Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

Christmas this year wasn't nearly as hectic as I'd imagined it would be.

I figured now that the girls wouldn't tolerate going on a long car ride on our way to the Bay Area or on the way back.  It wasn't really my problem on the way there because I had to drive up on my own, but they slept the entire way home on Sunday night.  I feared taking them to a house that was nowhere near baby-proof would have calamitous results with two new walkers.  But they were great and didn't even injure themselves once.

There was a little issue of them refusing to sleep in this new house with all sorts of presents to open and enjoy, but even that wasn't so bad.

I'm really starting to think we're the luckiest parents ever with how good our kids can be.  They certainly make every holiday that much more enjoyable.

My gift to you: Another Twitter Machine!

-There was an issue of Grace throwing up twice (TWICE!) in the car when we drove to visit Erin's grandpa.
-Despite all their spit-up issues early on, they haven't been predisposed to vomiting. This is a new, gross phenomenon.
-Reason 1,367,142 why California rules: We went to the beach on Christmas day. First time the girls played on sand and saw the ocean. #suckiteverywhereelse
-Got a Kindle for Christmas. As a reader I'm very excited because it's so much easier to carry that than 3000 books I usually have.
-What is the deal with people posting pictures of every gift they received on Instagram or Facebook? #dotheyknowitschristmas #dotheythinkwecare
-There of course will be a picture post following this
-Do you watch A Christmas Story, It's A Wonderful Life or Sound of Music on Christmas Eve?
-I prefer the first two, but it always seems like we watch the last one.
-One of my co-workers keeps telling me how awful Bad Santa is. She obviously isn't cynical enough.
-Someone on TV today said the Royal Wedding was the story of the year #perspective
-I think the Navy Seals that killed Bin Laden might have an issue with that
-Has anyone ever actually followed through on a New Year's Resolution?
-I actually do plan on dropping another 10 pounds and completing my 30 by 30 list #justlikeeveryoneelse
-I'd really like to see The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, but I'm going to need to read the book first
-I was turned off of the NBA until I saw Ricky Rubio make some beautiful passes in his first game #specialplayersmakespecialplays
-I still have no idea what we're doing for New Year's Eve. Staying in like last year is just fine by me.
-Ana has this fake cough. If she hears anyone cough she starts coughing too. It's adorable and strange.
-Grace on the other hand growls like a feral animal
-I have no idea where they get this stuff #probablytheirmother
-Falling asleep in a recliner while everyone around me opens presents should become a Christmas tradition
-I haven't gained any weight throughout this entire holiday season. And I've eaten terribly.
-And I still have Reese's Trees stashed away in case of emergency.
-Finally bought Erin The West Wing on DVD. Maybe the best gift I've ever given to her.
-She also got the Rob Lowe memoir.
-For those keeping track at home, that is in fact a Rob Lowe-themed Christmas. I know what my wife loves.

Hope everyone has a safe New Years.  Twitter Machine will be back in 2012.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

One of the enduring memories of my childhood were my birthdays and Christmases from when I was around 8 or 9.  I loved receiving presents around those times (who doesn't?), but I especially enjoyed those years because of certain gifts that I knew were coming.

You see around that time I was in the midst of an obsession with a certain precocious little boy and his stuffed tiger (a stuffed tiger that was alive and rambunctious when no one else was looking).  I of course am referring to Calvin and Hobbes.  I was a voracious reader growing up, but I especially loved Calvin and Hobbes.

I would be the first one to open the newspaper every day to turn to the comics and read the latest installment in the life of Calvin and his best friend.  When I realized that there were collections of all the strips that ran in the paper, I knew I had to have them and made it very clear to everyone else that I didn't just want them, I needed them.

So every year around my birthday and Christmas, I would burn through every gift I got just to find the latest book to add to my collection.

The reason I bring it up here is that my wife recently asked me to teach her about Calvin and Hobbes.  And what a great time to learn.  Bill Watterson's Christmas strips were some of the best that he ever wrote, and the man wrote some great Calvin and Hobbes strips.  To this day I think he is the best comedic comic writer that has ever lived.  He wrote stories that praised a little boy's imagination and spirit because fostering the imagination of your children is one of the great gifts we can give to them.  He has left me with so many wonderful and hilarious strips to share with my entire family.  For that I'm eternally grateful.

So as a gift for you this Christmas, I give you some of my favorite Christmas-themed Calvin and Hobbes strips.  All credit goes to Bill Watterson.  Enjoy.



 

 
This is the strip that got Erin intersted in learning about it

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Christmas Eve

A flood of memories and emotions come to me every Christmas Eve.

I remember being so excited that I could hardly sleep on the nights before Christmas.  I knew that the moment I woke up I would crawl out of my bunk bed without waking anyone else up to scope out what Santa brought for me.  My sister was always soon to join.  It's likely she didn't sleep at all and the moment she heard any noise she assumed it was me and would be out by the fireplace to dissect all our new swag.

I remember Christmas Eve nights spent with my dad's family.  The White Elephant gift exchanges that some people took way too seriously.  The tamale dinners that night were always to die for and one of the best traditions about Christmas.

I remember the first year that I spent Christmas with Erin and her family.  We had only started dating about a week prior to Christmas, so it's a time that has always held a special place in my heart.  I already associated so much joy with Christmas, and eleven years ago I got another reason to love it.  Her uncles and family friends seemed to immediately click with me as we talked about the joys of horseradish on prime rib and clean sheets.

Now I have two little ones to experience all these joys over again.  I can see the happiness that Christmas brings from an entirely new perspective.  This time last year, they were just little helpless blobs.  This year they're both walking.  They are opening presents.  They love all the lights and the ornaments on the tree.  Christmas has always been a yearly marker along the path of life and lord knows it has flown by so far (even more so in this past year).

Grace and Ana,
I love you both.  I hope your hearts are filled with joy and the spirit of giving every Christmas (and every day for that matter).  You are the greatest gifts your mom and I have every received.  You're also the greatest gift for each other.  You always have someone in your corner besides your mom and me.

I love you,
Your Daddy

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

Christmas is this weekend!  I love Christmas.  I couldn't enjoy giving gifts more.  There is something so fulfilling about putting thought into a gift and executing it exactly as you want.  And it all comes full circle when you see the look on the face of the receiver of your gift.  I love it.

I can't wait until those Christmas mornings when my girls are old enough to open presents and wake up early to see what Santa brought them.  I can't wait to see the looks on their faces when they get something that they were wanting.  I can't wait for the hugs and snuggles in our pajamas while drinking hot cocoa around the tree.

On to the Christmas Twitter Machine!


-Hate to make broad generalizations, but why does every woman pee with the door open around their husbands/boyfriends? #generalizationaboutbroads
-Kim Jon Il...GONE. So Ronery without him.
-Not the best year to be a dickhead #kimjongil #ghadafi #binladen #stevejobs
-Now watch as every Apple fan gets up in arms and threatens me about that last one
-Still haven't gone Christmas shopping. Procrastination is great, but it will be just as good tomorrow.
-I do have a theme for my wife's Christmas gift that I'm sure she'll love #lovegivinggifts
-Ana likes to climb onto the fireplace. She also tries to pull down all the stockings. #adorable
-I think she wants to be the first person in the house to greet Santa
-Top 5 Christmas Movies: #it'sawonderfullife #elf #diehard #achristmasstory #badsanta #FACT
-Honorable mentions: Miracle on 34th Street, Love Actually, White Christmas, Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas
-Dishonorable mentions: Ernest Saves Christmas, Santa with Muscles, Jingle All the Way
-How come Bad Santa is on 1000 times during the summer, but nowhere to be found around Christmas?
-24 hours of A Christmas Story would only be topped by 24 hours of Die Hard #getonthatAMC
-Grace and Ana love having sword fights with plastic hangers
-I can't emphasize enough how excited I am for Erin's gift
-The NBA season is about to kick off #yawn #spoiledbrats
-I don't think I've laughed more reading a blog in a long, looong time as I laughed reading this
-We've been playing Christmas music all week at work. I love it.
-Tebow lost on purpose to throw people off the scent that he is the second coming #sarcasm
-When you think about it Santa Claus is the biggest creeper out there
-Francisco really is fun to say #elf
-My wife isn't too fond of Will Ferrell, but she LOVES the movie Elf.
-I'm working on my list for the Airing of Grievances right now, and I got a lot problems with you people #festivus
-Christmas also is a time to give thanks for The Simpsons and South Park. #simpsonsroastingonanopenfire #spiritofchristmas
-My mom is addicted to Words with Friends now that she has an iPhone #justlikealecbaldwin
-Newest parlor trick that the girls perform: Pointing at their heads when I ask "Where's your head?" #adorable
-Now I just need to teach them to point at the chimney when I say "Where's Santa?"
-Eating so many sweets these past two weeks #diabeticcoma
-Kids screaming while on Santa's lap is a staple of every family's first Christmas
-Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends #laheim
-That's it I'm watching Die Hard when I get home

Hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cold Season

Our house has been hit hard by cold season.

Grace and I bore the brunt of it first.  The stuffed up sinuses.  The runny noses.  The flem-filled coughs.

It was no fun at all.  Well it was no fun for me.  Grace was a freaking trooper.  She was smiley in spite of the snot.  She laughed her way to coughing fits.  And when she stopped coughing, she was right back to smiling and laughing again.  It actually only served to make me feel like a wimp.  Here was this one-year-old dealing with being sick with a smile on her face.

It did make me happy.  Just because she is a baby doesn't mean she has to be a baby about it.

This week was a different story.

Erin and Ana have joined to sick party.

It wasn't all bad though.  I became a hero to my wife for purchasing tissue boxes that have owls on them.  She loved them, and it almost made her getting a cold worth it.


Ana has been a handful.  She hasn't been sleeping as well as a result which has made her fussy during the day and unable to nap which makes her overtired which keeps her from getting better and continues the vicious cycle.  I'm already dropping the "Why can't you be more like your sister?" on her.  I know it's unfair at 13 months.  But really, why can't she be more like her sister?

When sickness hits anyone in our house, it hits everyone in our house.  That is now abundantly clear.  It doesn't matter what I do to avoid it.  We are all going to be dealing with the same colds, flus and any other infectious diseases from now until the nest is empty.  And that is a cold, hard truth.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

I've done a pretty good job of getting myself back at an acceptable weight over these last few months.  I'm actually down almost 20 pounds over the last 4 months.  This is without any sort of workout routine.  I need to get back on track with that.  It gives me more energy throughout the day and actually helps me sleep better at night.

I'm just worried that with Christmas right around the corner that I'll put a bunch of it back on.  Tis the season for eating way too many sweets, indulging in pie, having big meals with friends and family and spending more time on the couch watching all the holiday specials.  I may have to re-introduce a workout routine if only to undo what all this holiday eating does.  Because I'm certainly not going to stop eating cookies and treats.

And that is determination!

Do you want to pick snowberries Buddy?

-Whatever happened to those Magic Eye posters? With the 3D boom you'd think they'd make a comeback.
-Someone at Mizzou's fansite linked to my post on Pie vs Cake. I'll now be rooting for Mizzou hard. #allittakes #gotigers #marchmadness
-It is good to see that the pie v cake debate extends across the country through all fan bases
-Giving any athlete a 10-year contract that runs into their 40s is insanity #albertpujols
-Alec Baldwin on SNL made me chuckle, but it made me want 30 Rock to come back even more
-I don't understand getting kicked off a plane for playing Words with Friends. Hanging with Friends makes more sense.
-I didn't really see the point of this year's Simpsons' Christmas episode. I'm also not fond of any of the future episodes
-If I want an animated show that takes place in the future, I'll watch Futurama #andidowatchit
-Grace got a toy baseball bat for her birthday. Now she beats me with it. And laughs her head off.
-Luck looks like a good show. I was playing Angry Birds and not paying attention while it was on, but it LOOKED good. #hbo #shortattentionspan
-Chris Paul to the Lakers was an intriguing deal. In fact the Hornets "won" it. Stern should have allowed it.
-The Lakers gave up a position of strength to obtain a position of weakness. What was wrong with that?
-I always love all the Best of the Year lists that come out in December. Still just opinions, but fun to read.
-My albums of the year: Rise Ye Sunken Ships, 12 Desperate Straight Lines, Helplessness Blues, 21, Days #weareaugustines #telekinesis #fleetfoxes #adele #realestate
-And in case Dani is wondering why I slighted Wilco. I just haven't listened to the album yet.
-I've become an expert at ironing with a baby using my legs to stand.
-Is anyone surprised by Tim Tebow winning games he should definitely lose at this point?
-You can make a case for Tebow as MVP. Aaron Rogers doesn't have a meme named after him. #tebowing #FACT
-Knocked out quite a few beers from Yard House last week. At least one thing on my 30 by 30 list is happening.
-Ana and Grace have discovered jumping on the bed. Put them both in the same crib and they were bouncing away.
-I'm not kidding about Missouri. I'm penciling them to win in all my brackets.
-Also if I had a vote for the Wooden Award (which I obviously don't) it would go to Marcus Denmon.
-Ana is getting a little bit bolder on her "walking". She is now putting her foot forward and pulling it back.
-It's like a baby hokey-pokey
-I'd put together a list of best movies of the year, but I haven't seen any.
-Erin asked for booze or FroYo on Friday. Got vodka and ice cream and rented The Help #winning #besthusbandever #okaymaybeliketop1000husbands
-Is it bad that I haven't done any Christmas shopping yet? #11shoppingdaysleft

Now I'm off to go eat more cookies.  Weight be damned!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Say Uncle

I mentioned before that my brother's wife was expecting and that my girls would have a first cousin soon.  That "soon" was joked about in our family for the past month or so.

Her due date was scheduled for right around Thanksgiving, but everyone in the family was convinced that she would go into labor earlier than that.  We joked that she would be having turkey and stuffing in the maternity ward.  That they would pump the IV with cranberry sauce.

Thanksgiving came and went without a new baby.

Then the following week passed without incident.

Then another.

We were starting to think that maybe this kid just wanted to hang out in the womb until Christmas.  Why not?  Miss a good chunk of cold and flu season.  Be the best gift possible for her parents.  I'm thinking she had a pretty good plan.

The doctor thought otherwise.  He figured it was time to help it along.

So Friday evening after inducing and a day-long labor, my brother and his wife welcomed their 9 lb bundle of joy to the world.

I came down after work to check in on the new family.  My brother was obviously in love.  I could see it all over his face.  He was looking into the nursery like a kid on Christmas morning.  He was excited and happy and proud.  He had the look of a man who had been up for hours but didn't care.  He was obviously exhausted, but that morphed more into happy stupor than anything else.  His wife had the same exhausted glow.  She couldn't help but have a smile on her face.  Even after all that work because the work was definitely worth the end result.

And I can't blame them.  She is an absolutely adorable baby.  It took everything in my power not to pick her up when I was there.  Being sick around a new baby isn't any fun.  I'll make up for it though.

I'm so happy to welcome the newest member to the family.  I'll always be there for my new niece.  My girls are only a year older, but I will always teach them to love and look after their new cousin.  I can't wait for birthdays and holidays spent together.  I love that they'll be so close in age and wish that they are just as close throughout their lives.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Your Shoulder

My wife has been put through the ringer recently and yesterday it finally caught up with her.

