Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 1356 - Practice Run


Although Cars 2 has been reviewed harshly by critics, children are going to careless.  After all, if a toddler can walk around the house for hours with crap in their pants, they can surely enjoy a movie that received less than 40% from Rotten Tomatoes.

Since Andrew is a Cars fiend, he has been very excited about this new Cars movie.  Emma is pretty excited too, but I think she is more interested in annoying Andrew by stealing his new Cars toys.

Lisa and I are thinking about taking the kids to see Cars 2 in the theaters, but we have never taken the kids to see a movie.  We once tried to take them to the fairy tale movie Pan's Labyrinth, but for some reason they didn't care for it at all.  I even tried to prepare them for the movie by drawing large eyes on the palms of my hands.

So we've been trying to prepare the kids for their possible introduction to the movie theater experience.  A few times at night, we've sat them in front of the television with all of the lights off, pumped up the volume, and let them watch a little bit of the first Cars movie.

I think between simulating the movie experience at home and explaining movie etiquette, the kids might be ready to see Cars 2 this weekend.  For those of you who are going through the same situation as us, here is a checklist of things to do to prepare your kids for their first movie:

1)  Explain to them that the movie theater is going to be dark, but safe...unlike their bedroom closet.
2)  Prepare them for loud, unexpected noises.  I find feeding the entire family beans for dinner does this pretty well.
3)  Let them know this is going to be a communal experience, much like an orgy without the messy clean-up.
4)  If they see something scary, then they should close their eyes and cover their ears.  Singing around the house without my shirt on made my kids an expert with this one.
5)  And most importantly, if any one asks, the kids are under two years old.  Hey!  That's $12 you can put towards a small popcorn and soda.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 1354 - Crappy Timing


Despite my relatively long days at work, I am thankful that if I am a little late there is not any negative repercussions.  I hope there is the assumed understanding that getting twins ready for preschool can occasionally make you late.  Or people have realized I am useless at work and being late for work does not matter one or the other.

I really hope it is the former...

Recently, I have been arriving to work later than usual because of one thing:  assholes.  No, no.  I'm not talking about myself in the third person.  I'm talking about the kids having their bowel movements scheduled just before we have to leave for preschool.

It has become a very common occurrence that just as everyone is ready to get into the car, one of the kids say, "I have to go poop."  I ask if they could hold it until we get to preschool, and then I get a panicked look and clinched sphincter with a desperate, "I...have...to...POOOOOOOOOOP!"

And of course after I put them on the toilet, I get the usual poopy requests:  "I want a book!" or "I want a toy!" or "I got poopy on my hand!"

It gets especially bad when both kids have to poop at the same time because I usually have the first kid in the downstairs bathroom so I have to rush the other kid to an upstairs bathroom.  I wonder how comically pathetic it must look to see me exasperated and rushing up and down the stairs trying to manage poopy requests and butt wipes.  Perhaps it could be some sort of PBS miniseries called Upstairs Poop, Downstairs Poop.

I am not too sure if there's anything I can do about this predicament.  I do recall our pediatrician telling us that too bananas are binding and can cause constipation.  But I can't imagine doing that to the kid.  Besides, how could I explain to their teachers why they have a banana hanging out of their butt?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 1352 - Picture Friday

"Come on down, Emma!  My sweaty head made the slide faster!'





"Damn these rubber pants..."



Emma's attempt to staple a price tag to a real dog failed at the cash register.



"SHE'S GONNA KILL ME!"



Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 1351 - Conversations with Emma & Andrew


Bedtime is often a stressful chore for all involved.  In order to keep everyone's patience in check, I try to do a little give and take.  But every time I give the kids an extra five minutes, they take fifteen and my sanity.

The other night, Emma was upset because her sheets were messy.  I told her to try and fix it herself, and that the sheets wouldn't be so messy if she would stop doing a one woman show of Five Little Monkeys on her bed.

"My sheets are messy!" cried Emma.

I ignored her.

"My sheets!  My sheets!  Fix my sheets!" demanded Emma.

I started to play NBA Jam on my ipad.

"Fix!  My!  Sheets!" screamed Emma.

And then I heard through the monitor, Andrew chiming in.  "My sheets aren't messy, Emma," said Andrew.

