Wednesday, December 30, 2015

First Step!!

Well, I've stepped on my first baby.

(Don't worry, it wasn't one of mine)

Here's Wyatt, pining for some of his mom's attention. She's just happy to have some cuddles. Also, that couch is beautiful.

   Don't act so shocked, nor surprised. I know that all of you faithful readers really look up to me, thinking of me as the greatest father and person of the day. I am, probably, but the CDC estimates that 73% of people will step on at least one baby in their lifetime. The fact that it took me so long is a testament to my grace and concentration.

   So we're at Cara's parents house for Thanksgiving. I am running my traditional play (you know the one, say some hellos, eat some snacks, go to the spare room to watch tv/play ipad/nap for the next 6 hours. As I am walking in there are sleeping pads all over the floor. Not uncommon, people sleep on those floors a lot during the holidays. Usually me, really. I take a step, feel an odd softness/hard lump, and hear the baby start crying.

   I do what anyone would do: tell the baby to quiet down, throw the blanket over its head, and hope it fades. It doesn't. I check it to see if it's dying. It isn't. I decide to go tell an adult. I find dad and say "... um Baby's crying."

   Dad says "Yeah? She just went down. Everything okay?"

   "I think she got stepped on."

   *startled* "Really?"

   "Yeah. By me. I think I stepped on her. I did, actually. Yeah, it was me that stepped on her and that's why she's crying. She's under a blanket because I put her under it so you wouldn't hear the crying." (A few other people in the house rudely start eavesdropping and ruderly start judging. Him.

   We go, grab the baby (who is totally fine, just a little sweaty in the face), and he says "Mom shouldn't have put her right in front of the door." (She really was, though next to a bed. Horrible parenting.)

   Now, here's the good news: The above story is true, and happened about 4 years ago. Baby has grown up just fine, apart from that big bend in her leg that we think comes from wearing shoes on the wrong feet a couple times.

Something really cute and happy must be happening right now.

   Bad news: I stepped on my second baby yesterday. Mine.

   Now, Nielsen Ratings estimate that 93% of people step on at least two babies during their lifetimes. So if it hasn't happened to you yet, it will. Also, protip: If your made up stats don't end in 0, 5, or 2, they are much more believable.

   We were again at Cara's parents house. I was again playing games on my ipad, and was told Link needed a new diaper. I don't know why Cara didn't just change it herself, she was just watching a lifetime movie. Yeah, we get it, they had a kind of hard past and you're going to spend two hours showing them that they love each other. They'll probably buy a cute ornament FROM HALLMARK.

   Anyways, Link's on the floor. I see him, get up to grab him, and am still playing my game. I trip on a ski boot, but with my remarkable core strength and balance, I power through and keep walking, all while still pwning some noob. Well, Link moved mid-step and snuck into the path of my trip-step. My foot ended up right on the base of his neck at the spine.

   Remember!! Core strength!! I put very little weight on him, stepped off immediately, beat the game, then took care of him. All's good.

   I get that you read the title of this blog and probably thought I was going to talk about Link's excursions into the world of walking. It turns out he has no interest whatsoever in walking. He's been able to stand - on his own with no assistance - for months. He has great balance and stability, but realizes he can crawl way faster than walk. We've seen him take one-and-a-half steps several times, but then he calmly gets on the ground and crawls.

   It's funny, because Wyatt started walking just before 10 months, which makes him the earliest walker in recorded history despite all of you telling me that your nephew started earlier. But Link is too concerned with eating everything in sight and improving his bite location to really be concerned with bipedal movement.

My mood: ashamed
Wyatt's mood: alphabet
Lincoln's mood: Wants nothing more than to put his hands in the toilet
Cara's mood: 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Happy Birthday Lincoln!!

   Lincoln has made one whole trip around the sun. Seen all of its sides, knows what to expect. He turned one year old!!

One!! We decided to go with a Mike Tyson themed party because Lincoln has become a bit of a biter, with his 4 razor-sharp teeth. Actually, he only really bites if he thinks you are food, or if his brother has been laying on his back too long. Hasthagchampionshipbelt. Also, really well groomed.
   We had a big party for him. All of our friends and family and most of the important/beautiful people in town came. (Sorry you didn't get invited. Now you know you are none of the above things.)

Wyatt asked "Can we open presents now?!" no less than 68 times. We said yes four of those times.

Lincoln opening presents with all of his decapitated family.
   We bought 24 cinnabons for this shindig. Not the lame "minibons" either but the real deal. Our guests ate 7. Total. I ate 7. In 40 hours. It shortened my life span by roughly 8 months. Like, when I am dying, I'll think "was it worth those seven cinnabons? I could live until almost next year if I hadn't done that." We'll have to see. There's a chance my life is pretty lame at that point anyways. There's also a chance I'll lose another several months to cinnabon binges between now and then.

