Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

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

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

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

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

My gift to you: Another Twitter Machine!

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

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

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Calvin & Hobbes Christmas

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Christmas Eve

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

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

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

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

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

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

I love you,
Your Daddy

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

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

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

On to the Christmas Twitter Machine!

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

Hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cold Season

Our house has been hit hard by cold season.

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

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

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

This week was a different story.

Erin and Ana have joined to sick party.

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

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

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

And that is determination!

Do you want to pick snowberries Buddy?

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

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

Monday, December 12, 2011

Say Uncle

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

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

Thanksgiving came and went without a new baby.

Then the following week passed without incident.

Then another.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Your Shoulder

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

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

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

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

And she wept.

And I held her.

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

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

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Twitter Machine Tuesday

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 2, 2011

Daddy Daughter Days

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

This Thursday was all about books, deliveries and exploration.

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

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


How artsy of Grace

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

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

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

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