Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 1468 - Preschool Danceathon

This weekend our preschool had a Halloween Danceathon fundraiser.  All of the money raised goes towards the Arts and Music curriculum.  In other words, all of the money goes towards finger paint and kazoos.

The parents and teachers transformed the classrooms into different areas.  There was an Under the Sea room with mermaids and fun house mirrors.  Another room was a Mad Scientist's laboratory and adjacent to that was a Princess area with face painting.  Outside, the playground was transformed into a pirate ship, and they had stacks of hay for the kids to climb on.  Granted the whole endeavor had a "let's put on a show" look to it, but I think that's what made it cute and charming.

Emma and Andrew had a fun time at the party, and they each had their most favorite thing.  Emma really enjoyed getting her face painted into a gigantic flower.  Depending on your view, she either ended up looking like a freaky flower from Alice in Wonderland or gigantic butterfly decomposed on her face. 

As for Andrew, the thing he loved the most was...crackers.  That's right.  Just plain old Ritz crackers.  I don't know how many times he ran into the banquet hall to take a handful of crackers.  Each time I saw him eating crackers, I went up to him and asked, "Are you eating more crackers?"  To which he responded, "No," as he spit dry crackers all over my shoes.

The main event was the danceathon.  Each child had to get sponsored much like a marathon.  It was for no particular amount of time, so it was just a flat donation.  And good thing it was just a flat donation because take a look at the dance floor:

This picture reminds me of one of my junior high school dances.  Mostly because I dressed up as Batman and tried to pop balloons all night.

I heard that this fundraiser was quite successful and the financial goal was reached.  There was a rumor that the cracker budget went over, but I'm not going to mention anything.  But most importantly, parents and children were involved together in making this a fun day for the family.  Here are a few more pictures of the event!

The Under the Sea room.  Or as I like to call it Toilet Paper Factory Explosion.

Hay!  Hay!  Haaaay!

As Andrew wipes his nose on the plasma ball, he renames it Electric Boogerboo.

 All this picture reminds me of is the painful memory of my crotch after a six hour bike ride.

 Have a great...err...weekday?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day 1467 - Those Crazy Japanese

Crazy Gaga occasionally sends the kids packages full of random gifts.  As she once mentioned to Auntie Anne (pretzel maven), "If you want dah kids tah remembah you, den you give dem lots o lots o gifts!"

In this particular package, there were some new pajamas, some random toys that she picks up at either a toy store or a garage sale, and some snacks.  I will clarify -- lest Crazy Gaga calls me up in a rant -- that when she purchases toys for the kids at garage sales, she always washes them before she sends them.  I'll testify to that because when I open up the care packages, it usually smells like a weird mixture of old Japanese lady and bleach.

The snacks she sent the kids were these Japanese crackers shaped like animals.  As with most Japanese packaging, the characters are super cute and random English words are typed on the front.  In this case the word "BABY" is prominently displayed.  I assume this either means these crackers are for babies or that we are actually eating babies made into crackers.  You can never second guess those crazy Japanese, you know.

When you open up the bag, you have a bunch of different shaped crackers with the animal's name printed on it.  For instance, here is a lion, hippo, and sheep:

Honestly, they all look alike to me.  But then again, I'm Asian so what do I know what I'm talking about.  I poured about half a dozen of these cookies in a little plastic bowl for the kids to munch on.  And they really enjoyed asking me what word was on each of the crackers.

But then Emma got to a cracker that took me for a loop.  It was this cracker:

That's right.  It's a cock.  Interestingly, this looked more like a cock that any of the other animals.

"Daddy, what does this say?" asked Emma.

"Err.  Umm.  It says chicken," I answered.

"How do you spell it?"

"C-h-i-c-k-e-n.  Chicken."

Emma thought.  "That's too many letters!"

"Just put that chicken in your mouth," I muttered.  Good thing I didn't say that other word.

I suppose I could've just told Emma what was written on the cracker because it isn't a bad word in this particular context, but I just had an awful feeling that this would lead to something uncomfortably dangerous.  Can you imagine cute little Emma saying things like this...

