Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

If this was a real twitter machine, it would have nothing but Irene tweets.  Luckily this is a fake twitter machine, so you won't be inundated with my thoughts on the hurricane.  But the East coast does have some crap luck what with earthquakes and hurricanes and such.  But that is the real reason why everyone else hates California.  It isn't about politics or anything like that.  The deep-seeded hatred stems from the fact we have better weather.  We know it.  They know it.  And we're hated for it.

Now on to the fake tweets that you're no doubt clamoring for:
-Grace is pulling herself up completely and standing. Love it.
-The girls even stand up and "talk" to each other instead of napping. Frustratingly adorable.
-I love how up in arms Star Wars fans get every time Lucas makes a tweak. Like he owes it to them not to.
-I'm sure West Coasters would totally freak out if a hurricane hit out here.
-Look at how we drive when it rains.
-I'm not a grammar Nazi, but I do hate "should/would of". It's should've. Short for should have.
-I can't believe how hard some work to get out of doing their job.
-I've never understood "stress leave". You know what is stressful for me? Not having any money.
-Being a Giants fan has been painful this year. Thank God for the 2010 WS.
-I'd hate to see how people react when Steve Jobs actually dies.
-I feel like Adam Sandler keeps putting out crap to get us to make fun of him. #laughingtothebank
-There are people out there that are friend/reader collectors. I'm not fond of those types.
-If you like my shit, great. Bonus.
-If you know someone that'll like my shit and they start reading, sweet. Double bonus.
-There is so much self-editing that I have to do online. Apparently I don't want to alienate everyone.
-That being said: the majority of people are stupid and have a crazy sense of entitlement.
-Is it burning bridges when you tell certain employees how much they suck? Or just employers?
-Steve Jobs apparently has a bigger stake in Disney than Apple. Where's the keynote from Mr. Toads?
-As long as the girls need a stroller we're not going to Disneyland.
-I hate strollers at Disneyland like Rosie O'Donnell hates exercise.
-Lady Gaga's act is tired. Adele is classier and 1000 times more talented.
-Mad Men is in full effect on the Instant Queue. Jon Hamm is so much better than anyone else on this show.
-I wasn't around in the 60s but did they really smoke this much?
-Also glad that my daughters aren't going to be limited to being secretaries.

That'll be everything I have to fake tweet this week.  Signing off until next Tuesday's Machine.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Get A Room

I feel like a need to be a HUGE disclosure at the beginning of this blog post: I am not writing this to imply that I'm some know-it-all when it comes to sleeping patterns and training your children.  I hate those types of people whether in person or as bloggers.  No one cares about your unsolicited advice.  In fact I would venture to say that people that tell you everything they're doing right as a parent (and conversely everything you are doing wrong) are some of the most hated people in the world.  You're mother of the year and we're like a lost child in the woods.  We get it.  Nobody wants to hear it, and you are secretly (or not so secretly) who every other parent makes fun of.   We also don't want to hear how much more advanced your kid is.  Guess what?  Your little MENSA-wannabe still eats boogers when you aren't looking just like every other kid.  Save your honor roll bull for the other one-upper parents.

Wow.  There was a lot of pent-up frustration coming out there.  Vitriolic even.  And that was only my disclaimer.

I wondered aloud during our vacation why parents would ever willingly sleep in the same room as their babies/kids/whatevers.  This was on night four of sharing a room with Grace and Ana, and I wasn't sleeping all that well as a result.  They were both dealing with new teeth.  They were in a place that they aren't used to in pack and plays instead of cribs.  There was the elevation change.  The girls became nocturnal creatures.

It even changed the way I operated on my day to day.  I actually took naps (something I never do).  I spent much of the time exhausted.  Basically I became a zombie with each poor night of sleep.  And I couldn't believe that some parents welcome this.

I understand that oftentimes there are space limitations for new parents.  Must of us don't have large houses to hide the kids away at night, so I totally get that there are many families that don't have the option but to sleep with a crib in their room.  I'm not talking about those parents.