People think that she is a strong-willed and tough.  She can be, but she is also as fragile as anyone I know.  She can be reduced to a blubbering mess just like anyone else.  She doesn't have thick skin like some people think.  In fact quite the opposite is true.  She feels everything and oftentimes wears her emotions on her sleeve.  Hurtful words or sadness can cut her heart like a knife.

This sadness and hurt finally broke the dam and came out in wave of tears and incomprehensible grumbles last night.  She kept saying how broken she was.  How she worries about what everyone thinks about her.  How she misses her family and wishes she could spend more time with friends.  She is filled with so much regret because of poor decisions she's made, and she wants to be better for her daughters.

And I did all a husband can do in this situation, I held her and I told her it would be okay.  I told her I love her.  I told her she is a wonderful wife, a fantastic best friend and the best mom Grace and Ana could ever have.  I told her the people she's touched were better for having her in their lives.  That I'd be hard pressed to find a more compassionate and understanding and giving individual.

And she wept.

And I held her.

And even if she didn't believe me in that moment, I knew every word I said was true.  I knew that at some point she would know it was true too.

Sometimes you just need to cry.  I'll always be your shoulder.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

There is so much going on in my life right now that just can't make it into my blog.  Part of me wants to write it all out and throw it out there for the world to see and judge.  Another part of me thinks that this isn't the place to air it all out.

Granted, I lose a bit of credibility by not laying everything out there and holding back.  My whole reason for starting this process was opening up about things in my life.  There are some huge things happening right now in my life that I'm not too comfortable with discussing in blog form.  Trust me, you're all the better for not having to read about it.

Plus there is so much more to life than worrying about ridiculous drama.  The Twitter Machine for example.



-I wonder how long it would take for two people listening to the same Pandora station to hear the same song.
-Grace has a cold (which I caught) and there is no end to the snot. I feel so bad for her, but she is a trooper.
-She actually has a better attitude about being sick than me
-Madonna is doing the Super Bowl halftime show. Here's to Tebow making it and her performing Like A Prayer.
-Remember Fuddruckers? The Counter is build-your-own-burger but 1000 times better. Highly recommend.
-Herman Cain is no longer running for the Republican nomination. It isn't the first time he pulled out.
-So porn on the internet will be under .xxx now. How long before facebook.xxx pops up?
-Yo Gabba Gabba makes my soul hurt. Also the DJ freaks me out.
-The girls of course can't get enough of it which means I get too much of it.
-How come all the "special" flavors this time of year are Egg Nog? Egg nog is gross.
-I'm okay with peppermint or pumpkin around Thanksgiving and Christmas instead of egg nog.
-The guy who wrote Closing Time co-wrote Adele's Someone Like You. #funfact #thatguymustbedepressed
-So if the 24 movie is two hours long, will that just be 2 hours of real time events?
-Obviously it will be two hours of Jack Bauer yelling and shooting people.
-Also isn't the whole hook of that show that Jack Bauer has all this happen in one day? #missingthepoint
-How happy is every movie studio that had already filmed two movies in a series before the 3D boom? #3Dinmovietitles
-Another reason to love twins: They try to give each other their food when sitting in their high chairs.
-A new report found children's cereal has too much sugar. It was published in the New England Journal of Things You Already Knew.
-I like to do nice things for people I work with. There isn't an ulterior motive. People just need to know they're appreciated.
-We watched the in-laws' dog this weekend. Everytime Ana hears her collar, she says "DOGGY!" #adorable
-So glad Dani is back. I love her blog. Her pictures are amazing. Her writing is beautiful in its simplicity. Missed her posts.
-Ana has become a biter recently. It has become her way of playing which is not cool.
-She also likes to stand behind Grace and tries to bite the back of her head. #wheredidshelearnthis?
-Going to Yard House tomorrow night. Any suggestions on what to try? Food? Beers?

That's all for this week's Twitter Machine.  Not a single Christmas reference this week (except for the picture).  Must be losing my touch.  Or we just didn't watch The Sing Off Christmas special.  Either way.  See you next week.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Daddy Daughter Days

Another Thursday, another day spent with my girls.  I love every Thursday because of it.  It's my favorite day of the week (tied with Sunday when I can spend the whole day with all of my family).  I actually also love Wednesday nights because I spend those evenings looking forward to the following day.

This Thursday was all about books, deliveries and exploration.

It started in the morning in the master bedroom.  Grace and Ana both wanted to "read" the books that we have in our room.  When I write the word read, I of course mean try to eat them.  But at one point Grace was lying up against me, holding the book and just looking at it.  Obviously she loves the pictures and couldn't pull herself away from it.

She might want to flip it right-side-up though
 While in the bedroom the girls and I started having fun with the camera on the iPhone.  Ana is such a ham.  She sees herself in a mirror or on the iPhone screen, and she immediately starts making faces and smiling.  I love it, and she obviously loves it too.  Grace is a little more demure.  More sly with her smile.  She did however take the phone away from me at one point to take her own pictures.


ANA!

Gracie
 
How artsy of Grace

I know that it seems like poop is involved in everything I write.  I'm really trying to avoid the topic if I can, but this was actually a part of our day.  Ana has been having some stomach issues recently, and the only way the doctor can know for sure was to bring in a fecal sample for them to evaluate.  We also had a limited time frame to bring the sample in, so I had to bring it in almost immediately.  Ana pooped right before bottle and morning nap time, so this led to some fussy babies as we drove to the hospital to drop off Ana's sample.  They were however in good spirits when the lab employees said their hellos and waved at them.  They also got to put on cute outfits.


Special delivery
 After getting home, they immediately went to sleep, and it was time for me to clean up around the house.  They napped for almost two hours and were ready for lunch the moment they woke up.  And then it was time to explore and create more messes for dad to clean up.

Pretty sure you shouldn't be pulling towels out of here
I went into work in the afternoon for about an hour or so.  I brought the girls, so that Erin and I could trade cars.  Erin of course wanted to bring them into the office for all the coworkers to see.  They were both a little bit tired after a long day, but they still smiled and laughed and were in good spirits.

All in all, it was another great day with my daughters.  I can never complain spending an entire day with my girls.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

Something I only partially touched on in my Christmas decorations post from yesterday is what I deem as an acceptable Christmas season.

I don't celebrate anything about Christmas until after Thanksgiving is over.  I find it disrespectful to the pilgrims when we immediately jump from Halloween decorations to Christmas decorations.  We shouldn't immediately go from the Monster Mash or Werewolf Bar Mitzfah to Christmas music.  Granted the Charlie Brown Halloween and Christmas specials are much better known than the Thanksgiving special, but the Thanksgiving special still exists all the same.

Normally I'd say that Christmas doesn't really start until December 1, but I've softened on this stance over the years.  I'm willing to make that small concession.  So now that Christmas season is in full swing, we can enjoy all the things that go along with it.