"My sheets!  They are messy!" continued Emma.

"Emma," said a snarky Andrew.  "I like my sheets.  Look!"

Although I found this pretty damn amusing, I figured it was time to intervene.  I went upstairs and carried Emma into our bedroom so she could calm down without Andrew chiming in with his two cents.

As I placed Emma into my bed, I said, "Emma.  Calm down.  What's wrong?"

"My...HUH...sheets...SNIFF...are...GASP...messy!" said a hyperventilating Emma.

"Emma," I said as I stroked her sweaty forehead.  "You just need to calm down and go to sleep.  Please be a good girl."

And then, all the way from the other bedroom, I heard Andrew shout, "I'm in bed!  I'm a good boy!"

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day 1349 - Sleeping Bee

We were outside blowing bubbles when Emma shuddered.  I thought it may have been because I was blowing bubbles with my nostrils, but Emma pointed on the ground and said, "Bee!  Bee!"

I looked down and sure enough there was a bee.  But the bee was upside down and shriveled, so his honey making days were over.  So I comforted Emma and told her not worry about the bee.

"But the bee is going to get us!" screamed Emma as Andrew looked at her with rolling eyes.

"No, the bee isn't going to get you because he's..."  And then I stopped and wondered if I should introduce the 'd' word:  a dick.  I reevaluated my thought because the bee really wasn't being a dick, but he was just dead.

After stalling a few more seconds, I told Emma, "The bee is sleeping.  So you don't have to worry."

"What if the bee wakes up and stings us?" asked Emma.

"The bee won't wake up," I assured Emma.

"But I wake up when I sleep.  Bees wake up too!" she reasoned.

I was getting annoyed with her developing logic, so I told her I would move the bee across the courtyard.  With my sandals, I scooted the bee a few feet to the edge of the flowerbed.  Thankfully, Emma was watching from afar because with each scoot, the bee disintegrated a little bit.  When the sleeping bee was far enough away from Emma, Emma happily continued blowing her bubbles.

As I watched Emma and Andrew blow bubbles at each others face until the whites of their eyes turned red and infected, I began to think about the concept of death.  I obviously know that they are going to learn about death one day, but as a parent you want to keep your kids as innocent as possible as long as possible.  Yet there's only so many times you can tell the kids that the hobo carcass in your backyard is taking a long nap.

I think Lisa and I are of the same mindset that there's no need to introduce certain concepts to the kids at a young age (e.g. death, sex, bestiality), but when they are old enough to ask you honest questions with honest curiosity, it's up to the parent to step up to the bat and say, "Wanna go to Disneyland instead?"

In a way, I do look forward to these conversations when the kids are older because I hope to be the type of parent that my kids can speak openly to.  But if it's anything about sex, I'm sending them off to their mom.  Mostly because there are still certain things about sex that confuse me immensely.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 1347 - Broadway Beginnings


Forget the stinky French in Les Miserables.  Never you mind those Nazis in The Sound of Music.  And don't even consider those pussies in Cats.   Because you put them together and all you get is stinky, Nazi pussy.
The preschool had a graduation program for those students who were moving to Kindergarten.  I missed the first part of the potluck dinner so all I ended up eating was some chewy pita bread and soggy Waldorf salad.  But at least I came in time to see the performances.
This was the first time Emma and Andrew performed on stage.  They're usually used to performing on cardboard boxes on 3rd Street in second-hand monkey outfits, so I didn't know what to expect.  So imagine my surprise when I realized that the kids can ham it up on stage as well as any drunk Ichikawa.

Emma and Andrew's class performed to the song "I Just Can't Wait to be King."  The kids were out a week from school when they were sick, so they had to learn the lyrics and complicated choreography pretty damn fast.  Luckily, Daddy has a little stage experience so I whipped them into shape with a couple of Fosse shoulder rolls and jazz hands.
Here is the video of Emma's and Andrew's stage debut.  I hope you will consider them for the Tony Awards next year in the new category of Best Japanese Toddler Twins Performance in a Musical.  Oh!  And to clarify in the video, the Caucasian girl in the middle is not our kid.


video

Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 1345 - Picture Friday

Why did I ever allow Andrew to watch the movie Burlesque?

