Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day 1419 - Retro Find

I don't know how many of you remember the television show That's Incredible, but when I was a kid this show show both fascinated and scared me.  Now as an adult, John Davidson scares me and Cathy Lee Crosby fascinates me.

While browsing YouTube at work...err...I mean at home, I came upon this vintage clip.  I found it too good not to share it with you. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 1418 - Birthday Faux Pas

During yesterday's birthday party, there was an awkward moment.  Lisa's cousin, Jamie, was there with her friend, Lauren.  Lauren had one of Emma's princess dolls and put it on her knee.

"Emmaaaaa," Lauren said as if the princess was speaking.  "Emmaaaaa!"

Emma started to look around and seemed confused.  The entire family played it up and asked Emma who was speaking.  Emma started to realize this was a lame toddler game, and agreed to play along.

"I dunno who is saying that," shrugged Emma.

"Emmaaaaa," continued Lauren with what I hope was a Cinderella impression.

"Is Grandma Ichinaga saying that?" Lisa asked.

"Noooooo," answered Emma.

"Is Jamie saying that?" Lisa asked again.

"No.  I don't think so!" smiled Emma.

"Emmmaaaaaaaaa," said Lauren with a smirk.

"Who do you think is saying that then?" inquired Lisa.

Emma looked around the room, pointed at Lauren, and said, "The big one there."


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day 1417 - Happy Early Birthday

Today, we had an early birthday party for Emma and Andrew at Grandma Ichinaga's house.  It is funny when you compare Lisa's family to my family because it is like comparing China to Palau.  At my parent's home, a family get-together is probably about ten or twelve people; at Lisa's mom's home it is more like twenty-four people.  The major difference is that my family includes aunt and uncles whereas Lisa's count just includes her brothers, sisters, and niece and nephews.  I tell ya...those Ichinagas are horny lil' rabbits, ain't they?

Lisa decided upon a magic themed party.  Auntie Susan made these cool-looking wizard hat cupcakes, so all Lisa and I had to do was provide the rest of the food and some goodie bags.  Since Lisa was going to do the cooking, I decided to shop around Santa Clara.  How hard could that be?

First, I went to Party City to purchase some decorations.  Well, guess what?  They had NO magic themed decorations or favors.  Not even a Harry Potter section!  Weirdly, they had a Doug Henning section way in the back, but that part of that store was too dark and scared me. 

Since that was a bust, I thought I would swing by Target to see if they had any decorations and or party favors.  Again, guess what?  It was another bust!  The only thing that was remotely magic were these things:

I finally found some card trick gift boxes at Barnes & Nobles, so I purchased a handful of them as the party favors.

The last errand of the day would be a quick trip to the grocery store.  In my advancing age, I find myself getting increasingly lost in the parking lot.  I'm so focused on what to buy, I completely forget where the car is.  And this happened to me at the grocery store.

I swore I parked near the entrance, but I parked several aisles over.  So I pushed the cart to the end of the aisle and proceeded to push the cart to the car.  Strangely, I couldn't move the cart.  I checked the wheels to see if I ran over something like a soda can or an albino dwarf, but there was nothing.  My frustration was growing by the second because it was hot, I was tired, and I still wasn't sure where the car.

As I turned my head, I noticed a sign at the end of the aisle.  It warned that these shopping carts were installed with a theft deterrent.  If the cart rolled over a yellow line, the wheels would lock.  Guess what?  I went over the yellow line!  But sacre bleu (excuse my French), who the hell would paint the yellow line at the end of the aisle of the grocery store parking lot?  Get me David Horowitz on the phone!

I muttered every French work I could spew as I did wheelies with the shopping cart across the parking lot.  I'm not too sure how foolish I looked like, but I'm sure I looked like a contestant on Wipeout.  When I found my car, I quickly packed the trunk and foolishly in my anger, I tried to shove the damn cart out of my sight.  But I forgot that the wheels were locked, and I ended up bruising my hands.  Sacre crap.

