Monday, December 11, 2006

My 4 1/2 year-old's favorite things

Sports Teams:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Houston Oilers
NJ Devils
Rutgers University Scarlet Knights
NJ Nets
Music -
Arctic Monkeys
the Damned
the Clash
Monster Magnet
Rock (punk, stoner, classic)
Drum and Bass (which he calls "crazy music")
Mac & Cheese
Peanut Butter & Jelly
Tater Tots
TV Shows:
Curious George
Peanuts / Charlie Brown
SpongeBob Square Pants
Wonder Pets
The Flash
Power Rangers

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Kindergarten applications?

My oldest son will be going to kindergarten next year, and in our town we have a magnet school system so WE HAVE TO APPLY TO SEND OUR SON TO KINDERGARTEN!!! Seems a bit much to me. There are six schools to pick from all with different specialties or slants on education (one is next to the local University and uses the Univ. resources, college students as teaching assistants, and has courses designed by Univ. professors, another is a Montessari school, a gifted and talented school, a school of global studies, another is focusing on family and environmental studies, and lastly a science and technology school).

One of my many problems with this set up is how can we judge our 4 year olds learning style after one semester of full time preschool? Ever try asking a preschooler what their favorite things about school are, "Besides playtime, yes not including imagination station, your favorite things besides playing, no mac n' cheese is your favorite food not a subject at school ..."

My main concern in choosing a school is at this young age do I pick what he likes, what I like, what will prepare him for the world or what will prepare him for 6th grade? Some schools seem to have a non-competitive vibe "cooperation and collaboration, not competition, are emphasized," which is really great, but will that be preparing him to be crushed in an extremely competitive capitalist society, plus he'll be getting enough commie indoctrination at home, just like he'll be exposed to the arts at home, should he be going to the science and technology school?

It comes down to this, should we be choosing a school that reinforces our values and interests of being open minded, creative and socially conscious, or one that teaches him things that he won't be getting at home? I don't have a fucking clue ...

We're just coming out of two weeks of 104.5 fevers and missing Thanksgiving at all three grandparents homes, no more than three hours of straight sleep due to being awoken because of our congestion, runny noses and sore throats, and in the 22 month old's case, being miserable and not having the vocabulary to express how shitty you feel.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mothering show questionnaire

A friend put me in touch with a mothering show that's on cable I think called Surviving Motherhood, if they can get some other stay at home dad's they may devote an episode to our plight. If you live in the North East and are a stay at home dad who would be interested in being interviewed for TV contact me and I'll pass your information along. Below are some of the questions from the show's application:

1. Do you work? If so, list occupation and hours: No
2. If applicable, partner's age: 38
3. Interest/hobbies:
Music, Internet radio, politics, sports; I use to be into movies and wine but that's pretty much died off after having kids.
4. Would you (along with your children) be willing to spend portions of 3-4 days participating in a women's discussion group?
Yes for a stay at home dad's group, so long as it doesn't interfere with my four year-old's school.
5. What are the major challenges currently facing you as a mother/parent? (list and explain): House work, cleaning up after the kids, the whole homemaker part of being a stay at home parent just isn't apart of my dna; Personal time, I mistakenly thought that being home with the kids would allow me to work on my music and writing, it is also hard to find time to exercise and meditate; Time alone with partner, if the kids don't get to sleep on time there's no time for us to be alone, and even when they do get to bed on time, we only have an hour or so; Working on my career, spending so much time being a caregiver and support system to my wife and two children I have little energy left to look into grad schools and plan for my life after both boys are in school full-time.
6. Describe your last desperate moment(s) as a mother/parent:
We were down the shore on the boardwalk and my oldest had to go to the bathroom, he's only recently become fully potty trained, and I had no idea where the nearest public bathroom was, and was given not so great directions to the restroom, so I carried my son to a pier in hopes of letting him relieve himself into the ocean, but of course the pier which was empty an hour earlier had about 20 people on it, so when he couldn't hold it any more, I took him over to the side, held him so no one would notice and told him it was okay and that it wasn't his fault, but all of us grown ups because none of us asked if he had to go earlier, nor did we find out in advance where the bathrooms were.
7. Do you belong to any parenting groups? If so, please list. No
8. Have you ever, even for a fleeting moment, regretted becoming a mother? Why or why not? Yes, the lack of free time, having gone from someone who had time to travel, work on art, be physically fit and meditate and with a disposable income living in the city, to being semi-broke, tired most of the time and living in the suburbs has been hard to deal with at sometimes.
9. What would you like to discuss with other moms?
Not sure, how they balance their time.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The International Conspiracy to Make Me Late

