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Showing posts from November, 2012

Don't let her fool you...

You look like an angel Walk like an angel Talk like an angel But I got wise You're the devil in disguise Oh, yes, you are The devil in disguise --Elvis Presley
As I put Leda in her crib yesterday for probably her 4th...maybe 5th?...I don't really count...timeout I had a conversation with her that went like this. "You better get used to it. You and me are going to be doing this the rest of our lives. I tell you to not do something. You do it anyway. I have to punish you." 
Cole never had this problem. Or, rather, he did and wised up quickly. He never gets timeouts anymore. In fact, he was on the verge of one yesterday and I realized that I hadn't even had to think about what to do with him since the big boy bed arrived. 
Leda is in everything. She eats the dog food. She plays in the dog's water. She eats toilet paper. She chews on cords. She goes into the kitchen and wants the bottle of Murphy's Oil Soap under the sink. She wants to spill the container of dog…

Stuck--a field guide

Cole is finally talking more. Sometimes I wish I could say that is all he is doing more. Actually, contrary to the image you have in your head of a Terrible Two, he's turned into quite a well-behaved little boy. Unless he's not behaving. Which is mostly limited to when he's tired. But we're finding Leda to much more ill-behaved at 13 months than he is at 2 and a half. More about her tomorrow.

One of the reasons we didn't get him a big boy bed sooner is that we were worried we'd wake up in the middle of the night with him doing God-knows-what in some unspecified corner of the house. So we've been baby-gating him in addition to the closed bedroom door each night. But the funny thing is when he wakes up, we remove the gate, and tell him the door is open whenever he is ready to come out. Most of the time, he just sits in his bed making noises to let you know he's awake. This morning, I woke up to the sound of a mechanical roaring lion from his plastic flash…

Changing diapers is not parenting

Parent: n. the material or source from which something is derived Long time, no see. It's been a rare week away. If you were expecting a post-Thanksgiving debriefing, you will not find it here. It was (mostly) a good one. Lots of eating and fun times. Also some incidents that I won't go into presently. Let's just say it was a bit of a rollercoaster. Another time, perhaps.

Instead, I've been wanting to write something up about an article I read...in all places, a particular parenting magazine I will not name. (One that pretends to be useful and gender neutral but is actually filled with insipid crafts and advertisements for moms.)

It was a lovely, humorous piece by a father writing a will for his children despite having nothing much to give materially. I can relate. Not to mention that gold pocket watches or antique vases aren't especially invaluable even if they are valuable. Don't get me wrong, wills can be useful. Kelly and I have talked multiple times (thoug…

Take a look, it's in a book...

The child development update that comes to my e-mail inbox a couple times a month is eerily accurate lately. Yesterday, it was "your 2 year old will want to read the same book over and over." Yep. Pretty much.

When Cole was very little I used to keep a running tally of the books from the library that he enjoyed. I may try to get back to that now that books have moved from the category of Things to Chew and Rip to their proper use. (For Cole. Leda is still on the book eating phase though ripping seems to happen a little less lately. She actually does a better job of sitting still for a story than he ever has until now.)

With the arrival of his new bed, it's become a go-to location for reading. He pats the mattress asking you to sit down and then collects a pile of books for you to read to him. Some are favorites. Some he forgets that he doesn't like them so that you get 3 pages in and he shuts it to go get another. The ones Kelly and I love are the ones where he waits…

Moving on up...to a big boy bed

For a kid who loves his crib and has lately been picking up his blankie and politely asking us to follow him into his room for bedtime, yesterday was a bit traumatic.

Leda, she was fine. Last night she was up at her usual midnight and 4:30am though I think she appreciates the upgrade from play yard to real crib.

Cole, on the other hand, was a mess. Not so much with the actual sleeping. He does that just fine for the most part once he gets down to business. Oh, sure, the occasional wakeup in the middle of the night...but he plays for awhile and never bothers us to come in during the night.

Getting him to settle down is another matter.

Nap time I was on my own yesterday. Though Kelly had stayed to oversee handling of the kids while I moved the crib and re-assembled it, she did have to actually go to work once the mattress delivery guys came. Luckily, I was able to get a very sleepy Leda into her new crib for a decent sleep.

Not that Cole wasn't absolutely sleepy. His usual nap is 3 …

Museum guest...or toddler?

I've been back working at the museum for a few weeks over the busy holiday season...and wondered when I came back what it would be like to adjust to the "regular world" after dealing with toddlers 5 days a week. You decide!

