Thursday, July 30, 2009

The summer of me continues

What now?
OK, I have a couple different ideas for my new post, and no time or energy to get them down because I am taking the family up to the lake for another little mini-vacation this weekend. Nothing but relaxing, eating, drinking, swimming and maybe a little exercise...we will see. I will not have my computer with me and will not really have the urge to look at it anyway. So, please come back here on Monday and check me out again. I'll probably have some great stories, hopefully.

Have a great weekend everyone!!!


Monday, July 27, 2009

What a weekend!


OK, I promised some stories after my 20 year high school reunion on my next post so I am here to deliver, but instead of hashing out some general details I thought I would tell the best story, or at least the one that brought my wife and I to tears when it was told by another classmate. Now, because you don't know any of the people involved you may not think it is as funny, but I am guessing everyone has friends or acquaintances that are like this and have seen something like this first hand so you can appreciate it. So, please sit back and enjoy:


Starring - Dennis, one of the very few single classmates I have left. Dennis still likes to party like it's 1989, and was very, very thirsty on Friday night, if you catch my meaning.

Witnessed and Told By - Marty, one of my classmates that still lives here in town. He is great and telling old stories, even ones that happen just the night before.

The Scene - Downtown at about 2pm. All the bars have closed and only a few hungry souls are searching for munchies.

Marty, after a very long night of watching his wife, also a classmate of this 20 year reunion, drink herself silly, stops by the local deli so she can satisfy her drunk munchies desire. While waiting in the car Marty notices Dennis walking up the sidewalk. Dennis is all alone and not keeping his balance all that well. As Dennis approached the car Marty yelled out the window "Dennis, how are you doing man?" Dennis stumbled over to the car "Marty, you son biiitchhhhhh, what the hell are yooouuuuu doin'?" "Just waiting for Michelle to grab a sandwich...hey, if you are headed that way could you poke your head in and see how close she is to getting some food for me?" "I am on that dude, noooo worries!"

Dennis starts to make his way down the sidewalk toward the deli and Marty can't help but notice the zig-zap pattern he is taking. Clearly Dennis has had a few. Then, out of the clear blue sky Dennis stops, looks up at the sky and belts out, to nobody in particular a big old "Booooooyahhhhh!" Marty looks around to see who the hell Dennis is talking to and there is nobody around. Dennis takes a few more steps then again he belts out "BOOOOOOOOOOYAHHHHHHHHH!!"

Marty is now a little concerned but watches Dennis carry on and continue his brown bottle shuffle. Just a few yards from the deli a couple approach Dennis. As they pass by Dennis stops, looks there way and yells out "Heeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyy!" The could then begins to speed walk in the other direction clearly spooked by our friend Dennis. Marty can tell this is going to be a great story for everyone the next day, especially Dennis who clearly won't remember it.

Marty now looks at Dennis looking for the signal on how close his wife is to getting her late night munchies so he can get his ass home and to bed. Marty looks like he is picking up a little speed as he blows right by the deli and around the corner without even the attempt to look in. Just a few seconds after ducking out of sight Marty hear another, but fainter "Booooooyahhhhhh." Good night and good luck to the walking lush!

I still laugh out loud when I think of this story, good shit! In closing all I can say is I had a great time catching up with old friends and rehashing old war stories. I had a lot of responses in my last post by people that went to their reunions and loved them, as well as a few who skipped theirs because they didn't enjoy their high school years or didn't want to see those people again for one reason or another. All I can say is if you have the means and the time to go you should. By the time you get to our age all the drama is over and you can just chill out, have a beer and spend a little time with folks that shared the same experiences as you 20 plus years ago.

Also, if you have a knock-out for a spouse or significant other that always helps your stock. I should know since my wife was the best looking girl in the room! I love ya B, thanks for hanging with me all weekend!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

80th post - 20th reunion


This post is number 80 for me and my little blog. To be honest I started this blog with no real idea of where to take it or what I wanted it to accomplish. There were time early on that I just about walked away. But, thanks to the encouragement of my wife, the computer dork and currently my sugar mama, I continued. And I am very glad I did. Being a part-time-stay-at-home dad does have it's many adventures, and what a great outlet to talk about them. I have met some other great dad (and mom) bloggers out there in the interweb and have become a big fan of their blogs. This technology really is amazing. As a good friend of mine said recently "I think this Internet thing just might catch on!"

