Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 1327 - Conversations with Emma

Emma was complaining of a sore throat this weekend.  So the first thing I told her was to stop smoking.  And after she snuffed out her Virginia Slim, I asked her if she would like a popsicle.

"Yeeeeesssss," muttered Emma over-exaggerating her sore throat.

Throughout the day, Emma would complain of her ouchy sore throat.  "My throat huuuuuurts," she would complain.  So I would constantly give her things to soothe her throat like juice, water, ice cubes, and butternut squash.  I actually don't know if butternut squash soothes a throat, but I bought a gigantic container of it at Costco and it was going to go bad.

"Can I have a popsicllllle?" Emma whined.  I didn't give in to her request each time she asked me, but I did want her to feel comfortable.  I would have to stay I probably gave her three mini popsicles to get her through the tragedy that is called a sore throat.

At the end of the day, she continued to cry and fuss about her sore throat.  This time, Lisa asked Emma if she wanted a popsicle.

"No more popsicles.  Daddy gave me too many," said Emma.

"What do you want then?" asked Lisa.

"Broccoli," answered Emma.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 1325 - Picture Friday

Andrew doesn't know if he should be more nervous about flipping over an egg or having his picture taken in a pink apron.

Emma may have found her doppelganger.

"Who the f&*k did this?"

Emma may be looking in the wrong place for her lost brownie.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 1324 - Elevator Ups and Downs

It was another ordinary day at Target.  Emma and Andrew ran around the toy aisles.  I browsed around for new blu-rays and video games.  Lisa stocked up on douches and deodorants.   Typical day.

We had to take the elevator upstairs to finish our shopping, and although we usually don't try to push our way into a crowded elevator, we did this time.  There was another couple with a child, and a grizzly man with a vintage Pac-Man t-shirt.

Andrew was playing around with a box of band-aids when it fell from his hands.  The box fell right in the middle of the elevator doors as it was closing.  I think I must've thought I would look like a hero to Andrew because I shouted, "Don't worry!  I got it!"  I rammed my shoulders against the elevator doors and bent down to pick up the undamaged band-aid box.  And then I proudly handed over the band-aid box to Andrew as if I was handing him a cure for diaper rash.

The other couple and the Pac-Man dude didn't say anything, so I decided to break the awkward silence.  I looked at Andrew and jokingly said, "Wow, Andrew!  Your band-aid box almost needed a band-aid."  So sure, it wasn't quite a home run joke, but I figured it was amusing enough for an elevator audience.

The other couple grinned, but Mr. Grizzly Pac-Man guy didn't even break a smile.  I looked thinking Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde were just around the corner.  But the Pac-Man dude just rolled his eyes and grumbled, "Geez...I got to get out of here."  And with that, the elevator door opened and off he rolled off possibly looking for a power pellet.

At first, I was insulted that a stranger could be so turned off with a friendly conversation between a father and his son.  How could anyone begrudge such a darling, angelic face?  And Andrew ain't that bad looking either.

But then I slowly realized that Andrew had nothing to do with Mr. Grumpy Pants's reaction in the elevator.  It was all me!  He could have cared less if Andrew peed all over his vintage video game t-shirt, but if I cracked one more bad joke, he would've Donkey Konged my ass.

I guess I take for granted that most people will find humor -- good or bad -- with children and parents.  But there is a group of people out there who have no interest or patience for families...and bad jokes.  There's nothing wrong with that, but sometimes you do hope and wish for a certain amount of tolerance.  And believe me, raising twins needs a great amount of tolerance.  But Lisa would argue that even more tolerance is needed to live with me.

...I think she's right...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 1322 - Spinning Out of Control

Kids like to spin and get dizzy.  I can only assume it is their version of getting drunk.  I on the other hand cannot hold my liquor, so I usually refrain from libations.  But get me dizzy, and I'm the life of the party!

Ever since I can remember, Andrew and Emma love to get dizzy.  As soon as they were able to stand, they would twirl until they fell down.  Over and over, they would fall on their face.  Much like Lisa jogging on an uneven sidewalk.