I’ll start with last night, though this has been going on for a while, at my 4 year-old’s suggestion we ordered Chinese, and everyone is enjoying their food, we usually eat in our dinning room, which is really like 1/6 of our great room/ living room. I was making my own peanut sauce because I don't really like Chinese, so I got my fried tofu & broccoli sans sauce, so my wife was in charge of feeding the kids, now my 21 month old can feed himself, but he’s not proficient with utensils yet and mostly uses his hands, which is cool for finger sandwiches, chicken fingers and cookies but not the neatest way for him to eat vegetable fried rice, but my wife insists on letting him feed himself so about 50% of the food misses his mouth, 25% on his lap, 25% on the floor. I tell her to remember that if she’s going to let him feed himself that she’s responsible for cleaning up after him, and next time to feed him in the kitchen rather than the dinning room because no one wants food tracked all in the living room, in theory she has no problem with this, cool.
My four-year-old finishes his dessert, asks to be excused from the table, and goes to the bathroom to wash his hands, all good, but on the way he knocks the tray off of his booster seat adding a handful of brownie crumbs to the ¼ pint of vegetable fried rice his brother put on the floor, great game 7 of the Mets pennant series is already underway, no problem I can watch the game while I’m cleaning up the food off of the floor and my wife can take the kids upstairs and start getting them ready for bed, I’ll even help her out since I’m already on the floor and clean up the toddler’s mess. But then the four year old gags as he’s having a cup of milk and yaks up his beef stick & brownie in the hallway and then in the kitchen, great now I’ve got a good 20 minutes of cleaning to do, which usurps the time I was planning to spend putting away laundry, which means extra time trying to pick out his outfit for school tomorrow, so I tell my wife to take the kids and I’ll take care of the floors (this just made me remember that I have my sons puke spittle covered slippers in the washing machine waiting to be washed).
So I wipe all that shit up, mop the floors and thank god that we don’t have wall-to-wall carpeting.
I hear my big boy crying about something upstairs and my wife calls me up, he’s saying he wishes he could go back in time to a day a few months ago when he turned down an offer to go to Target with me saying, “You don’t need me to keep you company, you’re not going to be alone you’ve got your bones and muscles to keep you company.”
Wow, kind of a creative way of saying keep your own damn self company, I didn’t mind that he didn’t want to go shopping and that he wanted to stay home and hang out with his mom (shopping solo is way easier than with a kid in toe), but I explained to him that that wasn’t the nicest way to turn down an offer to do something.
So now months later he wishes he had gone and is sorry that he hurt my feelings, my wife and I both tell him it’s totally okay, you just have to realize that when you make a decision to do one thing it often means rejecting another thing, so make your decisions carefully. This does not make him feel any better, I think this was triggered by his realization that now that he’s in school full-time I do many things with little brother and without him, like a recent trips to Target and Costco. He basically wants me to come upstairs to and get into bed with him and my wife, which means leaving cleaning up the dinner dishes until some mystical time in the future, which means I’ll probably be doing them sometime tomorrow which means I may not have the bottles and containers I need to pack his lunch the next morning, which means I’ll have to hand wash them, which means I’ll be late getting him to school again, which means I’ll be batting 1000% for lateness this week, but he’s upset so I get into bed with them until he falls asleep and it makes him really happy.
I leave my wife and son asleep in bed and move the 21 month old in his crib, go downstairs to watch the second half of the game and clean up. The game is totally stressful and tight at 1 to 1 all game and the baby wakes up crying so I go get him and let him fall back asleep on my lap, so I’m not cleaning up during the commercials as I planned but honestly I probably wouldn’t have been done so anyway.
So of course being part of the international conspiracy to make me late the Mets can’t just loose in quick fashion but hold on until the 9th inning to give up a two run homerun, which I didn’t actually see because I could see the writing on the wall and nervously kept turning the channel when it looked like a Cardinal was in good position to get a hit. (In my channel surfing I saw part of a porno documentary on HBO where they interviewed some couple that started off as Christian Missionaries in the outer islands of Alaska, then moved to LA and wound up getting mixed up in the porno business, which they now have been doing for 25 years, talk about going from one end of the spectrum to the other, I have cognitive dissonance from going from someone who was barely employed and got high everyday, multiple time a day to an corporate employed urban hipster to a painfully sober suburban stay at home dad, I guess there’s always someone who’s done more and stretched themselves more than you have.)
So the Mets loose, I’m bummed I get to bed after midnight which means I’m getting like 5 ½ hours sleep again for about the 12th night in a row.
Baby wakes up at like 5:45 AM, I change his diaper, change his clothes because his diaper leaked through, put on a Bear and the Big Blue House video and get back into bed, not going back to sleep though.
Moving forward to 7:30 AM I make the kids bottles, my wife leaves for work, I bring them downstairs for breakfast, the baby’s highchair is still covered with food, my wife never cleaned it up and it’s raining outside so there’s no easy way to clean it up (I will often just take the chair outside and turn it upside down to get the food off), so I have to waist time picking sticky rice of chair and out of its crevasses, making us later.
I’ve taken to telling my preschooler to go potty rather than letting him wait until the last minute as he often does. So I already had him go but he didn’t poop, so I know that’s on the horizon.
One thing you don’t realize while the little ones are in diapers is that once you get them potty trained you still have a bunch of work to do because they don’t wipe themselves very well, they forget to wash their hands, or spend 20 minutes washing their hands, so basically you still have to monitor what they are doing when they go to the bathroom, so you save money, the yuckiness of changing diapers, and diaper rash but don’t really save time, plus when you are in public sometimes you wish they had a diaper on when you have to find the public restroom in a crowded store with a jumping and screaming kid who doesn’t want to have an accident.
Now back to the conspiracy to make me late, my big boy has taken to lying about having gone poop because he doesn’t want to take the time to wipe up afterwards. So we’re already about 20 minutes behind schedule and he has to go to the bathroom again, I’m shoveling food into his little brother, he goes, washes up and comes out, I ask what did you do, poop, pee-pee, both? He doesn’t answer, did you poop, he runs back to the bathroom, so he didn’t lie, but he didn’t wipe. A few minutes later he says he’s done wiping, we go up stairs to get dressed, I say let me check to see if you need to wipe anymore and he’s like, “NOOOO! You’re going to find more poop!” which I do, so basically we’ve got a serious not wiping his ass problem going on here which means I have to give us an extra half an hour in the morning to make sure I can monitor him in the bathroom, but since we’re always late already I’m not sure how I’m going to do that, actually I am, I need to go to bed at 10 PM rather than 1 AM and have even less of a life than I already do.
The toddler has added unzipping his jacket to his repertoire of stalling tactics, which may not seem like a big deal, but when you’re already loosing your mind, 10 minutes late, one second you have your two wards already to leave standing next to you having just put on their jackets and shoes and setting the house alarm and the next the one’s running away from you with his jacket off the alarm is beeping and you didn’t know he knew how to use a zipper, and you don’t know where the jacket is and it’s raining outside, trust me it’s annoying.
At least it’s not like the yesterday right before we were ready to leave when the toddler flipped himself off of my bed backwards hitting the back of his head on a night stand, or the day before when we were leaving to pick up his brother from school and I noticed the toddler laying on the living room rug face down, I tie my shoe and look again he coming towards me covered in vomit, and has somehow in 30 seconds managed to cover a 1 by 4 foot area of the rug in white curd like puke which I didn’t have time to clean up right away because we were of course already running late to pick up his brother and the school fines you for picking up your kids late. Mmm extra time for the rug to absorb the pleasant sour milk scent, just wonderful …

