Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Never turn your back or how to make you stint in "time out" worse.

Ruby is quick. For example, if you want a picture and she isn't interested...forget it. As a parent watching two children, sometimes you have to take your eyes off them. You turn around for the other or you get wrapped up in, cleaning, etc. Other times you put them in their room in "time out" and walk a away for a split second and the results are disastrous.
olivia said there was crying, a thump and then silence. She ran in to check on Ru and this is what we found. Curtains...out of the wall. We've had to get onto her for pulling on them before. Sometimes the lesson learned from an incident is for you, not your child. We learned that she is still so young that we can never turn our backs for even the briefest moment. Though drywall repair was not on my list of things to do this week, I am thankful that it is powder and paint that was damaged and not skin and bone.

                     I have also learned the lesson of restraint...I didn't swear once.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Shots from the Weekend

Took Chopper and the girls to the dog park this weekend (thanks for the tip Taylor). We had a blast, mainly Chopper making and playing with new friends and Ruby watching and chasing around with them. We were a little nervous as she doesn't understand when not to disturb their play but she did fine. Oddly enough, the one time she did get a little bump was horsing around with daddy. 

I love how the girls can make a toy out of anything. BABIES IN BOXES!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Secret Lion

This is the Secret Lion. The lion once belonged to Sailor's friend Mary Zeta. He was an open ear, confidant and shoulder to cry on. Her parents would hear her cooing, babbling and looking at him always feeling she was pouring out her heart and telling the lion things she could never tell her parents.

As she got older, the lion was called on less and less and fewer and fewer secrets were shared. Sailor was younger and had fresh new secrets, so he came to live with us. He hangs down above her from the handle on her car seat. As we drive we can hear Sailor whispering, rambling and sometimes even laughing with him in the back seat. As close as we are to our children, as much as we know and as badly as we desire more, there are some things we will never know. Some things will escape us, get past us or are simply not meant for us. Some of these will stay guarded forever, between the heart of a little girl and the stuffing of the Secret Lion. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ikea potty and requested video

On a recent trip to Atlanta, olivia got Ruby a cheap plastic toilet to assist with potty training. I thought this would be great, more like a toy and just her size so no climbing up onto the full size commode. The thing I never thought about was the portability of said toilet. Ruby has been really into her babies lately and has had a baby potty for quite some time which stays in the bonus room which is the default playroom.


Now they can both use the potty in the bonus room...near the couch, by the computer, etc. Amazing, isn't it...the things that would be out of the ordinary or unacceptable if it came from any source other than your child?

  And now, by a reader's request, video of Sailor sitting up...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Candid photo behind the scenes

Playing photographer earlier this week, Ruby was calling the shots from in front of the camera. She would tell me what to shoot and I would take the picture. The shot was her and Chopper on the couch but she kept wanting to add more and more and getting a two year old and a dog on the same page got to be a little too comedic and I turned the camera off and the camcorder on. I love the way he watches her off camera and is very patient, to a point. Eventually he got frustrated with her diva ways and walked off the set...the video is below. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


We've been trying to get Ruby a little more solid on her colors. I lay out the markers and ask her to hand me the color. This seems to helping in conjunction with flash cards and a book of the colors from G.G.
 Of course this led to Sharpie tattoos...first it was chopper on her ribs...
 then a granola bar on her left forearm...
and Lilo and Stitch on her fists.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday morning

 Getting ready to go out and swing...
 Had a request to draw a motorcycle on the etch-a-sketch.
My buddy Greg rolled in unexpectedly yesterday. We stayed up late last night catching up. He was leaving this morning and had an apple for the road in his hand. Ruby was not shy about asking for the apple which he gladly gave her. She worked on it for quite awhile, long enough for most of the exposed parts it to turn brown. At that point, she wanted nothing to do with it but thought it would be suitable for daddy...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sidewalk chalk and the swingset and time change blues...

On a tear Monday, Ruby unearthed some sidewalk chalk I had forgotten about. In an effort to consume as much of these awesome temperatures as we can, we spent some time on the lawn and driveway Monday afternoon. Perhaps we are throwing away all the time we've spent teaching her only to color in coloring books out the window but I think it was worth it. Besides, you never know if your couch will look better with a lime green scribble on it until you try it, right?

 It was a hair chilly for a baby, nothing a blanket didn't fix.
 The swing is in the back yard awaiting final placement from the wife and installation of the kit to keep it on the ground. Each morning I open up the windows to let natural light in. This morning Ruby discovered the big toy she can't yet play with sitting outside. It has been the predominant source of discussion since.

Sailor is really into her exersaucer. There isn't a cry in her arsenal that this can't fix. The house in the right of the picture plays music when you hit the chimney. There is also a record function. Right now it is me saying Sailor's name a couple times. Tomorrow I think I might try fart noises. I am 33 and I still find them funny (and don't act like you don't either).
Our real first child came in from a bathroom break Tuesday smelling like...I don't really know what but it wasn't good. Ruby loves it when he gets treated like a human. She laughed all the way through his bath. Him...not so much.