But when everything was done, all of this nonsense was worth it for the kids' birthday party.  Now that the kids are older, they get excited to see their aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Emma and Andrew are still several years younger than their youngest cousin, but as the years go by, they will have a small window of opportunity to play equally before their older cousins get moody, grow facial hair, and wreck their parents cars.

Here are a few pictures from the birthday party!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day 1416 - Fast Food, Slow Poop

This weekend, we made our way up to Northern California for our annual summer road trip.  The six hour trip always means two things:  a stop at McDonalds for lunch, and Andrew's constipation.  For the first time, both things happened at the same time.

While finishing up a delicious lunch of plastic chicken and salty fries, Andrew roamed over to an empty table, bent over, and gripped the seat.  His face turned red, and his eyes began to bulge.  Either he was recreating the infamous exploding head scene from the sci-fi classic Total Recall or his butt was about to explode.

I don't have a picture of Andrew, but I did a quick finger drawing on my iPad:

Andrew was pretty close to another couple trying to have their lunch.  I went over to take him away from a potentially explosive situation, but Andrew was too focused on getting to his end game.
"Nooooo!  Go away, Daddy!" Andrew shouted.

I didn't want to make it a bigger scene, so I just next to Andrew waiting for him to do his business.  There were a few time when Andrew bent over and basically pointed his stubborn butt towards this aforementioned couple.  I would try to pull him away, but Andrew would basically turn into a constipated Hulk and shoo me away.

But this grunting episode turned a little more dramatic and awkward when Andrew became very frustrated with his ass.

Andrew began to shout in the restaurant, "My bottom hurts!  My poopy won't come out!  I want my poopy to get OUT!"

I'm sure there were more than a few families who wished we would get out too.  I was a little torn between letting Andrew trying to finish his business versus letting the patrons of McDonalds finish their business.  Every time I would grab Andrew, he would scream, "STOP!  LET GO!  I NEED TO POOP!"  So I figured Andrew's grimacing was better than his screaming; after all, we all remembered the Grimace!

Finally, Andrew pooped.  I almost expected applause from the restaurant, but there was none.  But it is times like these when you realize how much a baby/toddler can get away with because of their age.  If you saw Crazy Gaga screaming, "My poopy won't come out!" at your local Denny's, you'd probably call the authorities.  

I'm not too sure what the fine line is between Andrew's behavior and more appropriate public behavior, but like most anything else with child development, your kid will eventually get there.  I'll just have to make sure on our next road trip I spike Andrew's apple juice with Metamucil and flax seed. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 1415 - Picture Friday

"Are you sure this headband doesn't make my forehead look like an IMAX screen?"

"I am glad my dad is talented enough to draw me this Lightning McQueen car, but DAMN if he isn't a cheap bastard for not forking over $3.99 for a diecast one!"

The calm before the Emma.

"My diaper doesn't taste good..."

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 1414 - Quote of the Day

Here's something Andrew said that doesn't make sense when you're a twin:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 1412 - Conversations with Emma & Andrew

Lisa was giving the kids their bi-monthly bath; we try to conserve water in this household.  As Lisa turned around to grab the box of borax, she noticed Andrew whispering something to Emma.

"Andrew, what did you whisper to Emma?" asked Lisa.

Andrew was caught off-guard and was startled enough to emit a few unintentional bath bubbles from his bottom.  He did not answer Lisa.

"Andrew," Lisa said with a tilt of her head.  "What did you say?"

Andrew said unconvincingly, "I told Emma, 'I love you, Mommy.'"

Lisa didn't buy that for a second.  She turned to Emma and said, "Is that what your brother whispered to you?"

"Noooooo!" said Emma with a wide grin.

"What did Andrew tell you then?"  Lisa was about to get to the bottom of this big mystery.

Emma revealed, "He said, 'Emma!  I drank the bath water!'"

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Day 1410 - Conversations with Emma

When you're with someone all the time, it's hard to gauge how they are changing.  That's the way it is with the kids.  We know they are getting bigger, but it's sometimes hard to tell.  But one physical reminder of their growth is how increasingly difficult it is becoming to carry them up the stairs.