Monday, October 16, 2006

From my other blog

I've hinted about some skin issues so here's what happened, about 16 days ago I thought I had some bug bites on the back of my leg that itched like hell, no big deal, spray some shit on it, wipe them with alcohol and call it a day. Then I got this big assed cigar shaped hot itchy welt behind my left knee, irritation behind my right knee, and things that looked like zits on both of my arms and neck. I'm like one more day and if it doesn't start to get better I'll go to the doctor, forgetting that my doctor is out of his office on Fridays, so I have to find a "Immedicenter."
They check me out and are about to prescribe some medicine then check me out under the fungus light, a black light contraption that illuminates fungus, and as I mentioned at the time I had fungus on the back of one knee, so they so all you need a steroid cream to rub on the one spot, don't worry about the other "bites or what ever they are."

Five or Six days of aches and pains, lesions spreading all over my body that start off looking like zits, then like herpes, made me question the Immedicenters prognosis, so like every other sucker with an internet connection I decided it was time to diagnose myself.
Shingles, that's it, it's in the chicken pox/herpes family, and my shit looks like the examples pictured. Sometime well past midnight on the lou I notice that all of the sores on my arm are weeping clear liquid at the exact same time, it was really trippy, that and now my mother in law is worried that she can't go to California to see her daughter who is trying to get pregnant because she can't be exposed to Shingles, aagh fuck I've got to get to my real doctor.

I'm like I've got Shingles, they're like no you don't, doc comes in, have you been outside of the country, no I've barely been outside of Montclair, well looks like SCABIES to me, though many of you knew me in my grunge years you may not have know that they were a reaction to my being anal about personal hygiene and I realized that I needed to get over it or be a germ weirdo, but the idea of scabies, what am I fucking homeless, or a stowaway on boat full of imported rat hair? The doctor gives the number of a dermatologist to get further diagnosed and writes me some scripts. Dude I don't have fucking scabies, I tell Julie who is not known for keeping a lid on information that under no circumstance are you to pass along information that I have scabies.