But now that they have experienced amusement parks and are a little more sophisticated with their creativity, they have figured out that if they turn their indoor slide upside down, then they can use it as a spinning device.  One kid sits in the upside down slide while the other spins the slide around in a circle.  Ingenious, no?  And I am renting this spinning slide for birthday parties and bar/bat mitzvahs for $49/day (Emma and Andrew not included).

Here's a short video clip of the kids spinning around in circles.  You will be able to tell from this clip that one kid gets the short end of the stick with the thrill of dizziness.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day 1320 - Auntie Anne's Visit

Auntie Anne (pretzel maven) will be leaving us tomorrow.  The kids always enjoy having Auntie Anne over because they have to play with who have their same interests and emotional intelligence.  And although it's always nice to have my sister around, Lisa and I will be glad we no longer have to take care of three babies.

As I was looking over the photos we took while Auntie Anne (pretzel maven) was visiting, I noticed something in common:  junk food.  The one thing that the Ichikawas have besides a lovely baritone voice is a sweet tooth.  Lisa and I have always tried to control the amount of sweets the kids have, but with preschool we have lost a little bit of the battle.  And with Auntie Anne (pretzel maven), we declared a defeat.

Although we are fine with the kids having the occasional sugar rush, you just want to make sure they aren't eating too many rich or creamy things.  The kids aren't lactose intolerant, but their little toddler tummies can be a little sensitive.  And a sensitive tummy ultimately means a sloppy mess at the end...if you know what I mean.

Here is just a few photos of Auntie Anne (pretzel maven) making our kids into junkies.  And now please excuse me while I give the kids a PowerPoint presentation on how to give yourself insulin shots.

Nutella crepes = nutty craps.

Soft serve yogurt = soft serve feces.

Chocolate fondue = chocolate doo.

Triple layered cake = trip layered baby wipes.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Day 1318 - Picture Friday

"What the hell, Kitty?!?"

Emma is caught somewhere between yumminess and a head freeze.

"Emma is driving and I'm going to die.  I'm going to die.  I'm going to die..."

I want to emphasize that this is only cute when your daughter is three.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 1317 - Waking the Dead

Auntie Anne (pretzel maven) is visiting us for a week.  The kids are always excited when family is in town because that means there are new victims...err...friends for them to play with.  Auntie Anne is certainly a great playmate because she's just a kid at heart...and on occasion at mind, too.

The one thing about Auntie Anne is that she stays up late and wakes up late.  But with a household whose timetable is dictated by a couple of three year olds, 8am is definitely waking up way too late.

While Auntie Anne (pretzel maven) is staying with us, I have made it a point to make sure Emma and Andrew are polite and respect their auntie while she is asleep.  As you can see in this video, I have taught the children well.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 1315 - The Incredible Poop

It has been awhile since I had a good poop story, and even longer since I've had a good poop.  Well this poop incident moved me (as well as Andrew's bowels) enough to make me want to share it with you.  But I will advise that if you are at all adverse to graphic stories about feces, please scroll down to the end of this entry where you can entertain yourself with a picture of a kitten.

This morning, I was surprisingly on time with everything, and it seemed for once I was going to get to work a little early.  I grabbed the lunch bags, my tote bag, and told the kids it was time to go to school.  But then I glanced at Andrew grabbing on to the coffee table with a worried look.  This meant one of two things:  he again glued his hands to the coffee table, or he needed to poop.

"I have to poop," grimaced Andrew.

"Then let's go to the potty!" I exclaimed.

Andrew corrected himself.  "I pooped."

So I grabbed Andrew and rushed upstairs to change his clothes.  As I put him on the changing table and pulled down his pants, Andrew's brow was still furrowed.  I wondered why.  And as I pulled down his pants, I realized why:  he had a humongous poop sticking out from his ass.

As my eyes widened, his poop looked like a well-tanned turtle's head sticking out of an ass.  I just stared at this monstrosity and hoped it wasn't going to engulf me like a black hole.

"It hurts!' screamed Andrew.

"No kidding!" I agreed.

As I grabbed some baby wipes and attempted to decapitate the turtle's head, Andrew began to kick his legs.  Suddenly this third leg made out of crap began to swing and swatted my hand over and over again.  I was not as horrified as I thought I would be having turd smears on my hand, but I suppose that's what shock does to you.

"My bottom hurts!" complained Andrew.