Museum guest...or toddler?  Likes to ask where the snacks are locatedDoesn't listen or follow simple instructionsTantrums when told they cannot do their favorite activity todayFascinated with trains, submarines, & airplanes I know some of my coworkers read this so I'll be gentle...I LOVE being a Stay At Home Dad. It's not that I don't enjoy seeing all of you...I do. But the irony is that I'm always being asked about my kids. Which makes me think of my kids. Which makes it harder to be away and makes me remember how great weekends as a family are.  And, Kelly, you're amazing for putting up with it. Your work, I mean. (Though you're getting pretty good at having dinner ready when I come home on weekend evenings after my wo…

Triathlon newbie wishlist

My mother asked me what I want for Christmas the other day. And aside from the fact that Kelly and I will not be getting anything for each other even...we have a strict focus on the kids policy...everything I want pretty much is triathlon related. Well, we do want that bike trailer for family rides in the spring.

But, anyway, I thought I'd share my wishlist...mostly for the sake of some of you non-tri types to see what is involved. Forget the $2,000 rear aero wheel I posted yesterday on social media, this is the more mundane stuff. It can be a useful guide for anybody out there wondering what to buy the triathlete in their life though. Or just a rough outline for those curious about the sport to see what kind of equipment we use.

Speedo Vanquisher Optical Goggle -- $21.99 If you wear glasses like I do, these are a cheap non-Rx way to get pretty close to correcting your blindness. It won't be perfect because they come in matching half-size diopters, but at least you can see the …

Four score and four stars ago...

The new Lincoln movie should be required viewing for every American. It's a brilliant, gritty, heroic, emotional, funny, intense, wise, intelligent look not necessarily at our famous President. But, rather, a methodical look at that much-hated political institution: Congress.

The real heart of the film is the manipulation and intrigue surrounding the passing of the 13th Amendment...outlawing slavery, for those of you not up on the Constitution. It's Lincoln versus his own party. It's Lincoln versus anti-abolition Northern Democrats. It's Lincoln versus the clock as a peace commission has been sent from the Confederacy threatening to end the war--and bring slave states back into the Union--before abolition can be accomplished. It's a battle to get the votes needed. It's a family battle--Lincoln's real family and his cabinet. It's Lincoln versus himself as the humble man of the people fights his own conscience for doing what even he himself views as illeg…

Lincoln, Lincoln...

Ironic, right, that I am from the Land of Lincoln yet am not a fan of the man? Don't get me wrong, he did great things. But I'm an FDR guy, myself. I find that old Honest Abe had greatness thrust upon him. A reaction to history rather than a proactive approach. He freed the slaves because he had to. Roosevelt wanted to fight the Nazis before Pearl Harbor. Roosevelt came in and enacted sweeping changes to fix the Great Depression. Roosevelt had a wheelchair.



But I'm going to see the new Lincoln movie tonight once Kelly is done with work. Mostly because it's been ages since I had a Dad Night where I could focus on something of higher intellect than Super Why for more than 5 min at a time. Sitting in a dark theater will be a welcome vacation...even if it means leaving Kelly with our vampire of a 1 year old who has been going to bed past 11pm lately and complaining about being in her own bed. Heck, she doesn't want to be in ours. She wants to play. I'm off topic he…

Falafel

Chicago is awesome if you want ethnic food. Name a cuisine and we have it. Lately, Kelly and I have been arguing forcefully for our favorite when it comes time to order carryout. She wants Indian. Usually she wins. Last night, my Mediterranean flavors won. We both love the place though, really. Everything is amazing...even their salad dressing. The falafel. The hummus. Heck, last night we even skipped our typical entree and just doubled down on the pita. 
As I walked into the restaurant to pick it up, the Asian lady on the phone/register (we admit we're curious how such great Mediterranean comes from a kitchen of what looks to be...Koreans?) was talking to an angry customer. Keep in mind this place is the size of our living room, including kitchen, dining room, and restrooms. There is no entryway, just a door that opens straight into the laps of dining customers. Well, the conversation went something like this...
"No, sir, he's just our delivery driver. He does not prepar…

Am I raising a feminist?

I was trying to decide what to write about today and stumbled on this article from CNN which basically asks, "where are all the millennial feminists?" Then goes into a long exploration of what it does or doesn't mean to claim that label today.

Much of it centers around the fact that women, for the most part, tend to now take for granted that they should be treated as equals to men. But they hesitate to claim a category that requires a kind of separation in the very definition. For many of today's young women, it ceases to be about gender at all.

