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.


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  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).

Friday, October 21, 2011

Daddy Daughter Days (and Night)

Last Thursday was great for me, but it would have been an incredibly boring read for all of you.  And I'm not here to bore you (at least intentionally).  I just figured that you didn't have to read an entire post about me and the girls playing on the floor in the living room.

This week we actually did some stuff.

Ana and Grace love plastic ware as I've already discussed previously.  More accurately Grace likes to play with anything she can get her hands on.  She focuses mostly on a plastic colander that she likes to put over her head.  Ana could really take or leave any of the stuff.  Her main goal has become pulling everything out of the cabinet and throwing it on the floor.  She then just crawls away to play with something else.  I think she wants to distract me while she she gets into something isn't supposed to in another room.

She does the same routine in the bedroom when I'm changing her sister.  She'll pull all the clothes out of the dresser, throw them all over the floor and then crawl away like nothing happened.  At this point all I can do is laugh at it because what am I going to do?  It's not as if she is doing something terribly wrong.  It's definitely annoying and yet strangely cute.  Either way at this point she will now be known as the mini-tornado with a path of "destruction" left in her wake.

When they finally went down for their nap, I went to work cleaning up our kitchen, doing laundry, trimming tree branches, sweeping the back yard and other various jobs.  Owning a house means your "day off" is just time to do more work.  These are times I missed a homeowners association.  No rest for the daddy.

After waking up, the girls and I ate lunch together.  I love eating with them.  They mimic what I do.  They try to feed me whatever they're eating.  When I take their trays off their high chairs, they immediately start looking for leftover food scraps in their bibs.  Lunch time is always entertaining.

After lunch the girls and I went to the mall.  Yes, I became one of those stay-at-home parents that takes his kids to the mall instead of walking outside.  Don't judge.

I faced temptation while I was there.

You know you want an iPhone Dada
 Ana was trying to talk me into buying a new iPhone as a birthday present for myself.  I probably would have too if the one I wanted was in stock.  I love that they make you line up outside of the store like it's some exclusive nightclub.  I get it Apple.  You're hip and the place to be and everyone wants your products because of said hipness.  No need for the velvet ropes and bouncer (well nylon and a genius bar employee but whatever).

I also thought about getting Ana and Grace something from the Disney store, but they really don't need another stuffed animal.  So instead I gave them the gift of disappointment.

Don't get too attached Grace
 Sorry Grace.  No Tigger today.

We ran into a family friend while we were at the mall.  She loves the girls.  And they really love her too.  Grace was giving her huge smiles, and Ana was playing shy.  Either way it was nice to run into someone we know while aimlessly wondering the mall.

After we got home there was a minor meltdown from both girls.  They were hungry and tired which is never a good combination.  Especially when it is multiplied by two.  We did simultaneous bottles and went right into a nap.  And this was my first rest of the day.

They woke up when Erin got home.  She was in charge of their pasta dinner.  I appreciated the extra few minutes of rest because I knew Erin was going out with her Mother's of Multiples group, and I knew I'd be handling bath, bottle and bed time on my own.

Bath time reminds you that twins are a lot more work than singletons.  From standing up in the tub to trying to push each other over to playing tug-o-war with one of the 6 rubber duckies in the tub because Ana has to have the one Grace is holding.

They do however produce some damn cute pictures.
I didn't do it


The only time both of them sat still

They went to bed almost immediately, and I vegged out until Erin got home.  For a day off, we sure did a lot.

See you next week.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

When I'm An Idiot

I never claim to be perfect.

In fact I make it a point to remind everyone that I'm far from it.  I find that by lowering people's standards of me is the best way to exceed their expectations.  Meanwhile I hold myself to the highest possible standard because I want to be the best at what I do.

I do really strive to be great.  Well, good actually.  Okay I just don't want to screw up.

I've been at my new job for about a month now, and it has been going pretty smoothly.  I'm learning the ins and outs of a new industry.  There have been some growing pains, but I have tried my best to open my ears and mind and be a sponge to a lot of new information.

And I've kept my nose clean...until this week.