So, to mark this mini-milestone I thought I would talk a little bit today about another milestone in my life, my 20th high school reunion. My god, how could this be happening now? It seems like not too long ago I was going to my 10th. Since that time I have moved back to my home town, changed jobs twice, had two kids, lost about 30 pounds and settled into my new role as PTSAH dad. The only thing that is the same is my marriage to the most wonderful woman on earth (I love ya crouton!).

I have talked to several people much, much older than me about the big 20th reunion and they all say it will be so much better than the 10th. No one will showing off, name dropping, job bragging, big timing like at the 10th. People are more real, they have families, they really are there to see old friends and tell old stories. To be honest I really enjoyed my 10th and have been looking forward to the 20th. There is however some nervousness I am feeling the day before I see people I haven't seen in over a decade.

I am terrible with names. I can meet someone for the first time and forget their name 5 seconds later. How the hell am I going to do with people I haven't seen for years? How many "Hey buddy, hey champ, hey dude, hey lady" intros will I be able to get away with before I just freeze? I dug out my yearbook to try and cramp for this reunion exam, but that will only help if everyone looks the same as they did 20 years ago...fat chance. I can hold out hope for big ass name tags I guess, but if they don't have those I am screwed.

I really should be no big deal. My wife thinks I'm a total dork for even worrying about it. She is my ultimate back-up plan for social events like this, introducing herself to everyone right away to get a name. It works pretty well, unless she forgets...then I really look like a fuck up. "Uhhh, Mrs. Whatnowdad, this is....uhhh, O shit...there is so-and-so, please excuse me!"

What I am really excited about is the family picnic. Here I will get to see what the offspring look like, and try to imagine if they are anything like their parents were back in the day. Will the nerds have nerdy kids? Will the alternative/punk/goth parents dress their kids up in black? Will the hicks ride in with their kids on horseback. Will the jocks be tossing the old pig skin around with there kids? Will that one really hot chick from 3rd period science have a really hot 21 year old daughter and will they be wearing matching bikinis? Is that last one pretty sick? Probably...but you gotta wonder, right?

And what will everyone think of my kids? Do they at all resemble what I was like as a kid, or are they more like me now? Maybe a good cross of both.

After the weekend I'll give a full report on all the activities as I'm sure there should be some nuggets of entertainment to share.

Until then....


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sorry, I don't speak baby talk!


One of the greatest joys of parenthood, in my opinion, is hearing your baby speak for the very first time. This is one of those huge moments for any parent (and for the baby too I suppose). The feelings you get can't be described and nobody will understand it until they can experience it themselves with their own child. It almost makes you want to have more, but then you slap yourself, take a cold shower, pour a big ol' glass of wine and remember all the other stuff that comes with a babies first words, like the 5 million diaper changes.

So, why is it that for me there is nothing as pure and wonderful as a baby's first words, but when my 5-year old talks baby talk I want to drive nails through my ears? Nothing drives me up the wall more than that and it seems like the more I tell her to stop it, the more she does it. I understand that all kids go through stages, and the baby talking stage is bound to rear it's ugly head eventually, but my god it has to stop and soon, or I just might trade in the 5-year-old for a real baby so help me God!

I remember a girl in my wife's sorority that constantly talked like a baby. BITCH PLEEZE!!! I mean come on! She was very attractive, somewhat intelligent, had a great personality and was very popular with the boys (maybe too popular if you know what I mean). When I would talk to her and she would break out the baby talk I would, in my mind of course, look at her like she had lobsters crawling out of her ears. I always wondered if she did that during sexy time? I can't even imagine what a guy would do, either laugh out loud, run and hide or punch her in the throat. Then again it was college, and most horny college guys will put up with pretty much anything to get laid, right?

So if anybody out there in daddy blog land has been down this road to madness with their little angel I would love a little advice. I don't want to trade in the 5-year-old, besides the baby talk I've grown very fond of her. Until I get this thing fixed my posts might have a wee bit of crazy laced in them....just another day for the part-time-stay-at-home dad!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy birthday kid, where does your dad keep the beer?


