Monday, September 7, 2015

Little Liar!!

Guys, don't worry, he likes it. Wyatt, I mean. Lincoln isn't so sure. Wyatt does this when he wants Link to transport him somewhere. Because Wyatt is lazy.

   Wyatt is a lot like his dad. He's handsome and charming and all that, but more than anything. He's lazy. Just like his mom. He absolutely detests cleaning up his toys. Which is somewhat odd, because he loves to be helpful. When I am working on a chore or in the yard, he will do all of the little "go get that rake" and "turn on the hose" jobs I can possibly give him. Even the "get dad a cold one" can be done, now that he can open the fridge, identify alcohol, use a bottle opener, and cut a lime into the correct sized wedge.

   A few days ago, Wyatt was in trouble. So as punishment, I had him clean. (As I am writing this, I am realizing that he only has to clean when in trouble, so of course he hates it! Also, cleaning is the worst, no matter what age.) He came up with every excuse he could think of to avoid putting away a single block, including running a lap around the house with each block because he was going so fast. At one point, he put a belt around his head and pretended to be Jake the pirate. This happened:

No, Wyatt, you're clearly a ninja turtle and not a pirate.
   Is... is that true? I feel like pirates probably do have to pick up blocks somewhere in the line of duty. However, I spent so much time analyzing pirate duties and pirate booties, that Wyatt's ploy actually worked for a while. When I realized he wasn't cleaning, I told Wy to pick up blocks. He walked a slow circle around me, and whispered "Pirates don't pick up blocks." Good gravy I laughed so hard on the inside, while maintaining "scary dad face" on the outside. I'll try to find a picture of SDF to include.

   In addition to his clinical, maternal-driven laziness, he's becoming quite the little deceiver. He's trying to hide things from us, writing on walls again when under a table or behind a chair, throwing his food under things to act like he's eaten. I tell ya, I don't know where he gets it from. I don't think I've told a lie in nearly seven sentences.

   Really, parenting is getting kind of tough. (Oh, shoot, that's the sort of line that pro bloggers but in all caps and bold. Okay. REALLY, PARENTING IS GETTING KIND OF TOUGH.) Wyatt has lots of new neighbor kids to play with on our street. We are suspicious that one of them might be a little liar. I wonder if Wyatt's picking these new deceptions skills up on the street, like how I picked up my fighting techniques. He's started to play a little bit differently when home by himself, after spending lots of time with all his friends from the street. Less, of pretending to be a fireman, "help me hero save me!" when a car is about to fall of the couch cliff, and more fighting and bickering among the cars themselves. On a positive, however, there's less of the cars saying "Dad do you want to play with me?!" "No, I'm busy." "But you're watching Duck football games from the past three seasons on repeat." "Right. Busy. Get me a cold one."

This is about as much work as Wyatt ever does, pulling Link from the toys.
   The thing is, Wyatt loves people. Friends and kids are his favorite thing. He'll stop whatever he's doing if he thinks someone under 17 is outside, ready to be his friend. It's tough to tell him he can't play in the street with a bunch of kids around his age, when really, if he played outside all day I'D BE ELGIBLE FOR #DADOFTHEWEEK (nailed it!), but sometimes the kids out playing are ages 7 - 12, and he's three. There's a lot of room for influence there.

   Wyatt is going to start pre-school here in a few days. Don't worry, billions of pictures are coming your way. More new kids and families. It's encouraging that it will be kids the same age, with a hopefully-wonderful teacher - and I am glad that he is going to be spending more time at his grandma's house, because she teaches and trains him well - but I feel like we are crossing the threshold from where parenting has been fairly easy (because it's all been in-house: "don't touch that," "eat eleven more bites," obey my dog" type stuff), but its going to take a big shift into other relations ("don't play with that boy at school," "don't say "butt" even though other kids do," "obey my dog."). I am a bit apprehensive about this whole thing, but we'll figure it out. There is just so much to learn. After all, PIRATES DON'T PICK UP BLOCKS.