Uncle Garrett. I can't remember if this was during the party or four hours after. I also can't remember if all those plates were his or just three of them. What's he thinking about, anyways? Murder? A frustrating conversation? Lost?

Mom thought this was cute. Cute that we got him drunk and took a picture, I mean.

We had a friend give us a big inflatable bouncy house. It had no less then 15 holes. It turned into a great air-mattress that turns into a decent floor over time. Here's Wyatt all puckered out. (We were going to use it as a boxing ring, because, yknow, Mike Tyson themed, but we had to cut off all of the house-stuff because of all the holes. THANKS FRIENDS, for the holy bouncy house for free.

   No one was more excited about this than Wyatt, who loves Link so much it's stupid. You remember Wyatt's first birthday. We got him a candle and threw a huge Legend of Zelda party and I filmed while Cara burned his fingers.

   This time around, we decided I'd manage the sugar and Cara'd do the filming. I'd love to show it to you, but Cara actually didn't film it. Like, I was writing this blog post and she said "You know I don't have any video, right?" I'm pretty sure she took a couple selfies instead.

   So, when I record, she burns the kid, but we get it on film. When she records, everything goes great, but we don't get it on film. When I record AND do everything, it'll be the Lincoln's second birthday and she'll be in the corner. Where she belongs. For hours.

   Lincoln is way more fun at one year than he was at one month. Laughing all the time, always happy unless he's hungry, which he always is, following his brother around and pulling mom's hair. Can't wait for more birthdays with this guy. Any maybe without Cara.

My mood: sugar-high
Wyatt's mood: unsure how to handle the fact that Lincoln has his own toys now.
Lincoln's mood: unsure how to handle any of his own toys.
Cara's mood: blaming everything on the camera. "It was set to night-time!!"
Listening to: Christmas music.

Friday, December 4, 2015

The L-Word

Behold, and weep!! Witness before you the image of the world's perfect family!! Tremble at the awe you feel and the insecurity growing in your stomach over the inadequacies of your family!! Ignore the fact that Lincoln is actually crying and the only reason Wyatt is smiling is because I am tickling him!!(more thanks to Kaela May )
   We've done a lot of things right as parents. You can tell this is true by our perfect picture above. One of the best parent choices we've made is to name the second special kid something that starts with "L." Right up there with our choice to double-down on that bacon sale last month. Hearing Wyatt say "Baby Winkin" for the past 11 months has been nothing short of glorious.

   Sadly, it's past time that we start working on how clearly Wyatt talks. Lots of his friends were getting frustrated with him, not knowing what he was saying. (I kept trying to convince them that what he was saying wasn't actually that interesting, but they wouldn't listen. Little brats.) He struggles with his L's, Th's, and long division. I spent most of the summer saying "luh-luh-luh-luh-Lincoln," and showing Wy how I put my tongue on the top of my mouth. He would practice, starting with Wuh-wuh-wuh-wuh-Winkin." This quickly turned in to "Luh-luh-luh-luh-Winkin," which was a step in the right direction, but there wasn't any real improvement. Even words like "like," "love," "left", "three," "the," and "mom" are still said as "wike," "wove," "weft," "free," "da," and "the worst."

   It was a bit discouraging to work at these phonetics for so long and not see any real change. I was getting a little nervous, actually. Then, all of a sudden, one day Wyatt said "Llllincoln's poopy!!" I didn't notice at first, but Wyatt said the "L" very deliberately. I also didn't really notice that Lincoln was poopy, because I was busy recording my mixtape. But a little later, it was "Hey dad! Llllincoln lllikes this!" while dragging Link across the kitchen by his ankles.

There it was. Two deliberate, accomplished L-words in a row. We made it.

Wyatt teaching Winkin how to pick wocks at dad's work.

   It's pretty great to hear him try to say all L-words with that deliberate effort. But there is one word we haven't changed, and hopefully never do: "littlest."

   He has said "Yitterest" the whole time. Like, "Dad, Winkin is the yitterest baby!" or "Dad, how come you're muscles are the yitterest?!" or "Mom, you are home the yitterest and should have lots of guilt about that!!" It's amazing how articulate and cutting he can be. "Yitterest" is the best thing in our lives right now. Besides the X-Files, obviously.

   So, we're torn with helping him learn and grow as an almost-teenager (only 9 years away!), while trying to keep him cute and cuddly and also trying to get him to do the dishes. It's a tough balance, but as always, I'll handle it perfectly.

My mood: Sad that Wy is growin up
Wy's mood: He's not tired, but sleepy. He made this very clear to me as he crawled in bed for a nap.
Lincoln's mood: 3 teeth to cut!! We're all miserable!!
Cara's mood: Off to work.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Keys of Parenting!!