Our girls were invited to a friends birthday party yesterday. This particular friend has a grandmother who has a pool, so every year she has a Hawaiian themed pool party. It's a great way to go when you have a pool and a summer birthday. Every year we go to it my wife and I try to come up with new and exciting ideas for our girls birthdays, both of which come in December. Your options are really limited with winter birthdays. I mean, how many bowling or movie parties will the kids tolerate. At least we still have 5 months before we have to come up with something!

This particular kid's birthday parties have become more and more difficult for my wife and I to attend. You see, the parents of this kid and us used to be really good friends, about 5 or so years back. Over the years we had less and less in common and you can say we kind of split up as couple friends. Now, about the only time we socialize with them is, you guessed it, their kids birthday pool party. Last year my wife "conveniently" had to take a long training run, and met us at the party just as it was ending. I thought about telling her that this was her year to take the girls, but thought better of it and we both went. YEAH!!!

So there we sat with them around the table, drinking a beer, watching the kids have a blast in the pool while we searched deep for any kind of small talk. The wife of this couple really has no problem keeping the conversation going, mostly because she loves to talk about herself. My wife and I do an excellent job of nodding our heads, blurting out the occasional "uh-huh" and smiling, lots and lots of smiling. This really must be some form of torture on other countries. "Maybe more beer will help" I keep thinking.

All kids birthday parties follow the same timeline:

1. kids play
2. kids eat
3. kids watch birthday kid open presents
4. kids thank birthday kid and parents
5. parents take kids home

Number 5 on this list could not come soon enough for us, but for some reason steps 2 and 3 took longer than expected and we could not really rush step 4 without looking like total douche bags, right?

We got home after the 2.5 hour ordeal, put our feet up, and were quiet, for a long time. That is until the girls came off their birthday sugar high and wanted to play. Giddy up!!!


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Home Sweet Home


I woke up this morning in my bed, came down to make breakfast and coffee in my kitchen, and right now I am writing this post from my computer. Happy day! I love to travel, to take vacations, to hit the road to new places and experience new things. But, I think one of my favorite parts of any trip I have ever taken has been coming back home. How else can you truly appreciate what you have at home if you never leave it?

The family road trip was a great success. Because it was formed around a business trip for my wife there was the outside chance it would have been a failure, but we managed to give our kids a great trip and relatively no cost and ourselves a nice little break from reality (at least I wife still had those darn work meetings).

There are a couple of things I don't like about vacation road trips, and only recently have discovered them.

1. Eating out for every meal. I don't know if it's because we don't eat out as much when we are home, or if nothing will ever compare to my wife's cooking (let's go with that one, it sounds so much better and might earn me some brownie points). We ate at some really nice places and had some really good food, but at the end of every night my wife and I felt like we couldn't take enough acid reducer. It really did a number on our insides and we'll need 5 days of home cooking just to make those toilet trips more regular, if you catch my meaning.

2. Standard hotel rooms suck for families. In Portland we had a sweet suite with a room off the bedroom. We put the kids to bed, shut the door, and were able to enjoy each other's company and/or watch a little TV. In Seattle however it was one room, for all four of us. We made the best of it by putting the kids down in one bed and curling up in the corner, in the dark, with glass of wine while my wife read Harry Potter and I thumbed through USA Today. After they crashed we could crawl into the other bed and turn on the tube, but couldn't watch the good stuff on HBO. The thought of the girls waking up to First Blood was enough to keep us in the PBS zone for the night.

3. Most people in big cities drive like morons. I know things move faster and you have to react quicker, but come on. There is no need to ride my ass, cut me off, not let me merge and then give me the stink eye when you drive past. Go fuck yourselves and then learn how to drive! Oh, and on the same subject, would it kill the city of Seattle to use bigger and better place road signs? That place is a drivers worst nightmare. But it does make you appreciate life in a small town.

And speaking of small town, we have a nice little Saturday planned. Gonna hit the local farmer's market, then hit Costco to restock our empty cupboards, and then fill up the little backyard pool and try to beat the summer heat. HOME SWEET HOME.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Time for vacation


I decided to take tonight off from blogging and enjoy a little more vacation. The Mrs. and I have some wine and will enjoy some adult time after the kids crash out. Back home tomorrow!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The children's museum and the parenting exhibit

Day three of the family road trip had one, and only one, objective. Go to and enjoy the hell out of the Portland Children's Museum. This time is was me and the kids sans wife. She had to attend more work meetings which meant I was the sole parental entertainer for the day. I had the plan and it was going to work to perfection or there was going to be hell to pay!