I know that there are parents out there that make a conscious choice to have their kid(s) in their bedroom with them even after the recommended time.  We're talking at well beyond the nine month mark.  This seems insane to me.  How do you ever get a good night's sleep?  Aren't you constantly being woken up by their middle of the night grunts and groans?  Don't you worry that you'll never break them of the habit of needing to be with you in order to sleep?  Or is it more a habit for you?

I just can't handle it.  I'm normally a very heavy sleeper, but having them in the same room destroyed even that notion.  I'm up with every noise.  For whatever reason, the monitor is easier to sleep through than having them five feet away.  It helps that the monitor really only trigger with sharp noises instead of the constant normal baby noises, but there is no escape from that when they're right there.  Every shift, sigh, grunt, sleeping cry, etc was right on top of me.  Mocking me.  Slapping me in the ear in the middle of my sleep cycle.

So I wonder why any other rational, sleep-loving individual would put him or herself through that every single night?  What is the reasoning?  Seriously?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Grand Theft Ana

Luckily we caught on to this before she has a rap sheet.  But if Ana becomes a crime lord, we'll at least know that it all started with an innocuous walk through the shops of old town Truckee.

We were just spending a day out as a family.  Grace and Ana in the stroller, dad pushing them along and Erin leading the way into and out of shops.  It was gorgeous weather and our vacation was starting to wind down.  We weren't really looking for anything in particular.  Just kind of meandering to wherever the sidewalk took us.  We had a lovely meal at Jax (Hate or love Guy Fieri and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, but this particular place was damn good), so we may have been a little punchy after our consuming all those onion rings and sweet potato fries.  It was meant to be a lazy stroll together.

After visiting the third store on the block, I was admittedly in a malaise.  I was full and tired and was just about done with the whole "shopping" experience.  Erin was pressing on though.  There was a store with cute pajamas after all, and you can never pass up cute pajamas.  I decided to wait outside and revel in the smell emanating from the fudge shop (I imagine this is what heaven will smell like when I ride Erin's coat tails to get there).  I also wanted to play with the girls as best I could because I can only imagine how bored they were strapped in their stroller if I was bored walking around.

They were so bored in fact that Ana must have decided to grab something for entertainment out of one of the stores.

A toy truck to be exact.  An unpaid for toy truck to be even more exact.  I believe the kids call it "boosting" a car, and Ana did it at an age that would qualify for Guinness World Records.

Now truth be told, the tractor itself was not what she wanted.  Apparently all that food that mom and dad had just enjoyed made her a little hungry for cardboard.  Can you blame her?  So she was chewing away on the packaging.  I took the stroller into the store that Erin was in and dropped the immortal "Look at what your daughter did".

As an aside (since I'm good at those, see that was an aside within and aside), there are levels at which your kid shifts ownership between each parent based on what they've done.  But it is cyclical.  It's your kid if they do something that makes you proud or happy.  They slowly shift to your significant other's kid when they do something bad or embarrassing.  But they shift their way back to your kid when the thing they do is so embarrassing and ridiculous that you can't help but claim them.

We took the toy away from her and went back to the store red-faced and embarrassed.  Luckily the lady was a little too busy to notice Erin's ninja-like return policy.  But I'm sure the shopkeep will be left scratching her head when she sees the mark Ana left on the box.  Or maybe she can use that as a selling point: both fun for kids and a delicious snack!

The problem is there are no consequences when you're 9 months old.  I called Ana a little thief.  This only made her smile.  I told Grace that she was an accomplice and her lack of action in fact aided the crime.  Which was met with a "dadada" and a raspberry.  Obviously instead of Sesame Street we need to show them one of the many different Law and Orders to show them that a life of crime doesn't pay.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Vacation's All I Ever Wanted

The thing with taking a week long vacation is that it is always over way too soon.  It starts with such promise.  You leave work on Friday knowing that you won't have to come back until the following weekend.  There is something very freeing about it.  It's the last hope for non-teachers and non-students.  We normal people don't get spring breaks or summers off (How do we live like this?), so us working stiffs have very little else to look forward to in the time off department.