-You'll notice that I never say "holidays". It's Christmas damnit. You can say I'm intolerant. I just celebrate Christmas and say "Merry Christmas" #politicalcorrectnessbedamned
-If someone actually says "Happy Holidays" to me, I will tell them "Merry Christmas" in return.
-I do want to write a song to appeal to other markets. I'll call it "Last Hanukkah" in honor of Wham!
-You'll notice the picture of the Christmas Angry Bird. I'm officially addicted. It's like crack only with more pig deaths.
-And of course Pentatonix won The Sing Off. #calledit
-I've written Pentatonix so many times on my iPhone that it is autocorrecting every pent word to it.
-The next time I'm in Washington DC, I'm going to visit the Pentatonix #seewhatimean
-The only opinion of Tim Tebow is a strong one whether strong hate or strong love
-See also: New York Yankees, Duke basketball and the Dallas Cowboys
-The only way to describe my feeling of the NBA lockout settling is complete and total apathy
-The owners and players could have had an agreement months ago, but their egos prevented it
-Still haven't heard any of them apologize to the fans #entitledpricks
-My entire family finally moved into the iPhone world. I can't believe it took them so long.
-I know that every parent thinks it, but my daughters are the most beautiful girls in the world #FACT
-Saying FACT forcefully at the end of a statement is the best way to win an argument
-Erin has actually gone online to search out solutions for Angry Birds. I just shoot birds repeatedly until it works.
-I'm amazed at how many people there are that don't know about Pandora.
-Apparently Grace kept saying DADA while holding the Sexiest Man Alive issue. #kindacreepy #thinkshighlyofme
-Still haven't seen a movie in the theatre since Toy Story 3. No clue when this streak will be broken.
-We have however taken in quite a few Netflix Instant Queue movies
-Watched Red State the other day. Kevin Smith needs to stick to comedy.
-I want to take iSamJackson and put it to Songify to make the best time waster app ever
-Nevermind came out 20 years ago...and I still don't care for it or any Nirvana. #overrated
-Ten also came out 20 years ago, and it is still a better album by a better band #pearljam #seriouslynirvanaisoverrated
-I feel like every person I know saw The Muppets this weekend, and every one of them loved it.
-Saw a commercial the other day for a Napoleon Dynamite cartoon. Loved the movie but #ugh #seriously?
-Erin has this stuffed cow that moos. Grace can't get enough of it. Smiles every single time. #adorable
-Woke this morning with Ana trying to crawl onto my head. Best. Wake-up call. Ever.

That's all for this week.  Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Light of My Life

I don't think that I've broached the topic of Christmas yet in this space.  This is where loyal readers say 'Of course you haven't because you've only been writing this blog since like March, so when would you write about Christmas?  Idiot'.

First of all, no need to be so harsh.  I could have written about Christmas in June or July, but that would go against everything I stand for when it comes to celebrating holidays.  I'm well aware that Christmas is something new to discuss in my neck of the blog woods.  But I have a feeling that it should figure prominently in everything I write over the next few weeks.

This year we officially kicked off the Christmas season about as early as we ever have.  I blame (or credit, depending on my mood) my lovely wife for her unbridaled enthusiasm for all things Christmas.

She spent Saturday while I was at work putting up some decorations in the house.  She put the garland on the chimney.  She hung a wreath on the front door.  She put up star-shaped twinkling lights outside of our front window.  I'm surprised she didn't throw the tree up while she was at it.  I applaud the restraint that she somewhat showed there although I think she only did it out of fear of the girls pulling it down.

On Sunday we did some heavy duty yard work in our front yard which was loooooong overdue considering all the off days I spent NOT doing yard work.  There were leaves to blow and rake, bushes to trim, lawns to mow and gutters to clean.

Since we were already out there and had the ladder out, my wife suggested hanging the Christmas lights.  Sure.  What the heck.  So we untangled the strands we used on our trees before we went artificial (I know I'm like Scrooge and Hitler had a baby), and we strung those around the garages and along our gutter line.

It was nice to finally see our house lit up for the first time.

We didn't have lights the first year we moved in since we moved in right around Christmas and were more concerned with boxes and furniture than trees and twinkly lights.  Last year we had these two other little distractions to worry about and with which to concern ourselves.  So for the first time since moving in to our "new" house, we have decorations and lights up on the outside of our house.  We're even the second house on the block to get into the Christmas spirit.

We took Grace outside to look at the lights for the first time.  Ana missed out because she was sleepy and fussy.  The look in Grace's eyes is the reminder that every holiday is better with kids.  You could just see it all over her face.  She was simultaneously in a state of joy and wonder.  She didn't know how or why her house was all lit up, but it didn't stop her from loving it.  And to see the huge smile come across her face made my heart melt.

It made me love Christmas even more.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Poops-giving

**WARNING THIS POST CONTAINS DETAILS ABOUT MY CHILDREN POOPING.  WHAT ELSE IS NEW?**

Thanksgiving can be a pretty stressful day.

You have too many people all in one house.  There are always too many people in the kitchen.  You eat way too much.  Those of us with kids have to load up the car with kids, toys, extra diapers, extra clothes, pack and plays, milk, bottles, cups and anything else we may need for a couple of hours away from that house.  It can be emotionally draining.

The day itself wasn't actually too stressful.  It was nice spending time with family and going to multiple houses with the girls.  Grace and Ana tore up some turkey and mashed potatoes.  They didn't sleep enough which led to some tears in the afternoon hours, but even that wasn't so bad.

After a long day away from our house, we got home and were pretty drained.  We still wanted to stick to our routine and give baths and bottles before bed time, so we drew the bath and got started.

Grace had been gassy which I'm going to assume was a result of too much turkey consumption, so I just laughed it off when she made a few bubbles in the tub.  That was until I saw that it wasn't just a normal fart.  She had pooped in the tub, and I was horrified.  I was in there by myself with the girls, so I lifted Grace out of the tub and called for Erin.  She came in and saw what happened, so she immediately lifted up Ana and moved her to the master bathtub.  We wiped Grace off and took her in there too.

We figured we would move them to our tub to do the rest of bath time in there.  It was a good plan in theory, but our kids are more into chaos theory.

Ana decided that she could one-up Grace.  As she stood there, she let it rip.  Now each girl had pooped in a different tub within a 3 minute stretch.  I yelled out to Erin again who was cleaning the other tub.  She didn't understand why I was yelling for her.  As she came into the bedroom all she could say was "Really kid?" and put Ana in our shower.  She grabbed Grace just as she was trying to grab what her sister had made and put her in the shower too.

Erin ended up turning bath time into shower time.  She showered with them and cleaned them both while in the shower.

After a long day with family and too much food and football and parades, all we could do was collapse on the couch, have a drink and laugh about it.  We certainly won't forget this Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Things I'm Thankful For

Every Thanksgiving, I try to look back on the previous year and think about the things that I'm thankful for.  I think it's a good practice to run an inventory on what really matters to you.  It helps me refocus on the things that are really important to me and make sure my priorities are in the right place.

-I'm thankful for my wife.  She puts up with all my shit and all the shit that comes with being with me and still continues to love me.  That means something.

-I'm thankful for my parents.  They are supportive and loving.  They love my kids and will help me at the drop of a hat.

-I'm thankful for Erin's family.  They love us and help us.  Her mom would do anything for our kids and her dad would do the same.

-I'm thankful for this forum.  I created the forum, so I guess I'm kind of thankful for myself but whatever.  But it's great to have a place to vent and express myself.

-I'm thankful that I have a job.  I know that this economy has been tough all over for a lot of people, so I have to appreciate that I'm employed in a job I enjoy.  And I hope I keep improving and enjoying it.

-I'm thankful for my friends (the real kind).  There are people that aren't my family that I know would take a bullet for me or would take care of my children or help Erin if something happened to me.  A person is lucky to have people like that in his or her life, and I have more than I deserve.

-I'm also thankful for my virtual friends.  Thankful for all the people that take the time to read my blog.  Thankful for the other bloggers out there that I read on a daily basis and inspire me.  Thankful for the people that give me blog love.  I've said many times that I write it for me and my wife, so I have to be thankful that my audience reaches beyond that.

-Lastly I'm thankful for Grace and Ana.  They make every aspect of my life better and more enjoyable.  I live for them and strive to be a better man because of them.  I appreciate every morning spent with them and every night of putting them to bed.  And I love everything in between.  Their smiles and laughs and the sparkle in their eyes make this life so much more worth living.  Their lives are the greatest gift I've ever received.  I never want them to think that I don't appreciate how much richer and more complete they've made my life.  I plan on reminding them every Thanksgiving.

Anything that you're thankful for this year?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

There is something about the holidays.  I love Thanksgiving.  I love turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing.  It truly is a wonderful combination that really should be prepared more often.  Why is it that we don't prepare these types of meals all year round?  I can almost always go for turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing.  It's one of those meals that I cannot get enough of, and I ask why we don't have it more every time Thanksgiving rolls around.