I screwed something up that should have been simple and routine.  It's the simple and routine stuff that makes you feel especially idiotic when botch it.  This has lead to a sleepless night full of worry about how I can fix it.  I've wondered for the past 24 hours that my new boss will think I'm an imbecile.  I've stressed out about what it means for my employer.  Basically I've been a wreck.

I hate this feeling.  You never want to get noticed for the wrong reasons.  But that is just what is happening.

It's now time for me to pick myself back up, shake it off and make up for it.  Time to change the story.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

I always struggle with how to start and end my Twitter Machine posts.  I know that every one of them needs a unique start.  Or I have at least established that in the minds of my readers through previous editions (or at least I've convinced myself of this).  The problem is I don't always have some clever, intriguing or witty way to open up my weekly ramblings.  I could just start doing a cold open right into the thoughts, but I find that to be a little awkward (yes, more awkward than writing about it).  So no extended thoughts to open up the Machine this week.  I'll try to be more creative in the future.  Actually who am I kidding?  I know that isn't true.

On to the Twitter Machine:

 © DreamWorks Animation

-I can see exactly what Dr Pepper 10 is going for. It's obviously meant to be tongue in cheek, but they welcome the controversy.
-Anytime a person or company pokes fun at how ridiculously PC we've gotten, I welcome it with open arms.
-How can you take something that actually says "Catch phrase" as a catch phrase in the commercial that seriously?
-Ana has said her first word. For anyone that had "Doggy" in the pool, you're our winner.
-At times it sounds like Daddy, so I'm happy either way.
-Not to be outdone Grace has started saying "Tickle, Tickle". I don't think she knows what it means, but I still think its cute.
-The Walking Dead had more tension in the first 30 minutes of the season 2 premiere than all of season 1.
-Apparently zombies are the new vampires with movies, tv shows and now a legit novel in Zone One
-I literally laughed out loud at the Walken Dead on YouTube
-I don't see what all the kerfuffle is about with the Jim Harbaugh/Swartz situation. Two boisterous guys in an excitable situation.
-FYI kerfuffle and boisterous are a good way to take up your character allocation on the Twitter Machine.
-Is it uncool for a guy to admit that he likes Coldplay? Because if it is, I'm not excited about their new album at all...
-I find it to be painfully adorable when my girls wave to me. Ana was doing it from her crib the other night.
-And I swear they say "Hi" too
-Yeah I'm pretty much going to be puddy in their hands.
-Want to catch your wife cheating on you? There's an App for that.
-You don't realize how long the song American Pie is until you've heard it for the 18th day in row.
-Ana is also standing on her own now until she realizes it, chickens out and sits down.
-Talking, waving and standing. I can't believe how excited things like this would make me.
-I can never get enough of fat people falling off treadmills. #biggestloser
-In case you're keeping track, my birthday is at the end of this month #11moreshoppingdays
-Erin is an awesome cook. And she loves to make good food.

All done with my boisterous kerfluffle for this week.  If you could see my girls, they'd be waving goodbye to you right now.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

No Princesses Allowed

When Erin and I were considering themes for the girls first birthday, we both agreed that there was no way a Princess theme was going to happen.  I can't really tell you why Erin was anti-princess, but I can certainly comment on my reasoning.

I'm not some faux-feminist that abhors the depiction of women in the mass media.  There's just too much going on in the world to add one more worry to my life.  Especially considering the strides that have been made to improve how female characters are presented.  I do understand where people that think this way are coming from.  But I also think there is a lot of misplaced or at the very least misinterpreted hatred towards Disney and princesses.

For example, I love Becomming Supermommy's blog.  She has a very unique and interesting perspective that helps me see the world a little bit differently.  I don't always agree with her, but that can be a good thing.  She wrote two very interesting posts about Disney princesses over the last few weeks.  It was actually part of what motivated me to write this post.

I'm not going to go point by point on what I agree and disagree with in her posts.  I'm just going to say in general terms that I don't think Disney princesses are inherently evil like some people.  The fact is the stories she's presented predate Disney by about 200 to 900 years, and there have always been great lessons to be learned through them.  This is part of the reason why they've been around for so long and have been presented in so many different forms.  It's also part of the reason I have no problem sharing these stories with my girls.