My mood: getting ready for school
Wy's mood: so many friends
Link's mood: thinking about standing
Cara's mood: who cares
Listening to: R.E.M.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Home Cookin!!

An artistic picture of leaves and stuff.

   Guys!! I have such a great life, and you should be jealous of it. So I am going to blog about just how great it is, so you can improve yours!! You're welcome. For example, my Facebook posts get almost 8 likes on average (some as high as 15!!), my wife and I have never once said a cross word to each other, or even done a crossword, and lately we've been eating food we pulled from the ground!! Let's talk about that last one ad nauseum for the rest of this post.

   We were pleasantly surprised when the house we bought four years ago had producing fruit trees in the back yard. We thought they'd give a few lousy apples and be done, but we get a large supply of apples and persimmons each fall. (If you don't know what a persimmon is, don't ask. Only because I will talk about them for hours, driving you crazy, but also because I can't really describe the things. I will, however, bring persimmon bread to every party I go to from November through March.)

   A few weeks ago, Cara bought a bread maker. We eat like 2.8 loaves of a bread a week around here, mostly because I adore sandwiches like a spider adores all those spots under your chair. So this thing should pay for itself in about 7 hours.

   And our garden is ever growing as well, with tomatoes and onions and other things you don't care about so I won't keep listing them.

   The point is, I am working really, really hard to convince you that we are great parents living a simple, idyllic life and providing only the best for our children, and also lots of chicken nuggets. Here are some pictures to support this:

   This is some homemade bread with some homemade raspberry jam. I've found that having warm bread and delicious jam around all the time has made me want to eat only warm-bread-and-delicious-jam all the time. I finally understand the British, and I don't just mean their language.

   If you look closely, you can see some orange looking syrup. That's plum syrup, made from the plums off a friend's tree. We've also made plum jam, and both are phenomenal. Great camping food. Also, those pancakes were made from scratch, using only water and some pancake mix I got at Costco.

   Do you now see how great my life is?! It's pretty great. I will continue to blog to inspire you to live more like me!! And I have two kids and also my house is always clean so don't bother looking into it!

There have been a few pleasant surprises from our recent feeding fad:

1) We don't waste as much food. Working hard to make it and prepare it causes me to be more diligent about eating it.

2) I don't eat as much. The time and prep causes me to pause before I make that third sandwich. It's not like that bread came easy. This is not a good thing.

3) I want to tell everyone about my food sourcing all the time. Because I am obnoxious and like to brag.

4) I have become much more likely to make numbered lists about food.

5) Sliced bread is actually quite nice. You know that lame line "The greatest thing since sliced bread"?! I get it now. Also, I've been watching a lot of Cheers lately, so if you want to say "They have a real Sam and Diane thing going on," I'll get that one too. The crumb production in this household has skyrocketed, outpacing quarterly projections by a billion fold. I am working out a system to harvest the crumbs and either use it for breaded chicken, or glue it all together to form a new piece of bread.

   How do the kids feel about this? Well, one thing we've grown is spinach, and recently when offered some salad, Wyatt said what all of us have always been thinking. "Um, I think that I don't like leaves." Brilliant. A great encapsulation of the American Condition, really. Also, he doesn't really pronounce his "l's," so it came out "Um, I think that I don't wike weaves." Even better.


Monday, August 10, 2015

Buckle Up!!

Wyatt has learned both how to spell his name, and how to do it in a cool, Wayne-Enterprises fashion. Like, Bruce Wayne. Nevermind.

   Every time Wyatt has learned a new skill, it's been celebrated. I think I cried the first time he picked up a bink and put it in his mouth. Of course his first steps, first lie, and first time on the potty were big deals. But, one thing you learn as a parent is that these things aren't exciting because your child is growing and developing. No, they are exciting because your life just got a lot easier.