At the end of the day, the kids like us to carry them upstairs to their bedroom.  I can tell they are getting bigger because it's harder to hold onto them and the strain on my knees increase month to month.  As for my petite wife, Lisa (I got $20 for calling her "petite".  Score!), she has a much more difficult time lugging the kids to their room.

One particular night, Emma wanted Lisa to carry her up to her room.

"Mommy," whined Emma.  "Carry me!"

"Emma," said Lisa.  "You can walk upstairs."

"Noooooo.  I'm tired.  Carry me, pleeeeease!" continued Emma.

Lisa gave in, bent over, and began the long, painful walk up the stairs.

"Oooooh Emma," bemoaned Lisa.  "You're getting sooooo big."

Emma just laid in Lisa's weakening arms.

Lisa said through her sweaty lips, "Oooooh Emma.  You're not a baby anymore.  Oooooh.  You're getting too heavy for Mommy.  Oooooh.  Mommy won't be able to carry you anymore."

And then Emma tilted her head up and told Lisa, "Stop complaining!"

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Day 1409 - ASCAP Application, Anyone?

When we ask the kids to tell us a story, it usually ends up becoming a simple three act, three sentence structure with the same ending:  someone pooping.  For instance, Emma might tell us a story like this:

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess.  She was hungry.  So she pooped.  The end.

What a romantic tale, no?  And I don't know where the hell the kids get their fascination with poop from.  Speaking of which, I had a terrific poop today which would rival a king-sized Baby Ruth bar!  I was so proud of myself.

While we were getting Andrew ready for bed, Andrew started babbling and singing these weird made-up songs.  So we asked Andrew to sing a song for us.  I know I am biased as a parent, but I think what he came up with was genius.  If you give it a pulsing, jazzy beat and get some harmonization with the horn section, it could become one catchy ditty!

Since I already registered the song, I thought I would share it with you.  Granted, it's a work-in-progress, but for a three year old, I wouldn't be surprised if he's the next Stephen Schwartz or Kenny Loggins.


One!  I poop on Mommy!
Two!  I wipe her!
Three!  I toot on Mommy!
Four!  I flush her in the toilet!
Five! Mommy drink toilet water!

So, can anyone help me get this song on iTunes now?  Hello?  Where'd everyone go?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Day 1408 - Picture Friday

Cute:  Andrew wearing Daddy's shirt.
Not Cute:  Daddy walking around the house shirtless.

 Even to a princess, size matters.

Cute:  Andrew hiding in a box.
Not Cute:  Daddy still walking around the house shirtless causing his son to take shelter in a box.

Two bees or not two bees?  Definitely not two bees!  AHH!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day 1407 - Good Idea, Bad Idea

A few weeks ago, Emma began a phase in which she would constantly cry and whine and make up excuses to not stay in bed.  We tried ignoring her, but that only made the crying and anger more intense.  We tried reasoning with her, but that was difficult to do because of the crying and anger.  Ultimately, it would end up with me losing my cool and both Emma and I would be crying and angry.

But then I came up with an idea!  I recalled the days when we were trying to potty train the kids, and I made a potty chart.  One night when Emma was crying, I told her that the next morning I could make a I Did Not Cry At Nighttime chart.  And when the chart was full of stickers, we could have a pizza party.  A genius and slightly fattening proposition, no?

I made a chart, taped it to the wall, and so began the experiment.  Although Andrew was not a problem at night, I also made a chart for him so he wouldn't feel left out.  The first night was a silent success!  Nobody cried, and the next morning they both giddily awaited to put their first happy face sticker on the chart. Each night Emma did not cry, I patted myself on my back since the only thing Lisa would do was roll her eyes and toss old bread at my face.

But then it happened.  There was the night that Emma began to cry.  I reminded her that if she continued to cry, she would not get a sticker.  I heard muffled whimpering, but it slowly developed back into crying.  Emma got out of bed, laid down in the hallway, and continued to cry.  I went upstairs and told her if she did not go back into bed, she would not get a sticker.  No response.  So I did what I always do when I had no other resort:  I called for Lisa.