One counter-point that I do have: It is an absolute reach to call Belle in Beauty and the Beast an egoist.  We should be praising her for being educated, kind, loving her father and not just settling for the handsome brute in her home town.  She doesn't want to be held back by some man just because he's the athletic star of the time.  She falls in love not with exterior looks but with the person underneath.  This is like a lesson for every contemporary high school student.  She knows that Gaston isn't right for her at all and is offended that he keeps pursuing her.  What is wrong with that?

My hatred of the term princess instead stems from the type of girls/women it has created.  It has created self-involved, spoiled and entitled people that expect the world to give them everything.  And these people make it a point to tell everyone that they're princesses.  They broadcast it on their license plate covers, clothing, accessories and most every item they own.  This didn't come from Disney or the depiction of women in the media.  It is all about parents that have spoiled the bejesus out of their daughters.

In 25 years, I don't want to look at my daughters and wonder why they have no discernable skills and are waiting for the world to give them something.  And it starts early on.  I want them to have everything they need and work for everything they want.  I want the best for them, but I want them to want it more.  I'm not going to raise them as princesses because a princess never has to work for anything.

They're going to be who they are because of how life and their parents help to shape them.  They are going to be independent but not at the expense of finding someone that loves and respects them.  I hope they know the joy of having children and a family.  I don't want their lives to be difficult, but they shouldn't expect it to be easy.

And even if they find and marry a prince and actually gain the official title of Princess, they'll still be Grace and Ana to me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

Another Tuesday, another Twitter Machine.

This is a very special Twitter Machine.  Sort of like those episodes of Saved by the Bell when Jesse has too much on her plate because she is an awesome student, the student body president, a cheerleader and in the group Hot Sundae with Kelly and Lisa.  So she deals with the problem by taking caffeine pills.  Until Zack confronts her and gets the "I'm so excited. I'm ZACK" moment that will live in YouTube infamy.

Only it isn't special like that because I'm not addicted to caffeine pills nor am I so, so scared of anything.  Instead this post is very special because I will reveal the winner of the 100th Post Icing on the Cupcake Giveaway Extravaganza Spectacular.  But you have to sit through my Twitter Machine first.  You could also just scroll to the bottom of the page, but you'd be losing out on the wonderful insight that I provide in these posts.  By insight I of course mean mildly offensive and random thoughts.

Without further ado (or any ado really)...

-I realized when I posted the above picture that the Chickenhawk was the original Angry Bird.
-I don't have feelings either way about Columbus Day, but I apparently know a lot of people that hate Columbus.
-Or they at least used it as an opportunity to rail on Colonialism.
-Steve Jobs was a great businessman, had vision and was a master marketer.
-He was also (according to everything I've read) an incredible asshole who bullied people.
-Not saying you can't mourn his death. Not saying it isn't tragic. Just saying I choose to not deify the guy.
-Al Davis was also ahead of his time, bucked the system, questioned authority and took chances. He deserves a moment of reflection.
-Netflix is all over the place and seems to lack direction. Not really reassuring at this point. #newcoke
-Whitney has lasted about 4 episodes too long. Have 4 episodes aired? #feelslike30
-I actually haven't watched a single episode of Whitney. So I have a lot in common with America.
-The national nightmare is over. The Simpsons will have a 24th and 25th season.
-Seriously NBA get your shit together. I don't want to miss an entire season of basketball. #2weeksoff
-Starting to think David Stern is just a huge dick.
-Erin on the George Harrison doc by Scorsese: This is the most boring Beatles thing ever
-She also was enthralled by 3 minutes of Sister Wives #noremotecontrol
-Why was a woman in her 39th week of pregnancy even running a marathon? #makinguslookbad
-Ben Folds Retrospective on the way to my mailbox. Happy Birthday to me!
-Didn't Toyota Tacoma do the exact same marketing campaign that Nissan Frontier is doing now?
-Apparently Rihanna is the sexiest woman alive according to Esquire. No one could beat her. #toosoon
-People are actually dressing up like superheroes and fighting crime.
-I don't have a joke for that. I just want to know how quickly before one of them gets shot.
-The girls like to go into our closets and look for clothes and shoes.
-I couldn't get at least a year or two of not having clothing-obsessed daughters?
-You can keep American Idol and X-Factor. The Sing Off is incredible and waaaay better.
-The Avengers will be incredible and has the potential to be the most entertaining thing that happens in 2012 #nerdalert
-There are some cupcake lovers out there just chomping at the bit to know who won. #justasec
-I obviously love my girls. If I didn't, it would only take a smile to convert me.
-Sometimes I just sit in their room next to the cribs and stare at them. #whoneedstv
-The problem with actually knowing how to fix your computer is everyone wanting you to help them with theirs.
-Okay.  I know I've stalled long enough. The winner is below.

