February 27, 2010

Jesus isn’t the only guy who knows everything

We are in the bathroom, brushing our teeth, when Swee’Pea and TheMonk begin discussing what they learned in preschool that day.  The preschool they are attending is a very nice preschool that happens to be run by a Lutheran church.  As a result, Swee’Pea and TheMonk are getting a daily dose of “Jesus Time” that they really haven’t received here at the old homestead.

For instance, after the first week of preschool, as I am driving them to school, TheMonk suddenly announces from the back seat, “Daddy! Jesus died on the cross.  And then he came back to life! [Short pause]  Why did he die, Daddy?”  “Um…” I replied, not really wanting to get into the whole For Our Sins conversation with a four-year-old, “Uh, ask your teacher, Buddy.  She’ll be happy to answer that question.”

Fast forward a couple of weeks and during their teeth brushing session it is evident that Swee’Pea and TheMonk are getting a better grasp on who Jesus is.

TheMonk: “Jesus knows everything.”

Swee’Pea: [Toothbrush waving in air for emphasis] “Yep,” Swee’Pea nods knowingly, “Jesus knows everything.”

TheMonk: “Yes… Just like Santa Claus.”

February 24, 2010

Hair today… gone next week?

Once upon a time, I had beautiful hair.  The lady who cut my hair in high school even told me so. In fact, when I wanted a buzz cut my senior year in high school, she refused to cut it.  I had to go to a barber to do it.  In retrospect, if I had known that my hair would start thinning out soon after, I might have kept the longer locks for as long as possible.

Now, I wear my hair cut pretty short.  But I still have hair.  I like my hair and I would like to keep it.  In fact, there’s only one reason for me to consider my head without hair – raising money to help the families we serve at YMCA where I work.   So…

Starting today, I want to raise $1,000 via this blog.   On my YMCA blog, there is a “donate” button on the top right corner.  Click on it and make a donation.  In the “Comments” section, leave a short comment referring to my baldness.  Any amount – no matter how big or small – makes a difference.  If we get $250 dollars in donations in the next week then I’ll shave my goatee.  If we get $1,000 in donations by next week then I’ll shave my head too.  I”ll then post a video of me shaving my head for you to laugh and ridicule me.  Well, even more than you already do.

Remember! It’s for the kids and families we serve.  Your donation helps us fulfill our vision of never turning anyone away due to an inability to pay.  You can read some of the past few stories on this blog to get a feel for the type of need we encounter on a regular basis.  Then, donate. To help a child – and to see me bald.

Deadline is Wednesday, March 3rd at 5:00 p.m. PST. Hurry up and make me bald!


February 20, 2010

Taylor Swift and TheMonk

He pads into my room in the early dawn, clutching his stuffed monkey. As he makes himself over to my side of the bed, he pauses for his obligatory morning hug and kiss before climbing into bed between me and his mommy.

As part of the routine, I grab the iTouch charging on my nightstand and hand it to him to entertain himself while I try and catch a few more minutes of sleep. Before long, he is sitting on the bed, legs crossed in front of him, with his face buried in the iTouch.

When this routine first started a few months ago, the iTouch was all about the race car video games. But recently, after I showed him the music and set up a playlist just for him, he’s been enthralled with the music. And today, he is sitting in his familiar cross-legged position with his back to me. He is slowly rocking side to side in time to the music. And then, I hear him singing…

He’s the reason for the teardrops on my guitar
The only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star
He’s the song in the car I keep singing
Don’t know why I do

He is singing Taylor Swift’s Teardrops On My Guitar. And he knows the words. And his little 4-year-old voice matches Taylor’s note for note. From behind, I can tell that he’s looking down at the iTouch. I wonder what he is looking at so I rise from my bed slowly and make my way around to the front of the bed. I glance at the iTouch resting in TheMonk’s lap. He is oblivious to me so I can easily see what he’s looking at. Gazing, actually.

Taylor Swift

And there it is. TheMonk is gazing at the lovely face of Taylor Swift.

I’d say he’s smitten.

February 18, 2010

Yuck Mouth A Cappella

Recently, while playing with YouTube on my iPhone, I decided to search for some School House Rock videos to play with the kids. Only, after watching a few, I realized that the twins are probably at least a couple of years away from really benefiting from some of the classics like I’m Just a Bill, Conjunction Junction or Interjection!

But then, I found an old, long forgotten favorite. It’s a Public Service Announcement from the American Broadcasting Company featuring Yuck Mouth – a disgusting dude with awful teeth singing about how his name is Yuck Mouth because he doesn’t brush his teeth. I showed this to Swee’Pea and TheMonk and while both enjoy it, Swee’Pea has taken an instant liking to it. After just a few viewings she had mastered the song. Now, when we brush our teeth, Swee’Pea likes to begin with a round of Yuck Mouth. Enjoy.