Unfortunately, Lisa was taking a crap in the bathroom (Yes, I do have to qualify it was the bathroom because she occasionally confuses the kitchen sink with a toilet.).  I then made an ultimatum to Emma:  If you don't get in bed by the time I count to three, then there would be no sticker.



Last warning!


I'm not kidding!


Don't make me do this!


Lisa, are you finished taking a crap yet?

Three.  No sticker!

And then cue the uncontrollable crying.  Emma started to kick the wall, tossed around on the floor, and went into hysterics.  I went downstairs feeling bad, but I felt I did the right thing.  If I gave her a sticker the next morning, then what was the point of the chart?  I had to follow-thru with what the chart was all about.

Andrew didn't make the situation any better.  I heard him come out of the bedroom and tell Emma, "You not get a sticker because you cry.  But I get a sticker because I don't cry.  Right, Dada?  I get a sticker tomorrow morning.  Emma you don't.  But I do."

When Lisa finished taking a crap, she asked what happened.  I explained the whole incident, and she agreed with the action I took.  But Lisa also shook her head and clicked her tongue.  I immediately asked her why she did the "You're a dumbass" look.

"You know, this isn't over with yet," she said.  "What do you think is going to happen tomorrow morning when Andrew gets a sticker and Emma doesn't."

And that observation hit me like a 25 pound of sushi rice.  But I decided to do what any good father/husband would do.  That night, I set my alarm clock extra early so I could wake up and leave for work before the kids woke up.  Good luck, dumbass!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day 1405 - Color Me Surprised

While Andrew uses our oval coffee table to recreate the exciting races from the movie Cars, Emma sits at our dining table coloring, painting, and drawing.  Through my life, I've always enjoyed doodling and drawing.  Perhaps Emma is taking after me in this respect.  Better this than my bi-monthly back and thigh waxings.

This is not to say that Andrew has not had any interest in arts and crafts.  He also enjoys all of the same activities that Emma does except he does it with a young boy's attention span...which is to say brief and spastic. 

The key for Emma that has made it easier for her to draw and color is that she learned how to hold a crayon properly.  We never taught her how to do it, but she figured it out on her own.  Repeatedly, we have tried to make Andrew hold his crayon correctly, but Andrew is as Andrew does.  I will give it to Andrew that his finger manipulation in picking his nose is way more advanced than Emma's knuckle rub.

One day when I returned from work, Lisa showed me this drawing that Emma colored of Ariel:

Not too bad, right?  Emma pretty much nailed all of the colors correctly.  She got the red hair, the green fins, the purple boobs.  I'm not too sure why the bubbles are flesh colored unless Ariel is having some scaling problem.  And I don't really want to speculate what that burst of red is underneath her butt.  I'll chalk that one up to a feminine-mermaid hygiene issue.

I guess it's just kind of cool for me to see Emma develop an artistic side because I've always enjoyed drawing.  Drawing was always a great way for me to explore my thoughts and develop a sense of self.  I hope Emma will find the same enjoyment I find in drawing, but if not, that's okay too.  As for Andrew, I know he'll learn how to hold a crayon correctly soon enough, and we'll see interesting pictures from him too.  And if not, he can always have our oval coffee table. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 1403 - Wii Are Not Alike

At the end of the day if the kids are well-behaved, we let them choose one game to play on the iPad.  There are a bunch of interactive toddler games and books that they can choose from.  Although I do wish someone would come up with toddler apps like The Monster at the End of This Book Will Eat You If You Don't Go to Sleep or Call of Dooty:  Potty Training.

The one problem we have with the kids playing the iPad is that they are impatient to wait their turn.  So I thought I would use one of my Best Buy gift cards and purchase a Cars video game for our Wii so Andrew and Emma could play at the same time.  And not to mention the added bonus of myself having a new game to play!

The kids seemed pretty excited to have a new game to play, but as they continued to race, I noticed that Emma began to lose interest.  Andrew was all about racing and crossing the finish line, but Emma found it more entertaining to crash the car and drive around in circles.  Like mother, like daughter.