The 6th entry was Janelle over at Renegade Mothering.  I love her blog.  I couldn't even tell you if she likes cupcakes or not or if she'd give them to her kids.  If not, she can always re-gift them.  Congratulations Janelle!!!  Enjoy the cupcakes!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Daddy Daughter Days

I know that this is a couple of days behind my normally scheduled Thursday post.  I have no excuse besides being incredibly busy.  So you won't have to read more than that.

Onward and upward!

Thursday kind of started out crappy.  There were a bunch of people off because of meetings and training, so I had to go into work in the morning on my normal day off.  It wasn't too terrible except I was one of only three people in the office.  Even then I didn't really need to be there since there was no one coming in for some reason.  Either way it took a morning with my girls away from me.  Boo to that.

The girls were already worked up and exploring when I got home.  They want to know how the oven works.  Maybe they're planning on baking me some cookies.

While in the kitchen, the girls always seem to find their way to the same cupboards to pull out their favorite plastic ware (mostly because everything else is locked up).  This always leads to some fun of the girls fighting over the same pieces.  Namely the bowl you see below.

First Ana had it.
The Grace took it from her.
Then we got a little silly.

The afternoon gave us a little duality of baby action.  Ana has been fighting her naps recently.  Not really sure the reasoning behind it, but she has fought it nonetheless.  Grace on the other hand has been going down without issue.  Thursday afternoon was no different.

This is an example of a kid that doesn't want to nap.

And here is an example of a kid who enjoys her naps.

It was a pretty good Thursday all things considered.  I still got to spend time with the girls.  We still went on a family walk when my wife got home from work.  We had a great dinner time and bath/bed time.  Even working in the morning didn't ruin my day with the girls.

And they seem to love it.

Just a reminder, you're running out of time to enter the 100th Post Icing on the Cupcake Giveaway Extravaganza 2011.  Go to my 100th post and leave a comment to enter.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Some Math for You

As of right now 84 people have read my 100th post.  Only 8 people have commented.  I am one of those commenters.  My wife is another commenter.  Neither of us is eligible to win.  That means that 6 people out of the 80+ readers of that post have entered to win a prize.  That is a ridiculously low number.

Just so I'm clear, there are no catches.  If you have a google account (and who doesn't at this point), all you have to do is click the Join This Blog button.  Then all you have to do is head back to my 100th Post and comment on it.  You can even insult me and tell me how bad my blog is if you'd like.  I won't hold it against you.  You could still win the free cupcakes.

Is everyone just afraid to enter because they don't think they'll win?  Well as of right now the odds are in your favor.  If you joined my site and left a comment you'd have a 1 in 17 shot at some free swag.

Do people secretly hate cupcakes, and I didn't know about it?  If you hate cupcakes, I have to ask what is wrong with you?  Actually I won't judge, but I'm sure you know someone who loves them and will gladly accept your gift.  Imagine if you upset your husband or wife.  You could literally buy back his or her affection with sugary sweets, and you wouldn't even have to spend a dime.  With all the flavor combos, you could even show a little thoughtfulness which is all a person really wants in a gift.

To save you time, you can go to the 100th Post and just type "Cupcakes!" in the comments.  Or just "Cakes" if you want.  Or "Cups" is even shorter.  You could even just say "Hi" in the comment section.

All my out of the region readers, I'm going to get something of equally awesome value for you.  Don't let that hold you back.

I find it odd that I'm begging people to enter to win something for free, so I'll just stop now.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

The weather is finally changing where we live, so we can now officially welcome the fall.  It isn't really official until we get our first fall rain which happened last night/today.  Fall has always been my favorite season for a number of reasons.  Sweater weather.  Fall storms.  Leaves changing.  Pumpkins!  Great food.  Count Chocula cereal.  Fun-size candy.  Pie season.  And most importantly my birthday and Halloween at the end of October.