   Guys, Wyatt is so cute!! Lately he's been hiding things and it's adorable and in no way disruptive. For example, I wasn't able to find my wallet for like two weeks. It turns out it was behind the shredder. Under a desk. Against a wall. Case solved!

This picture pretty much sums up our interactions lately. Thanks to Kaela Mey Photography.
   One day our remote was dead. I set it on the couch, figuring I'd change out the batteries once I found the strength to get up and walk over to the closet that might have the batteries. The next day, I noticed the remote wasn't in the living room at all. I asked Wyatt where the remote was. He said "I put it away because it doesn't work." I ask where he put it. He does something he does all the time: Put a finger on his chin, look off into the distance, and say "Hmmm, let me think," like he's young Sherlock Holmes or something. Don't get me wrong, he's smart enough to be Sherlock, just like his dad, but this is just a role he likes to play. He says, a few moments later "Oh! I know! It's under the couch!" He goes under the couch and grabs the remote, where it was safely stored because it was broken. "Here you go! I put it under the couch."

   He's the best.

   Well, it's been about 4 weeks, and I have no idea where my keys are. Like, none. I have torn the house to shreds, checked every drawer, box, cabinet, corner, and under every bed. I know they are in the house somewhere. Remember how bad Wyatt is at hide and seek? He's really good at Hide The Keys. Almost every day, I ask Wyatt if he knows where my keys are.
   Yesterday, when I inquired as to the location of my keys, he exclaims "I know!!" (I get excited). "Let me check my map!" (I groan). He grabs my hand and excitedly runs to the map of Africa in his room. Well, South Africa. Not the country, just, like, a map of not-all-of-Africa. It's the weirdest map. We got it for super cheap at an Oregon State University warehouse sale, when Cara was on a "let's decorate our house with maps of very specific geographical regions that we've never been to" kick. He runs to the map, points to a few places, and says "Here it is!" (Mopepi, Botswana). "Let's go there dad!" We then run to the Mopepi part of the house. It's not there.

This map of Central/Southern Africa hangs above Wyatt's bed. Crookedly, apparently. We're preparing him for that big geography test on the region that he'll take some day, hopefully.

    He says "Oh I need my finder machine." He runs to his DUPLOs and builds a finder machine. It is a bunch of bricks with a window on top, I think supposed to be like a magnifying glass. He says "This will help us find it! (Lincoln is totally enthralled and following us everywhere). "Finding machine says letter "e," Gad!" (He still calls me "Gad" and this will last forever).

Finder Machine 3.0

   If you're struggling to keep up, he built a finder machine that spits out letters. He built a weejee board. Because that's how you spell that.

   He asks "What's "e" start with?!" This is how he asks "What words start with the letter "e?"" I do a good job of parenting and say "KEYS." "Kuh-EEEEEEES." He says "Oh we need Yittle Red Car!" Little Red Car is his favorite car this hour. He grabs Little Red Car. It may or may not be a blue car. Little Red Car drives along the couch and does a few flips. I ask him where my keys are. He says "Wait dad, Yittle Red Car is still doing tricks."

   When the pretty-awesome tricks are done, I ask where my keys are. He decides we need help from "The Pups." The pups are his imaginary puppies that run everything in this household. I have to open the trunk when we hop in the car so they have space. Sometimes, one of them sits on my lap when we drive. Often, they need to be fed or rescued or are tired or are not tired or do something funny.
   The pups are no help. Keys are not found. Spare Keys are starting to become Only Keys.

Here's a picture of Lincoln in his Halloween costume. He was a dragon, Wyatt was a knight. Who didn't want to wear armor or have a shield or a helmet. Wyatt was a kid with a sword. Who had his mom hold the sword. Wyatt was a kid who got candy.

Although, from this angle, it sort of looks like Sarah from the purple dinosaur show. That was her name, right, Sarah? No I will not google this,

   The other day, Cara jokes and says "I am going to change the locks on the house while you are at work." I said "Actually, all you have to do is just lock the doors right now. I don't have any keys. You could even come home, walk past me on the porch, unlock the door, go inside, and lock the door. No need to waste our money on new locks." She considered this at length.

My mood: So very irritated (while waiting for Cara to come home and let me in)
Wyatt's mood: Excited about everything
Lincoln: Thinking hard about taking a step.
Cara's mood: Thinking hard about upgrading at husband.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Wedding Photos!! Sort of!!

   We've not had a picture dump here at MKIS for a while. There's actually a tragic backstory to this. Uncle Garrett got married to Aunt Faith back in July. Don't worry, they weren't related before the wedding. Of course, ring-bearer Wyatt had an absurd amount of adorable photos. Some taken by the wedding photographer, but lots by Cara and I. 

   Sadly, towards the end of the big day, the SD card in our camera became corrupted. All the photos were lost. And, I mean, look at what you are missing out on, world:

This was actually the "You may now kiss the bride" part of the wedding. Wyatt thought he should insert himself now or forever hold his peace.