To celebrate the movie Cars 2, Emma changed her last name to Ichikarwash.

In order to create less confusion, we color coded Andrew's booger container.

"Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away..."

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 1344 - Conversations with Andrew


No matter how young or old a boy is, there is a fascination with boobies.  Andrew has started a bad habit of poking Lisa's breasts at home.  Obviously this is wrong on several fronts.  First of all, you can not have your three year old kid go around and start poking women's breasts.  And secondly, it is just not right when your three year old is touching your wife's breasts more than you.

One night, Andrew started to poke Lisa's boobs again.

"Poke poke poke!" laughed Andrew.

"Andrew," scolded Lisa.  "Don't do that.  That's not nice."

"I poke your booby!" screamed Andrew.

"You need to stop," explained Lisa.

"When I get older, I want dem too!" proclaimed Andrew.

Lisa wanted to clarify.  "Want what?"

"Boobies!"

"Andrew.  Boys do not have boobies."

"But I want boobies like you!" whined a disappointed Andrew.

"Well, boys do not have boobies.  Only girls have boobies."

Andrew pouted for a few seconds when an idea popped into his head and he said, "Then I want to be a girl!"

At this point, I grabbed Andrew, put him on the sofa, turned on ESPN, and gave him a can of beer.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 1342 - Conference Time


Since it is the end of the preschool year, Lisa had a parent-teacher conference with the kids' teachers.  I was unable to attend the meeting due to work, but I figured how long could it really take to talk about what three year olds do all day long.  They play.  They eat.  They sleep.  They go home.  Thirty seconds tops, right?  Nope!  The conference was 45 minutes per child for a total of 90 minutes! 

I won't bore you with a 90 minute description of the conference -- unlike what Lisa did with me.  But the overall picture is that the kids are doing pretty well at school.  They both show independence, yet they also socialize with the other children.  They like the other children, and the other children seem to like our kids.  And they are both active members in the Key Club, JV basketball, and ROTC.

The interesting thing about Emma is that she has taken on the role of a mediator and teacher in her class.  If she sees two kids fighting, she will intervene and try to mediate the situation.  If it is time to clean up the room, she will not only clean up her mess, but she will help the other children clean up.  If she sees a kid misbehave repeatedly, she will write up a note and send him to the principal's office.

As for Andrew, he seems to be a typical boy:  active, curious, and unfocused.  I don't necessarily know if being unfocused is a characteristic of guys in general because I have always believed that the Star Wars prequel took a major step backwards when it introduced my new Tivo Premiere to the back of my television with an HDMI cable.  Hmm...now what was I saying?

But the major outcome of the conference is that we are going to take the teacher's advice and get Andrew tested for speech.  He has always been behind with his language skills when compared to Emma, but he has continually improved month after month.  It really wasn't until he entered preschool and heard other kids his age talk when we began to wonder if we needed to get a speech assessment for him.

It's actually very common for twins to have speech/language development problems, and more so for boys.  I'm not too sure why boys have more difficulty, but I'd have to say it could be due to the fact girls tend to do all of the talking for them and don't know how to shut up.

Now I say this half-jokingly, but I might be to blame because I actually had speech therapy for eight years as a child.  I don't think Andrew is as bad as I was when he was my age, but our teacher thinks he just needs an articulation/enunciation tune-up.  I will keep you up-to-date with Andrew's speech evaluation, but if I can do speech therapy for eight years and turn out the way I turned out, I don't think Andrew has anything to worry about.

P.S.  Lisa just read the last sentence and is extremely anxious and nervous for some reason...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day 1340 - Conversations with Emma & Andrew


Good news and bad news.  The good news is that the kids are so much better playing with each other.  The bad news is that they also know how to push each other's buttons.

Emma and Andrew were playing with a box of Legos, and Andrew was very proud of this airplane that he made.  He was going around to Lisa and myself saying, "Look!  I made a plane!"  Lisa told Andrew he did a great job, and I said he did a great job for a three year old, but I could probably make a better one.

And what did Emma do?  She took Andrew's plane and took it apart.  Andrew threw a fit, but a minute or two later he calmed down and began to build something else.  This was not the reaction Emma wanted, so she remade the plane and tried to give it back to Andrew.

"Andrew!" Emma shouted.  "Look!  I made your airplane again."

