Saturday, July 14, 2012

La Vie En Rose

This song is just spectacular. Anyone who has seen Wall-E will recognize the tune.

Earlier this year, my new boss (who is French) hosted a "La Vie En Rose" themed soiree. The party proceeded much like a wedding reception sans wedding ceremony. Toward the end of the evening, bossman  grabbed a microphone at the piano and summoned his young daughter to the front.

They performed this song together with dad playing piano and daughter singing in French and then English. It was saccharine sweet but really cool. It was certainly surprising to see my boss, the finance beast, rocking a piano. C'est la vie!

Monday, July 09, 2012

Happy Parenting from Baby O

This was not our finest hour together. I absorbed most of it, so the floor cleanup was a snap!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

It happened again

Here's a picture of Michael's reaction to what Owen did in the bath water last night. It happened again. Sigh.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Back in the Day

Back in my day, kids were tough. We went outside unsupervised all day long. We rode bicycles without helmets. When we crashed, we splinted our shattered limbs and kept right on pedaling. We climbed to dizzying heights in trees, plummeted to our dooms from net-less trampolines, and waded through creeks flush with brain-eating amoebas, pinching crawdads, and hissing serpents. And we liked it!

We caught snakes; some apparently poisonous. We riled up wasp nests and paid the price. Our swimming pools didn’t have fences around the perimeter. Our neighborhood pool had a high diving board with a treacherous ladder and the risk of a belly flop from 10 feet in the air.

We rode our bikes to the Collin Creek Mall where we would spend unsupervised hours in the arcade, the bulk candy store, and the video game store. We crossed moderately busy roads without using crosswalks, and I can’t remember anything like a close call with a car.

We didn't have safety. It wasn't invented back then. Ever seen one of those crazy Japanese obstacle course shows? That's what our playgrounds were like: hard metal edges, treacherous monkey bars, unprotected drops to an unforgiving earth, crotch-slamming seesaws, brutal merry-go-rounds fit to launch the unwary into near-Earth synchronous orbit. And we liked it!

We would play under the baking sun all summer. You see, dehydration hadn't been invented yet. A swig of hot water from a filthy garden hose was all we needed. Sunscreen? Are you kidding me? "Get outside. Kids shouldn't sit around all day in air conditioning. Turn off the Nintendo and get out!" they would tell us. So we did.

Were there casualties? Sure, not all of us made it. I was no stranger to the emergency room. We took it in stride and kept right on going with a new cast or some stitches.

Nowadays, I’ve got two little boys of my own, and I think maybe they don’t need to be as tough as I was. A little safety might be in order. Have you seen how much copays and ER visits cost these days?

Monday, June 25, 2012


I really liked this quote.

Michael: "Omar says that crayons aren't magic. But I say that crayons are magic.We don't eat crayons. That's bad manners"

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Baby Logic

I am a baby. My name is Owen. I am exceedingly fond of pacifiers. I like them like my dad likes coffee, and if you take my pacifier away, I will shriek until your ears bleed.

Sometimes I get mad. Perhaps I would like to climb the stairs, and someone stops me. Life is not easy. I have no freedom. Can't talk. I misplace a toy. My brother steals one. I slam my head on the coffee table. Darn dog just grabbed my slice of cheese right out of my hand. Sometimes at meals, they give me inedible food. It's enough to drive a fellow to tears, I tell you. I just want to take that bowl of cereal and sweep it off the high chair in a glorious cascade of tumbling cheerios. And sometimes I do.

When I become enraged, I must take action. As person of diminutive size and youthful age, my options are limited. There's yelling, squirming, slapping, and flopping on the ground. Each approach has its merits and drawbacks. However, my favorite thing to do is take my pacifier out of my mouth and throw it as far as I can.

Doesn't make sense, does it? I usually think, "I've made a huge mistake." I don't really understand why I do this either. It's the one possession that I love above all others, and I just throw it all away in a fit of rage. If you have any idea why I do this, I would love to know.. In the meantime would you mind picking it up off the floor and giving it back to me? Thanks.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Although today is bittersweet having just lost my own dad a little over a month ago, I'm very lucky to have a husband who adores his kids as much as Christopher does.  Our boys are fortunate to have such an involved and joyful dad.  Happy Father's Day Christopher!

Friday, June 08, 2012

The Sleep of the Innocent

We were enjoying that beautiful, peaceful time that lies somewhere between when both of the boys are finally down for the night and when we pass out from the cumulative lack of sleep combined with the relentless hustling that is parenting. On most nights, that window is quite small.

On an average night, Owen winds down and stops babbling from his crib some time around 9. Michael is usually trouble. Once we meet or deflect his various demands (it's like getting the concert contract rider demands from a diva on tour; I want chocolate milk. I need a bandaid. You didn't put medicine on my bug bites. Can you change the pictures on my wall. Can you read me another book. Lay down with me. I have to go potty. I'm hungry, etc.), and once he ceases his sneaky little reconnaissance missions out of his room, it is often close to 10 o'clock. That leaves an hour or two to hang out, catch up on the day, and maybe watch Khaleesi and her merry band of dragons melt a few faces on Game of Thrones.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Dog Training

"Hey honey, what do think about sending Bella to one of those dog training boot camps? Wouldn't it be awesome if she just went away and came back trained up?"

"I don't know. You would probably just revert back to the old way and mess it up."

 Michael quietly listens to the conversation.

Michael: "Are we going to dog training now?"

"No, we're going to the park to play."

"But, I don't wanna go to the park. I want to go to dog training!"

"Are you sure? The park is really fun! You can make new friends and swing on the swing..."

"I want to go dog training!" (Picture a sad pouty face.)

"Michael, do you know what dog training is?"

"It's a big choo choo train, and dogs can ride on it. And she will "Ruff" at everything. I want to go to dog training!"