     "This cock sure is crunchy."

     "Can I put this cock in my pocket for later?"

     "One cock isn't enough!"

There's no reason to censor any of Crazy Gaga's Japanese snacks, but it just goes to show you how one's tainted adult mind can make an innocent cracker a symbol of debauchery.  I will continue to give the kids these crackers and not make a big deal about how many cocks spill into their plastic bowls.  But I may just have to double check this package that just arrived from Crazy Gaga.  Has anyone ever heard of a Japanese snack called Baby Gummi Douche Balls?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Day 1466 - Picture Friday

"Oh boy!  Mommy and Daddy said if the store is opened, we can buy whatever we want!"

 "Come on, Mommy!  Bigger!  BIGGER!"

 Either the pumpkin smells bad or we never should've let Andrew play with rubber cement.

 "Bwahaha!  I have this awesome wagon and Emma doesn't!"

Once again:  size matters.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 1465 - Conversations with Andrew

Being around a bunch of boys at preschool, Andrew has picked up some words that are stereotypically associated with being a boy like "fight", "shoot", and "bodacious boobies."  Actually, he might've picked up that last word from me while watching a Michael Bay movie.

This morning, I was trying to get Andrew to brush his teeth.  He was busily playing with his cars and ignoring me.  So I decided to be playful with him in order to get him into the bathroom.

"Andrew, if you don't go to the bathroom, I'm going to get you!" I said.

Andrew looked up at me with a rascally grin.

"You heard me, Andrew.  I'm going to get you!"  I approached him and pretended that I was going to tickle him.

"You can't get me!" he screamed.  He stood up and ran around the sofa.

"I'm going to tickle you!" I shouted as I chased him into the bathroom.

When I walked into the bathroom, Andrew was up against the wall bracing for a tickle.  So I tickled him and stood him on top of the stepstool.  I continued to tickle him as I grabbed him cup and toothbrush.

"Stop it!" Andrew said between laughing.  "No more tickling!"

When I finally stopped tickling him, he said something I'm sure he picked up at school.  He said with innocence, "I kill you!"

It's weird to hear the phrase "I kill you" with such little threat and great playfulness.  I didn't want to make a gigantic deal about it, but I turned serious and said, "I hope you didn't say what I thought you said because it is not a good word to say.  So I'm going to ask you to repeat what you just said."

Andrew's face also turned serious.  His devilish grin disappeared and his eyes turned big with forgiveness.  He looked straight at me and answered my question.

Andrew said, "I love you?"

Hmph.  Killing me with kindness...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 1464 - Bad End to a Great Day

This past Monday was Lisa's birthday, and as I mentioned in yesterday's blog, she had a great day.  But I totally forgot that it ended on an unfortunate note.

It was almost time for the kids to go to bed.  I asked the kids to listen to Mommy tonight and not give her a hard time because it was her birthday, and since she is slowly becoming an elderly woman, it is not a good idea to force unnecessary stress upon her.  Emma and Andrew agreed.

But right before Lisa was going to brush Andrew's teeth, he made that undeniable face that said "I'm pooping my pants."  Lisa whisked Andrew as quickly as a near-elderly woman could whisk, and sat him on the toilet.  But it was too late.  The Yogurtland dispenser already dispensed a trickle of chocolate frozen yogurt.

Lisa did not get upset at Andrew, but clearly got the point across to him that he needs to make sure he does his poop in the potty.

"Andrew, you're becoming such a big boy," Lisa said.  "You should really try to sit on the potty when you need to go to the bathroom.  Now you got your poopy all over your underwear and pajamas."

Emma overheard Lisa telling this to Andrew.  Emma made an exasperated face and ran up to me.

"Oh no, Daddy!  Andrew went poo-poo all over his pants," Emma reported.  And with the appropriate hand gestures, she continued, "This is NOT a very good birthday for Mommy."