Andrew ignored Emma.

"Andrew!  Look!"  Emma demanded.  "I took your plane apart, but I put it back together and I give back to you."

Andrew didn't look at Emma, but mumbled, "I'm busy..."

Emma did not give up.  "Andrew!  You're suppose to say thank you!  I want to give you your plane back!  Here, Andrew."

Andrew once again mumbled, "I'm busy..."

Emma continued.  "Andrew!  Andrew!  Take your plane.  Look!  I made it again!  Say thank you to me!  You're suppose to say thank you when I give it back to you!"

And then Andrew stood up and shouted in Emma's face, "I SAID I'M BUSY!!!!!!!"

And so the battle of the sexes begins...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 1339 - Not My Favorite Things


For the past two weeks, our house has been a sick pit.  It has been a never-ending tag team of illness:  colds, flues, fevers, puke, diarrhea, pink eye, ear infections, lung wheezing, mucus, and a nose zit (Okay...that's not so much an illness than a disgusting annoyance.).

I'd have to say that our family has been pretty healthy for the most part, but something vicious overtook the household -- and I'm not even talking about Crazy Grandma visiting us last week.  Thankfully, we were diligent enough to take the kids to the doctor, and we kept them out of school for the past week.  Finally, the kids are on the mend while the parents are trudging through the days.

Since this sick abyss has really overtaken our lives, what better way to explain what has been going on than with a song!  Sing along to the classic The Sound of Music song "My Favorite Things".

NOT MY FAVORITE THINGS

Fevers are rising and ice packs are chilling
Earaches are fixed by some amoxicillin
Trash bags with poop are tied up with strings
These aren't a few of my favorite things

Puke on my arms and foreheads on fire
The doctor made us go and rent a humidifier
No sleep at night made me miss Tivo-ing
These aren't a few of my favorite things

Used tissues made our floor look like a pigsty
Did I say that Andrew also had pink eye?
The screaming at night makes our tired ears ring
These aren't a few of my favorite things

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 1338 - Picture Friday

"Emma pooped on my chocolate cake!"

Bag lady.

"I don't know why Elmo is so happy.  This shirt is so tight I can't breath!"




Emma calls this hairstyle a subtle mix of Diana Ross and Broom Hilda.


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 1337 - Conversations with Andrew

Each night, I try to make sure the kids are in a good mood when they go to sleep.  I ensure they are in a good mood by doing three things:  1)  I tell them a story.  2)  I speak in a calm and soft voice.  3) I put a little reefer in their humidifier.

While I was tucking Andrew into bed, I had a little small talk with him.

"Did you have fun at school today?" I asked.

"Yah," responded Andrew.

"What did you do at school?" I continued.

"I play on teeter totter wif Emma," said Andrew.

"You know what?" I questioned.

"Wha?" answered Andrew.

"I just wanted you to know that you are doing such a good job at school.  You're becoming such a big boy, and I'm very proud of you," I said as I leaned in to give Andrew a kiss on his cheek.

And as I pulled away from my little boy, he stared at me and said, "You have a booger in your nose."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 1335 - Perfect Attendance


Currently, we are suffering through a never-ending tag team of illness.  Emma gets sick.  Andrew gets sick.  We get sick.  Andrew gets sick.  Emma gets sick.  Lather.  Rinse.  Repeat.

Thankfully, Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa are in town so they are able to watch the kids at home.  Otherwise, Lisa and I would have had to take a bunch of days off from work.  It's tough for Lisa to take days off since she's a teacher, and the only time off I get when you work in the television industry is when you're cancelled.

As I began to think about the fine line of taking days off versus sending your kids back to school, I reached an epiphany.  I had a flashback of elementary school when your teacher and principal would award students with certificates of achievement.  Personally, I received "Most Asian" six years in a row; it was always between me and a filipino girl.

And then I remembered the "Perfect Attendance" award.  As a child, I was always amazed that someone could go without missing a single day of school.  But as an adult and occasional parent, I now see that the perfect attendance award actually awards only one thing:  LAZY PARENTS WITHOUT BABYSITTERS!

That's right.  I'm calling all of you out.  All of you parents who send your kids to school although you very well know your kid had been vomiting snot all night long.  Just because you don't want to take the day off, your actions are making every other kid in class susceptible to colds, flues, and grumpy parents.