I tried to comfort Andrew and assure him that it would all be over with soon enough.  I grabbed a baby wipe and contemplated the best way to detach this inflated Baby Ruth bar.  I decided to give it a gentle twist.  But as I twisted, the poop broke in half.

"It still there!" shouted Andrew.

"No kidding!" I repeated.

After one final look, I decided to gently pull it off as if I was pulling the stem off a cherry.  Boy...did I wish this was actually a cherry.  With a brief, but assertive pull, the troubling turd came off.  I cleaned Andrew off with a couple more of baby wipes and got him dressed.  As for my hand, I stuck it in a tub of Clorox for fifteen minutes.

By this time, there was no way I was going to get to work on time.  Thankfully, my television production job doesn't dictate me to be at work at a specific time, but I still ended up arriving a little later than I wanted to.  I figured if any one asked why I was late, I would just be totally honest with them and tell them, "It was a crappy morning."

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 1313 - Playstation Move...I SAID MOVE!

If there is one main difference between Lisa and myself (besides Lisa having larger testicles), it is that she hates video games.  But video games have been a part of my life ever since the Atari 2600.  I've had a variety of systems throughout my life:  Atari, Nintendo, Sega, Playstation.  Sadly, I have had more video game systems than friends.

Although I currently have a Nintendo Wii and a Playstation 3 at home, I have not let the kids play either of those systems.  As a kid, I remember spending hours and hours in front of the television set trying to get past one more level or to finish the boss.  Hours alone in my room leaving my parents alone. Hours alone quietly figuring out how to beat the game.  Hours alone not making a mess of the house or arguing with my sister.  S#*T!  I better start introducing video games to the kids now!

This weekend, we visited the Sony Style store.  Whereas other guys get their kicks out of boobs and ass, I get my kicks out of hard drives, RAM, and dongles. that I've read that out loud, maybe I might want to stick to boobs and ass.

As I was browsing the store, Lisa took it upon herself to entertain the kids with the Playstation Move.  This is basically Sony's version of a motion-sensing gaming controller.  The game that she was trying to play with the kids was a volleyball game.  You hold the Move controller to serve, volley, and spike the volleyball.

Obviously, the kids needed quite a bit of help to play the game so Lisa was taking turns with them to hit the volleyball with the controller.  Sadly for the kids, the person who actually needed the help was Lisa.  As I mentioned, Lisa hates video games.  But I did not mention that Lisa is also a klutz.

While Lisa was helping Andrew whack the volleyball around on the screen, Lisa got so involved and focused with the game that she did not notice Emma walking in front of her.  And just as Lisa brought down the controller to spike the volleyball, she simultaneously spiked Emma in the head.

I think you can pretty much conclude the rest of this story.  There was crying.  Apologies.  Hugs.  And I walked out of the store with the Playstation Move.  Happy ending for all!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Day 1311 - Picture Friday

Good night, Emma.  Wait a second...where did all of your dolls and blankets go?

Oh...there it is.

As Emma's ice cream melts, she continues to ponder the evolution of the opposable thumb.


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Day 1310 - Conversations with Emma & Andrew

We were all in the car driving down the boulevard when we came to a stop.  I remarked about this fairly new bakery called Nothing Bundt Cakes.  Previously, there were a series of other eateries that Lisa and I used to frequent in that very same shop:  Ain't That the Shitake, Don't Give a Crepe, and Poopourri.  Obviously, the rate of success in this complex is not very high -- disregarding the bad puns and obsession with the ass area.

I remarked to Lisa that I bet the bundt cake bakery would be gone in a matter of months.  This simple comment set off a whirlwind of conversation in the car.

"Butt cake?" remarked Andrew.

"No, no.  It's called a bundt cake," I said.

"Butt cake?  That's a stinky cake!" said Emma.

"I know it sounds like butt, but it's called bundt," I repeated.

"Butt cake!  Butt cake!' screamed Andrew and Emma.

"Andrew.  Do you want some of my butt cake?" asked Emma.

"There poopy in it!" commented Andrew.

"Please stop saying that!  Don't keep on saying butt and poopy!" I demanded.

"Emma.  Do you want some butt poopy cake?" asked Andrew.

