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



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.


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!

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.