Here is my secret shame: I didn't always appreciate vacations.  I know that it seems odd and counter-intuitive, but there was a time in my life when vacations and time off wasn't a priority to me.  It started early on when I had perfect attendance throughout elementary school.  Seriously.  I didn't miss a day of school for 6 straight years.    When I was in college, my "vacation" was the time when I could work full time instead of working a ton of hours AND going to school.  It was a break because I only had to worry about the 9 to 5 for a few months.  I was addicted to work and hated missing time.

Luckily I've since been cured of that particular illness.

And this week was something I had been looking forward to all year.  I got an entire week with my wife and my girls.  That is like concentrated awesome.  Grace and Ana all day long is a big deal when I often don't get to see them outside of the two hours before bedtime each night and the weekends.  A vacation means I'm there in the mornings (when they are at their cutest) in a real pile on the big bed.  I got to watch them eat Cheerios and banana for breakfast and chicken and cantaloupe for lunch.  I got to roll on the floor with them which is normally an activity that only happens on the weekends.

Vacation also meant expanding on our normal activities and experiences.

We spent time at the pool and had lots of fun splashing.

We took the girls on hikes in the backpacks.

We took the girls out on Donner Lake on the boat for the first time.

Erin and I went kayaking because we had her parents to watch the girls.

We played a lot of Farkle (something my father-in-law got way into).

We got to eat at a place featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (Jax at the Tracks) where everyone loved the girls.

We went rafting with friends.

We even had an experience of Ana being a kleptomaniac.  But we'll get into that later.

You look back at a vacation like that and you wonder where the time went.  You can't believe that a week can go by so fast.  But it does when you are doing things that you love.  Nobody complains about a vacation being too long was unless they had a horrible time.  This was not the case.  It was what a vacation should be all about: spending time with people you love, doing things that you like, eating great food, drinking great wine and beer (or even adequate wine and beer), going to bed whenever you like, sleeping in until whenever your wife or babies let you and just enjoying yourself.

Good times.  Now back to the grind.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

I'm back from what turned out to be a wonderful vacation.  "Wonderful vacation" is redundant of course, but I figured I'd let all my loyal readers that missed me over the past week or so know that missing out on my ramblings was worth it as far I'm concerned.  Not that it actually matters to any of you dialogue lovers out there.

I apologize half-heartedly because I have been compiling these over the last two weeks.  That being said, some of these fake tweets may not be as timely as they could be, but I obviously don't care that much because I'm posting them anyway.  Fear not.  They're still up to my normal "standard" of fake tweets as far as I'm concerned.  Not only that, but I'm giving you what essentially amounts to a double-dose to make up for my time off.


