Friday, October 16, 2015

What Happened?

I've said this before, but I think I mean it this time:  the blog is winding down.  It's not that there aren't amazing stories about these kids still to be told - given how hilarious they both are, occasionally even intentionally.  It's mostly just that, well, now Finn can read.

And that considerably cuts down on my material.

As much as I'm sure he would love to read about all of the various places on this planet upon which he has deposited poop, and while I'm even more sure he'd want his classmates to also read about said poop deposits, I'm not sure I'm ready to answer the kinds of questions his discovery of this blog are sure to bring about.

I know this will crush all of my reader in St Helena, but I think I'm hanging up the poop stories and calling it a day.  This has been a great way to both share just a tiny slice of the joy of these kids, as well as perhaps relieve a little stress, but I don't really need that latter outlet any more and will find other ways to share.

Then again, maybe I'll just hand the reigns of this bad boy to Edie to write.  She's definitely got material, if her lengthy conversations with both dolls and dogs are any indication. 

It's just a shame she won't have her entire life and all of her fecal adventures documented like her brother. 

Or is it?

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, 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

Two Notes from Finn

One for my back and one for my front.

I'll let you decide which is which.

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!!!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Pro Nuggets

For all of the grief that I give Kitty about the supplements that she's force feeding this family or the amount of money that we spend on "bone broth" soup bones from cows that were educated at Oxford and got in at Amazon pre-IPO, you can't debate her intent.  Nobody cares more about making sure her family is happy and healthy than her and she pours every once of her energy into the task - along with about $300/month in chewable animal shaped probiotics.

Fun fact:  chewable animal shaped probiotics are apparently as addictive to a two year old as playing Minecraft on crack.

Not that I've seen that many two year old crack-smoking Minecraft junkies.  This is Washington.  All of our two year olds smoke pot.

But I digress:  Edie is INCREDIBLY addicted to probiotics, which she adorably refers to as "pro-nuggets."  As in, "Baby needs her pro-nuggets, Daddy", as she nervously scratches her arm and stares through me...

The first thing she asks for when I come into her room in the morning?  "Pro-nuggets in my bowl, daddy?"  The first thing she asks for when we get home from daycare?  "Pro-nuggets in my bowl, daddy?"  She'll stand next to you in the kitchen jumping up and down, waving her arms, with a huge smile on her face yelling "PRO-NUGGETS!" whenever you appear to be approaching the general probiotic staging area.

I'd say this can't be good, but there is plenty of research suggesting you can't overdo this stuff.  In fact, I'll bet her "gut flora" could kick my ass.

After which she would calmly step over me, pull my wallet out of my pocket, lean down and caress my cheek and say, "Don't worry, Daddy, Baby just needs her pro-nuggets."

Thursday, March 5, 2015


After nearly seven years of an impressive steadfast refusal to try any and all kid activities that his mother and I have tried to push him - REALLY PUSH HIM - into, the last six months have been a banner time for ol' Finny.  Who knew that it could take a kid 6.9 years before he was willing to learn to swing on a swingset by himself?  Or put his face in the water in a swimming pool?  Or ride a bike?

It was worth the wait, because he's now happily doing all of those things and the one, arguably most important thing, that he's been avoiding the most:  reading.

At the beginning of the school year, he would struggle to finish five pages in 20 minutes.  Last night, he read all 50 pages of Red Fish, Blue Fish in under 10.  That's a long freakin' book and I'm incredibly proud of how hard he's worked on his reading to get there.

But that's only the tip of the iceberg.  At school this week, they were working on writing persuasive letters.  Apparently, Finn's was for me.  I've included both a photo & a transcript translated into common English, since while his reading is great, his spelling might still be a little advanced for many of you.

Dear Famous Blogger, 
Can I have an iPad? 
#1:  Because you have two.
#2:  I won't have to bug you any more.
#3:  Why do you need two?
#4:  What will you do with the other one? 
So please can I have an iPad? 

It's tough to argue with that logic.  I think the kid just earned himself an iPad - the old one, of course.  After all, why do I need two?

Now I apparently need to write a persuasive letter of my own.  The topic?  "The Importance of Flushing Your Poop."

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


I'm way overdue for this post, but that's what happens when your life is being run by a two year old.  They're terrible.

Or so I've heard.  Mine is amazing.  You haven't lived until Edie has informed you via song that it's all about the bass, 'bout the bass, no "twebble".