"Butt poopy cake?  That's yucky!  Butt poopy cake!" said Emma.

I tried to distract the kids by running over a bicyclist, but not even the bloodied windshield and shrieks of pain could stop their manic laughter over butts and poop.


As I slouched in my seat, Lisa turned towards me and said, "I wonder where they got their sense of humor, dumbass?"

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day 1308 - Conversations with Emma

Just before bed, I yelled at Emma.  She was at the top of the stairs trying to open the safety gate.  It's one of those gates that you have to lift up in order to swing open.  But Emma was just yanking it open without lifting it up.  And that was really ridiculous because right on the gate was a sticker that read "Ascendance apparatus instrumentation."  Duh!

But I felt like a fool because Emma made a pouty face and her eyes welled up with tears.  So after pointing to the "Ascendance apparatus instrumentation" sticker and saying, "Duh!" one more time, I apologized and gave Emma a big hug.

The rest of the night, I tried to be more attentive and aware of Emma's emotional state.  As I tucked her into bed, I attempted to cure my guilt.

"Emma, guess what?" I asked.

"What?" she answered.

"I love you so much!" I said.

"I love you so much too," she replied.

"And you know what else?" I asked.

"What?" Emma asked.

"You make me so happy!" I exclaimed.

"You make me so happy, too..." Emma said.  But after a pause, she continued, "...except when you make me angry and sad."

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 1306 - Happy Not Me Day

Today, we celebrate the millions of vaginas throughout the world that gave birth to us and our children.  Oddly, they don't call it Happy Vagina Day -- which is occasionally mistaken with V-Day.  Although I do agree Mother's Day makes a better Hallmark card.

Every year, I try to make Mother's Day a relaxing day for Lisa.  The day started off with a delicious breakfast of french toast, eggs, and fresh fruit.  After I finished eating, I asked Lisa what she wanted to eat, but she was too busy doing the dishes.

We then all got into the car and took an afternoon trip to the Farmer's Market and the Grove.  The kids love running around the Grove and watching the water fountains dance.  I love browsing through the Apple Store and Barnes & Nobles.  And I wasn't too sure what Lisa was going to do because she was still circling the parking structure for a space.

When we returned home, it was time for a nap.  I must've been really tired because when I got out of bed, Lisa said I was asleep for two hours.  I figured as much because the living room was a mess of scattered toys and dried playdoh.  I felt sorry for Lisa since that was going to be a major clean up job for her.

After dinner, we were going to open presents.  But that was delayed a bit since Lisa broke a couple of dishes as she was placing them into the dishwasher.  Thankfully, vacuuming and Swiffing the kitchen floor only took an extra fifteen minutes on top of Swiffing the entire living room; I told Lisa she might as well do the entire house while she was at it.

This year we gave Lisa a picture frame with a family portrait, a pair of earrings, and a pancake pan.  The best thing about the pancake pan was the shape.  You see, the kids still call Lisa a Piggy Mommy because of the "Jolly Holiday" song in Mary Poppins.  So I found a pancake pan that was in the shape of a pig!

Somehow as we were all laughing about the pancake pan, I blacked out.  Lisa said she accidentally dropped the pan on my head nine times in a row.  After I came to, the kids and I wished Lisa a wonderful Mother's Day one more time before the gurney took me to the ambulance where I received thirty-two stitches.  This will certainly be a Mother's Day to remember!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Day 1304 - Picture Friday

Amazing what one blow dryer and six cans of hair spray can do.

Andrew shows us how clean his teeth are after chewing on several bars of soap.

Seven seconds after this photo was taken, Emma found out that playdoh does not taste like ice cream.

It's all fun and games until the car on top of your head pees oil.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 1303 - Lego, Speed Racer, Go!

One of the Legoland highlights for the kids was driving a car all by themselves.  That's right...all by...themselves!  Forget the stereotype of careless Asian drivers.  What you should actually be worried about is careless Asian toddler drivers.  They can't see over the dashboard, and they're too busy playing with their iPhones.

As a car affectionado, imagine Andrew's thrill when we told him he would be able to get behind the wheel of a car -- albeit a Lego car -- and drive by himself.  He was beside himself (and in a way he was because he's a twin...).