-More believable: Apes taking over the world or James Franco being a scientist?
-Our girls love hummus. We don't want any picky eaters.
-We've done away with discs completely on our Netflix plan. Instant Queue owns.
-I've never earned a vacation like I've earned this one.
-One of life's simple pleasures: smooth peanut butter, strawberry-pomegranate jam on wheat toast
-Cookie Crisps is just a middle finger to parents. Yeah, cookies for breakfast. That works.
-What has rioting ever solved? Seriously Londoners have a spot of tea and chill.
-Blaming social media for a riot is like blaming the alcohol for a DUI. #ittakesavillageidiot
-@erinsgirls took the girls to Marine World. So sad I had to work.
-They got to pet a 500lb sea lion. And see penguins. And an elephant.
-Apparently I should be watching Louie. FX is right behind AMC & HBO for best network honors.
-I'm becoming addicted to Instagram. I love making pictures look old-timey.
-People are always surprised with the girls eating solids. Gotta start some time.
-Field of Dreams is the most overrated baseball movies ever. Overly-sentimental.
-The Natural & Bull Durham are waaaaay better.
-Ana is now saying "Dadada". I love it! Talkers and movers. Keeping life interesting.
-I feel like them being so well-behaved now means poorly behaved kids later on.
-Aren't vacations supposed to leave you well-rested?
-I'm really not good at sharing a room with our girls. Will expand on this in a full post.
-I'm doing Weight Watchers w/@erinsgirls. Solidarity. And my DILF goal of course.
-My wife needs to write more. Come on Mutterings of Eringirl. You're so much better than most bloggers.
-And Grace is starting to pull herself up in her crib. Had to be dropped.
-Of course the Raiders took Pryor. Their fans and players are familiar w/priors.
-Sporting events are for rooting for teams. I shouldn't fear for my or my family's safety at a game.
-Vacations make me part-time Amish. Little to no technology, eating outside, playing board games, etc.
-If T-Rex can't see what isn't moving, why doesn't it run into walls and trees and shit? #jurassicpark #amc
-Using a Q-Tip after a week without one is a little slice of heaven.
-That's a reference to cotton swabs not the rapper. Although I'm sure he is also quite lovely.
-If all these crappy sequels/retreads don't make money will they stop making them? #frightnight #conanthebarbarian #spykids
-Aaaaaahhh the ground is sh-sh-shaking! You East Coasters crack me up. #earthquakeawareness
-When you squint Gadhafi does actually look a bit like Carmen Sandiego.
-Worse family: Manson or Kardashian? #toss-up

You'll be reading more about the actual vacation tomorrow.  It feels great to be back in the blogging world.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

I've gone on and on about how my twitter machine is my only consistent post.  I actually like to work on it because it requires little to no thought.  I hate to pull back the curtain or burst any bubbles, but that's just the the way it is.  It is all about random thoughts and musings throughout my week (mostly on the weekend and Monday leading up to the machine).  Sometimes I'll look at the news and comment on that.  Sometimes my wife and kids inspire it.  But mostly I just write stuff down throughout the day as it pops in my head.

More thought might go into which cartoon bird to put on the post...

-We're pretty much done with Weeds on Instant Queue. Taking a time machine to visit Don Draper next.
-Bloggers are so secretive. I don't care if people know my or my wife's name.
-Seriously who would want to steal my identity? You can have it.
-I only write these to make my wife laugh. #missionaccomplished
-We're planning the girls first birthday which is still 3 months away. Erin is looking for themes.
-I already told her baseball theme. Pennants with their names on them. Jerseys with number 1. #problemsolvers
-I hope to be upgraded from a Double-A rated husband to a Triple-A rating. But I need to establish some credit.
-An apple a day keeps the doctor away...depending on your arm strength and accuracy.
-An Apple iPad a day on the other hand will keep the money away.
-The "new" Planet of the Apes made over $50 million. Seriously? #wtfamerica
-Has the Twitter Machine ever gotten anyone a job or does it just get people fired?
-We have an ice cream social with the twin group on Saturday.  Won't be hungover this time.
-Proof of God's existence: Reese's Peanut Butter cups.
-Raise your hand if you thought I was going to say something like "my baby girls" #suckers
-Dr Pepper is my fave soda as I've written before but damnit Vanilla Coke is right there.
-I said the F-word more times while watching baseball this weekend than I have all year.
-I rarely curse while I'm writing, but I do it a lot while speaking. It's my talking crutch.
-But really is there anything more cathartic than dropping an angry Fuck?
-Any toilet paper can be two-ply if you fold it enough.
-So Kanye West said that people look at him like he's Hitler #perspective
-Jonah Hill has gained so much weight that at this point he looks like he's wearing a fat suit.
-I'm pretty sure Justin Timberlake has built his fame on charisma more than anything. But damn he's charismatic
-Is anyone not super geeked for The Dark Knight Rises? We all know that it will be incredible.
-Real Madrid signed a 7-year-old. Good luck getting him to take out the trash now.
-I judge but I'd probably have Grace or Ana do the exact same thing. #chaching
-If you need a random ex-athlete to be a part of your TV show, John Salley is ALWAYS available #thecarshow
-I just don't understand who was clamoring for a fifth Final Destination movie.

