Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Do you remember Christmas Lists?  The one time a year when you got to write down everything you wanted, knowing that getting it all was a long shot, but that's what Christmas was all about, right?  You took a shot, and you were happy if you got any of it.

In my house growing up, we did this on Thanksgiving weekend.  As we recovered from turkey and green bean casserole, we informed Santa about our most pressing needs.  Kitty's family apparently did not have such date-driven process and began their Christmas lists in August, but despite the heresy implied therein, the intent was still the same:  you had one shot, and you took it.

Changing subject a bit, in the past few weeks, Amazon.com has taken a lot of heat for their work culture.

This is nothing new for them - they've long been criticized for working people to their limits, whether it's the fulfillment centers in central Pennsylvania or their corporate offices in South Lake Union.

I don't care about any of that.

All of those "issues" have created corporate results that I embrace (as a Seattleite, they have driven my property rates up 20% in the last year, so they're AWESOME).  What I have an issue with is the pervasive cancer that is the Amazon Wishlist.

Finn's #1 priority upon returning home every day is his Amazon wishlist.  If a conversation with him does not include the word "wishlist" within 3 minutes, it means he's playing you.  I'll ask him how his day was at camp and the response will, within 7 words, come back to a new Lego set that he needs on his wishlist.

I know that I'm supposed to say that this is terrible, from a hippie, non-consumer-driven perspective, and it really is incredibly annoying if you don't enjoy the word "wishlist", given that this is now every third word that comes out of his mouth, it's also kind of awesome.

Amazon has done an amazing job at cross-merchandising - so amazing that I only need to log into the website and hand it over to Finn, before he's got 400 items in his wishlist.  Unfortunately, this now means that I need to pay much better attention to what he's actually adding.

Who would have thought we'd need parental controls on shopping?

Stupid "Adult Legos" (I'm sorry...)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Party Guy

One of the benefits of Finn's improving reading skillz is the fact that we now have someone else in the family that enjoys reading the Highlights magazines that I pathologically steal from my dentist's office.

Everyone loves the preachy morality of Goofus & Gallant (that Goofus), but I'm happy to see Finn also diving into the other articles.  Just tonight, we were reading an article about the global seed bank in the Arctic Circle.  After discussing how it would help the world replant vital crops after a natural or man-made disaster, we started talking about the kinds of crops they store.

We settled on corn as the most important, due to its versatility, its deliciousness, and because, "You can make chips out of it, and chips are really important for parties."

Any kid whose first thought at the end of the world is, "I'd better make sure I've got enough snacks for the party," is alright with me.

Party on, Finny!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Good Job

Kids these days.  All entitled, thinking that they're all special flowers and can do no wrong.  Don't want to work for nothin'.

It's the parents' fault, you know.  Coddling them.  Telling them how smart they are.  Wiping their behinds for them.

It's despicable.  I won't play that game.

Instead I make my kids tell me how awesome I am.  In fact, I'll do almost anything for Edie just to hear her tell me, "Good job, Daddy."

Seriously, anything.

"Edie!  Edie!  Watch Daddy jump up and touch the ceiling!  Did I do a good job?!?"
"Edie!  Edie!  Watch Daddy blow out his cheeks and cross his eyes!  Did I do a good job?!?!"

Don't judge.  Her pronunciation of "good job" is the most adorable thing that has ever invaded an ear-hole.  I'd punch myself in the face with a brick if I thought it would earn me a "Good job, Daddy!"

As an aside, parenting pro tip #1:  keep a plastic bucket in your yard at all times.  It will be helpful when you lock your family outside during one of your annual trips to the gym - specifically when your son announces that he needs to go #2.

Parenting pro tip #2: teach your son to be ok using a bucket for a toilet in the backyard.  Just in case.

Good job, Daddy.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Friday, May 15, 2015

Finn's Sister

There is no more polarizing figure in this house today than Finn's sister.

Let's get this straight:  Finn LOVES his sister.  He makes sure that he says good morning to her every day.  He makes sure that she gets what she needs.  He comforts her when she's crying.  Tonight when we were watching TV and she wanted to snuggle?  He stuck out his arms and cried, "Get over here!"

Obviously Kitty and I love Finn's sister as well.  How could we resist?  She knows all of the lyrics to "I Love Rock n Roll" by Joan Jett and even screams "Yeah!" at the end.  She's seriously metal.

The person who can't stand Finn's sister?  Edie.  Don't even get her started on Finn's sister.  She HATES Finn's sister.

Every morning, I'll ask, "Who's Finn's sister?" and she'll reply, "I NO LIKE FINN'S SISTER!"

Because she's two.  And speaks all in caps.

Ah well, I suppose that once you've reached 4 people + 2 cats + 300 stuffed animals + 48 princess items, there's bound to be someone folks don't like.  Statistics.  In our house, it's Finn's sister.

Hopefully someday she and Edie will get along, but until then, we'll just sing along with her as she sticks another dime in the jukebox, baby.  And then we'll try to explain what a jukebox is.

So metal.

Thursday, April 30, 2015


It would appear that we have a rhino problem.

I have no idea where it came from, only that one night a couple of weeks ago, Edie announced at dinner that there was a rhino and it was making her "freak out".

And when she said "freak out", she totally freaked out, opening her eyes up wide and throwing her hands in the air.

At first we thought that maybe we had a wino problem - she's still working on her pronunciation - and that wouldn't have been a surprise, since we were probably drinking wine right at that very moment.  But no, she clarified that it was a rhino.

This was a surprise.  We were not aware that we had a rhino, but it seemed serious.  Even more serious?  Apparently the rhino was on Tango's body.

If there's anyone that's prone to freak outs that ultimately result in bodily fluid discharge, it's Tango, so we quickly checked him for rhinos, but came up empty. We were soon to learn that our rhino is not to be so easily caught - he's a covert genius and master of camouflage.  While he's since been reported on our ceiling, in the sink, and in Edie's crib, I still have yet to spot him.

Luckily, the family has come to terms with our newest house guest and he/she no longer makes anyone freak out.  I'm just thankful that the rhino doesn't use our yard like a Bonnaroo port-a-potty, unlike Edie's other nemeses, the raccoons.

That would most certainly make me freak out.

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Seven years ago today, I earned the right to be grumpy.  Prior to that, I was just an a@#$hole.  As of 7 years ago tonight, I'm a "dad".

Dear Finn,

As you complete your seventh year, I want to make sure that you know this:  you are an amazing person.   And I'm not just saying that because you can read this now (though that doesn't hurt).

Allow me to be more specific:

  • You are an amazing big brother, always making sure your sister has the appropriate dosage of Pro-Nuggets.
  • You have an amazing sense of humor and you make me laugh every day.
  • You are amazingly genuine, open and insightful about who you are as a person;  I'm so proud of your ability to talk about your vulnerability and what makes you happy and what makes you sad.  There are many grown-ups that could learn from you.
  • You're really good at Legos.  Like, scary-good.

When we were joking around on the walkie talkies the other day, you said that I "make your life fun."  I hope so - it's one of my success criteria, along with keeping you from picking your nose and getting you to lean over your plate.  It would be good to know that I'm succeeding in at least one of those.

I'm going to keep this note short - I just deleted about 300 words - in the hopes that you'll read this note sooner than later.  I'd also encourage you to read other stuff on this blog, but unfortunately most of it is self-indulgent garbage.  But if you're bored, give it a shot.  As boring as it probably is, it's all for you.

I love you, Finny.

Happy birthday!!!