Here is a video showing you the difference between Andrew's and Emma's gameplay.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Day 1401 - Picture Friday

"Stop taking pictures of me!  Let me EAT!"

Emma's inspiration for this mask was 50% Project Runway and 50% serial killer.

Andrew demonstrates his latest invention:  the invisible straw.

Minnie and Emma rest after a night of crazy partying at ToonTown.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day 1400 - Curiosity Got My Wallet

There are two words you do not want to hear coming from your baby monitor during your child's nap:  Oh oh.  I can't think of any possible reason you would want to hear those words coming from the mouth of a toddler.  Unless you asked him to spell "Oo" in which case the child is a genius.

When it is time to go to sleep, Emma tends to be the one who falls asleep first.  This does not bode well for Andrew because he has a very active and restless demeanor.  He used to get upset when Emma would fall asleep, but now he has been able to figure out ways to entertain himself.  Sometimes he'll sing a song.  Sometimes he'll tell himself a story.  Or occasionally, he'll get himself into trouble.

During the afternoon nap, Lisa thought the kids were asleep because there was at least ten minutes of silence.  But this ten minutes of silence was due to our mischievous imp literally unraveling his plan.  You see, our upstairs is carpeted with Berber carpet.  Not exactly my first choice, but it was relatively new when we moved in, and I was not about to spend money on new carpeting when it was much more important to purchase a brand new television.

At the end of this ten minute stretch of quiet, Lisa heard the dreaded words, "Oh oh!"  Lisa didn't think too much about it, but this was followed by Andrew saying, "Oh oh!  It came apart!"  Lisa went upstairs, opened the door and saw this:

You can't quite tell in this picture, but Andrew saw a small piece of the carpeting unraveled and began to pull...and pull...and pull.  Pretty soon he got himself a nice mound of carpet fiber that would rival the largest bowl of linguine at your local Buca de Beppo.

When I came home from work and saw Andrew's linear destruction, I explained to Andrew how this was not a good thing because this means Daddy won't be able to buy a Macbook Pro next year.  I just figure one of these years, we'll go ahead and replace all of the carpeting upstairs.  In the meantime, we'll probably head to Ikea or Target to buy a long carpet runner to cover the trench so it won't get worse with time.

You really can't get too angry at a toddler's curiosity, but I do believe it is important for a parent to convey what is good and bad behavior.  The bottom line for me is that if I ever receive stitches on any part of my body, I'm sleeping with the bedroom door locked.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Day 1398 - Slow Lane Ahead

At the Kidspace Museum, there is an outside tricycle track where kids can bike along a cement road and learn the rules of the road.  Andrew was very excited to bike on the road by himself.  Unfortunately, the other kids on the road weren't as excited.

You see, our kids aren't very good on bikes yet.  Emma and Andrew each have a scooter and a tricycle, and they both prefer the scooter.  They aren't very proficient at pedaling, but are very good at evident by the bruises on my leg and the dents on the drywall.

In this video, you see Andrew trying his damndest to bike as fast as he can.  But if this is as good as he gets on the road, I better outfit him with a flak jacket the first time he gets on the 405.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day 1396 - What Kind of Hole?

Andrew's speech articulation still is not that clear, so that can result in mispronunciations and misunderstandings.  Both of which happened when we visited the Kidspace Museum in Pasadena.

The Kidspace Museum is a great little indoor and outdoor museum for young kids.  There's a lot of stuff for them to touch and explore.  They can climb a raindrop tower, walk through a man-made creek, and play water instruments.  Incidentally, did I mention that it probably is also a great breeding ground for germs and boogers?

There is one attraction that is a crawl-thru ant hill.  You go down a flight of stairs, crawl through a little hole, and make your way through a dark tunnel as if you're an ant.  Quite a few kids were afraid of this attraction, but our kids amazingly found it fun and wanted to go through it several times.

And this is the part of the story where we return to Andrew's speech articulation.  Inside this crowded museum full of parents and their young kids, Andrew would turn to me and shout, "Daddy!  I wanna go inside dah asshole!"