This was the rocking horse I had when I was a kid. My wife talked me out of tossing it when we moved Mom. We handed it down to Ruby and she loves it (good call babe, I was being an idiot). On the way to lunch yesterday she asked to sit on something else.

I know how the time change effects me: an extra hour of sleep and I get hungrier earlier for a couple days. I never thought about how it would effect the girls. Yesterday toward the end of a lunch out, Ruby (in addition to devouring her plate in record time) got really fussy and uncooperative. It ended up costing her a trip to the playground, though I can't help but feel daylight savings time had a hand in it. Despite being awake, she asked to be carried in which is a first. A blanket and stuffed animal later and she was out. We both learned a lesson today: her that daddy means what he says and me, that factors you would never dream of will have influence on your children.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bottles and Swings

This weekend at Target I overheard a conversation between a new mother to be and a grandma to be. They were weighing Evenflo and Dr. Browns bottles. I decided to pitch in and told them about my high opinion of the Dr. Browns products. Despite the number of pieces, the bottles are worth the effort and we rarely experience excessive gas or spitting up, even across two children. Much to my surprise, despite having the girls with me, they didn't seem to take me seriously as a parent or that I would know what I was taking about. This is the first instance of "dadscrimination" I have encountered. Every morning I assemble the bottles for the day and fill the hopper with three meals for Sailor. I have loaded the dishwasher basket and hand washed bottles more times than I care to count. I would say I am qualified to testify an opinion and have extensive knowledge of the product.

Later in the weekend I tackled a task that might have been more in line with their opinion of daddy duities: swing stand assembly. We ordered this gem from a local big-box retailer and I picked it up in the store. It was smaller and lighter than expected. The instructions said to allow for one hour of assembly time. This is a load of baloney, it took me well over two hours. Once I got in the swing of it (haha), it got easier but the instruction sheet was not clear and failed to provide a couple pivotal tips that would have made a huge difference in time and difficulty. I know this assembly is the first of many to come, just need to remember to keep my cool and be patient.

 (it was light out when I started)

A couple random shots: going out last week, Ruby insisted on wearing a hat. We picked one that matched her jacket. She also wore her new brown boots for the first time. She loves pockets and always throws her hands into or puts things into them.

Sailor didn't feel like a nap when Ruby and I did so we laid on the couch and watched Roseanne while Ruby slept. Glad she felt like looking at the camera. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

How NOT to parent...

These are all videos I watched at some point or another this week. The first was from an episode of Beavis and Butthead, the others were discussed on the radio show I listen to each morning getting the day together.

MGMT's video for kids, great band and song but don't think I would put my kids through it. I have always heard about the child actor and actress protection on films like The Exorcist and Taxi Driver. Wonder of there was any of this here.

Certainly you heard about this in the news this week, a grown man beating his handicapped daughter.
Terribly disturbing and rough to watch. NSFW.

This one is funny in a way but still not something I'm sure I would subject the girls to.

What do you think about these videos?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Beach Recap and Back to Real Life

Perdido Key, Florida is the hidden treasure of the Gulf Coast. Nestled between Orange Beach and Pensacola, the city is underpopulated even in peak season. So much so, in fact, that some business have had a hard time staying open even before Hurricane Ivan or the BP oil spill. We stayed at a unit in Ocean Breeze West, one of a pair of twin buildings less than a mile apart on the main stretch of coastline right before the road turns and runs directly into Pensacola proper.

Celebrating our anniversary, we were fortunate enough to have great weather and no crowd. It was warm enough to swim in the ocean and the pool is heated so we enjoyed both. When I say no crowd, we saw literally two people on the beach in front of the building and at the pool deck on Friday and that was it. The remainder of the weekend, we had full run of the sand and water.
I know it is cliche, but I love eating seafood at the beach. In addition to popcorn shrimp at the Shrimp Basket, we also had burgers at local dive The Keg in Orange Beach, beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe Beignet and pizza at Lillian's. Lillian's has a long and interesting history in the area. Once located beach-side in a much smaller convenience store, rumor has it she was a holdout in the planning phase of a large condo development and was able to negotiate her way into a small fortune. Her new restaurant supports this claim as it dwarfs the old one and everything is new and sparkling clean.    

 Al's Five and Dime, a dollar store before dollar stores were the rage. Mom used to take us there on family vacations for activity books and souvenirs. Still kicking and hope it stays so we can take the girls one day...
We found this in another shop in Gulf Shores. A tribute of sorts to Pat the Bunny, which Ruby loves, we got a real kick out of this book. We read through it a couple times in hysterics, reading along as the kids torture the poor beastie to a not so happy ending. Not quite sure the girls are ready for this one yet...
 Ruby was on the tire swing with Uncle Ken when we got to the in-laws place on Sunday afternoon. She was having the time of her life and could have cared less that we were there...
 Back to it on Monday, Ruby caught up on her e-mail. 
 Sailor tried to get the hang of a new stacking toy.
Walked the girls to the playground yesterday and came across a leftover Halloween yard decoration. The first of many conversations to come in which I don't know quite how to explain something to my daughters. How would you have handled the "whats that" question on this one?