At least it was most important until November of last year.  From that point forward, the girls birthday trumps all.  Between that and seeing the girls in Halloween costumes, fall just got a lot more awesome.  And I have this crazy feeling that the girls will take after their mom and dad and love the fall too.

Before all the birds fly south for winter, here is this week's Twitter Machine:

-Are midgets required to use a car seat?
-Apple made an announcement and people aren't nearly as excited as normal. #rescueusstevejobs
-I'm still going to buy the shit out of an iPhone 4s.
-If the new iPhone had all the crap it is getting and was called a 5, people would be thrilled.
-Comparing people to Hitler is getting a little old. Yes, your boss passing you over for a promotion is just like Hitler killing all those Jews.
-We're almost done with Mad Men. An instance where all old episodes on Instant Queue leading us to watch new episodes on TV.
-I had Princess Bride on the other day. Ana was enthralled.
-Every snarky blog post ever written owes everything to Andy Rooney. Crotchety old men are the best.
-Arrested Development is coming back! And a movie too! In case you didn't know, I'm doing Gob's chicken dance right now.
-I've never understood the appeal of trampolines. So the only two outcomes are bouncing higher or getting horribly injured? #signmeup
-Mixed feelings about The Simpsons possibly not coming back. 23 years feels long enough, but it's hard to imagine life without.
-The Playboy Club got cancelled after two episodes. My reaction: They kept it that long?
-I'm kind of addicted to Person of Interest. It's the only new show that I'm watching this fall.
-That's the end of my TV recap for the week.
-Actually last TV thing, The Wonder Years is now on Instant Queue. And Erin and I have something to watch after Mad Men.
-I love zombies as much as anyone. Well not as much as people attending zombie invasions all across the country.
-Not getting political or anything. Just want to know: What do the Occupy Wall Street people actually want?
-I want the two new books by the Chucks (Klosterman and Palahniuk) so badly. Birthdays right around the corner.
-Grace was trying to climb into the tub this morning. These kids love bath time.
-I hate people that use the term Rock-tober. Lame and stupid.
-Ketchup and mustard in the same bottle really is genius. Why hasn't that happened? #kramericaindustries
-The girls love pasta. To the point that they ignore every other food we give them if there is pasta on their tray.
-I always prefer pie, but I do love cupcakes.

Speaking of cupcakes, have you entered into my 100th Post Contest yet?  I'm giving away a gift card to the always delicious Icing on the Cupcake.  You can get any number of specialty cupcakes.  My personal favorites are PB and J and Pucker Up.  Go and leave a comment, and you could be the lucky winner.

Monday, October 3, 2011

New Parent Money Savers

In less than a month, my twin girls will be celebrating their first birthday.  It is quite surreal.  It is even more surreal when I write it or say it.  A whole year.

I'd be a horrible parent if I didn't learn a few things about raising kids over these last 11 months.  So I'm here to give a few tips and pointers on how new parents (even ones with multiples) can save a little money in the first year.

-Don't buy any toys.  Seriously.  In fact you may as well return just about every toy you're given.  For the first couple of months, they aren't going to care about all the toys anyways.  Just make faces and weird noises, and they'll be entertained for hours.  When they do start noticing toys, they'll probably gravitate to one or two things and ignore everything else.  As they get older all you really need is some plastic food storage (Tupperware, Ziploc or Glad or whatever you already had lying around) and wooden spoons.  It amazes me all the toys they neglect in favor of kitchen items we already had.

-Make sure the stuff that makes noise has an off switch.  This is a more recent development in our house.  The girls were given these items that look like remote controls that announce shapes and numbers.  Only there is no off switch, so even sitting unplayed with doesn't stop it.  Seriously annoying.

-You will have favorite outfits that your kids will end up wearing entirely too much.  And that is totally okay.  If I got a dollar for every time my girls wore their various Giants outfits, I'd be a very rich man.  So return or exchange the clothes you know your kids won't wear for something they will.  You get to choose the clothes for this part of their lives.  Take full advantage.