Listen.  I get it.  We all have to make a living, and it's much more difficult to stay home with sick kids than push papers around the office.  But to give a student an award for perfect attendance is a bunch of B.S.  What is it really awarding?  I say we rename the award to "Perfect Attendance Because Mommy & Daddy Had No More Sick Days".

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 1333 - Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime

What do Charlie Sheen and Tracy Morgan have in common?  For inspiration and guidance, there was only one source for all of their rants and raves...Crazy Grandma Ichikawa Storytime!  Winning!!!

Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa have come to visit for a handful of days.  Crazy Grandma wants to try and visit the kids every three months so they don't forget her.  But I really think she wants to see them every three months so she doesn't forget them (Old age is a bitch!).

Despite my absurd and off-colored sense of humor, Lisa and I try really hard to make sure that our kids are well-behaved...except for the occasional fart and poop jokes.  While the kids were playing, Crazy and Lazy were watching the news, and there was a segment about Anthony Weiner.

"Boy," said an exasperated Crazy Grandma.  "Wasn't dat a stupid ting to do?  Why he sending nekkid pictures of himself all over dah place?"

I continued to play with Andrew and Emma and ignored Crazy's commentary.

"And dat last name.  Weiner!" giggled Crazy Grandma.  "What a funny last name!  Weiner!  I don't wanna see Weiner's wiener!  HAHAHAHA!"

The kids started to pay attention to Crazy's Lenny Bruce riff, so I tried to distract them with Legos.  But Crazy Grandma continued.

"You know what I want?" asked Crazy Grandma.  "I wanna...Wienerschnitzel!  Git it?  Yummy yummy!  Wienerschnitzel!  HOHOHOHO!"

At that point I gave up and was fully prepared for a parent-teacher conference about the kids' constant use of the word "wiener".

Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 1331 - Picture Friday

"Hmm.  This smells clean..."   


"Crap!  It's bedtime!  Time to hide."




Coming this summer from Wes Craven...The Toddler Under the Plastic Slide.


"Chalk?  What chalk?!?"



Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day 1329 - Lice Scream!

I suppose it is inevitable with any preschool that you eventually receive the dreaded lice memo.  We received a memo explaining that a child at the preschool had lice, and what precautions to take.  My first instinct was to get a razor and go all buddha on our kids.  But after reading a little more about lice, it really isn't the all-out panic that it is cut out to be.

First of all, lice isn't dangerous and can't spread disease.  If your kid gets a bad case of lice, all of the itching and scratching could cause an infection, but that's the probably the worst-case scenario.  Well, I suppose the worst-case scenario could be that there are lice eggs all over your kid's eyebrows, eyelashes, and nostril hairs...but let's not think about that, shall we?

In order to get rid of the lice, you could use a medicated shampoo, but many people do not like using it because it is basically an insecticide; it's a bit like pouring Raid and Johnson & Johnson shampoo into a Magic Bullet for a few seconds.  So the next best thing to do is to constantly look for lice in your kid's hair.  If you do find lice, you should use a metallic nit comb to get all of the lice and eggs out of the hair.  And what to do with all of the lice and eggs you comb out?  Do what I do and make a nice pesto sauce for dinner.

What can you do to prevent your child from getting lice?  I read this online article about prevention, and it was obvious the closest the writer ever got to a baby was probably a Cabbage Patch Kid in the 1980s. 

The first thing the article recommended was to avoid head-to-head contact with other children.  I think head-to-head contact is the least of your worries when you have toddlers actually exchanging spit, boogies, and the occasional splatter of urine with their classmates. 

The second recommendation was to teach your kid not to share combs, brushes, hats, bows, helmets, and other assorted items that may be on another child's head.  Once again, this writer has never been around toddlers because parents know how useful it is when they say, "Please do not do that."  Might as well go to a lice farm and call it a day.

Thankfully, there has been no sign of lice at home so I think we can shout out an all-clear signal.  For some reason, lice has this dirty stigma attached to it, but after reading up on it, it's no worse than other common diseases like chlamydia and herpes.  I mean...chlamydia and herpes are common, right?  Hello?  Where'd everyone go?