And if Emma was somehow able to incorporate the word "crap" into her sentence, then that totally would have brought a tear to my face.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 1463 - Happy Birthday, Mommy

Yesterday was Lisa's birthday.  Lisa loves birthdays which means I have to love her birthdays too.  I try to do the best job possible by making her birthday fun and relaxing.  For instance, she hardly spends any time with the kids during the weekdays, so I made sure that she spent quality time with them yesterday:  I made sure Lisa made them dinner, fed them dinner, cleaned their dishes, ran their bath, gave them baths, clean the bath, brush their teeth, and read them stories.  That's just the kind of husband I am.

One of the most exciting things about another person's birthday for the kids is that they get to eat cake.  As soon as they came home from preschool, they started to ask me about Mommy's birthday cake.  This year instead of buying a cake that sits in our fridge for a week, I went down the street to a place called Nothing Bundt Cakes; if I have to explain to you what this store sells, please smack yourself.  I bought three personal-sized bundt cakes:  red velvet, marble, and chocolate chocolate.

I showed the cakes to the kids, and they asked me what kind of cakes they were.  I told them that these were called bundt cakes.  Of course their poopy humor genes went into overdrive and started to call them butt cakes.  They even pointed to the center of the bundt cake and explained that is the hole where the poopy comes out of.

When Lisa came home from work, I told the kids to give her a big hug and kiss.  And after I gave Lisa her birthday handshake, the kids wanted to open her presents.  We all sat around the coffee table as Lisa and I watched the kids open up Lisa's presents.  Andrew opened up her presents so fast, we accidentally threw away earrings that Crazy Gaga and Lazy Papa gave Lisa because it was hidden in crumbled up wrapping paper.

I hope Lisa had another great birthday this year and remembers it for years to come.  Although she may not remember it too long since short term memory is the first to go with old age.  I wanted to share with you the birthday cards the kids drew for Lisa.  Since the kids are becoming better drawers, I asked them to draw a picture of Mommy and themselves.  I thought this would be a nice memory for Lisa.

Here is the picture Emma drew:

And here is the picture Andrew drew:

If you couldn't tell, Andrew drew Lisa as a pig.  I guess there's no question he's related to me, huh?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day 1461 - Halloween Carnival

Every year, Lisa's school has a Halloween Carnival that we attend.  It's a pretty nice set-up with games, food, music, gigantic blow-up slides, and of course the standard haunted house.  Although the kids did not partake of the haunted house, there were enough activities in the kindergarten yard to keep them occupied.  And it's a good thing they didn't go through the haunted house because there was a rumor that there was a gory decapitated head inside it.  Of course it was just a decapitated Kero Kero Keroppi doll, but a decapitation is a decapitation.

I could go on with all of the activities the kids did at the carnival.  They loved the bouncy house.  They enjoyed sharing a shaved ice.  And Andrew broke the spin art machine by dropping his bottle of paint inside it.  But I'd like to digress a bit and get something off my chest.

I hate, hate, hate sparkly costumes.  On my list of things I hate, I think sparkly costumes is now in between root canals and anal probes.  And don't get me started about doctors who wear sparkly scrubs while performing a sigmoidoscopy.  And the Halloween Carnival made me even more upset about those damn sparkles.

You see, after we took our Santa Clara weekend trip a month ago, I noticed that the interior of the car was a mess.  Cheerios, dirt, and the smell of wet pants permeated the car seats.  And I'm just talking about Lisa's side of the car.  So, I purchased some cleaning supplies at Target and decided to do a quick interior detail of the CR-V.

After a few hours of wiping, scrubbing, and vacuuming, I was done.  I don't think the inside of the car looked brand new, but it certainly was an improvement over how it looked like before.  Best of all, it didn't smell like puke and urine anymore.  Although there was a slight remnant of smell on Lisa's car seat...

And this leads me to today.  For some reason, Lisa dressed Emma in her princess costume inside the car.  Not only did Emma sit in the backseat, but Lisa also had Emma sit in the driver's seat because she thought it would be cute to take a picture of Emma pretending to drive the car.  When I finally saw Emma running around the car with sparkles getting all over the car, I told her to get out and strip down.  It was like a bad toddler prison movie.