"That sounds awesome! I want to go to dog training, too"

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Just when you thought it was safe

Long ago, I shared a riveting tale of fear, horror, and disgust. It was a tale about a diaper blow-out, told from the perspective of a new parent. Years later, I have grown jaded. Many diapers I have changed. I’ve waded through pools of vomit, wiped a swamp’s worth of runny noses, and smelled odors that would wilt a rose garden. Just when I start to get complacent and think, “Is that all you’ve got?”, the baby comes something new and diabolical.

One night after dinner…

The baby stands at the edge of the bathtub, transfixed by the rushing water from the faucet and the growing piles of bubbles. A small smile crosses his face; a face crusted with banana slime and cheerio crumbs. With one sticky little hand, he reaches into the flowing water causing a wild spraying. He ignores the admonishing tone from “dee dee” and giggles. It’s bath time.

He is plunked down into the warm water, and the tension of the stressful day melts away. All that worry over lost pacifiers and over toys snatched away by big brother dissipates into the sudsy water. Even the aches and pains from stumbles onto the tile floor and from head bonks on the coffee table begin to recede. This is good. And that crinkly, scratchy, and suffocating diaper is off. Sweet, sweet freedom.
The calm before "the incident"

Amid the splashing, babbling, and cup pouring, there is an ominous twinge in his belly. He pays it no mind and continues pouring water onto his big brother. Forces within him begin an inexorable chain of events. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

The bathtub grows eerily silent for a moment as the baby grows still, too still. Big brother and dad notice nothing amiss. Then there is…something…beneath the surface of the water. What is that? Big brother peers intently into the murky water to get a better look.  A sudden scream rings out, “Owen pooped!”

The father gapes at the scene for a moment, transfixed. The circuit breakers in his head have tripped. “Oh, jeeze. Oh no. Oh no. Owen. Why? Why? You just had a diaper on? No. Don’t touch it. No. Urgk. Let’s go. Everyone into the shower.”

Owen and big brother head into the shower for the decontamination protocol. Dad steels himself and begins the recovery and restoration effort on the besmirched bathtub. Accompanied by the sound of laughing children (they are resilient) echoing out of the shower, he methodically attacks the mess. It’s just another day with children, and he’s seen things, man.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

We miss you.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


UPS talks about logistics in commercials. I work with operations folks at Dell, and we struggle over operational challenges that span the globe and swing a hundred million dollars, give or take. I've got Excel spreadsheets full of enough financial minutiae to bore the pants off of several dozen cocktail parties.

None of that compares to the exhausting complexity of getting a 3 and 1 year-old dressed, fed, and strapped into the car for "school" each weekday morning. Every morning is a frenzied blur in which I sweat, cajole, and hustle until I get to work, at which point I can finally relax. How is it possible that I wake up at 6:15 and get to work at 8:45 after a 15 minute commute?

Let me put on my aggrieved, complaining parent hat (which I know to be one of the most tiresome characters in all of blogdom) and recall some greatest hits of the morning logistics:
  • The toddler that refuses to wake up because he spent all night sneaking out of his room and fabricating increasingly bizarre demands. What started out as a need for water morphs into a request to re-curate the framed art in his room.
  • How about the baby who has the most regular bowel movements on the planet?  He can consistently drop a bomb on me right at that precious moment when I'm finally making that move toward the car to leave for work. It's like Murphy's Law is wired directly into his digestive tract.
  • Let's also consider that the boys know when I have the presenter role for an 8 a.m. meeting at the office. On these mornings, they summon up every ounce of needy histrionics to prevent me from cruelly abandoning them at the apparently horrific hellhole that is their day care. Their group of friends and bowl of sugary cereal that they would never get at home is too much to bear, and any attempt to leave will be met by leg-grabbing, wailing, and my recall of that "Cat's in the Cradle" song.
  • Did you know that some toddlers will employ a sippy cup in a manner inconsistent with drinking?
  • You ever tried to find two sets of matching shoes and socks that were previously worn by the random chaos generators that are young children? Of course one of the crocs would be buried in the couch, and the other one would be submerged in the dog's water. It makes perfect sense. 
The saving grace is that my finance team is staffed with parents of similarly aged logistical challenges. When I blitz into work at 8:45 with a sheen of sweat on my brow and a thousand-yard stare, I see naught but understanding expressions. I am comforted by the fact that none of the intricate financial processes that I work through today will compare to the goat rodeo that I just faced at home.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Baby Clothes Paradox

It doesn't matter how many tubs of baby clothes you own. It could be 5 cubic yards of outfits, the result of picking up hand-me-downs from friends and dozens of pricey shopping trips to Target and Carter's.

When it's time to get the kids ready in the morning, the only thing you will find in the drawer is an outgrown 6m onesie, a strange pair of overalls, and an off-brand jersey made out of an awful synthetic fabric. Where did the thousands of outfits go?

It is a great mystery. One thing is certain. The outfits will magically return to the scene as soon as they know that they have been safely outgrown. Box 'em up and hand em off to the next happy expectant couple. Say something like, "Little Billy is going to look so good in that outfit." They can discover the baby clothes paradox on their own.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I'm not the writer in the family, but I noticed a lack of posts for say...all of 2011. The reason is named OWEN. With Michael, Chris and I could always have someone on the bench, "you take a nap, while I watch him," and vice versa. Now, with baby O in the picture, we run man to man defense 90% of the time and zone defense when one of us has a late night at work. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade my two precious babies for anything in the world. It's amazing how when you are young, you never know how incredible your love can be for your children. I didn't know how much love I actually had to give until I met Michael and Owen.

Although running man to man defense, I always manage to keep a camera on hand because for some reason, I just can't stop taking pictures of them!

Here's a few updated ones of the family...