OK, that is a little extreme, but a little extra drama could be good for the ratings, right? After we all kissed my wife goodbye I jumped in the bathroom for the s, s & s, got dressed, got the kids dressed, made sure everyone brushed their teeth, packed up the stuff, took three trips to pack up the car, double checked the room, got the kids packed in the car, forgot the glasses from the room were in the car, make another trip to the room, triple checked everything, got back into the car and hit the road for our big day.

We arrived at the C.M. and found the same parking chaos that greeted us the day before at the zoo. Don't people in Portland work for crying out loud? And if they don't then shouldn't they be saving their money instead of paying to see the local attractions? Actually, we only had to look for a spot for about 10 minuets so not too bad. The kids were still fired up and we were ready for fun.

Now, I'm sure you are thinking "kid's museum, why in the hell would you subject yourself to that?" "are there exhibits of ugly kids, asshole kids, fat kids next to tall kids?" No, nothing like that, but it is a place that parents can turn their kids loose and catch up with them several hours later without having to lift a finger, answer a question or do anything remotely resembling parenting. In other words...a little vacation within the vacation.

What is great is that while you, the parent, can take a break from parenting your own kids, you can observe other parents either doing or not doing the same thing. Some parents just can't let little Jimmy do anything on his own so they are their, helping him mold his clay, shoot the water gun and get dressed in silly costumes. Poor kid probably hasn't wiped his own ass, ever. Then there are the parents who do such a good job of "non-parenting" they don't notice when their sweet baby is tearing apart the exhibits or eating the fake rocks or kicking the poor volunteer who thought "helping kids" was what they wanted to spend their retirement years doing...poor bastards!

I think I fall somewhere in-between. Staying out of my kids hair long enough for them to feel a little Independence yet keeping enough of one eye on them to make sure they see mom in one piece later that afternoon. Plus, I can just enjoy relaxing, something that family road trips are not known for.

Day 4 tomorrow, bring on your best Seattle...cause we are coming!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

All animals love sleep, not just my dog


Day 2 of the ol' family road trip is coming to an end as I sit here on the hotel couch, stuffed full of late dinner plus dessert, and figure out what I should post about. Let's see...the day started off pretty good. We enjoyed some complimentary breakfast in the hotel lobby area. We took a drive to the local Target store to look for warmer clothing for the kids (much cooler this morning than we packed for). We dropped off my wife for meetings (we did kinda tag along on a work trip for her so whatcha gonna do?). We hit a mall carousal, the food court and the carousal again. What is it about those damn things? You sit on a wood horse, spin around a couple dozen times, slowly, and that's it. Yet, it will be the one thing my girls will say was their favorite part of the trip. It didn't even have that terrible organ music...what a jip! We come back to the hotel for some serious pool time (again a little cold, but my kids would swim in the outside hotel pool, in Minnesota, in January, just for the chance to do so. But, the real highlight came after we picked up my wife in the afternoon. THE PORTLAND ZOO BABY!!!

When we visited Portland a couple of years ago I took the kids to the zoo solo while my wife again was at work meetings. At the time they were 5 and 3 and really loved it. It could only be better at ages 5 and 7 plus having their mom there. When I looked it up on the Internet last week they were promoting two new things, a baby elephant and the Chimpanzee Maze for kids. Both were very much anticipated by my girls.

We pull into the parking lot to find, what seemed like, just about all of the Portland metro area trying to find a spot. Why the hell would so many people be coming to the zoo on a Tuesday afternoon? Were they giving rides on the giraffes (that would be so sweet, and I would pay big bucks for that attraction, just for the record). After what seemed like 5 hours trying to find a spot we finally park the family roadster, waltz up to the ticket counter and prepare to plunk down close to 50 bucks for 3 hours of zoo fun. The ticket gal said "that will be $8 please." Whoa, turns out every second Tuesday it's $2 Tuesday at the zoo. That explains the body jam, and the sweet collection of some of Portland's finest visiting this day. OK, we pay the $8, feel a little better about the parking situation, and head in.

We cruise around, taking in all the exhibits and trying to locate the animals who lived in them. Two observations from the zoo trip, a) just because there is a cage and a sign with the name, picture and description of the animal that lives there does not mean you will see this animal live and in person, and b) animals of all shapes and sized have one big thing in common, they love to sleep. When we did see the actual animal that matched the photo of the sign there was a 75% chance they were in dreamland.