I looked inside the car and it looked like Tinker Bell and her fairy friends reenacted the campfire scene from Blazing Saddles.  There were sparkles every where.  All of my efforts to clean the car was ruined by the animal fetish loving Belle.  Although this picture of Emma is awfully cute, all I can see is all of the glitter ruining the car.

When we returned home from the carnival, I did my best to vacuum all of the glitter, but I was not about to spend another hour detailing the interior when Halloween was coming up and who the hell knew what sparkle disaster may happen again.  Although I'm used to the mess that comes with having kids, what irked me was how quickly the car got dirty after I spent hours trying to clean it.  But I really should've learned my lesson when I cleaned the car the weekend before we attended the Carlsbad Baked Bean Festival.  Talk about recreating that scene from Blazing Saddles...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 1460 - Pumpkin Carvings

Since Halloween is coming up next weekend, I decided it was about time to carve the pumpkins.  I asked the kids what they wanted on their pumpkins.  Emma said she wanted Minnie Mouse; Andrew said he wanted Mater.  Both are much more complicated than your typical triangle eyes and bucktoothed mouth which incidentally is how I was described while on a blind date. 

After looking at some pictures of Minnie Mouse and Mater, I grabbed a dry erase marker and started to draw on the pumpkins.  Lisa and the kids were sitting around the dining room table while I prepped the pumpkins to be carved.  It was one of those rare times around the dining table when nobody was shouting "Eat your veggies!" and "No!  You eat your veggies first!"

I must admit it was nice to have the entire family gathered around and helping out.  Lisa was helping the kids clean the inside of the pumpkins while I continued to sketch the cartoon characters.  As soon as the pumpkins were cleaned, I began the process of carving the pumpkins.  The kids and Lisa watched intently as I began to slowly cut the pumpkin.

But probably no more than five minutes past when everyone left me.  Andrew was off playing with his cars.  Emma was off playing with her doll house.  Lisa was off down the street boozing it up at a tavern.  Poor daddy was left alone with his knives and gourds.

For the first thirty minutes, I found carving the pumpkins a little relaxing.  It was relatively nice to be able to focus on something without anyone around you.  But after thirty minutes passed and I wasn't even finished with the first pumpkin, I began to get a little grumpy.

Why did I let the kids pick what they wanted on their pumpkins?  I could've been finished with both pumpkins in thirty minutes if they let me pick the design.  You know what I would've picked?  A square for Andrew and a triangle for Emma.  That's it! 

After I finished Minnie Mouse, I still had Mater to carve.  By this time, my right index finger was a little raw and numb from all of the carving.  But I took it like the man I am:  weak and whiny.

I continued my internal rants by wondering why pumpkins were chosen to be carved on Halloween.  Pumpkins are stinky and are damn hard to carve because of its thick skin.  Why couldn't we carve something simpler like a cardboard box or even better just put stickers on a container?  What says Happy Halloween more than scratch and sniff stickers on a L'eggs container?

Ninety minutes later, I finished carving both pumpkins.  I called the kids into the kitchen and called a taxi to pick up Lisa at the bar.  Despite my raw and stiff fingers, once I saw how happy the kids were with the final results, it made me realize that it was at least 35-45% worth my efforts.

Here are pictures of the kids with the pumpkins:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 1459 - Picture Friday

 We probably should've explained to Emma that you do not receive pony rides from cows made out of plywood.

 Once again, Andrew gives Daddy a discerning look because he decided to wear a dress in public.

First glance:  Brave Emma jumped six feet into a hay stack.
Reality:  Klutzy Emma was walking at the bottom of the hay stack and slipped backwards.

"Yes!  I faced my fears and jumped off an 18" ledge made of soft, pliable hay!  I'm awesome!"

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 1458 - Conversations with Andrew

It was another typical dinner at home full of spilling, throwing, yelling, and frustration; Norman Rockwell, this is not.  Andrew was sitting awkwardly on his chair, so I asked him to demonstrate good manners.  Andrew twisted his body around to sit, but as he was about to put his ass on the chair, something happened:  Andrew farted.