Thank god I married someone proactive, Julie got me an appointment later that day, the dermatologist explains the I had an allergies reaction to something that is responding like Posion Ivy, so he's going to aggressively treat it as if I have poison ivy, a steroid shot to the ass, 22 days of steroid pills, steroid lotion, I'm fucking huge now by the way, and fancy non itching cream which I can use as much as I want, anti itch pills to take so I can sleep, so I've been drugged up for the past few weeks, I'm still itching, but no more weeping wounds and no more spreading nastiness ...

Friday, September 15, 2006

Have you been peed on today?

I was changing my 20 month-old's diaper, and once I got through all of the dirty work he stood up and was grabbing toys off the top shelf of the changing table, so I'm holding him against my chest putting things back where they belong, trying to get a diaper on him, all the while my mind is wandering to comments I heard on sports radio the other day by a host that I don't always listen too, his show "the herd" (how appropriate) comes on in the morning between two shows I do listen to, the morning show on Newark's Jazz station WBGO and Steven A. Smith on ESPN radio, anyway this guy is dissing people who have a counter culture view of the world, people in grad school / east coast university grads / intellectuals, and stay at home dad's, (so basically he's hitting me where I live) why I don't really know, I didn't catch why he was on this diatribe, but stupidly it really pissed me off, partially because judging by other times I've heard this guy, he seemed intelligent enough to know better. So basically the past few days I've been going over this my mind, hoping to run into him some where so I could bash his fucking head open, or some other aggro fantasy, I guess it's because I hate how it's easy for these radio personalities to diss people who aren't in front of them, and how they appeal to the tyranny of the majority, "there aren't many stay at home dads, or many counter culture people listening to sports radio so I can diss them and it won't effect my ratings, or get me in trouble with my superiors."
So as I'm playing this over in my head for about the third time my son starts to urinate on me. And you know what, it just pointed out to me to focus on my own life, don't worry about the haters, closed minded people and other ignorant assholes, and lastly don't pollute my time listening or watching crap on the radio or tv. Still sucks getting peed on though.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

My Four year-old started full-time preschool yesterday, I understand kids being in daycare all day if no one can be home with them during the day, but a 6 hour school day is too long for pre-school I think, but that’s how they do it now-a-days.

Junk food, TV and the internet 'are poisoning childhood'
"A child's mental and physical growth cannot be accelerated," "It changes in biological time, not electrical speed. Childhood is not a race." "In a fast-moving, hyper-competitive culture, today's children are expected to cope with an ever-earlier start to formal schoolwork and an overly academic test-driven primary curriculum."

I think these statements hit things right on the head, and touch on what I was alluding to when commenting on six hour school days for preschoolers.

Unfortunately the more busy I am, the less I blog, which means when the shit hits the fan, I’m usually too engrossed to retell the tales on this page, I’ve jotted down a number of notes in my palm pilot that will hopefully soon make there way on to this blog.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Fear of a Giant Talking Tank Engine

Spent the weekend with my family and parents and went to Strasbourg, PA taking the kids to see a life size functioning Thomas the Tank Engine, lots of fun, tons of merchandise, my four year old was totally overloaded, my parents were like pick what ever you want us to buy you, and he had choice paralysis and had to be "forced" to pick some items. Not like we wanted to buy him stuff he didn't want, but we knew they had stuff that we couldn't get in a regular store and that he'd totally regret not getting some of the cool items they had on sale.
(They had mad Thomas stuff in Tokyo, Thomas candy, gum, cookies, chips, crackers, every kind of toys, bibs, clothes, etc. ad nauseum.)
He was pretty afraid when we told him that we were going to see a "real" Thomas, and it took him a while to warm up once we got there, he kind of freaked out when we got online to board Thomas, I basically had to threaten him with throwing out all of his Thomas toys to get him to board the train without a complete and very public meltdown. Once the train took off he was totally cool.
I was talking to him about the trip today, after he reconfirmed that he had a good time I asked him why he was scared, was it that he was going to see a "real" Thomas? He said yes, and then I thought and asked, "Did you think that Thomas was going to talk?" to which he answered yes.
So I was like now I get it, an actual talking giant train the size of a small building would be pretty fucking terrifying to anyone. "So would you want to go next to ride Thomas again?" "Yeah and to buy stuff again too!"

