Friday, June 25, 2010


I would have posted something earlier this week, but my head was exploding with the decisions that fatherhood forces upon you: play with my new Father's Day iPad or my brand new iPhone 4 (which I justified because it shoots HD video and supports video calls... both for the grandparents, of course).

It's a hard knock life. Steve Jobs owes me a beer. But of course, he'd just tell me that I'm holding it wrong.

The best part about the iPad (other than the amazing MLB baseball app and the envy of my coworkers) is that it makes pictures like the one above from Jena come alive in your hands.

Of course that same image fidelity also helps me relive my childhood heartbreaks with pictures like this one:

I know that they're just being kids and that it's probably a little too soon for them to settle down, but to go from giving eyelash kisses to Finn to giving them to Finn's best-firetruck-buddy John?


I just hope that I don't have to return the wedding beer koozies that I've pre-ordered.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Just wanted to wish the owner of all the bad (and of course the most fun) ideas in the household a Happy Father's Day. Yeah you in the back there laughing like a hyena, thank you for all that you do. I wouldn't want to do it without you.

I would get a complex about what a Daddy's boy Finn is, except it affords me so many free moments. "What's that? You want your Daddy? And you are smuggling brownies in your diaper? Oh Daaaaaaaaddy, he's all yours." Finn is very excited about Father's Day, but he also believes it is a holiday where cake is served. He's still new to this.

Dirty diapers are on me today! Relax, kick back and watch the Yankees game. I'll break it to Finn that there won't be cake. Or will there be?

Also a Happy Fathers Day to Grandpa Finn & Grandpa Parker You must of done so many things right to end up with such fabulous kids like us, right? Right?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Uh huh

Turns out that Finn can read now. I was pretty surprised, given that he still poops in his pants and can't yet successfully zip up his jacket on his own, but the evidence is compelling.

To stave off the carpal tunnel that was quickly taking over my hands as a result of typing "excavator song" into YouTube every hour, we ordered Finn the full DVD that includes that clip and a whole host of other truck-related songs from the Twenty Trucks website. For less than the price of two beers at Yankee Stadium, two DVD's, a CD and a t-shirt arrived in the mail yesterday.

I expected Finn to be excited about the DVD, but I didn't expect him to look at the t-shirt, clearly labeled "Twenty Trucks" and say, "That's Twenty Trucks." I was pretty impressed. He may as well have looked at my bank statement and asked me why I spent so much money on beer at Yankee Stadium.

I'd have asked him how he learned to read, whether this was another one of Jena's tricks, but I know that the only answer I'd get would be "Uh huh," which is how Finn answers all questions these days that deserve a positive response. Apparently "yes" is too complicated - a la the zipper - and "no" has been replaced by silence. But I digress...

The arrival of the DVD's has already had a marked effect on Finn beyond his surprising ability to read.

Every day, Jena and the gang at daycare send out an email that lists anything noteworthy that's not covered in the blog post. Included is a list of quotes from each kid about their favorite part of the day. By charting these quotes out over the last week, you can determine exactly when the DVD's arrived:
  • Finn 'Favorite part of the day' Quote (June 15): "Look I fall down there. Silly Finn (lying on his mat). Cars and trucks. I got car, I got Lightming DeQueen [sic]. Watch out. I get water, I wash him off.*"
  • Finn 'Favorite part of the day' Quote (June 18): "Diggers. Watching diggers. Trucks and trucks and diggers and dump trucks."
* Ed. note: Finn is obsessed with the scene in Cars where Lightning McQueen gets tar on his lucky sticker while pulling Bessie and asks Big Red to wash him off. I assume that he finds it so interesting because it's the only part of the plot to which he can actually relate.

I'm honestly a little bummed if we're going to trade in our Cars obsession for the Twenty Trucks DVD. Even though we've now watched Lightning McQueen race for the Piston Cup roughly 467,235 times, I still enjoy it.

Of course, there is one huge selling point: Rascal Flatts does not appear anywhere on the Twenty Trucks soundtrack. I'll take "They Call Him Bulldozer - or Dozer for Short" over their version of "Life is a Highway" any day.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Excavator Song

By a show of hands, how many of you know the difference between an excavator and a backhoe?

It's hard to see through this thing, but if my suspicions are correct, only my brother has his hand up. That means that Finn is smarter than the rest of you.

For the last couple of months, Archer had been pushing me to check out YouTube for quality toddler entertainment. He was specifically pushing me to watch some of the digger movies, given our sons' shared obsession. I kept forgetting about them until I took Finn to the zoo with him and Cyrus and Cyrus was able to name every digger we passed. This was only relatively surprising, given that both Finn & Cyrus found the diggers way more interesting than the gigantic grizzly bear swimming roughly 6 inches from their noses.

However, I was suitably impressed that he knew what a skid steer loader was, so I rushed home and fired up the laptop to see if Finn would be interested. Big mistake.

Finn has always been a fan of diggers, but discovering these movies has blown his obsession wide open. It is now not uncommon for his first words of the day to be, "Watch excabator [sic] song." In fact, it go so bad on our trip back east that my mother had to tell him that the excavators were still sleeping just to quiet him down.

The pic above is Finn watching the Excavator Song on the iPhone with Mema. His eyes tell the whole story.

Of course, it turns out the Excavator Song was just a gateway video. He's since moved onto harder fare: the garbage trucks of Naples, FL. I don't know what's up in Naples, but they clearly have the most diverse collection of garbage trucks in the free world. The increased understanding of waste management vehicles resulting from hours left unattended in front of YouTube even resulted in Finn correcting me the other day when I tried to name the garbage truck we were watching.

"That's not a front-loader, Daddy."

Oh yeah? Well that blue tractor isn't a "John Deere" like you said it was!

In your face, Finny!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Fabulous Flying Finn

Turns out Finn is really good at flying. Not the airplane kind - though he was stellar this past "vacation", particularly on the final leg of the return trip where he didn't cry or complain once, unlike both of his parents. No, I'm speaking of actual flying, which Finn decided to try out two nights ago by taking a header out of his crib.

I'm sure this type of thing was long overdue. We've made a concerted effort to not hover over him lately, with the assumption that taking some licks is good for him - that whatever doesn't kill him, will just leave him bruised and wiser. Or in the case of a small playing-ball-poolside incident in NY last week, a little wet.

The funny part is that until his topple, Finn was only interested in climbing INTO the crib. In fact, he was so disinterested in climbing out, that we'd put him in his crib to jump around with the gate half-down.

Bad idea. Turns out that Finn REALLY likes jumping around in his crib. So much so that he was able to clear the railing completely en route to introducing his head to the carpet. This resulted in a frantic phone call during Daddy's sacred softball-time and hourly Mommy wake-up sessions overnight.

Of course, the next day Finn didn't show any ill effects. Unlike his buddy Grace, who was sporting a nice bruise from her almost simultaneous crib-dive.

At least that's the story from daycare. The first rule of Tiny Fight Club is: you do not talk about Tiny Fight Club.