   The worst thing about parenting is easily the carseats. Constantly putting kids in, digging for buckles, moving them from car to car, having no space to haul your motorcycle or Total Gym, the crumbs and stains and stickies. It's dreadful. The occasional pinch of precious little Aeden's skin in the buckles is obscene as well. So today, when Wyatt finally was able to buckle himself into his carseat, all on his own (both top and bottom buckles!!) you'll understand why I high-fived the lady in the passenger seat of the car next to me at Costco. She felt accosted, especially when I demanded she roll her window down so that I can slap her, but she also rejoiced right along with me.
Lincoln is learning the skill of shirt-eating

   I can't imagine a better milestone. Sure, I like that I don't change Wy's dipes anymore, but life still has its accidents. And struggles. And yes, he still can't unbuckle himself, so getting out of the car remains as complex as a military operation, but at least in those cases he is tethered to one place, unable to cause problems, and wanting to cooperate.

   Is today the greatest day of my life?! No, that was that one day when I went to bed and realized I hadn't worn pants at all. But it's top five, without a doubt. Should we list them?

1) No pants
2) Accidental free guac on that burrito that one time
3) Seriously, one time as a kid I walked up to a vending machine, pushed a button without putting in any money, and out fell a Squirt.
4) Kids being born or marriage or something.
5) Buckle Day.

   So now Wyatt can buckle himself in the car. He can kind of ride his strider bike super well. One day he'll tie his own shoes and one day he'll make me cookies. Things will continue to get better. In the mean time, I will patiently explain that 7 is not bigger than 30 until he gets it.

My mood: accomplished and relieved
Wyatt's mood: secure
Listening to: Destiny's Child

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Glacier National Park!!

     Cara and I are wild adventurers. Just the other day, for example, we went to Costco on a Sunday around 1:00. Two summers ago we loaded up our minivan, and with her parents headed off to Yellowstone National Park. We decided this summer to hit Glacier National Park, so Myself, Cara, Wyatt, Lincoln, and Duane and Connie (Cara's parents) all squeezed into a minivan and started driving. Here are some words and pictures:

Wyatt loves to camp. He loves sticks and rocks and streams and dirt. It turns out he loves to pee right by the picnic table too.

And he seems to love sticking his tongue out.

Here's a picture of not Wyatt's tongue, and this picture was taken moments before Link slid out the bottom of his jacket.

Fun hike to a cool mountain lake.

Some bighorns in their natural habitat.

Duane gets Lincoln absurdly close to that one.

Me on a hike, packing Link and carrying Wyatt. Like a boss. Cara is sipping a cool beverage I'm sure.

We took a fun boat tour of a couple lakes. This boat was called the drowning eagle?

Here's the fun story. Why did I wait until the end to share it!? I am bad at this.

On a trial about 400 feet from our car, Connie, Wy, Link and I were heading back when we saw a bear. A small grizzly bear, like the one you see above. In fact, it was that one. We stopped, it was crossing our path. Cara was walking towards us from the other direction, probably with a cool drink in hand, and doesn't see Smoky there. I tell her to stop, she doesn't. She looks at me like "why on earth would I ever listen to anything you have to say?

She keeps walking. If she doesn't stop, she'll smack into its bottom. Connie yells "Bear!!" and Cara stops, with a look that says "Yeah, you're my mom, I'll listen to you." That women needs to work on her submission.

Luckily, the bear didn't care about us (cara bout?) at all. It went about its business, meandering along the trail. So we followed it and Cara snapped the above photo, along with others. It doesn't look very big here, and that's because it wasn't very big. We actually saw four bears that day, the other three from our car. One of them walked alongside our car for a little while, in fact. I am pretty sure it respected me.

People ask me if I was scared at all. It wasn't scary because the bear literally couldn't have cared less about us. It didn't once look our direction. Had it, I would've wet myself, thrown the mother-in-law towards it, and ran with the kids. She would've wanted it that way too.

This is the longest caption in caption history.
   We had a wonderful time. Cara's parents are great to travel with, and not just because they pay for everything. Lincoln got a little sick of being in his carseat, so the lest leg of the drive home was a bit fussy. In fact, when we got to a hotel and he had space and carpeting, he had an enormous grin. The tent full of gear and back of the car just weren't enough for him, I suppose. The driving is where Cara was the hero. She had to take care of the hungry baby, entertain the bored 3-year-old, and deal with her fussy husband. What a trooper.