Monday, June 19, 2006

Bitter Pill

Coming back from vacation is always a bitter pill of sorts, particularly an urban vacation. I just got back from Tokyo two days ago, and spent most of yesterday driving through summer weekend Jersey Shore traffic to pick up my kids from their maternal grandmother's. When you come back from a tropical vacation you know that if you lived in Aruba or Grand Cayman or where ever unless they decriminalized drugs and you were sitting on 2 mil in pension you'd probably wind up bored out of your mind, doing some kind of service industry job, because that's what people do in those places.
An urban vacation for me is like a time machine to eight years ago when I had spending money and wasn't thinking about kids or how we're going figure out a way to flip our current house to get a bigger one in the same town we live in without much additional income, again life's temporarily about seeing cool shit, eating good food, sex, getting loaded and for me of course CD shopping in a city that much of world finds interesting.
Then back to the future it's 11:20 PM I've some how watched 2 hours of stupid TV because I'm afraid of waking up the two children that are sleeping on my lap, the younger of which is making me pay for being away for two weeks by screaming every time I'm out his site for three seconds, or if I'm not carrying him. The cookie I gave the older one that I was amazed he ate so quickly before he fell asleep has actually not been eaten at all but is crushed underneath him and ground into our velvet couch, and the handy vacuum has been full for two months so I can't use that, so I have to shake the cushion off out back, where there's a congregation of about 3o to 40 bugs hovering around waiting to rush into what they think is my cool air-conditioned home, but they're wrong because the guy who installed our new furnace last fall never hooked up any of the cooling system, which the repair man who came by today said was not the norm (the repair man had his forearms pierced with two large barbells in each arm, I've never seen that before), my house has been hot as fucking Hades, so I turn off the kitchen lights open the back sliders, stick the cushion out and start dusting it off, but wait I forgot about the motion trigger security light out back, so it's a mad dash back in whilst fending off bugs, which after going to so many Buddhist temples in Kamakura I'm trying not to kill so many bugs as I use to. Then I realize that that stomach ache that has reached back to my spin is actually hunger, so I heat up the bocca burger I was planning to eat three and a half hours ago for a third time, and currently I realize that that was 40 minutes ago, so I think I'll need to move on to a new burger or other food.

My wife is still in Tokyo on business for a few more days, so alone I'm getting to shoulder all of our children's insecurities from not seeing their parents for two weeks and imagining that being a single parent to more than one small child must really fucking suck.
Rewinding a bit, once I finally get the little one up to bed and begin to clean up, an actually good show comes on TV, that political comedian, Frank Black I think his name is, anyway I try to watch him as I clean up, and of course underneath the couch cushion there's enough crumbs and raisons to satisfy a preschooler on a two hour car ride that I have to clean up now as well. I haven't really been able to unpack, and repair man has to come back to fix the A.C.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Stay @ Home Dad hits the front page

I was interviewed about TV being used as a surrogate babysitter for children for this article in the Newark Star Ledger.

Parents refuse to pull the plug on kids' TV, study shows
For tots, electronic baby-sitters are a way of life
Thursday, May 25, 2006

Star-Ledger Staff

With an infant and a toddler at home, Stacy Theilmeier of Verona needs some help. So when she wants to take a quick shower, she turns on the television for 2 1/2-year-old Sydney. And when she wants to get 1-year-old Chloe settled in bed at night, Sydney goes off to her room to watch TV.
"I worry she watches too much TV. It's a normal kind of mom thing," said Theilmeier. "But I'm being realistic about it. I have two highly demanding
children and this frees me up to do things like showering."
The Theilmeier children's TV use is typical of American families today, according to a new study released yesterday by the Kaiser Family Foundation that found a significant number of very young children are routinely exposed to media.
Two-thirds of children 6 months to 6 years old watch some television every day, as do 40 percent of very young children (6 to 23 months). These numbers, experts say, indicate television is so much a part of family life that many parents are ignoring the American Academy of Pediatrics' advice that children ages 2 and under should not watch television at all.
"I had this sense of kids clamoring to use media and parents trying to keep their finger in the dam," said Victoria Rideout, the project's head researcher. "I found that not to be a very accurate picture in most cases."
Rideout and her colleagues conducted a similar survey three years ago that found the same high levels of TV viewing among young children. This survey looked at why and how parents and their kids watch media.

The study's results are based on telephone interviews with 1,051 parents and some focus groups. Respondents gave two main reasons why their children use media: It's educational and it serves as a baby-sitter.
At the same time, most parents (83 percent) said they try to choose age-appropriate shows. About 60 percent said they have rules about the amount of time their children can watch television.
Carlo of Montclair makes sure his sons, Giancarlo, 4, and Matteo, 16 months, watch only educational television and he tries to limit the commercials. But while he and his wife Julie(a)nne have set time limits, they tend to creep up a little higher than he'd like.
"We shoot for one hour a day, but often it's a little bit longer, if I'm making dinner," he said. Salgado estimated the boys watch one to two hours of television a day. "It's really tough. The 4-year-old is glued to the set."
The study also found that children are likely to watch more television in homes where the TV is on all or most of the time, or if they have TVs in their rooms.
High rates of TV viewing among young children have led some experts to ask the academy to alter its recommendation of "no television." A better strategy, they said, would be to create more age-appropriate, educational content.