We were making pretty good time and seeing just about all there was to see, even the baby elephant (very cute I must say). All the time my wife is trying to steer us towards the much anticipated Chimpanzee Maze. We finally roll up to the entrance at 6pm just in time to see them put up the "closed for the day" sign. Oh shit! Within 2 seconds of K seeing this sign she breaks down into uncontrollable tears. R, who can't read completely yet also breaks into tears, for what reason she does not even know at the time. All the fun and snow cones of the day will go right down the old shit drain now, and not even another ride on that fucking mall carousal will fix it. Thank goodness my kids weren't the only ones having a hissy fit, and out of the goodness of the zoo hearts they reopen for another 15 minuets. The day is saved, and for just $1 each my girls were able to spend a good 3 minutes negotiating what they believe to be training ground for all zoo primates.

So, in closing it was a good day. And thanks to the now legendary Portland Zoo Chimpanzee Maze I won't have to hear about that carousal...I think. Tomorrow is a new day.


Monday, July 13, 2009 stories???


7 1/2 hours in the car, several potty stops, one lunch stop, one stop to see Multnomah Falls (Dad, we've never seen waterfalls before) and no great road trip stories. How can this be? The girls were great, the wife was happy, and I have nothing to complain and/or laugh out loud about. I mean, besides gale force winds that nearly took me into the river two dozen times the trip was fast and easy.

Maybe kids are just adapting better to long road trips in the car better than in my day. In my day we would only be 15 miles out of town before we started asking if we were there yet. It was only 30 miles outside of town before my parents had to separate us before we killed each other. and it was every 15 miles on the 15 miles that they would threaten us with turning around and going home. We complained about being too hot, being too cold, needing the windows down for fresh air, needing them up because it was too windy. Turn the music up, turn it down. How my parents made those trips, and continued to make them each and every summer is so beyond me. I think the best description of me and my siblings on a road trip is how Gremlins get when you put water on them....except with crazier eyes and smaller ears.

Now, I could have done without the 10 million questions we got from "R" (as you know she asks more questions, well....someone who asks a ton of questions. And our special road trip lunch was at Denny's (I still feel like Satan's spawn is slowly chewing his way out of my stomach lining). But, all in all the trip was a great success. We roll into our sweet hotel, enjoyed the complimentary dinner and Fat Tire beer, jumped in the hot tub for a soak, put the kids to bed and am now enjoying a little wine with the wife watching Two And A Half can life get any better (OK, so having a separate room for the kids next door with walls thick enough to keep a heard of elephants quiet so the adults can "play" would be great, but...the wine tastes pretty good so, eh?).

Maybe tomorrow the real road trip fireworks will start...we do have plans for the zoo, kids museum and science center. They can't stay this perfect...can they?

Until tomorrow,


This is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy!!!

"I think you're all fucked in the head. We're ten hours from the fucking fun park and you want to bail out. Well I'll tell you something. This is no longer a vacation. It's a quest. It's a quest for fun. I'm gonna have fun and you're gonna have fun. We're all gonna have so much fucking fun we'll need plastic surgery to remove our goddamn smiles. You'll be whistling 'Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah' out of you're assholes! I gotta be crazy! I'm on a pilgrimage to see a moose. Praise Marty Moose! Holy Shit!" - Clark Griswold from Vacation

Today we pack up the family cruiser and hit the road for a little vacation to Portland and then Seattle. It's not our first family road trip, but it's been a couple of years since our last one and since our girls don't really remember it so I am calling it the first, unofficial road trip for the family. I will do my darnedest to blog about the trip while on the road giving you insight on the good, the bad and the funny. It should be a fun ride for everyone and maybe we'll uncover some great family spots for those of you who travel to these cities in the future.

Today we have 7+ hours in the car so it should make for some great material. Have a great Monday everyone and make sure to check back and see how the family road trip is going.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Oops, I crapped my pants!


The other night at 5am I was woken up to the sound of someone puking their brains out in our bathroom. I stumbled my way to the door to see our oldest with her head in the toilet and my wife holding her hair back. My wife made an excellent puck friend for her sorority sisters so she knew exactly how to handle this situation. I went back to bed, my wife followed shortly and K grabbed a blanket and slept on the bathroom floor.