My mood: going to clean the house
Listening to: Stevie Wonder

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Dancing Wyatt!!

Wyatt is holding his grandma's brush/mirror thing. He calls it "rocket" and pretends it's a rocket. Lincoln is very unhappy. Note: If you put the two of them together, you have a whole outfit!!

     Cara and I are losers. I need to make this very clear, from the start. Now, I know this comes as a shock to you, because you've been reading this blog for the last 18 years and have seen nothing but cool, cooler, and awesome, but it's true. One way that we are losers is that we have always thrown dance parties at our house, without inviting anyone. We'll turn off the lights, put on some kickin' Big Willie Style, and go nuts. When little Wyatt was a baby, we'd put him on the floor and dance around him. Sometimes we'd do this to African Dance music, other times we would sing our own dance music. Like, from our mouths. He liked it, but could also tell that we were losers and had fear in his eyes for his future social engagements.
   Well, it's caught on. This is one of my top 4 Wyatt videos, where you get to see what happens in our house nearly every day: (In case you were wondering, here are the other three)


     Oh gosh, where to begin?! Obviously, we begin with that shirt, amirite?! And that awesome somersault that wasn't! Did you see him not step on Lincoln?! Nice work, Wy! What about the fact that he was laying down to avoid going poop go to sleep, hears the music, and without any prompting, speaking, or indication of any kind, immediately stands up and starts dancing?! That's outrageous!! He does this all the time. He can be anywhere in the house, I'll turn on music, and he'll walk into the room, clean off the couch, and start dancing on the couch. Without saying a word. Ever. It's like the music takes control of him.
     I suppose the song I play tends to say "everybody, move your feet and rock your body," so maybe he is just following orders?
     He's not bad!! I noticed once that when he dances, it's all arms. No feet or hip involvement, just arms and spins, just like I taught him. So lately, during our dance parties, I've been working at using my feet a lot more, just to get him to move. But that gorilla thing he did at the beginning, that's all him.
   Cara isn't so much a dancer as she is a Marching Band Conductor. She pretty much just marches and moves one arm in the air, like its a baton and like she thinks she is wearing one of those top hats with the feather in it like the generals in my Stratego game.

   I know that Link hasn't gotten a lot of press around here lately, but he doesn't do anything. He eats a ton, is super happy all the time, loves his brother, and puts things in his mouth. He can scoot around the house pretty well, and is starting to stretch his vocal chords by making sounds like that of a velociraptor announcing it's ready to mate. But he's still pretty darn cute.

It says "Little Dude," not "Little Nude" or "Little Rude" or Little Vude." That last one doesn't even make sense.

There you have it folks. Come back soon for updates on our trip to Glacier National Park, Uncle Garrett's Wedding, and Wyatt's potty schedule.

My mood: glad to be free
Wy's mood: stress dancing
Link's mood: falling over a bit
Cara's mood: wants to sleep through the night
Listening to: Junior Senior

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Bathroom Code Words!!

   Every family has their own terms for bodily functions. Most of them are because we don't actually want our kids saying words like "poop," "pee," and "pisser."

   "Pittle" has always been my favorite urinary diversion, that I heard a family friend using.

   Well, I think we can all agree that "tooting" is standard fare for gaseous exclamations, right? Wyatt has you beat. He has your family's cute little "fart" term beat by a nautical mile.

   If you recall, we've had some difficulty getting him to do the #2. We've had a lot of success in this area, primarily because we moved his bed in to the bathroom, but today we shared a special moment. Wyatt was on the potty, and he wanted off. He'd done his business. I, as the ever-skeptical father, wasn't so convinced the day's word was done. "Are you sure?"

   He was sure.

   But then I hear some ... action ... down south. "Oh, it sounds like you might not be done!" (PARENTING IS THE BEST DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT EVERYTHING'S AWESOME.)