Just weeks ago, DIRECTTV unveiled BabyFirstTV, the first cable and satellite channel to provide 24-hour programming for babies and toddlers.
At the kickoff ceremony, Edward McCabe, physician-in-chief of Mattell Children's Hospital at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a member of the channel's advisory board, echoed the argument for better programming.
But critics argue that the long-term effects of TV are not yet known.
"There's no evidence that it (TV) is educational for children under 2," said Susan Linn, a Harvard University psychologist who heads the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, which is against marketing to children.
"What research we do have points to that it can interfere with cognitive and language development and takes children away from creative play, which is the real foundation of learning," she said. The coalition is suing both Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby, the makers of music and videos to young children, for making allegedly unfounded claims that their products are educational.
"It's important parents get honest information about the potential harm or benefit to exposing kids to screen media," she said. "It's a short-term solution with long-term implications for children's behavior, health and values."
Peggy O'Crowley covers family issues. She may be reached at or (973) 392-5810.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Monkey Style

I don't know if this is the final piece of proof to sway those who don't believe in evolution, but ...
even though while eating little ones wear bibs and sit in highchairs with big assed trays they usually manage to get 2 to 5 teaspoons of food on themselves, the chair and the floor. This being the case I always have to brush them off before I let them out of their highchairs else-wise that'll be another 3 teaspoons of food on the floor (ant season is on the way too).

So I'm picking pastina off of my toddler while listening to the radio and notice that rather than putting them on a plate on napkin for the last 90 seconds I've been popping them in my mouth monkey style!
Makes me wonder if I've ever done that before without noticing it?


One thing I find endlessly cute about my toddler, and his brother when he was a toddler, is that everytime I take off his shoes he wiggles his toes without fail.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

"Daddy I know everything"

My preschooler had his third soccer class this past week, and I'm glad to say it's been going well, much better than the first time around, the first class he tried to hide behind me and refused to participate. Now he's one of the more aggro kids and most talented kids in the class, nothing too aggro though, I wouldn't put up with that, just appropriate sports aggro.

So when ever we go to the park where the soccer class is we get ice cream before we leave. Well the Ice Cream man hasn't been around so when we get home we'll walk around the block to the store to pick up some ice cream.

Anyway he got some huge prepackaged cone today, I let him eat half of it, as I was wrapping up the left over portion he asked me for a cracker to get the sweet taste out of his mouth.
I asked who taught him that, Mommy, one of his Grandmothers? He said no, I said, "Well how do you know that," to which he answered, "Daddy I know everything."
I had a nuclear stress test yesterday, the doctor administering it seemed to think I probably didn't need it, and kept asking if I told my primary care doctor that I was having chest pains, which I didn't. My doctor said I may have Mitral Valve Prolapse, and a slightly enlarged heart, neither of which is a big deal. The "Nuclear" doc said those wouldn't really warrent a nuclear stress test, which made me think (a) is my regular doctor just being thorough (b) is he just sticking it to my insurace by having me do these fancy assed expensive tests and (c) what the fuck is the nuclear component in the stress test?
The nuke doc had a little box of radioactive material on his desk, which I meant to ask about but forgot when the treadmill got cranked up because it was taking too long for my heart to get stressed.
ANYWAY I said all of that to say this, they put a bunch of "electrode" type things on my chest which my preschooler found interesting, I told him they turned me into a robot. He's into robots lately because of the movie Robots and a SpongeBob game that has robots.
So I peel a few electrodes off of me and tell my son, "I'm going to turn you into a robot," and stick them on him and he starts freaking out and crying.
I'm like what's the matter, and he starts saying, "I don't want to be a robot, I don't want to be a robot!"
I explained I was only joking and take them off of him, five minutes later he puts some back on himself and starts pretending to be a robot.


My preschooler will turn four this month, his feet don't look like baby feet anymore it's weird.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Sonic Youth and other band shirts for babies and small children:

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Last Friday night into Saturday morning from 11:30 pm to 4:30 am my toddler had the night terrors intermittently for 2 1/2 hours, thank god I don't need to sleep or anything like that.
Now I'm dealing with my first sinus infection, not pleasant, at first I could barely blow my nose and when I did, a sound akin to a creaky door shutting in a haunted house would emanate from my sinus that was audible for a radius of seven feet.

