Monday, August 30, 2010

That's What He Said (Recurring Feature)

I'm going to try a new feature here. That's What He Said will be quick-hitters documenting funny things that Mad Dawg has said recently.

1. Michael has just moments ago woken up from a nap. As he's rubbing his eyes, he looks at me and says, "Daddy, I need airplane." Really? That's what you need right after waking up?

2. Scene: Mikey sitting in his high chair eating lunch. Bella is barking loudly at some dog or cat outside. Michael, in a mean, growled yell:  "SHUT UP, BELLA. SHUT UP, BELLA!"  Oops, I guess mom and dad need to choose our dog admonishing words a little more carefully. Please cease barking at once, you scurrilous canine!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Daddy, I want fireworks

When Mikey was a wee little newborn, I always wondered just what he was thinking. What did he think when he came sliding into the world under the bright lights of the delivery room? What exactly was he crying about all those late nights when he was well-fed and dry-diapered? Did he have fantastical daydreams about our gigantic heads floating above him or our strong hands always picking him up and moving him around?
Now that he's a talking 22 month-old, the mystery is pretty much demystified. Two simple words describe what a baby is thinking most of the time:  I WANT.  A toddler is a rapid-fire infinite wanting machine. 95% of voluntarily uttered sentences (excluding stuff that we always try to make him say by repeating, like "Bye, bye everybody" or "I love you") involve the expression of a want. Most are pretty reasonable and prosaic. You know, stuff like pacifiers, water, Thomas Train, juice (sigh), and even "Daddy's coffee."

Some things point out to us just how new and magical the world is to Mikey.

Let us rewind several months ago to the 4th of July. Shannon and I met up with Carl, JJ, and Grandma to watch the Georgetown fireworks display. Eschewing the main party area out of fear of the hellish post-show traffic, we wove our way through some winding back roads. Eventually we found a perfect spot with clear sight lines that we guessed would be close to the action. It was close, indeed. 

The shells were bursting almost directly overhead, filling the entire sky above us with brilliant light. We didn't hear the shells exploding. We felt the reports deep in our guts, as if a giant Taco Bell burrito had come to life and was fighting to escape.

Needless to say, it was pretty freaking sweet. I can't remember a more spectacular fireworks show.

And there was little Mikey. He didn't cower or cry at the explosions. He just gaped, little eyes sparkling with his mouth hanging slightly open in astonishment. He had spent the last couple of hours playing frenetically with his beloved JJ. It was way past his bedtime, but he was not tired. This was too awesome to miss.

Fast forward a few months. We attended an outdoor play one evening in Zilker Park. Conditions were similar to the 4th of the July night. In other words, it was dark and hot as heck. This triggered a memory in Mikey's little brain.

"Daddy, I want fireworks."

It's touching that he thinks that I can just summon up the amazing fireworks he saw that night in July. That 15 minute show that cost thousands of dollars and took months to coordinate? Meh, just another little request for the toddler. Pacifier, milk, Thomas Train, go to playground, see spectacular fireworks display on demand. Gotta love him.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A True Modern Day Little Dude

Mikey, his Lightning McQueen Potty and the iPad

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ah, it's the little things..

Mikey went poopoo in the potty. Golly, I can't believe I just typed that disgusting and childish sentence, and I apologize for bringing the bathroom to this blog. This is apparently a monumental victory in the battle for potty training.

It means that the days of cartoon character underroos are upon us. Hint to all relatives who might be thinking about a 2nd birthday present. Mikey loves Thomas the Train, dinosaurs, and Lightning McQueen. Those might make nice underwear presents.

I remember the days when I was in themed underpants. My favorites were green and white Incredible Hulk ones. Remember the wonderful The Incredible Hulk television show? David Banner would get mad about something and suddenly transform into a giant green, uh, mad guy. All his clothes rip into shreds except his pants. It's like the old joke about the indestructible Black Box in an airplane. Why don't they make the whole plane out of the Black Box stuff? Why doesn't Hulk make his whole outfit out of the indestructible underwear cloth? If I were David Banner, I would buy all my clothes at Nordstrom and take advantage of their liberal return policy. "Uh, I'd like to make a return. I don't know what happened. I put them in the dryer, and they came out like this." [hands over a few tufts of fabric]

This wonderful development also means that the days of buying $40 jumbo packs of diapers at Costco will be soon behind us. No more stinking diaper genie (don't be fooled. Putting 'dirties' in there is one of the worst mistakes you can make. After a couple days, if you open the lid the smell is likely to knock you on your gluteus)

We'll soon have a little dude sitting on the john for his morning constitutional. I can picture him now, chilling out and reading his Winchell Cuts the Cheese book.