-You should probably return/exchange a good portion of the newborn and 0-3 clothes you get.  People come to baby showers with the best intentions, and we all appreciate the gifts you give to us new parents.  We just don't need 1000 different newborn outfits or 0-3 for that matter.  We know that is the most cute and you get to see what you bought them very early on, but there is something to be said about patience and helping out 6-12 months down the road.

-Just like breastfeeding is cheaper (obviously), so is making your own baby food.  Do you know what baby food is?  Strained and pureed regular food.  How can you not make that yourself for much cheaper?  I'm not even trying to promote being a crunchy parent.  It's all about fiscal responsibility.

-You're going to eat out less.  This may just be exclusive to a parent with twins, but you aren't going to really be able to go out to eat as much.  Enjoy your time at home and the little bit of extra cash in your bank account as a result.

What other money saving tips do you have as a new or experienced parent?  Share in the comments.

Have you entered the Icing on the Cupcake giveaway in honor of my 100th post yet?  All you have to do is comment on post number 100 for an entry and click on that little Join This Blog button on my main page for a second entry.  Who doesn't want free swag?  Especially this free swag.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


This is my 100th post!

I know it is quite the accomplishment.  Actually it isn't an accomplishment at all.  It literally means I've sat down at my laptop 100 different times to write something that may or may not get read by anyone but me and my wife.  When you think of it that way, it's pretty sad.

Think of all I could have accomplished in the time I spent thinking about, planning and writing my blog:
-Learned an instrument
-Trained for another marathon
-Read more books
-Start a fight club
-Watch Lost over again
-Written 50 really excellent posts instead of 100 mediocre ones
-Solve the budget problem
-Take over the world

All would have been a better use of my time.  But here I stand (or more accurately sit), writing my 100th post.

I mentioned to Erin that I was approaching 100 posts, and that I was going to write something about my 100th post.  I told her that I thought it was meta and funny (any time I use the term "meta" she looks at me like I have no idea what I'm talking about).  She insulted me and told me it was lame.  I actually write the blog and don't care if she insults me, so I win.  She immediately asked me what I would be giving away.

This caught me off guard for three reasons:
1.  I don't like the idea of trying to buy readers.  I know that it is more about rewarding your loyal readers, but there always seems to be a component of asking your readers to spread the word on your blog in order to win swag.  I want people to spread the word on my blog because they dig it not because they'll get a gift card or something like that.

2.  I don't like spending money.  Isn't that why people write blogs?  It is a free form of entertainment and therapy.  There is no overhead.  I can just pop on my computer at any given time and post something.  I don't have to charge anyone as a result, so they can enjoy my vent for the low, low cost of $0.00 per month.  Whether I actually write something good or it is my normal mediocrity, you can enjoy (or despise) it for free.  Not saying you get what you pay for with my blog...

3.  I wouldn't even know what to give away or how I'd do it.  There are businesses that I would gladly pimp out simply because I am a happy and loyal customer.  More often than not though I'd promote something local.  This of course is a problem in the blogging world because every blogger has readers in other parts of the country.  I don't want to punish someone because they live far away from me.

But I still wanted to reward my readers for being loyal and (hopefully) liking my blog.  So I decided to do a giveaway anyway.  Since I frequent the joint and have posted pictures from there a number of times, I'll be giving away a $20 gift card to Icing on the Cupcake.  I love that place.  They didn't pay me to say this, and they wouldn't have to because it is just that great.  I realize this doesn't help my readers in other parts of the country.  If you're not in the Sacramento area and just so happen to win, we'll figure out some other method of reward.

So here's how you enter:
-Start following my blog publicly and that will earn you an entry. I know I have readers that check me out through their Google Reader accounts, and I appreciate that.  I would like to see who some of you are though.  For those of you that already follow me publicly, congratulations you have already earned an entry.
-Leave a comment on this post, and you'll get an entry.  It doesn't need any substance to it.  Just typing "Enter me into your contest" is acceptable.  Or if you want to tell me how much you love me to stroke my ego, that works too (you won't get an extra entry, but I do appreciate it).

That's it.  That's all you have to do.  Easy as cupcakes (because pie really isn't all that easy).  Just enter by next Monday, October 10th.  I'll use to pick the winner and announce it on next week's Twitter Machine Tuesday post.

Thanks for reading.  Thanks for entering.  Good luck.