Her "Mama Mia" that elegantly segues into counting from 5 to 10 is sick, as well.  The girl has jams far beyond her two years.

Happy Belated Birthday, little girl!  I alternately can't believe it's been two years since I was huddled under a blanket, shivering, on the day that you came home from the hospital suffering from post-partum Daddy flu, or that it's ONLY been two years since that day, given that the recent flights with you to and from Florida felt like five years each.

However the math works out, know that you're one of the three best things that have ever happened to me and that I can't wait to hear what songs you're going to sing next.

Hopefully they're about something other than your butt.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Mad Pooper

Someone is pooping in our toilets and I can't figure out who it is.  This mystery is frustrating not just because I have cameras in each of our bathrooms (in addition to most public restrooms in the Greater Seattle area), but also because this Mad Pooper either does not know how to, or simply does not care to, flush.  Or use toilet paper.

I'd accuse Edie, but I know exactly where her poop ends up.  I'd accuse Kitty, but we all know that grown women don't poop.  I'm pretty sure it's not me, so that leaves Finn.

He insists it's not him.

And why would it be?  It's not like I watch him walk out of the bathroom without washing his hands, only to walk in 2 minutes later and see a giant piece of poop in the toilet, right?  I mean, I would expect this if I also watched him sit on the toilet after waking up in the morning and magically pee out from under the toilet seat all over the bathroom floor.  But who would do that?

Because that would be crazy.  And really gross.

As Finn was cracking a joke last night about how no one needs to be taught how to poop, I couldn't help but think of those toilet-paper-less poops in the toilet.  

I'll unmask you at some point, Mad Pooper, I swear.

But first I need to clean up this mysterious puddle of pee on the floor...

Friday, January 23, 2015


There is nothing funny about being woken up on successive nights to the sounds of your kids puking in their beds.  Stripping wet sheets, finding big bowls, running the washing machine for 48 hours straight.  Add to that multiple days off work due to the ejection of bodily fluids from the other end, and it ain't a pretty sight.

On the other hand, there's nothing NOT funny about your almost-two-year-old daughter adopting "diarrhea" as her favorite word - screaming it at the dinner table, in the car, at passersby.

It's impossible not to crack up when she yells DIE-REE-AH!  at the top of her lungs while you're out at dinner, until you realize that everyone in the restaurant is looking at you laughing at this, in the midst of the piles of food that your kids have thrown all over the table, floor and empty beer bottles, slowly understanding that you're now "that" family.

And then immediately not caring as soon as another cry of DIE-REE-AH! echoes out across the dining room.

I'm sure it'll get old eventually, particularly now that her method for getting our attention is to interject, "die-ree-uh?" into any conversation that we're having.

But then again, I'm over 40 and giggling as I type this, so....  I won't hold my breath.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Year's Rockin' Eve

There was a time in our lives when New Year's Eve meant glowsticks, tie dyes and epic Phish concerts - sometimes running all night - but those days are long gone.

Or so I thought.

I present, The Ninja Family New Year's Rockin' Eve 2014:

Yes, those are both of our children, rocking out to Phish live, via the wonders of the Intertubes.   And that was the mellow moment.  The rest of the evening was full of family glowstick drum circles...

... and dance parties - during which Edie would spin like a veteran Deadhead and Finn would approach and kindly offer, "Shall we dance?", which was my cue to pick him up and throw him onto the couch.

While we fully expected them to immediately lose interest in their parents' weird hippie obsession, Edie made it through the second set and Finn made it the distance, through East Coast New Year's and to the encore.  And he wasn't fakin' it.  I mean, look at this face!

As the night was winding down and Finn and I were laughing and messing each other's hair to our favorite mangled Phish lyrics ("I saw you with a chicken sub in your hair!"), I realized that this was what it was all about.  Being able to share an experience like this - one that was so formative for their mom and me, and such a part of our lives for so long - is transcendent.  Even if they were sober like a couple of losers.

One of these days, these guys are going to grow up, hop into a Virgin Galactic shuttle and head off to a Phish show on Mars for New Year's Eve, ditching us to watch alone on our couch (which will probably be made with GMO's; stupid future), but until then, I'm going to savor every New Year's Eve we have together.  We're going to buy as many glowsticks as we can afford, watch us some serious Phish, and turn our TV room into a crazy "mush pot," as Finn would put it.

Shall we dance?