The other reason to love the holidays is that people finally accept pie into their homes instead of blindly eating cake.  It is when food preferences actually make sense.

-The most prevalent recipe for the holidays: disaster
-Ana and Grace are now sword fighting with plastic hangers from my closet. I should break it up, but it's too damn funny.
-I can't say this enough: Pentatonix is a freaking lock to win The Sing Off
-Pumpkin pie is great and all. I won't turn it down. But mixed berry or pecan is tough to beat.
-I've eaten well for the last months (brought my weight down by 18lbs), but I'm going to rage on food this week.
-Does it bother anyone else that J.Lo's "performance" at the AMAs was just a FIAT ad?
-I know I'm normally cynical, but I am very excited about The Muppet Movie.
-Another great result of the holiday season: Pumpkin everything. Breads, muffins, cookies, pies, etc.
-So NFL and NBA lock out, and MLB throws a labor agreement together with no issues? #learnedfromtheirmistakes
-I hate David Stern. I hate the NBA owners. I hate the players. Great PR guys.
-When was the last time that the games on Thanksgiving have been worth watching?
-So Chuck Norris and Van Damme are going to be in The Expendables 2 a.k.a. best fucking idea ever
-Young Adult looks like it could be a very funny movie. And it has Charlize Theron #bonus
-We have a "No Christmas unitl after Thanksgiving" rule in our house. Lights going up this weekend. #obviously
-When it comes to Twilight I'm Team Stay Home And Watch Something Better
-Why the hell is Jenny McCarthy using Match.com? Remember your roots #singledout #mtv
-I logged some time with Hey Dude the other day. Jesus that show was terrible.
-The Dark Knight Rises takes place 8 years after the last movie. That could be interesting.
-And apparently there is an Ender's Game movie in the works. When did this happen?
-New Arrested Development on Netflix makes my heart smile.
-I love Christmas music, but God help you if you play it before I've had my Thanksgiving dinner.
-Guinness Black Lager is phenomenal. I hope they make it a permanent fixture. I'll buy enough to help that happen.
-The girls are now drinking whole cow's milk. I'm tempted to try it with my cereal instead of my normal 1%.
-Grace beat Ana in the first steps department. She took two steps without holding the couch.
-Erin says it doesn't count because she had no idea she did it, but I call BS on that.
-Grace: Born first. Walked first. Ana: Talked first. It's good to split the firsts.
-I also can't wait for the leftover turkey sandwiches and turkey soup. Leftovers rule.

That's all this week.  I'll be wearing some loose pants on Thursday and hoping that my family isn't all stressed out.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I Am A Shitty Blogger

I came to the realization the other day that I'm just not a very good blogger.

That isn't to say that I'm a terrible writer.  I think I can adequately express myself in written form without coming across like a jackwagon.  Sometimes (not nearly often enough) I can even come across as witty to the untrained eye.

It also isn't to imply that I don't have the occasional good idea that finds its way onto my page.  From time to time I strike gold with something that was rattling around in my brain.  I have a lot of stuff jumbled up there, so I'm glad that one or two of those ideas force my fingers to type every so often.

What I mean to say is that I commit cardinal sins of the established blogging world.  Well not really cardinal sins, but I seem to ignore every blogging tip that has ever existed.

"They" say that bloggers should post new content as often as possible.  I've read that a blogger should post something every day to really grab readers.  I obviously don't do this.  When am I supposed to have time to write something every day?  I have a job and two infants.  I understand that I started this blog to write about my life with said infants, but I'd prefer to live my life with them rather than spend all of my time staring at a computer screen writing about it.  Plus lets be honest: I'm not really a well-spring of fantastic ideas.  People want to read more content, but I'm sure they'll grow tired of it if the content is ill-conceived with half-assed execution.

"They" also say that you should network with other bloggers, so their readers become your readers.  I don't actually care if  some random blogger's reader starts reading my blog.  I write it for myself and my wife.  I also hope that someday my girls take time to read it.  If other people want to start following me and enjoy my shit, bonus.  It just seems like a lot of work to me.  I want to write and get stuff off my chest.  I'll read blogs I enjoy and talk them up if they warrant it.  I'll comment on a blog if they write something I like or is comment worthy.  I don't do it so they'll share the good book Daddy Dialogues with their readers.

I just don't buy into that whole self-congratulations to gain readers method used in the blog world.  "I got an award from another blogger who got an award from a different blogger..."  Whatever.  People give out blog awards, so you'll write a blog post about it and possibly get them a few more readers.  You passing it along is no different.  It's the pyramid scheme of the blog world.  I appreciate if someone thinks what I write is funny or compelling or thought provoking.  It's nice if they like it so much that they recommend it to others, but I'm also okay with secret stalkers of my blog that just read and enjoy it.

I think a good blogger is someone that is open and honest when he or she writes.  I think a good blogger writes in his or her voice and doesn't care if it's good or not.  To me a good blogger is more concerned with the message than how many people said message reaches.  In the blogger world, I'm no superstar.  As you can tell by my lack of effort, I'm okay with that.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

This past weekend I worked on my day off.  I don't like to do that.  And I really hate not spending time with my girls.  Fortunately my mom was able to watch them on short notice.  So Erin and I were able to work the baptism that we were scheduled to do, and then I went straight from there to my real job.  I knew there would be days like this when I moved into my new career, but it doesn't make it easier to leave the girls.  Even in my mom's able care, I hate a day with less of them.

I will try my best to not miss out on the time I have with them because I know it is precious.

On to the Machine:


Copyright Rare Ltd
 -Dumb people will always outnumber smart people because smart people understand contraception.
-For proof of my previous statement see: Duggar, Jim Bob and Michelle
-I haven't started any of my 30 by 30 list yet. Although I may have committed myself to the Napa Valley Marathon #howlongtotrain?
-I love that the Ducks destroyed Stanford if only because it can lead to BCS insanity #chaostheory
-Alex Smith is 8-1, Mickey Rourke is in the #1 movie in America & Ashton Kutcher is on a top-rated show #signsoftheapocalypse
-I've yet to hear a compelling argument in favor of cake.
-There's a special ring of hell for a guy like Jerry Sandusky #pennstate
-What defense attorney thought it was a good idea for that guy to give an interview?
-And he readily admits to showering with underage boys like that's okay.
-The Hunger Games trailer is totally friggin awesome. So pumped for that movie. #wishitwasRrated #wishitwasmarch
-I don't understand a woman that has an affair with a married man and then acts surprised when he cheats on her #reapwhatyousow
-Seriously, the NBA has reached the last straw. I give up on those spoiled brats.
-The national nightmare is over: 30 Rock is going to be back in January. #iwanttogotothere
-I'm really sick of the whole "found footage" craze. It really got over the top with Apollo 18.
-How about some found footage of stuff that actually happened? #jfk #mlbplayoffs
-Seriously how is Whitney still on the air?
-Apparently mashing up dance numbers from Newsies with current hits is a thing. #infoformywife
-I can't say this enough. There is no way Pentatonix loses The Sing-Off unless everyone in America votes against them.
-The Thanksgiving Day parade sucks. There I said it. No one wants to see crappy lip-syncing pop stars and The Rockettes.
-Parades in general are nothing special. I've never understood the appeal.
-@erinsgirls wants so badly to see the new Twilight movie. Looks like I'll be on my own for a night.
-I'll watch a real vampire movie instead #lettherightonein #nosferatu #blackula

See you all next week.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Daddy Daughter Days

It's Thursday which can only mean one thing, Daddy Daughter Day.

It's also the tenth of the month.  At the urging of Kim over at Yep the Blog, I'm doing a 10 on 10 post.  Basically this is a post of ten pictures taken over ten hours on the tenth of the month.  And I just so happen to be posting it around 10pm.