It was not an ordinary fart.  It was a succession of nuclear butt blasts.  It was so powerful, the local news reported the tremor's epicenter as Andrew's sphincter.  Accurate and troubling.  It was time again to reinforce good manners with Andrew.

"Andrew, what do you say?" I asked.

Andrew said nothing.

"Andrew!  You just did a gigantic toot.  What do you say?"

Andrew just gave me a devilish grin.

I repeated myself over and over again, but Andrew continued to stare at me.  I grew frustrated with him and commanded, "Why are you ignoring me and saying nothing at all?"

Andrew finally opened his mouth and said, "I cahn't tahlk because I have too much food in mah mouf!"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 1457 - Emma-Cadabra!

When Emma saw video of her brother doing his magic trick, she decided she could do just as good a job...which honestly isn't very hard to do.  Leave it to a perfectionist like Emma to practice her craft so intensely that she eventually ends up on national television.

If you don't believe me, here's a video clip.  And please don't ask me how she did this magic trick.  Even after watching it several dozen times, I still don't get it!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Travel & Sickness Delay!

I was getting so close to catching up with the blog, but then we did some traveling the past two weekends.  And the moment we returned home on both weekends, the kids got sick.  As a matter of fact, Emma has had a pretty high fever the past few days, and we are hoping it is going to break tomorrow.  Because if it doesn't, the only other thing that's going to break is my back and sanity.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day 1455 - Tit for Tot

We visited Lisa's nephew, Kevin, and wife to see their new home in Lancaster.  Thankfully, our passports were still valid and made the trip without a problem.  The wife, Shelvey, is expecting her first child in December so she and Kevin are busy getting the house ready for the newborn.

I was showing the baby's room to Emma and memories of my own experiences with our own babies came flooding back.  If you're interested in any of my memories, please feel free to click to "Day 1" of this blog and continue to read through Day 365. 

Emma was curious about all of the things in the baby's room.

"What's that?" she asked.

"That is a blanket to wrap the baby in," I answered.

"What's that?"

"That is a strap that you connect to the baby's pacifier."

"What's that?"

"A bag of weed."

Well, maybe not everything in the baby's room was for the baby.

But the one thing Emma asked about that opened a wide door for me to screw up was when she pointed to the Boppy -- the pillow you use to breast feed a baby.  At first, I simply explained that the Boppy was a pillow to feed the baby.  Emma asked where you put the Boppy.  I told her you put the pillow around the mommy's tummy.  Emma asked where do you put the baby.  I explained you put the baby on top of the Boppy.  Then Emma asked, "But how does the baby eat?"

I put my brain on pause.  Do I skirt the question and just tell Emma that you give the baby a bottle?  Or am I just honest with her and matter of factly tell her that a baby receives food via mama's titties?  I decided to take the high road and tell Emma the truth although the words "breast feeding" makes me giggle.

"When babies are really young, they get their milk from their mommy's chest," I explained.

"Huh?" Emma said with a crinkled nose.

Oh boy.  I better watch myself here.  "When a mommy has a baby, the...umm...breasts on the mommy's...err...chest makes milk.  And this is how a baby gets food.  The mommy breast feeds..tee hee...their baby."

"The boobies make milk?" said Emma with disbelief.  "And babies drink it?"

"Yes, Emma.  The boobies make milk."

Emma stared at me for a few seconds trying to soak it all in.  But the longer she stared at me, the more I wanted to giggle and shout out, "TITTY MILK!"  But I think I handled the situation pretty well considering my immaturity about such things like titties and milk.  I didn't want to give the impression to Emma that there was anything unusual or shameful about breast feeding (tee hee).  As a parent, I always thought it is important to be forthright and honest with your child because if you can't be honest with them, how can you expect them to honest with you.

As I continued my inner thoughts about my parenting skills, Emma burst out laughing and incredulously said, "Mommy's boobies make milk?  HAHAH!  Boobies make milk?  ANDREW!  ANDREW!  MOMMY'S BOOBIES MAKE MILK!"