Of course, to claim that gender or skin color doesn't matter anymore is ridiculous. That's not what they're saying or what we mean to say when we talk about Obama's post-racial America. Victory doesn't mean the work is done any more than Reconstruction meant the Civil War was still going on. We had a long passage to the Civil Rights movement and the end of Jim Crow still. Segregation wasn't killed at G…

Ghostly readers & big boy beds

One of my coworkers told me she reads the blog this past weekend. (Hey D!) Which sort of took me by surprise because sometimes I have a hard time visualizing you, dear readers. All 8300 of you. It can be, at times, like talking to a fence post. I understand why you don't comment...you don't have accounts setup, you're busy, you don't know me personally. But I know you're there. Phantoms clicking through from social media. Someone actually Googled looking specifically for me--it feels weird. Google, take me to that Newfangled Dad bloggy thing. Someone was looking for my running shoes. Someone else was looking for "stolen labor and delivery." Not what they had in mind, I'm guessing!

I'm definitely not one of the high-traffic big boys of dad-blogging who have monetized. For now, I keep you ad-free...you're welcome. I'm not especially funny. Or controversial. Or filled with cute, hilarious photo memes. Yet there you are. Thanks.

But you're…

Obama...for the kids

This morning is filled with a mix of reactions from across the nation and around the world about how to view last night's events. After a bitter campaign, one of the most widespread thoughts seems to be that we need to find a way to get along.

Let me tell you the real reason I'm happy though. In 2008, it was history and we were all filled with hope for the future. In 2012, I think that hope hasn't diminished. But, for most Obama supporters, the reality has set in that a better future only comes with really, really hard work and quite a bit of fight. In the end, there was no "enthusiasm gap." Only a quietly determined electorate well aware of how long a road we're on. 
In the end, Mitt Romney's world isn't the America we want to raise our kids in. That's the real victory here. 
Who really won last night? My 2 year old and my 1 year old. My son and my daughter now have a better chance of living in an America that is going to treat them with respect,…

Election 2012: live blog!

10:15pm Ohio and Iowa called for Obama. Re-elected President of the United States!

10:00pm North Carolina has been called for Romney. The fact that it took so long is a problem for him. Most of the outstanding vote in FL now is in Democratic counties. VA has about 500,000 Democratic votes outstanding near DC. And it becomes a margins game where we see if the Obama lead is too big for Romney to comeback in OH. It is a situation where we are close to Romney needing to run the table now.

9:00pm Ohio update...Romney is outperforming McCain in rural counties. But Obama is outperforming 2008 in blue counties. No high rural turnout.

8:51pm New Hampshire called for Obama. 64 scenarios remain. Obama wins 55 of them. (86%) 19 EV needed to win.

8:30pm Wisconsin called for Obama. 128 scenarios remain. Obama wins 106 of them. 83% 23 EV needed for the President to win.

7:00pm Just in the 8 major swing states there are 256 scenarios to begin. 193 of those are Obama wins. (75%) Mean Obama EV: 284.5

6:00pm

Parents taking on curfews

Longtime readers of this blog will recall the Great Pigeon Debate here in my village. We wanted to get rid of the rats with wings under the L tracks and were willing to resort...possibly...to killing. I was in the minority in supporting that one. Eventually, the village backed down when animal rights people climbed all over it.

The latest feud I've waded into is curfew laws. And I'm apparently in the minority here, also, but in this case I have the law on my side even if not public opinion. So let me explain...

Background:
Over the summer, a group of 13 year olds were given permission by their parents to stop off at the 7-Eleven on the way to a friend's house at about 1am. Long story short is that police stopped them, called the parents, and they were issued citations for curfew which features 24 hours (a Board member says this is really more like 12 hours) of community service. The parents--who had been told it would be a small slap-on-the-wrist penalty--were surprised to…

Trick or Treat...sort of

Cole really didn't want to get into his costume. Though he does love a bucket so his orange plastic pumpkin wasn't a hard sell. But conveying the concept of "outfit plus bucket equals candy" was more difficult to get across. All day and for weeks we'd been trying to casually convey the idea that this was something he'd like.

It took until he was sitting in his chair with a mound of grape Nerds spread out before him that he fully realized the potential, I think.

The idea was that we'd get the kids dressed, put them in the stroller, and take the dog for the regular afternoon walk. If we happened to go by a few houses and we happened to convince him to walk up to a few doors then fine.

Things didn't start well. We were halfway down the block before I finally convinced him to give his little Thomas The Tank Engine smock a try. Our street really isn't the greatest for Trick or Treating since we're mostly condos and apartments so we went over one be…