Enjoy!

We bought the girls a giraffe pillow pet months ago.  Their birthday led to a lion and elephant joining the fold.  Now we have a mini-Serengeti, and Ana decided to roll around in it.

Nap time and the girls passed out in about 2.5 seconds.

Grace struggled to wake up from her nap.  Usually she's in a really good mood when she wakes up, but she wasn't especially chipper coming out of her nap today.

After naps, we played around on the floor until lunch time.  Today we had grilled cheese sandwiches and melon.  Ana wanted to share her sandwich with you.

It was beautiful outside today, so I loaded the girls in their wagon after lunch and we went for a walk.  For those of you keeping track at home, these are in fact new outfits.  Naps led to wet pants.

We went to the park.  Some other kids were hogging the swings, so we just decided to play in the grass.

When we got home it was time to roll around and play on the floor.  Here Grace and I are having some iPhone fun.

Ana couldn't wait for her mom to get home.  She dealt with it by trying to change the channel on the front window.

Mom wasn't home for very long.  She had to turn around and run an errand almost immediately after getting home.  So I was left in charge of dinner.  I made a vegetarian's delight: acorn squash, apples, yogurt and hummus wraps.  Grace seemed to enjoy it all.

When Erin got home there was much laughter and playing.  Here are the girls with their mom in an empty bathtub getting out that last bit of energy before bed time.

All in all it was a pretty darn good Daddy Daughter Day.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

30 By 30

I know that I wrote in my birthday post that I'm not the type to mourn previous years of my life.  I don't care what I'm losing in my later years that I had in my early years.  It's part of growing up and enjoying the new experiences life hands to you.

Having kids and a wife and a house and great friends totally outweighs what I had in my twenties and teen years.

What I do like is setting goals for myself and trying my damnedest to achieve those goals.  I figure that I'll be 30 in a year, so why not come up with 30 things that I'd like to accomplish within that time frame?  Seems reasonable enough, and it will keep me focused on what is really important to me.  We all know we put things off if we don't write them down or really focus on them, so I figured I'd track them here on my blog.  I know it is a little derivative and unoriginal, but I'm doing it anyways.

I also know it's going to be pretty damn near impossible to do all of these things in a year, so this is really a list of 30 things that I'll definitely accomplish.  It may take me longer than a year to do so, but I will do everything on this list at some point.

30 by 30
  1. Run another marathon but try to do it in under 4 hours
  2. Learn to play at least one song on any instrument (preferably guitar or piano)
  3. Get my weight under 180 pounds and keep it there
  4. Drink every beer on tap at Yard House (not in one night)
  5. Learn how to tie a bow tie
  6. Hear my girls say "I love you Dada" or any variation of dada
  7. Cook a gourmet meal with multiple courses
  8. Go skydiving
  9. Take snowboarding lessons
  10. Learn how to make one of my Grandma's pies
  11. Buy a tailored suit
  12. Get a straight-razor shave
  13. Spend a night in Vegas without getting a hotel room (unless it's comped of course)
  14. Actually write something of substance
  15. See a baseball game at Wrigley Field and/or Fenway Park
  16. Go on a family camping trip
  17. Watch every movie on the AFI 100 years, 100 movies list and/or every Best Picture winner
  18. Visit Napa again and buy some wine
  19. Get a tattoo
  20. Teach my girls to say "Please" and "Thank You"
  21. Go to a Notre Dame football game
  22. Have a romantical night out at a five-star restaurant with my wife
  23. Drink Dom Perignon for the first time
  24. Try a food that I've never had before (Escargot?)
  25. Write a song
  26. Try to sell a screenplay to Hollywood
  27. See Dave Matthews Band perform at The Gorge
  28. Share Calvin and Hobbes with my girls
  29. Learn to golf
  30. Kiss my wife and kids every single day
That's my list, and I'm going to try my best to complete it in the next year.  If anyone has a hook-up or knows someone that can facilitate any of these items, feel free to comment or contact me any and all info.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

This past Sunday we celebrated the girls' first birthday.  As I've written before, we decided on a baseball theme.  Erin totally embraced it.  She went with A League of Their Own as the theme that went on the invitations.  She made pennants and signs that read "Concessions" and "Will Call".  There were peanuts and pop corn, and we served hot dogs like we were at a ball game.  Erin even made trading cards with pictures of the girls on them for people to take home.

It was so much fun seeing all of our family and friends.  We found the cutest polka dotted outfits for the girls.  And they got to eat cake and sugar for the first time.  It was really a great day.

I'll have pictures and videos up in the next day or two.

But today is all about the Twitter Machine:

-I love The Sing Off, but it is getting very clear that one group is head and shoulders over everyone else. #pentatonix
-The performance of Wake Up on The Sing Off was absolutely incredible. Great song. Fantastic rendition.
-Coldplay's new album has a few great songs on it, but it also has A LOT of over-produced music on it.
-People reacting to Conrad Murray's verdict is hilarious. Celebrating someone's guilt seems reasonable.
-People are actually calling for the death penalty for Murray. I liked Thriller too, but that's kind of extreme.
-Triumph the Insult Comic Dog at Occupy Wall Street was absolutely genius. #teamcoco
-I find it off putting how skinny Jonah Hill has gotten.
-I find it more off putting that 21 Jump Street is being remade as an action comedy.
-Everyone knows that when fat people become skinny they cease to be funny
-Joe Frazier dying is a huge story. There would be no Ali without Frazier
-If the NBA doesn't come to an agreement soon, I'm giving up on the entire product
-All involved parties in the lockout definitely lack perspective when no one is mentioning the fans
-I've never seen so many presents as what the girls got on Sunday
-It's always fun when your team is involved in a trade or a signing #sfgiants
-I think we should have charged admission to all our party guests to watch the girls eat their cake
-The Duggars are having a 20th kid. At what point do we stop considering them a family and start considering them a country?
-Are we ever going to be done with this whole Twilight thing?
-Let's just all agree to move on to getting excited about the Hunger Games. Okay?
-The past year has gone by faster than any year before it. I can't believe my kids are already 1.
-I'm working on a list of things to do before I turn 30. @erinsgirls thinks there's no way I'll do them all.
-One of those things is not have a sham marriage with a Kardashian sister #notnbamaterial
-It's fall and I still haven't had a pie. Something is wrong with this.
-I hate people that complain and whine about everything.
-The whole universe isn't conspiring against you. You just suck at life.
-Normally don't have a rooting interest in college football, but gotta root for the Ducks this weekend.
-What did Mexican food do before sour cream and guacamole? #notbesupreme
-My pick for the third celebrity that dies after Frazier and Heavy D: Aretha Franklin. #outonalimb

That's all for this week.  See you next Tuesday.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Daddy Daughter Days

It's official.  Everyone in our house is sick.

Erin got the cold that the girls had about 24 hours after they started showing signs.  And a day later I was hit with it too.  It has been a pretty miserable couple of days filled with runny noses and tissues.  I've ingested a  form of Nyquil and Dayquil every 6 hours for the last few days.  A chorus of coughs has echoed through every room.

This made our normal Thursday a little less than normal.  We still played and explored the downstairs of our house, but the biggest emphasis of the day was placed on naps.  The girls were napping champions.  They both slept about two hours in the morning (which is never the case) and another hour and a half in the afternoon.

Since this took up over 3 hours of our day and I didn't really like the idea of taking them out while they were sick, we don't really have a lot of adventures to share.  It was a low key kind of day.

There was one thing that happened that warmed my heart.

After lunch, the girls were still both acting hungry, so I heated up a tortilla, quartered it and gave them each pieces.  They stood at the edge of the couch and chair and chowed down on their snack.  Grace finished up first and started to cry because she apparently wanted more.  Ana seemed to notice this.  She held out the rest of her tortilla and made a few noises to get Grace's attention.  Grace crawled over to her sister, and Ana handed over what she had to Grace.

