Costco tissue boxes and hope Lisa and I have enough sick days to last us through the next year. Oh! And to also make sure Booger Boy stays away from our kids.