The next day K was treated to endless runs to the bathroom to take care of the runs she was feeling out of the other end. Unfortunately for her, and us, she has yet to experience the issues this kind of illness can have on your bowel control, thus...SHARTING! I was amazed that when describing K's issues with a friend they had never heard of the word shart. It's a simple combination of the words shit and fart, and is used often in our house, mostly as means to disgust or humor someone.

I don't know when in human development people start to figure out that when you have diarrhea, and you also fee like you have to pass gas, that it's best to make your way to the toilet or risk brown streaking your underwear, pants and very possibility the chair you are sitting on. I know there are still some adults that have problem with this control, not first hand of course..I don't shart, let me tell you a funny story now.

Friends of ours were telling us about their 9 year old son who refused to wear underwear. Even while playing sports he won't wear it, a jock strap or cup. After a long, hot baseball game the son ditched his clothes in the laundry room and headed upstairs. Our friend went in right after him to discover a rather large dirt trail in the seat of his uniform pants. She called him down and asked if he was feeling ok? He replied "I was just playing really hard out there mom!"

Sharting is never fun and for the child who experience it for the first (and in my daughters case over the last couple of days, 7th) time it can really be a head trip. Speaking of trips, this morning I almost tripped over one of her freshly soiled pairs of that is a wake up call.

As I wrap up the post my daughter, on her way downstairs, just informed me that the "area" that her poop comes from looks a little purple, while her sister's looks reddish. Nice!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

They blinded me with science


Yesterday afternoon it was just my girls and me for the whole day. For most of the summer we have split days with another family, or my mom would watch the girls, or I would drop them off at their former daycare to see their old teachers and some old friends. But yesterday it was just me and them, for the day, all day. The night before I put my plan together and it was just what Dr. Thomas Dolby ordered...a trip to our local kids science center. I myself have never been, but both my kids and wife have. We had talked about it for the past month or so and yesterday was the day.

As science centers go, and I speak with limited experience only having visited a couple in my life, ours is OK, not great, but not terrible. I didn't know what to expect really but when we walked through the doors I thought it was going to be better then static balloons stuck to the wall. The youngest, "R", was instantly startled by the stuffed cougar and coyote that greeted us at the door. It did not matter that they were long since dead, she was not going near those things. Just then a plastic ball with two small rodents goes jetting by us. Obviously residents of these parts, my girls start to follow blindly before I get them back on track and to the real excitement.

After the usual fair of optical illusions, electricity experiments and puzzle games, a nice lady with a rodent on her shoulder asks if the girls would like to come listen to her little presentation on insects. My girls love insects, so they enthusiastically jump at the chance. I follow along to see the real show, not the bugs, but the amazing girls with a zillion questions. This poor lady did not know what she was in for..but I did, and I could not wait to see someone else tackle their barrage of endless queries.

So, of course the first round of questioning dealt with the rodent perched on her shoulders.

"Why is that mouse on your shoulders?"

"She is a rat, not a mouse, and she is my special assistant."

"What is the mouses name?"

"Again, she is a rat and her name is Violet."

"Why is Violet on your shoulders?"

"She is my special assistant and she likes to go for rides."

There were several other rat/mouse/Violet questions before she could even start her presentations. She starts by asking a few questions herself to test the insect knowledge of my girls. K had taken a trip to the local universities bug museum for school so she had all the answers. Her sister R on the other hand was still asking about Violet.

"Will your mouse bite?"

"No, she is very tame." she answered obviously giving up on convincing R that it was a rat and not a mouse.

About half way through the presentation the two rodents in the ball rolled by, starting a whole new series of questions that had nothing to do with insects.

"Why are those two mice in the ball?"

"They are called Dungas, not mice, and they are just exploring the center?"

"Why are they in that ball?"

"We keep them in the ball so they don't run away?"

"What is that brown stuff in the ball with them?"

"Dungas poop."

You can imagine where the question went from there. After trying to keep the girls on track for the better part of her presentation she wraps it up by asking if the girls had any questions about insects and there impact on the world? R raises her hand and says...

"Did you know there is a dead cougar and coyote in the lobby?"

"Yes I did"

"I don't like them?"

"Oh, they aren't real, you shouldn't be scared."

"OK...can I pet your mouse now?"