Next week you actually may not be reading my Twitter Machine post since we're going on vacation (!!!).  So unless I'm really relaxing you'll have to wait for a double-stuffed post the following week.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Creatures of Habit

Something that I've learned since we had our girls is that they need a routine.  When we deviate from said routine, disaster strikes.

Our girls need to have a routine in place.  Eating has to happen at certain times.  Napping in the late morning and early afternoon is a must, and there must be a bottle or some food prior to nap time.  We must bathe, put on pajamas, eat, hear a story and pray before going to bed.  And it must happen in that order.  This helps them get through the day, and it helps mom and dad from losing it.  So it's mutually beneficial.

But it doesn't take much to throw everything else off.

All it takes is one nap time not going exactly as planned.  That is how delicately we hang in the balance.  A nap starting 10 minutes later than it should means a day of fussy babies.  Or worse a night of fussy babies.

Case in point, Grace has become anti-nap.  She would rather lay in her crib and say "Da-da-da-da" to her stuffed animals.  Seems reasonable enough.  It's hard to find someone that can keep a stimulating conversation especially when it comes to a topic like the awesomeness of ones dad, so you want to hold on to that.  But this little activity gets her over-tired and mucks up her routine.  She doesn't want to sleep through her morning nap, this gets her tired during bottle time, which makes her even more fussy for her afternoon nap and causes a vicious cycle.  Ana is in the same boat.  She likes to stand up in her crib and look around instead of sleeping.  With so much to see in the world, how can I blame her for it?  But that means less sleep and more fuss.

The real problem is that breaking from that routine hurts the most at night.  Routine keeps their clock running a certain way, and breaking from it throws that internal clock off.  Changing it makes late night scream sessions happen which frustrates mom and turns dad into a zombie the next day.  So we have a lot invested in keeping things consistent.  It's always easier when Erin and I can work together.  That keeps it going smoothly without any lag time in getting either of the girls down.  None of the timing gets thrown off, and it keeps everyone happy.

Breaking from this routine is bound to happen because life doesn't always allow for being that regimented.  We go to my sister's house for my grandma's birthday.  We visit Erin's parents for swimming.  We go to a friend's house that we haven't seen in a while.  These things happen.  You deal with it.  You don't let a schedule or routine keep you from living your life.  You'll just have to live it a little more tired.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Criminally Underrated

I love music.  I've written many times before how music has always been a huge part of my life.  I can associate a particular song or songs to every point in my life.

Like most people, I derive a great amount of joy from sharing songs and bands that may not be very well-known or popular with anyone who will listen.  There are hundreds of songs and bands that are underrated and haven't captured the audiences that they deserve.  I'm here to share some of mine favorite criminally underrated songs with you.

Here are a few of my favorites:

The Exit - Susan
This particular song was on the American Pie 2 soundtrack which strikes me as more than a little strange that this particular song was on the soundtrack of a teen sex comedy.  It doesn't fit the tone of the film at all as you can tell by the lyrics.  It's so heartbreaking.  It's a song about a girl who thought she was ready to have sex, but she didn't know how much that one decision could change her life.  She wasn't ready for the ridicule.  She wasn't ready to give all of herself to someone else (especially someone she didn't love).  It also turned me on to The Exit.  Their music is eclectic, mixing a lot of different genres.  This song is only a hint of how good their songwriting is. 

Ben Kweller - Magic
Ben Kweller is such a great song writer, and I can't really explain why he isn't more popular.  I love every song that I've ever heard by him.  The number of his songs that I could have chosen for this post is somewhere in the high teens.  I picked this one because its fun and I sing it to Grace and Ana all the time.  I just like telling them that they'll never be in second place.  Either way you should just type his name in iTunes and download 10 random songs.  You'll love them.  I promise.