That's right.  Each time Andrew tried to say "ant hole", it sounded like "asshole".  I guess if you want to be specific, it sounded more like a-hole which made Andrew seem even more comfortable with the word. 

As we winded through the museum, there was an awkward moment when Andrew wanted to return to the ant hole, but we told him we needed to look at other displays.

"No!  I wanna go in dah a-hole!  Daddy!  Take me to dah a-hole!  I want dah a-hole!  A-HOLE!  A-HOLE!  I wanna go inside dah A-HOLE!" screamed Andrew.

I tried to calm Andrew down and clear me of embarrassment by telling him, "We can go back to the ANT HOLE later.  We already did the ANT HOLE many time, and now it is time to do something else besides the ANT HOLE."

Lisa swore I was making a big deal out of nothing, but I tried to explain to her I didn't want people to think our son was saying the word "asshole" over and over again.  And all Lisa could do was roll her eyes and say, "Stop being a dumb-ant, you jack-ant."

Friday, August 5, 2011

Day 1394 - Picture Friday

Everybody Poohs.

"Oh sure, Daddy.  This homemade dessert is...umm...really interesting and...err...unique!"

"What is Andrew talking about?  This dessert tastes like s#!t!"

"Me?  Eat the last chocolate cupcake?  Ne-vah!"

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Day 1393 - That's One Big Potato!

When you talk about what primal thing makes men and women attracted to each other, you can simply say, "Size matters."  Men like big boobs and round asses.  Women like tall men and big muscles.  And the only way that phrase relates to me is that I have an awfully large Playbill collection.

For some reason, size is impressive.  If something is unusually large, it creates a certain buzz and excitement.  This is exactly what happened to Andrew at school today.

I don't know what, when, or how this event happened.  But I guess the best way to describe it is how one of Andrew's teachers described it to Lisa, "I don't know how Andrew did it, but he did a poop the size of a large potato."

That's right.  Andrew pooped a fecal potato.  It was amazingly large enough that when Lisa arrived to pick-up the kids, all of the teachers were a-flutter with the news.

The teachers surrounded Lisa saying things like "How does someone so small poop so big?"  "I don't know how that potato got out of his body!"  "Has he ever done this at home?"  "Does he plug up the toilet?"  It was like the poop-a-razzi.

Lisa took the questions in stride, and laughed along with the teachers.  I do find it surreal that the teachers were giddily awaiting Lisa so they could tell her the big news.  Since I'm married to a teacher, I have a basic understanding of how teachers communicate and gossip with one another.  So I can imagine quite vividly the teacher's lounge conversation about Andrew's potato poop.  I would bet you twenty dollars that one teacher used a a balloon, paper mache, and brown tempera paint to recreate the diaper dump.

Regarding size, I don't know how proud you would be to have the talk of the town be about your bowel movement.  Nevertheless, size has once again been proven to have an important part in our world.  I am sure that at Andrew's preschool, this day will be noted in their anals of history.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 1391 - Conversations with Emma

While I was helping Andrew brush his teeth, Emma entered the bathroom and sat on the toilet.  After she finished her business, she asked me to wipe her.  When I am faced with the choice of using my hands to brush teeth or wipe ass, teeth wins every time.

I told Emma that she couple wipe herself.  As she wiped herself clean, I noticed she was using the same toilet paper over and over again to scratch her ass. 

"Emma, please stop doing that," I told her.

"But my bottom is itchy!"  she complained as the toilet paper became riddled with more and more holes.

"Why don't you ask Mommy to put some diaper cream on your bottom," I suggested.

"Okay," Emma agreed as she flushed the toilet and smelled her fingers -- not necessarily in that order.

Lisa was just around the corner, so she took out the Desitin and was all ready for Emma's request.  Emma was shocked to see Lisa holding the cream.

"How did you know I was going to ask you for cream?" exclaimed Emma.

Lisa smugly answered, "Because I know everything!"

And as Lisa carried Emma to the changing table, Emma added, "And Daddy doesn't know anything!"

Oh sigh.  The truth does sting, doesn't it?