   "No, dad, that's just my bottom snoring."

   "Oh, well, okay if- wait. What?! What'd you say!?"

   "That's my bottom snoring. It snores."

   Oh good gravy this is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. And that includes that time my brother had to leave before his pizookie came.

Not you, Link!! You'll always be young and innocent and never talking about disgusting bathroom habits!! Me too!!

   In case you missed it, HE CALLS HIS TOOTS "BOTTOM SNORES!!" WHAT'S THAT!? YOU GOT IT? SORRY FOR all the yelling. Can you imagine? How does a kid come up with stuff like this? Not from me, because I don't snore. At all. And I can't claim he gets it from Cara, either, because she doesn't so much "snore" as she "constantly-tries-to-grind-the-air-into-smaller-particles-of air through her throat." It's as if she thinks silence is death! It's like living with an air-compressor that has an always-on setting at night, and a "nag" setting during the day. (All kidding aside: she's the best!)

   But that's all not the point. The point is, I am looking to work "my bottom has to snore" into conversation as soon as possible. Let's all do it!! The first to have it happen naturally wins 18 WyPoints. You have to have video.

   What about you? What are some of your favorite nicknames and code-words for disgusting behaviors?! Leave me a comment and tell me!! I am trying to do pro-blogger things like begging you to leave me comments, or updating my blog more than once every three months, to try and generate some real buzz over here. There are some other tricks I've picked up too. Real pro moves, like commenting on everyone else's blog with things like "Ohmygosh this is the cutest picture of Shalea I have ever seen and it reminds of my post about butt snores here look!" or promising exciting gear giveaways like how I am trying to get rid of my old retainer. Or maybe some worthless WyPoints.

My mood: sun's out/guns out
Listening to: The Shins

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Clock Watching!!

Working on our sleep form

   Wyatt was - for the first time - extremely interested in the analog clock on our wall. He stands up on the couch, points to it, and asks about each number. My parenting instincts sprung to life and I seized the moment.

   He asks "What does this number do?" It's the one-two. I mean the twelve. I say "Eat lunch." He goes around the rest of the numbers.

1: Play outside
2: Play outside
3: Do a craft
4: Eat a snack
5: Play outside
6: Dinner
7: Play Inside


Now, obviously I was lying. It should really go like this:

1: Watch TV
2: Watch TV
3: Play on my iPad
4: Watch dad watch TV and play on his iPad
5: Think about doing a craft but play video games instead
6: Argue about how many bites of dinner to eat
7: Do push-ups (hundreds)
8: Go to bed

   But my dishonesty isn't the point here. The point is that WYATT GOES TO BED AT 8:00 NOW. That first night, when the hand pointed to eight, I said "Look, Wy! The clock points to eight! What does that mean?!" He thought, smiled, and yelled "Time for bed!!" Then he hopped in bed and we read 5 books. Since then, when the clock points to 8, we hop in bed. That simple.

   This is probably the greatest moment in parenting history, slightly above the invention of Netflix.

   He's gotten a little bit creative with his time-telling, actually. A couple days ago, he looked at the clock and said "It's 2:00 6:00!" (reading both hands) "Clock says CHICKEN NUGGETS." HE said this last part with a very grave, stern face. It was chicken-nugget-o'clock. The clock had spoken. So in a couple hours I turned off my Playstation and made chicken nuggets for the both of us.

   Last year, there were times Wyatt was going to bed at 1:00am. This is not the same as 8:00pm, for those of you doing the math. It helps that the little man rarely naps anymore, and that he trusts the sun cycle ("Go sleep when it's dark, that way sun comes up! Right dad?!") It also helps that at 7:40, both of the hands are really pointing at the eight, so I can say bargain that it's bed time, but I'll give him one more show to watch a few more minutes to write his letters which he can totally do.

My mood: super relieved and proud and also I'm the best
Wyatt's mood: much happier
Lincoln's mood: content
Cara's mood: tired
Listening to: Kanye