The ride itself was very simple:  a generic oval track with six electric Lego cars.  After strapping themselves in, each driver was able to step on their pedal to scoot around the track at a speed that Crazy Grandma would consider dangerous:  less than 1 mile per hour.  And the cutest part is that after the ride is over, everyone applauds for the kids for doing such a great job.  Applause that would later cause tears in every toddler when they realize they would not be able to drive an actual car for another eleven to thirteen years.  Thanks a lot, Legoland.

Andrew wanted to be super careful when he was driving.  He mentioned to me that he did not want to bump anyone because that is a bad thing to do.  So imagine his surprise when he was bumped by another driver.  Thankfully, we took a video of this incident and was able to identify the culprit.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 1299 - Legoland

Yesterday, we took the kids to Legoland for the first time.  Since you can easily do a search of Legoland and find all of the reviews and minutiae of the theme park, I thought I would just quickly do an experiential summary of our day with blocks.

Lisa and I decided at the last minute to take this trip to Legoland since almost all of our weekends in May were booked.  I remember when I was a kid, and my parents would take me on surprise trips to all of the wonderful places in Sacramento like the Capitol, Sutter's Fort, the Capitol, farm land, and the Capitol.  So I thought it would be fun if we didn't tell Emma and Andrew where we were going.

The kids kept on asking us where we were going, but we told them it was going to be a surprise.  Unfortunately, there was a misunderstanding halfway through the trip because we had to drive through Anaheim.  As Emma and Andrew recognized some of the surroundings, they began to think that we were going to go to Disneyland.  I had to put that idea to rest, so I quickly told them, "Mickey Mouse died of leukemia."  After ten minutes of confused tears, they accepted they were not going to Disneyland.

When we finally arrived at Legoland, the kids were extremely excited.  As I glanced at the park map, all of the stuff for the younger kids were towards the left, and the stuff for the older kids were towards the right.  And smack in the center of the park -- the area I was looking forward to -- was MiniLand:  a collection of gigantic Lego recreations of cities across the USA and (drumroll) STAR WARS SCENES!!!  May the geek be with you!

We only went on a handful of rides, but the one thing they all had in common was short lines with long wait times.  I attribute this to the young age of the riders.  It's hard enough to wrangle three year olds at home, so imagine the difficulty of wrangling them at a theme park.  I saw many an empty ride vehicles pass my impatient eyes because of unfocused toddlers unable to quickly enter a moving seat.  I screamed at an inattentive parent, "If they can put monkeys in space, you can put that hairy kid of yours in that ride bucket!" 

What the kids really enjoyed were the many play areas.  There were air conditioned rooms where you could play with Legos, and many outdoor play areas with slides, swings, and colorful houses.  All I could think as I saw the wide smiles on the kids was, "I paid $300 for this when I could've taken them to a park?  F me!"

Something I must commend Legoland for were the healthier food choices at their dining areas.  There were plenty of generic theme park food like pizza and burgers, but there were also salad bars, fresh fruit cups, and other healthy alternatives.  Unfortunately, the chicken stir-fry I had for lunch stir-fried my stomach enough where the maintenance crew had to stir-clean a toilet.

At the end of the day, we took a leisurely stroll through MiniLand.  It was an open area where Las Vegas, Washington D.C., New York, Southern California, and New Orleans were recreated entirely out of Legos.  They were all wittily realized with style and visual gags.  But more important than US cities, the new addition were the recreations of Naboo, Geonosis, Kashyyk, Mustafar, Tatooine, Hoth, and Endor.  And if you don't know what those are, I will hide my geekiness by telling you they are individuals on the FBI's most wanted list.

Overall, we had a nice time at Legoland.  The kids were still a little young to take full advantage of everything the park had to offer, but it was a great way to spend seven hours.  I do think it's a little pricey when you compare it to other parks like Disneyland, but there are enough coupons and discounts out there to comfort your wallet.

The only bad experience we had at the park was when the kids freaked out at the Lego 3d movie.  But when we got home, they wanted to play with their Legos right away; I'd say that's a pretty big endorsement of the theme park.  Although Lisa and the kids got mad at me when I tried to recreate the 3d movie by throwing Legos at their face.  That alone was worth the admission of the park!