Long live science!!!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Our favorite kids songs, vol. 3


Here is the third, and final, volume of kids songs our family grooves too. I can admit that some of these songs get played enough that I find myself wishing for slow death before I hear them again, but all in all these songs are great for the whole family in limited play. Of course the kids can play the same song over and over and over......then come downstairs and ask to sing it to me, over and over and over. Gotta love 'em. Here we go:

11. Peanut Butter Polka - The Jimmies

How many ways do you like your peanut butter sandwich, not including with jelly? This song pay tribute to all the different ways kids like their PB. I recall really liking it with mustard myself. To be in the song I would need a name that rhymed with mustard...I don't like the prospects.

12. Banana Smoothie - The Naked Brothers Band

Great little ditty by a band that might be following the footsteps of the Jonas Brothers if they aren't careful. Kind of a Hawaiian island theme going on here with directions on how to make the perfect tropical treat. My girls and I have developed a dance that would look great in a music video, just in case you are reading Naked Brothers.

13. Love, Lovely Family - The Roots

Another main stream group with a big kids hit. I don't know if this song was meant for the younger crowd, but it gets a lot of play on Sirius/XM Kids Stuff and both my kids and I sing this from start to finish. This adds a little hip hop/reggae to the mix and is sure to please the mellow music lovers of the group.

14. El Quacko - Zev

Like Catboy this song has a little old country style to it. This is another nonsense song that kids pick up pretty quick. Think Rawhide meets the Wiggles, but much cooler than the Wiggles. And can you beat a cowboy duck named El Quacko? I didn't think so.

15. Billy Joe Mcguffrey - Veggie Tales

The tale of the most injury prone child on earth. Very funny lyrics that go pretty fast for kids, but you'll get a kick out of them. There are several versions of this song available, but I went with Veggie Tales because I like the voices the best.

Well, that's it. All 15 songs recommended by whatnowdad and his two little angels. I encourage your responses to my list and any others I may have missed. We are always looking for good music to get our groove too. Life without music is pretty dull, and quiet!


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Our favorite kids songs, vol. 2


As promised, here is the second volume of our favorite kids songs as heard on Sirius/XM Kids Place Live and recently downloaded by me for my girls. I hope you like them as much as we do.

6. Catboy - Pencilhead and the Playground Punks

This songs cracks my kids up every time they here it. Picture a lilliputian riding the family cat rodeo style. Like Fast Monkey the lyrics in this song are easy to understand for kids who like to sing along. It also has a nice country music style to it if you are into that kind of thing.

7. Crazy ABC's - Barenaked Ladies

It seems like a lot of former mainstream music acts have tried their hand at kids tunes and this is certainly the case for the Barenaked Ladies. While I have to try to explain their band name to my kids every time this song comes on they love this song. It's the thinking kids alphabet song and will introduce them to words they don't hear everyday, unless you have one of those "word of the day" calendars at home.

8. What Kind Of Dog Are You? - Billy Jonas

This is not the 4th Jonas brother in case you are wondering (that's Frank Jonas, and his purity ring is BROKEN). Very funny song with word plays galore. My girls love to shout the answers before I can, and they have gotten very good at it after hearing the song about 500 times!

9. Barking At The Moon - Jenny Lewis from the movie "Bolt"

I have not seen this movie, but my kids have and they love it. This is more of a traditional country song that could be heard on your local radio station. It's a sweet song and Miss Lewis shows she has a great voice. I'm just glad it was not sung by Milly Cyrus, one of the voice stars of the movie. That girl just bugs me!

10. It Only Take One Night To Make A Balloon Your Friend - Lunch Money

This is one of my all time favorite kids songs (the other did not make the list only because I could not download it, but maybe it can make a "just missed list). Very simple song about the life if a helium balloon and it's new owner. You can see the song writer actually writing down everything her child did with his balloon and then make a creative song about it. I also think this song could have been written while the song writer was high, but that is just wrong.