I've known from the beginning that these two have a special connection and really care about each other, but this really crystallized everything.  Ana was willing to give away the rest of her food to make her sister happy.  It was one of the single most beautiful moments that I've experienced as a parent.  Knowing that there is a selfless love shared between these two sisters makes me a proud dad.  I know that this will all change in a few short months and years when they'll start fighting over toys, clothes, etc.  But when the going gets tough it's nice to know that they'll always love and look out for each other.

That made for a pretty good day in spite of all the coughs, sneezes and runny noses.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

On Your First Birthday

Dear Grace and Ana,
My entire life changed a year ago today.

It really started a year ago the day before, but you should already know that story.

Grace, you came out screaming.  It was almost as if you were announcing your entrance to world at the top of your little lungs.  It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard.  I don't have enough writing talent or a good enough grasp of the English language to really describe it.  You were this little fragile person saying "Hello" in your own little way.  Since then your sister has done a lot of things first, but you'll always be able to say "Daddy saw me first".

Ana, you were a little more quiet during your entrance two minutes later.  There was an issue with your breathing.  It was nothing to be too alarmed about, but your sister broke out sooner than expected.  Sooner than your lungs could really handle.  You didn't make lots of noise like your sister, nor were you ready to open your eyes just yet.  Apparently you were saving up your energy because you have definitely made up for that since then.

I was hit with a flood of emotions when you were born.  I was excited that my girls were here.  I was scared that you were here too soon.  I was happy because you seemed to be healthy (or at least that's what the nice nurse kept reassuring).  I was panicked because I was unsure how your mom was doing, but I couldn't leave your side.

I haven't spent a day without you since then.

You've grown up so much in the last 365 days.  You've learned so many new things.  You went from smiling randomly to smiling whenever I walked into the door.  You are learning to talk and walk.  You should be experts at both very soon.

My life has new focus since you were born.  You are both a part of every decision that I make.  My motivation beyond anything else was now tied to you.

My life will never be the same, and I'm glad that it won't be.  Happy birthday my beautiful little girls!

Love,
Your Dada

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

I've always loved Halloween.  I get a kick out of the costumes.  Candy is delicious (NEWSFLASH).  I love scary movies (especially zombie movies).  It has always been associated with my birthday and costume parties for my birthday.  Count Chocula cereal is only available during Halloween time.  It usually is the first real exposure to the holiday season (a.k.a. pie season).

This year it got even better.  We now have little ones that will wear cute costumes because we basically force it on them.  I think it's just about the cutest thing in the universe although I've never been to Rigel 7, so I can't be 100% sure.  But I'm comfortable saying that I'm 99.99% sure.  It just adds a new wrinkle to the whole Halloween experience.

On to the Twitter Machine.


-Did you know that in some languages "Family" and "Drama" are synonyms?
-The girls in ladybug costumes made my week. Now have to think of next year's costumes.
-My birthday was awesome-ish. Great overall weekend.
-Yard House is like Disneyland for beer drinkers. And I only had 4 pints. #happiestplaceonearth
-I thought I was running low on Count Chocula until my birthday party led to 2 more boxes.
-I have to thank my wonderful wife for planning and executing it all. Bacon and blue cheese burgers and apple crisp. #yum
-The worst part of our weekend was Ana getting her first bad fever since she was born.
-We learned a feverish baby is very hard to calm down. Thanks to everyone for their advice on the Facebook.
-Grace followed it up with a cold on Halloween. #snoteverywhere
-They go 362 days without getting sick and drop a double whammy on us right before their birthday.
-Speaking of birthdays, they turn 1 tomorrow. #timeflies
-Their party is going to be ridiculous. I think the last count was over 70 people.
-We got a preview of their gifts when they got Rockin' Elmo #batteriesincluded #notforlong
-Kris Humphries' name even fits the first letter K pattern that that stupid family adheres to. #poorguy
-Working late and not handing candy out sucks. I love that part of Halloween.
-Is there a more helpless feeling than trying to soothe a totally congested and upset kid?
-Oh that's right, how about TWO totally congested and upset kids? #twins
-It was one year ago today that Erin and I were in Labor & Delivery watching the Giants win the World Series #goodtimes #sorryforyelling #birthstory
-@erinsgirls turned the corner last night and started hating Halloween.
-It sucks that people drive from other neighborhoods to trick or treat in ours. #howmuchistoomuch
-So apparently Family Guy is tasteless for including domestic violence jokes. Because they've always been tasteful #greasedupdeafguy #promnightdumpsterbaby #joeswanson #getoverit
-I would really like to know what the appeal of the McRib is. Do people like it because it's terrible?
-It must be like hipsters drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon simply because no one else does.
-Erin is starting to feel sick just like the babies. I'm about to be the only healthy person in the house.
-I was so very disappointed in this year's Treehouse of Horror episode. Not funny at all. #TheSimpsons
-We didn't even have any leftover candy after all the Trick or Treaters came through. #BOO

Well it's on to November.  100 birthdays.  Thanksgiving.  Weather may finally change.  Bring it on.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Nothing really to say about Halloween.  I've always loved it.  Now I have a two reasons to love it even more.

Exhibits A and B below.


Ana rockin' the Lady Bug look


Grace doing the same

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Since My Last Birthday...

Tomorrow is my 29th birthday (Please hold your applause until the end).

For the last few days I've been in a reflective mood.  I'm not the type to mourn my twenties like some overdramatic people would.  Nor do I think that everything will change when I turn 30.  I'm not a huge birthday guy.  I don't feel a need to celebrate too wildly.  It's just a day changing on the calendar.  I have been thinking about how wonderful the last 365 days of my life has been.

When I write that I've been reflective, it's really about the larger picture that I'm now only a piece of. 

Since my last birthday, my entire life has changed.  My daughters were born.  They spent time in the NICU and came home for the first time.  They've learned so much since then.  They have filled our house with an incomprehensible amount of love.  Every single day is a new and wonderful experience with them in my life.

Since my last birthday, I decided to take a huge leap and leave the industry that I've worked in since my teen years.  I've thrown myself into a completely new line of work (and I'm still learning).  The comfort zone that I established is squarely in the rearview mirror at this point, but it is also exciting and exhilarating.  And I get to see my wife every day at work which is wonderful.

Since my last birthday, my sister moved back home after living in Ohio for almost a decade.  I forgot what it was like having her around because she's been gone so long.  She brought back a wonderful guy who fits right into our family.  As a result of her moving back, we've spent a lot of time with my family, and I've loved it.

Since my last birthday, both my sister and brother got married.  What's not to like about an ever-expanding family?  And it has continued to expand since my new sister-in-law got pregnant with the girls' first cousin.  It's so comforting to think about a cousin so close in age to them.

Since my last birthday, the Giants won the World Series.  Sorry I had to mention it one last time.

Since my last birthday, the birth of my daughters and my new role as dad has inspired me to start writing this blog.  Hopefully my daughters can look back and read some of things their dad wrote about them 29 years from now.

Birthdays are fun and great, but they aren't everything.  If your life was a book, your birthdays are just the chapters.  There isn't a book out there remembered for how many chapters it had.  The story within those chapters is the most important part of the book.  I've loved the story since my last birthday.  I hope the next chapter is just as great.

Cheers!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Adventures in Diaperless Babies

The other night Erin sent me a picture of the girls standing naked at the top of the stairs.  They were holding onto the railing and just hanging out.

My first thought was "Oh, that's cute."

My immediate second thought was "I hope they don't pee/poop on the floor."

Erin has been doing this since I started working more evenings.  I haven't been there to help with baths, so she lets either Ana or Grace crawl around naked while she dresses the other one in her pajamas.  Trust me it is easier in the moment than trying to deal with both of them at once.