February 16, 2010

How to raise a boy or “Point that thing down, son”

So my blogging pal Renee at But Why Mommy whose birthday, you may recall, we celebrated here a few months ago is about to adopt a beautiful baby boy named Lion and our mutual friend Issa (who I adore and you should too) thought it would be a great idea to throw her a virtual baby shower.  Seeing as how I’m probably the only guy that’s been invited to this party, I thought my gift should be to both Renee and her husband Scott about how raising a boy is different than raising a boy – and how it’s not.  So, happy adoption Renee and Scott! Lion will be lucky to have you.


Raising a boy in this day and age is a challenge. On one hand, you want your son to be strong and confident enough that he doesn’t get his butt kicked out on the playground on a regular basis. On the other hand, you want your son to move beyond age-old stereotypes of caveman-like proportions. This means letting your son dress up in his sister’s princess gowns and try on fingernail polish whenever he gets the urge. It also means letting him play with dolls and fire trucks and dolls with fire trucks.

Raising a boy means you will have to answer questions Lots of questions. Some of these questions you will know the answer to and some you will have to make up. This includes questions like “How fast is that race car, Daddy?” or “Why do boys have penises and girls have vaginas?” or “Why do you keep saying, Sssshhhh?!” Questions. Be ready.

Raising a boy means messier meal times and a totally different rule book than the one you started creating for your lovely daughter. Rules that made your daughter cringe in fear will be laughed at by your son.

Raising a boy means really boring outfits. Remember all those incredibly cute outfits you couldn’t help but purchase for your little girl? Yeah, those don’t exist for boys. The biggest thrills you will get shopping for your son is deciding between jeans and corduroy pants.

Raising a boy means longer potty-training battles (“Point that thing down, son. Down! I SAID DOWN!!”). It also means dodging streams of pee shooting toward your face when changing his diapers. It will happen. Let’s hope your reflexes are up to the challenge.

Raising a boy means teaching him how treat the women in his life and the responsibility that holds. It means showering him with love and affection from both dad and mom so he has balance in his life when he goes out into the world. It means teaching him to express his anger with words, not with his fists.

Finally, raising a boy isn’t all that different than raising a girl. Love him and hold him close to your heart every day of your life. In the end, that’s enough.

February 14, 2010

My Darling Valentine

I remember the way you looked the very first time I met you. I remember what you were wearing. I remember the way your hair framed your beautiful face. I remember that you were on the phone and were distracted enough by your call that I could look at your incredibly tan, incredibly muscular legs and think, “Wow.”

Wow. That word still applies, you know. Probably not in the same way it did in July, 1998 but it still applies. Back then, the wow was superficial. I didn’t know you yet. I didn’t love you yet. I didn’t yet know that you were the love of my life. All I knew was that I wanted to get to know you better.

Getting to know you wasn’t easy. You were skeptical of me. I can’t say I blame you but I was determined. I wore you down. I kept loving you until one day, you couldn’t help but love me back. Then, one day, in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant, I asked you to marry me. I asked then and there because I couldn’t wait for the next chapter to start. I couldn’t wait for the “perfect moment” because the only perfect thing was being with you.

But even then, I didn’t know how much I could love you. Through the years we’ve grown up together. Through incredible highs and incredible lows we’ve had each other and that, my beautiful wife, is something I never knew could be when I first laid eyes on you so long ago.

Of course, becoming a parent with you has made me love you even more. I love watching you interact with the kids. I love that our kids have turned out so well all because of you and your vision for what you wanted our kids to become. You help me become a better father and, I hope, a better husband.

Here’s to another year of love, my beautiful wife. May you always know how much I love you and how much Swee’Pea and TheMonk love you as well.

Sweet Valentines

February 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday – The Many Faces of Swee’Pea

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

February 8, 2010

Ace of Cakes

I’ve been known to be competitive.  I don’t like to lose.  So when UndomesticDiva started talking trash about what a great cake decorator she is, I had to chime in.  Smack talk led to smack talk and eventually a throwdown was discussed.  For the record, I didn’t get to choose the theme: Mario Brothers.  But, I rose to the challenge, figured out the fondant thing and put my best effort forward.  The video below shows the process.  The first minute is me talking about the cake and then… 3 and a half minutes of cake making – at lightning speed.  Skip to the 4:30 mark to see the end product.  And all I ask is, when deciding which cake is best, notice my integration of technology.  Yes, that’s an iTouch with Mario Brothers games being played on it.  Leave who you think is better in the comments section. (Check out her cake here.)   This isn’t about any tangible prize – just pride.  Lots of pride.


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