Field Music - You're Not Supposed To
Field Music reminds me of a lot of old bands.  Like they were sent here from the past in a time machine to make infectious pop songs with catchy hooks and great harmonies.  You will be humming this song for days after hearing it.  It boggles my mind when a band that makes such perfect pop songs doesn't have a huge following, yet Field Music isn't a household name.

Gillmor - Hey
This is not only about pointing out an artist that should be more popular but also about showing some love for a guy from my home town.  You may or may not recognize the name Ryan Gillmor.  He actually wrote the song David Archuleta performed during the American Idol finale.  Unfortunately that hasn't translated to more popularity for his own music.  I'd prefer to post California Summer which is just a fantastic song, but there just aren't any good videos that do that song justice.  Look it up.  You'll be tapping your toes and singing along in no time.

Kate Miller-Heidke - Caught in the Crowd
I love this song.  I can't even put into words how much I love this song.  Erin and I saw Kate Miller-Heidke open up for Ben Folds last year, and we both were beyond impressed with all of her songs, her range and her stage presence.  But this song may have been the best thing we heard that entire night (no offense to Folds).  It just makes my heart hurt how perfect it is.  I don't want you to think I'm being hyperbolic.  Listen to it and try to disagree with me.

Aqualung - Outside
You may already know Aqualung.  You've no doubt heard the song Brighter than Sunshine.  It was a good song that gained the band (more accurately one guy) some mild fame.  The unfortunate thing about gaining a little popularity from one song is that people stop paying attention to everything else you do.  This is one of my top five favorite songs of the past 10 years.

That's all for this time around.  I hope you enjoyed my underrated songs.  Give new music (or newish in this case) a chance.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

Death.  Taxes.  Twitter Machine Tuesday.  All inescapable truths.

Like always my Twitter Machine is back with a vengance.  I was wondering the other day if anything has ever been back without a vengance or better than ever.  It would be odd to tell people you're back and just the same as always.  Or back and not vengeful at all.

Without further ado, the Machine is back, the same as it ever was.

-If #sharkweek and #deadliestcatch are so popular, why not have an Ocean Network?
-Surprised that our PC world hasn't cried shark favoritism & forced a Whale Week on us.
-I was planning on doing nothing but #sharkweek fake tweets just to anger @erinsgirls who doesn't care for it
-Decided it would get kind of old. Like watching Air Sharks for 42nd time.
-Penguin Week is actually what I'd prefer. They're always so well dressed.
-Ana smiles with ALL of her teeth. It's really funny. Like she is showing off her jaws. #sharkbabyweek
-The girls have now gone "swimming" 3 times. Ana has a natural breast stroke kick.
-Grace has a natural "if you let go of me I will never forgive you" non-kick.
-Started using Instagram. Hating that I can't edit my pictures using the app without posting them online.
-Unless I can and I'm just dense.
-MTV turned 30 years old. What does the M stand for now that they never play music?
-D-BagTV might actually be more accurate at this point.
-Do you gain your virginity back when you go to Comicon?
-This DILF talk is making me self-conscious. I'd just like my wife to see me as a DIMTAF.
-Take a guess what that might stand for in the comments
-Weeds strayed a bit in season 4. What happened to the satirical look at the suburbs that I love?
-If I want gritty realism, I'll watch The Wire or The Shield.
-Sometimes I'll bring up politics in mixed company just to get people worked up.
-I've had candy sitting on my desk at work to hand out since Sat. Haven't had a piece. Restraint or foolishness?
-What the hell is nougat anyways? He wondered aloud while staring at a mini-Snickers.
-The only Spanish I speak is for my job. I call it semi-conversational.
-I rarely drink soda, but I prefer Dr Pepper when I do.
-In a related story, I had a Dr Pepper Slurpee once. Greatest idea since freedom of speech.
-Has there ever been a sweet and gentle dictator? I'd like to be the first.
-How about a takeover that wasn't hostile?
-The Bachelorette has more monologues than Shakespeare. Unbearable.
-Add contestant on The Bachelor(ette) to the list of things I'll never let my daughters do.
-I'm sure you can imagine the rest of that list.