Personally I've never really liked the idea.  I'm all for letting them be a little free and to air out every so often, but I also like my carpeting remaining in tact.

This particular picture was sent to me while I was still at work.  I didn't get home until about a half hour later.  I was greeted with them still standing naked at the top of our stairs.  Until that point we had averted disaster.

But we had apparently tempted fate enough.  As I dressed Ana, Grace peed on the floor right next to the changing table.  She looked up at me after finishing with a very satisfied look on her face.  So we cleaned the floor and learned our lesson.

Or at least I thought we learned our lesson.

The next night, Erin once again let Ana crawl around our upstairs landing naked.  She was pulling our towels out of the cabinets.  She was moving from room to room.  She was reveling in the fact that she was free while I was changing her sister.

Then I heard Erin exclaim "NO ANA, NO!"

I asked if she was okay thinking that she may be doing something that put her in danger.  Erin just laughed.  And said that there was an accident.  Great.  More pee on the floor.

Nope.  This had more of a fecal feel to it.  And when I say "feel" I of course am referring to Ana playing with the fresh pile she just left on the floor.  So we were back to wiping her down and giving her a second bath.  Part of me wonders if she did it for the sole purpose of getting back into the bath tub to play with her duckies and toys unincumbered by her sister.

Either way the lesson has been learned as far as I'm concerned.  No more naked nights of bodily functions as long as dad is around.

Daddy Daughter Days

Back again with our Thursday adventures!

When my family was over this past weekend, my mom asked when I'd be able to bring the girls down to visit her at work.  She was very excited about showing them off to her coworkers.  I don't blame her.  They are quite wonderful, and I've been told that by a countless number of complete strangers.  So it was decided that I would be taking them down to visit on my next day off.

So the plans of the day centered around driving down to Elk Grove to show off the girls at my mom's work.

The day started off just like every other Thursday.  We brought the girls into our bed, so Grace could have a bottle and Ana could nurse.  Then the girls decided that they would try their hardest to push me out of the bed.  I don't know the reasoning behind it.  You'd think they'd be cool with the idea of sharing since they're twins and all.  No dice.  So I was in bed with half my ass hanging off.  Meanwhile I tried to keep them from tumbling over me into a pile on the ground.

I persevered and kept them from plummeting to sure doom.

After Erin left for work we did our normal mid-to-late morning routine of playing on the floor, emptying the tupperware onto the floor and chasing each other from room to room.

I have to explain this steering wheel toy.  It is both mesmerizing and annoying all at the same time.  You can't help but get the horrible little songs that it plays stuck in your head.  It sings the alphabet and counts numbers.  It points out dogs and birds and trucks and trains as you "drive" it.  I find myself humming the tunes throughout the day, but more in a disease you can't get rid of sort of way.  Grace LOVES it.  I can't emphasize enough how much she adores this little toy.

Seriously.  Look how happy she is.
 The girls really do love to play with each other.  They gravitate towards the same toys.  Grace gets a kick whenever she sees Ana.  Ana yells when she sees Grace.  It's quite adorable.

These sisters are always playing together
I wanted to make sure that the girls had a really good nap before taking them down to visit my mom.  The only thing that can make a drive down to Elk Grove a little less enjoyable is fussy babies.  Ana as usual wasn't too fond of cooperating with dad's plan.


Loving how annoyed she looks here

They did end up napping a little bit, so we ate lunch, changed diapers and made the trek to Elk Grove.

My mom was very excited to see the girls as were all of her co-workers.  They were very nice and loved seeing the girls.  Grace put on a show for all these new people and Ana wanted so badly to get on the floor and explore this brand new place.

Unfortunately I was a little unprepared.  Grace had a huge poop earlier in the day, and I had just changed her before we left.  I figured she'd be good until late that afternoon.  She wasn't.  She had another big poop that got on her diaper cover.  I thought it wasn't that big a deal.  I grabbed the diaper bag as I ran out the door, so I figured I was covered.  Unfortunately Erin had just cleaned out the diaper bag, so there were no fresh covers or disposable diapers.  And the wipes that were in there had dried out.  So I did my best to clean her and her cover with what I had.

I decided to cut our visit a little short as a result of the nightmare diaper.  It was a good thing I did because someone at work needed me to come in and cover for him in the evening.  I would have never had time to get ready if I had spent anymore time at my mom's work.

It was a fun day.  I even shot a video this morning.  I'll have that uploaded this weekend for all to enjoy as soon as I can figure how to make it work on Blogger.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

Welcome back to the Twitter Machine.

My birthday is on Sunday, so I treated myself with a phone upgrade this past Sunday.  I've finally moved up from my iPhone 3G to the 4s which is sort of like moving up from a regular color tv to an HD tv.  Night and day as far as I'm concerned.  For the first time my phone has video and a really high quality camera, so I'll be sure to treat you with a lot more videos and pictures of the girls.  I may even start doing a week in pictures/videos again.

I will say that the Apple experience of buying a new iPhone is a little tedious and self-important.  You have to reserve your phone for the next day.  But you can't log on to the Apple website to do that until after 9pm.  This of course leads to crashes and lag time on your computer because everyone else that wants one is doing the exact same thing and the exact same time.  Once you finally get on, you have to pick which model and color you want, but the color and large storage capacity that you want can easily be gone in the 5 minutes it took you to get on.  Luckily I wanted an apparently unpopular black 16GB model, so good for me.  Then you go to the Apple store the next day, and your reservation gives you the priviledge of waiting in a line.

I'm happy with my purchase, but Apple goes out of their way to paint this picture of exclusivity.  They want to keep pushing this hip, exclusive image yet a huge percentage of smartphone owners have the iPhone.  It ain't that exclusive.

Anyways that's my rant for the day.  On to my ramblings...

-MTV is doing True Life: I'm Occupying Wall Street. Alternate title: True Life: I Live in My Mom's Basement the Rest of the Year
-What are we gaining questioning Obama's birthplace at this point? #birthersareidiots
-Sad to buy my own birthday presents. Happy to upgrade my phone after almost 2.5 years and get exactly what I want.
-John Lennon's tooth is up for auction. Surprising that an Englishman's tooth is still in tact after this long.
-I have to wonder what sort of pleasure can be derived from the tooth of a dead man?
-I don't think @erinsgirls likes my new relationship with Siri on my iPhone.
-She just needs to look at Siri as if she is a sister wife. That should smooth things over.
-The Rangers were nice enough to let the Giants celebrate on their field last year. That's why I'm rooting for them.
-I have to work late on Halloween. Not that the girls are ready for trick or treating, but I love handing out candy to kids.
-I've eaten pizza three days in a row. That's what you call the tripletta in Italian.
-I'm addicted to WhySiriWhy.com.  Quite entertaining.
-How come the rudest people always complain about how rude everyone is?
-Samuel Adams Oktoberfest has moved up the charts of my favorite beers.
-The top spot is still a tie between Trois Pistole and Pliny the Elder.
-Bridge School Benefit's lineup this year is one of the best they've ever rolled out. So sad we could go. #parentalsacrifice
-@erinsgirls logged serious time with the Kim Kardashian wedding. It says something that she didn't remember anyone's name from the show.
-Why wasn't there more made of Richard Kimble and his 13-year-old son? #kindergartencop
-Tim Tebow uses God to win games. Seems unfair to me.
-I try to do everything by voice command now. Erin isn't too fond of it.
-Can't praise The Sing Off enough. So enjoyable and different. And there is an abundance of star power.
-I love that they are actually doing battles between the bottom two teams each week.
-Grace has become a total ham. She sees a camera and gets the biggest smile on her face.
-Grace also has become quite adept at taking back her toys that Ana steals and is mastering keep away
-I tried to use Siri to write this whole post. She was being pretty obstinate.

That's all for this week.  Hope your week will be as good as mine (probably not unless you have a birthday coming up).