Friday, March 31, 2006

My poor baby

Another source of pain can be added to my poor preschooler's list of woes ... unfortunately my two sons have not inherited my cat-like agility but my wife's propensity for hurting herself through a deadly combination of easy startle-ability and clumsiness. My preschooler inherited her low pain threshold as well, the toddler has head made of rock and can shake off getting needles with only 5 to 10 seconds of crying.
Back to my point, I was getting the boys together so we could take advantage of the 70 degree weather and stroll them a few blocks to meet their mommy on her way back from a doctor's appointment. The almost four year old was laying on his back playing with a baby digital drum toy when I yelled, "Don't make me ask you a third time, get up so we can meet mommy."
Well I should have taken his genetic disposition for jumpiness into consideration before using my DAD VOICE as I walked in the room because he let go of the drum toy and jumped up all at once and the toy landed on his front teeth.
He is pretty dramatic so one can never be sure how hurt he actually is right after an accident happens, but I could tell this was real pain because of how quickly his crying escalated to five-alarm level. I gave him an ice pop, which I always do when he hurts him mouth, it's a lot easier than holding an ice pack on his mouth. After about five minutes he said thanks for the ice pop but it didn't work my mouth still hurts.
After meeting my wife, he had me tell her what happened (I'm like his publicist, he always telling me to tell people things that have happened to him or that he's done), she noticed that one of his front teeth is chipped. Man that sucks, he's just had such a rough frickin' week ...
Some potential good news, he passed my not very scientific hearing test with his "exploded" eardrum ear, so hopefully that is healing up nicely.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

the Hives / Overwhelmed part deux

My preschooler's ear has been filling up with dried blood the past to nights which was worrying my wife, she was afraid that it might seal up and not allow the busted ear drum "ooze" to leak out, then lead to more infection, so we got an appointment with OUR REAL DOCTOR, the one who is one of the top pediatricians in NJ. He was concerned about my son's loss of hearing and wants to see us again in a week to ten days, not the three weeks his associate suggested. He also said if the ear isn't cleared up to his satisfaction or if there are still hearing issues he'll send us to an ear specialist who'll check things out with some kind of special microscope.

We also noticed that our son had broken out with hives all over his limbs. The doctor said that was most likely from the virus that had caused him to be sick and that it was most likely brought to the surface from being exposed to heat, which made sense because I had just given him a warm bath. Unfortunately the hives became super itchy and his face got all puffy and bloated like he’s been on a month long drinking bender, my poor son has been through the ringer this past week. The doctor suggested children’s Benadryl for the hives, which at last check seems to be working.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Being a parent has been so overwhelming these past months, back through the holidays really that I've been lame about posting. I don't want to just complain and bitch and moan, but if I can't always put an entertaining spin on parenthood at least I can be real and post about the underside of parenting that you're parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents don't talk to you about because they want you to have kids.

So the illness continues, it seems like two out of five days one or both of my boys are sick, and if one of them is sick then they other one will soon be, and then I'm next, and my wife catches it about half of the time, I guess because she spends more time out of the house than I do. Being sick so much takes a toll on my psyche, I hope it doesn't do so to the kids as well. On top of that up until a couple of weeks ago for two months four out of five nights one or both of my kids diapers failed them in the night. I had to wait a month to switch my toddler to the next diaper size because we had a big assed Costco box to get through before switching up to the next bigger size.

The preschooler brings home a cough, virus or sniffle about once a week, which turns into a cold or flu about twice a month. Right now we're all ill, my preschooler threw up at school on friday and now has an infection in both of his ears. At first when we called the doctor's office they were like just give him some Motrin and deal with it, he'll get over it in a week, but then he got to the point where if he wasn't sleeping he was crying so I brought him in to see the doctor. We didn't get to see our doctor of course, which always seems to happen when you are really sick and don't have an appointment, anyway the other doctor wrote my son a prescription of Amoxicillin, which was cool because they hardly ever prescribe antibiotics anymore.
So this morning my wife notices that our son's right ear and pillow is covered in dried blood.
We call the doctor for the third day in a row now, he gets back to us and says that it's not out of the norm for a child's ear drum to burst (or as my wife kept saying "explode") and bleed.
Okay, not good but nothing to be worried about.
Later that afternoon my son is trying to talk to his maternal grandmother on the phone and he can't hear her with the phone up to his right ear ... my wife however can hear her mother through the phone, and has him switch the phone to his left ear, with which he can hear her.
Needless to say we're a little freaked out, and call the doctor's office again, now for the fourth time in three days which I'm sure they love, hours go by with no call back. Our regular pediatrician is one of the top doctors in the state and he does a really good job of letting us know what's going on with our children and what we can expect, his associate is good too, but sometimes seems bothered and is not nearly as communicative. For these reasons I wasn't totally panicked about our son's loss of hearing because, as I told my wife, I wouldn't be surprised if he just failed to mention that an ear drum "exploding" would result in a loss of hearing.
Well he gets back to us at the end of the day and states yes a ruptured eardrum would cause temporary loss of hearing for two to three weeks. WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO MENTION THAT WHEN I TOLD HIM MY SON HAD A LOW BUDGET HORROR FILM COMING OUT OF EAR, but hey it must be more fun for him to have us calling back all day and wasting both of our times.