OK, only one more volume to go, and maybe that list of "almost misses". Please let me know if you have opinions about any of these songs if you have heard them millions of time like me or if they are brand new to you and your kids.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Our favorite kids songs, vol. 1


Living in a small town has it's share of plus items and negative items. One of the things we lack around here that bigger places enjoy is variety in radio stations. For too many years I was stuck with about 4 reliable radio options in my car. Their formats changed every so often and sometimes they would change to something I could stomach listening too. When my wife and I had kids we were pretty much stuck with CD's from the likes of the Wiggles, Backyardigans, Dora the Explorer and such. While the kids loved these infant rockers my wife and I would feel a little like captured enemies of the state forced into some mid-evil torture. Thank goodness for satellite radio! When I subscribed to Sirius Satellite Radio not only did I get several radio formats that I liked, we also got the Kids Stuff channel, now called Kids Place live on Sirius/XM. While we still get a few songs that make me long for the Carpenters, there is a good number of songs that both the kids and the adults like. When you find this rare combo you want to hold onto them like gold. For about a month the kids and I would keep a list of our favorite songs from Kids Place Live and I told them at the end of that month I would download them and put them on a CD...kind of a like a "best of" for our family. I thought why not share our little music collection for the masses that read this blog and add a little parent commentary for each track. So, without further we go with volume 1:

1. That's How You Know - Amy Adams from the movie "Enchanted"

This is one of our families all-time favorite songs from one of our favorite movies. If you have little girls in your house I would strongly recommend renting this movie ASAP. You'll be singing this song together in no time. And don't take my word for it, it was nominated for an academy award back in 2007.

2. Hamster Dance - Hampton the Hamster

If your kids love to dance like mine do, then this song is for them. Based off the pop culture phenomenon website this funky number has very few lyrics but a catchy beat that both kids and adults can't help to bop their heads too. One word of warning, it can get stuck in your head and cause some sleepless nights.

3. Crazy Frog (Axel F) - Crazy Frog

This is a remake of the classic Beverly Hills instrumental hit Axel F. Like the Hamster Dance this song is for those kids that like to get up and shake it. There are a couple other songs from the same Crazy Frog that are takes on old instrumental classics. See also the version of Popcorn...good stuff!

4. Fast Monkey - Stevesongs

This song falls into the category of senseless fun. It seems the artist was smoking a little bud and then decided to write a kids song, or just scribbled down some of the things he saw during his "trip". The words are easy to understand and my kids were singing along after their 3rd time hearing it. For parents it's kind of cute that you will get a chuckle out of. And don't be surprised if you aren't singing along as well.

5. The Song Of Life - Scribblemonster

This song pays tribute to the classic board game Life. I loved playing this game as a kid and just recently introduced it to my kids. After a couple of months playing the game we hear this song on the radio and it was an instant hit with us. Just think about the game and you understand the lyrics immediately. For those of you poor fools who have never played Life, I suggest playing the game and then listening to the song. You'll love both.

In my next blog I'll go into Volume II of our music hit list, stay tuned.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Please pass the wiener....schnitzel


The conversations around our dinner table can be very entertaining for me and my lovely wife. Especially when the two individuals providing the bulk of that entertainment (our two girls) are on their "A" game. Last night we had a little BBQ going. I'm talking hot dogs, potato salad, fries, the works! With a meal like this there actually isn't much talking, just eating. The peace wouldn't last however when I uttered these, now famous in our house, words. "Can someone please pass me the wieners?" I know it's kind of an old fashioned term for hot dogs, but sometimes I like to go old school with my vocabulary. Well, the looks I got from both of my girls reminded me that while my comment may have been innocent enough, the term wiener has a whole different meaning in the world of grade schoolers. My oldest, after trying to wrap her brain around the fact that Dad just announced the word WIENER at the dinner table said "Dad, that's gross!" My youngest then breaks into what I assume is laughter, but is mostly snickers and heavy breathing. My wife, always trying to keep our girls away from such thoughts, starts in with "well you know, that is what some people call hot dogs." Then, out of know where comes the somewhat accurate history lesson. "In Germany" she continues..."they make hot dogs called wiener schnitzels and that is where the term wiener actually comes from." Thank you professor, but at this point we have used the term wiener so much that it wouldn't matter how we tried to justify it, all our girls heard was WIENER, WIENER WIENER...BLAH, BLAH, BLAH...WIENER. Now our oldest has joined the barley breathing laugh parade. My wife tries to close the matter by saying "so do you understand the difference between hot dog wieners and the other kind?" To which my daughter replies "ya, but I don't want to eat any wiener because they might have hair on them!" "OK, can someone pass me the hot dogs so I can eat now???"