Look at how happy they are. Too bad it can't last.

Look at how happy we are!! It'll last forever!!
   These pictures were taken by our friend Kaela, over at Kaela Mey Photography. She was the Wyatt photographer. I mean, wedding photographer. We, however, are pretty devastated by the lost pictures from that SD card. I won't go on and on about it, but know that there was good stuff in there. Here are some second rate pictures, that were not lost:

This is Lincoln's first time wearing a helmet!! And first bike ride!!

This photo is titled "About to sunburn."

Is he cross-eyed? 

This was before he consumed seven leaves.

Wyatt is firmly entrenched in the "trying to smile but actually just baring teeth" stage.

Whereas Link is stuck in the "What does this taste like? Oh. Steel" stage.

It took like 600 pictures to get a good one.

Link, however, only needs one shot to bust a move like this.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Musical Talents!!

   Wow, people. We did not see this coming. It turns out that my sons might be musically inclined.

   You've seen Wyatt dance. Should I just post that video again? No, I'll link to it here instead, but anyways, rhythm and coordination and magnificent physical gifts is something Cara and I expect out of our offspring. I mean, come on...

   But singing?! And playing music? And rhythm and coordination?! No.

   Wyatt has taken up the piano. By "piano" I really mean the toy piano that sounds like a tin can underwater. He plays one song and only one song: The X-Files theme. Remember it? Doo doo doo doo DOO doo. That one. He calls it Boulder's Song, because, yknow, Mulder. (He also tells mom she's like Scully when she does something well, and asks "Can we watch Boulder and Scully?" Because parenting.)

   Cara and I also throw little dance parties pretty often. We'll turn off the lights, play some bumpin' tunes, and dance around Lincoln. He gets super curious and has a big grin. All of the above information has lead to him doing a little jig when he hears that X-Files theme:

Here's Wyatt trying to play the horrible piano-toy thing:

   Let me go back a step. There's no reason my kids should have such clear and wonderful musical talents. Sure, Cara loves to sing and make up songs. By this I mean, she sings and makes up songs only around when I am around and they are the most formulaic, predictable songs you can imagine. Let me sing some for you:

   "Hey Lincoln, Ho Lincoln, Where'd you get those rolls, Lincoln?" (this is her favorite lately)

   "If your name is Lincoln put your hands in the air, put your hands in the air if your name is Lincoln."

   "If your name is Lincoln then your name is Lincoln, yeah your name is Lincoln." (seriously)

   "Daddies put your hands in the ai-air!! Daddies put your hands in the ai-air!!"

   She has a particular formula that goes like this: "Noun-Verber, Verbing the Nouns!!" Here's what I mean. I'll say something like "I'm going to go mow the lawn." She immediately sings "Lawn mower, mowing the la-awns!!"

   "Wyatt just ran down the hall." "Hall Runner, running the ha-alls!! (It always has that pause in the last word. I mean, wor-ord.)

   "I need you to make dinner." "Dinner maker, making the di-nner!!" "What?! No! That wasn't even the right noun-verb format!!"""Verb format, formatting the ver-erbs!!"

   This happens anytime in the car, as well. Sometimes she just sings all the signs to me. (Was that a hard sentence to read, "sings the signs"?) "Crosswalker, walking the crosses!!" "Speed Limit, limiting spee-eeds!!"

   You get the idea. She was really the inspiration for TSwizzle's "Shake it Off" where the hater's gonna hate-hate-hate-hate-hate and the verbers gonna verb-verb-verb-verb-verb. Sometimes, Cara will pause and say "Do you think I have a chance to make it in Hollywood?" I say something about one in a million and she says something about me saying there's a chance and I'm stuck with this for the rest of my life but anyways. The point is Wy and Link are getting no musical talent from the Maternal Side.

   (Sorry, that kind of got away from me for a while there. Here's another picture of cute kiddos.)

I know you can't see their cute little faces, but it made me real happy to see the play at the work bench like this,

   From the paternal side, there's not much either. As a kid my parents had me in piano lessons for a while and guitar lessons for a few hours, but I wasn't interested in practicing anything that didn't involve a Pikachu, so I have no instrumental talent. And in terms of singing, my voice is described at worst as "passable" and at best as "stupidly glorious," but we can't evaluate Wyatt's singing yet. The songs he sings are primarily the two theme songs to Strawberry Shortcake. One of them he sings like this: "Strawberry Shortcake come," to the tune of that church song "Come Lord Jesus, Come." It's cute and sacreligious all at once. Also, theme songs.

My mood: glad to be back
Wy's mood: watching the pups
Link's mood: Standing and thinking of walking!!
Cara's mood: more x-files.
Listening to: theme songs,

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 work 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