I stood in the baby's room by myself as I heard Emma run towards her brother with news about booby milk.  As Emma and Andrew began to laugh and continue to scream "booby milk", I pathetically shut the door and crawled into the crib to whimper myself to sleep, but not before one last giggle as I thought about breast feeding.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Day 1454 - Andrew-cadabra!

When I was younger, I dabbled with magic a little bit.  I liked to try to make things disappear.  The one thing I really tried to make disappear but was constantly unsuccessful was my virginity.  I am now sharing my interest of magic with the kids.

I haven't done any card tricks yet, but I have tried to make small objects disappear and reappear.  In the beginning, I would put little dolls underneath their bedsheets and make them disappear by lifting the doll up with the sheets.  The kids were fascinated by it and began to copy me.  They instantly started to put all of their dolls underneath their sheets, but slowly grew frustrated when it did not work for them.  Pretty soon, it became ugly because we had two grumpy magicians like Sigfried and Roy after a bad batch of sauerkraut.

Andrew has shown more interest in magic than Emma, so I still try to entertain him with simple tricks.  Now Andrew will try to put on little magic shows for us by trying to make things disappear like his toys or his sister; somehow the books tend to get lost, but the sister always finds a way back.

Here is a little clip of our little magician doing a trick for us!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Day 1453 - Picture Friday

"Mannesrs?   I don't need no stinkin' manners."

"Hurray!  Another Hello Kitty doll to annoy Daddy with!"

"Where are you, Emma?  Let's play a game of Japanese Girl Pinata!"

...and Princess Emma didn't sleep for 72 hours straight.

Have a great weekend (and don't touch our iPad)!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Day 1452 - Cars-a-holic

"Hello, my name is Andrew Ichikawa, and I am a cars-a-holic."

Or at least that's what I think Andrew is.  The sad thing is that Andrew would probably admit it with great pride and happiness.  I don't know what exactly it is about the world of Cars, but Andrew as well as millions of other kids around the world are totally infatuated with Lightning McQueen and his pal of four-wheeled friends.

Do you know how much Disney makes off of Cars annually with merchandising?  Two billion dollars.  That's right.  Two...bill...ion...dol...lars.  You know what you can get with two billion dollars?  This 27 story, 400,000 square foot mansion in Dubai with 600 servants.  That's what you can get!

I was looking around the house to see how much Cars crap Andrew has, and it is quite a bit.  He has two buckets of assorted Cars vehicles, several race tracks, a few garages, and various Cars related books and toys.  Andrew wanted to lay out all of his cars on our coffee table recently, and you can see that he has quite a collection.

But when I look at his collection, this is all I can see:

Yet we enable Andrew to love his Cars collection by purchasing one thing after another so I really can't complain too much.   So why do we keep on doing it?  Because it makes him happy and in return it makes us happy...especially when he leaves me alone for ten minutes so I can download the latest apps on my iPad. 

I remember when I was kid I would be obsessed with certain toys or things.  I loved Atari, puppets, records, and Barney Miller (Hey!  I had a sophisticated taste for humor as a child.).  And although it does occasionally irk me how much Andrew loves his Cars, I try to remember how much joy my belongings gave to me as a child.  Especially my Hal Linden Barney Miller poseable action figurine. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day 1450 - Conversation with Emma & Andrew

As the kids are getting older, we are allowing them to make certain decisions and choices by themselves.  Nothing major, but just little things that help them develop their sense of self.  Things like what are the best choices for college investments, the best way to skin a chicken, and what pajamas to wear at night.

On this particular night, Lisa let the kids pick out their pajamas.  Andrew rummaged through his pajama drawer and pulled out a Lightning McQueen long sleeve shirt and a mismatched short pants.

"Andrew, are you sure you want to wear this?" asked Lisa.  "They don't match."

Andrew told Lisa, "No!  I pick this, and I like it!" 

As Andrew began to get dressed, Emma looked through her pajama drawer and pulled out a matching ballerina long sleeve shirt and long pants.

Emma proudly held out her choice to Lisa and said, "Mommy!  Look what I picked out.  Matching long sleeves and long pants.  So I won't look disgusting."