Good job, Mikey. We're proud of you, and we hope you keep up the good work! Why did I address this to you? You can't read, and you aren't that great at surfing the web.

Anyway, happy Friday to everyone. This rambling posting brought to you by sleep deprivation and 3 shots of espresso.

Friday, August 13, 2010


We couldn't leave well enough alone, could we? Shannon and I find ourselves once again on that wonderful, miraculous journey to parenthood. Somewhere around Thanksgiving Day (the exact due date), we expect to welcome our new little addition to the family. Base on ultrasound confirmation of pre-natal baby junk, we know we are having another baby boy. Sorry Shannon. His nickname has quickly become Newbie. A shortening of the phrase "new baby", which we use frequently, this term is also fitting for a clean new person.

This whole pregnancy and pre-baby buildup couldn't be more different than the first time around. We spend so much time, energy, and attention on our precocious 21 month old that there is hardly any mindshare left to sit and ponder our future with the new little guy. Much is made of the difference between first and second children. here are some of my thoughts on the matter:

Pre-Natal Book Reading
  • 1st Baby: You run up hundreds of dollars of charges at Barnes and Noble acquiring every possible book about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. You read about What to Expect. You devour the Girlfriend's Guide. You debate all the way through naming books. You kind of enjoy the Jenny McCarthy belly laugh books. Basically, if it's out there, you've read it and pondered it at length.
  • 2nd Baby: Been there, done that, got the spit-up stained shirt. Besides, any attempt to read a book will be met by an attacking toddler shouting, "I wanna read Thomas Train book!"
Baby Showers and Congratulations:
  • 1st Baby: News of the pregnancy is met with universal glee. You attend a series of opulent baby showers where you receive generous gifts from distant relatives and random friends of your parents.
  • 2nd Baby:  News of the second baby is met with, "Oh cool. Congratulations. So, how about that hot weather?" There is no baby shower.
Nursery Preparation:
  • 1st Baby:  Months before the due date, the nursery is painted and fancy new furniture suite is assembled and ready to go.
  • 2nd Baby: Months before the due date, Newbie's nursery is still a play / entertainment room. We have some ideas about paint and some potential leads about some baby furniture
More to come on this soon. Happy Friday!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Thomas the Train

As evidenced by the appalling lack of content on this blog, I've suffered from some writer's block of late. Every time I try to sit down and write something, it comes back to the same themes:  changes and what Mikey has been doing lately. How many times do you want to read about what Mikey is saying or doing (wow, he asks for biteymans, i.e. vitamins, now. Stop the presses!)?

Feeling like I've been saying the same trivial stuff over and over again made it hard to come out here and write another posting. That said, I'm going to give another go at it. Just call me the Brett Favre of the blogosphere.

Now, onward with the blogging.

Let's just be frank here. Thomas the Train owns me right now. Some of you may be familiar Thomas already. You may be haunted by the creepy disembodied face pasted to the front of a blue steam locomotive engine. His ghoulish leer and his staring eyes, the eyes of a madman, might haunt you like they haunt me. Somehow this little anthropomorphic train is hero to millions of toddlers, ehem, young train engineers.

Mikey is absolutely obsessed, and we hear "I wanna watch Thomas Train!" about 15 times a day.

This leads us into our first parenting trap:  the high price of licensed toys from your kid's flavor of the month cartoon character. I always swore to myself that I wouldn't become "that parent" dropping mad cash to plaster cartoon characters all over my child. I guess I should have known better. Mikey loves Thomas, so away we go to Babies R Us or Target to browse. I stroll the aisles, gaping in disbelief at the prices. Hot Wheel-sized engines can hit $20 each. Simple buildings are generally $40 and up.
Take a gander at this set. Sure, it looks cool. But is it $400A worth of cool?  

Welcome to parenting school. We have many years of Star Wars, Cars, Toy Story, Lego, and whatever other cute, must-have characters that the marketers cook up to hook our toddler and siphon our cash. Wish us luck.