Something about ear infections that I didn't know, they mostly come from water/mucus from inside one's head not outside, from things like blowing your nose and mucus shoots back to where your nasal passage meets you ear canal, or from brain ooze leaking into your ear canal, okay I just made up the brain ooze, but other gross internal fluid exchanges that I can't exactly remember right now.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I've been eating poorly and sleeping poorly, which results in me functioning poorly and having a much shorter fuse with my little ones than I should, so here are some tips on food (from the SF Chronicle website) and sleep (from some pamphlet i proofread for work) that will hopefully help me get my shit back together.

Top 10 Superfoods

According to "SuperFoods Lifestyle" author Dr. Steven Pratt, different varieties of apples have different phytonutrients, but they all have tons of antioxidants, including flavonoids and other polyphenols, and fiber.

Avocados have the same thing going for them that olive oil does: healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. These are the "good fats," and they appear to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Fiber, potassium, magnesium, folate and antioxidants up the ante. And Pratt cites research showing that avocado helps the body absorb more nutrients from other foods -- the tomato in the same salad, for instance.

They haven't gotten the same media buzz as blueberries, but some beans have even more health-promoting antioxidants. They also have as much cholesterol-lowering fiber as oats, and lots of lean protein. All of that is good for your heart. They also are rich in B vitamins and potassium. This category includes both dried and green beans.

Frozen do the trick as well as fresh, and they're easier to find in winter. For such tiny fruits, they deliver a huge wallop of antioxidants of many kinds, including anthocyanins and other polyphenols, and carotenoids. They also have fiber, folic acid and vitamins C and E. And they taste good with very few calories.

Dark chocolate.
The magic word here is flavonoids, the same kinds of antioxidants that make tea so potent a health brew. Research shows flavonoids have a role in helping lower blood pressure and in keeping your arteries from clogging -- both good news for your heart. Only dark chocolate does the trick, not milk or white. And the more cocoa solids the better -- look for the percentage on the label.

Vitamin C, vitamin C, vitamin C -- kiwis are loaded in this antioxidant, which also makes oranges a superfood. Kiwis rival bananas in potassium, pound for pound. And flavonoid antioxidants abound in the skin, which is edible but best if you rub the fuzzy stuff off first.

Kings o' fiber, oats also deliver protein, potassium, magnesium and other minerals, and phytonutrients, including antioxidants. Their cholesterol-lowering powers are well known, and all that fiber is also believed to help stabilize blood sugar. Oats' combination of nutrients appears to have more healthy effects than if each nutrient were consumed separately -- which seems to be true of all whole grains. And, they're inexpensive.

What doesn't spinach have? It's loaded with lutein (great for eyes) and many other carotenoids, which are healthful antioxidants; plus other antioxidants like coenzyme Q, in serious doses; plus several B vitamins plus C and E; plus iron and other minerals; plus betaine, a vitamin-like nutrient research suggests is good for your heart. And with almost no calories, you can eat as much as you want. Also good for similar reasons: kale, chard and other dark leafy greens.

All nuts have been rehabbed as good-for-you foods, for their healthy fats and micronutrients. A few go a long way, though, as they are calorie bombs. Walnuts' main claim to stardom are their omega-3 fatty acids, which fight heart disease. Other goodies: plant sterols, which lower cholesterol, and lots of antioxidants.

Nutritionist Jo Ann Hattner says if she could pick only two superfoods, they would be yogurt and tea, because their health-giving attributes have been known for centuries. Yogurt's claim to fame is live cultures, also called probiotics or beneficial bacteria. They are what turns milk into yogurt (but some commercial yogurts are heated to kill the cultures after they do their work, so be sure to read the label). In your gut, they fight bad bacteria, aid digestion, help metabolize food and generally tune your system up. Yogurt also is a good source of calcium and protein.


Sleep tips

1. avoid caffeine 5 hrs before bed time.
2. lower temp at bed time for better sleep.
3. eat meals at same time everyday, 7 days a week.
4. don't go to bed hungry, have a glass of milk or dairy or something.
5. make your sleep area dark, or wear a mask.
6. go to bed at the same time every night*

*i made this one up, it seems logical