Shutting down the Twitter Machine for this week.  Catch you next week.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pie > Cake

There are great debates that have raged on for years:
Betty or Veronica? (Veronica)
Ginger or Mary Ann? (Mary Ann)
The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? (Beatles)
Dogs or Cats? (Dogs)
Creamy or Crunchy? (Creamy)
Pancakes or Waffles? (Seriously?  Pancakes are nothing compared to Waffles)
Paper or Plastic? (Who cares?)

People have opinions about all those things and will defend them to the death, but there is one debate I've never understood: Pie vs Cake.

When Erin and I started dating, she was a "cake person".  Engrained so deeply that she couldn't comprehend how anyone could prefer pie to cake.  She thought I was so strange for being a pie person.  There was nothing spongey.  There was no frosting.  We don't have pie on birthdays.  Cake must be better.

Whenever we talked about cake versus pie, my argument was always the same "You just haven't had a good pie yet.  You need to try one of my grandma's pies, and we'll never have this conversation again."

I had taken my wife to meet my grandparents previously, but there was never an opportunity to bring her into the fold.  Christmas a few years ago was my first shot at converting my wife to the righteous path.  My grandma always makes pie for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and she is a pie genius.  Some people can play piano.  Some can do ridiculous calculations in their heads.  Others remember meaningless facts (raises hand).  My grandma makes pies like I'm sure Monet painted.

She of course didn't believe me.  One slice of pie was never going to convert her.  She had a lifetime of prefering cake.  And we all know how hard it is to change someone's mind when they're so entrenched in their opinion.  Try converting a lifelong Dodgers fan into a Giants fan.  They'll continue liking something even though it is obviously wrong just because they've been misguided for so long.  It's easier to stay in that same rut and not admit you've been wrong all those years.

She had made a blackberry/raspberry pie on this particular night, and I knew my wife didn't stand a chance.  It didn't even take a whole pie.  She didn't even need a whole slice.  She was done after one bite.  She turned to me before the fork even left her mouth.  I believe the exact quote was "Oh my god, you're right."  You see she had been eating pie for years that just wasn't up to snuff.  The crust wasn't nearly flaky or sweet enough.  The filling was too sugary or messy.  But this was the perfect storm of deliciousness.  She was off the cake train and hopping aboard the pie express.  She knew from that point on she would never be a cake person again and has been working on converting the non-believers ever since.

The real reason that cake is so much more popular than pie is the same reason I'm writing this post.  Easy as pie is the most misleading expression ever.  Pie is hard.  It takes care and attention.  It takes perfect measurements.  The dough needs to be tended to a very exact way.  Overworking it is just as bad as underworking it (sometimes worse).  The oven needs to be the right temperature which usually needs to be adjusted at some point during the baking.  Knowing when to take it out is more about the look of it than it is about a timer going off.  Letting it cool is a must, so being patient is rewarded.  Cake on the other hand is easy.  You pour all the ingredients in a bowl and mix it.  You pour it in a pan and bake it for a set amount of time.  People prefer quick and easy, but that doesn't mean it is better.

Parenting is like pie.  It's not easy, but it isn't supposed to be.  Working at it makes it that much sweeter.  You learn from what you've done wrong to do it better the next time around.  You need the input of others to really do it right, but you want to be the hands that shape the dough.  There are more types and varieties of pie than I could ever imagine just like there are more types of parents than can ever be imagined. 

As a final side note, Erin wants so badly to learn how to make pie just like my grandma.  That is one of the great joys of family.  We pass along what we learn to the next generation.  We hand over our family secrets to our children who had it on to their children.  Because what is a recipe without someone to share it with?  The recipe that my grandma uses to make her pies could be the same recipe my great-grandchildren use to make theirs.  There is something very comforting and reassuring about that.  As is the thought that our girls and their kids are going to be dyed to the wool pie people.