Sunday, March 31, 2013

From February 2012

While driving home from preschool:
Me: So tell me what you learned about today.
Relia: Oh, just some more letters.
Me: Which ones.
Relia: (pause) If I tell you, you won't believe me.

Felix stood up while eating breakfast, pointed at his bottom and proudly said 'poopy!'. It would be nice if he acted as his own warning system...

Saw this on twitter: "groundhog day is just a fake holiday made up by the groundhog companies to sell more groundhog."

Went to Target to get supplies this morning. The guy behind me was wearing a Packers hat. While I was moving bags into the cart he moved forward and was blocking the card reader. When he realized his mistake he started to move back. I mustered all the mock sympathy I could and said, "That's ok. I know today is verrry confusing for Packer fans."

Being at home with a toddler in the 'I do it!' phase is liking working with the most eager and incompetent employee ever.
Make that incompetent, eager and belligerent . . .

Heading down to Austin soon with Relia. Going to a Matchbox play!
Back from Austin. Greatly enjoyed the play, so did Relia.
A four year old comments on pregnancy . . .
Sarah: (while laying on the couch) There is so much I want to do today. I should get up and starting doing things.
Relia: But if you get up, you'll have to go potty!

Back from the Art of Shaving at the MOA. The winter beard is gone.

Is Tracy Jordan adding ten pounds each season of 30 Rock?

Relia made me a very nice card. With some parental suggestion she wrote 'I love you' on it. However, when you first glance at it, for all the world it looks like 'F U Lou'.

Words that will always make me think of John Denver: griddle, sunshine, feather bed.

Without any prompting, Sarah just pronounced 'Hormel' correctly. She has been assimilated.

Best Monkee's song? Probably 'Stepping Stone', right? Or maybe 'Daydream Believer'?

After much thought, I've come to the conclusion that 'Ferb' is short for 'Ferbinand'.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

From March 2012

The kids are in bed. I'm opening up the Plutarch and having a beer.

Oh, I almost forgot, Happy Platypus day, everyone!

Melt you snow, melt!

Rejected boy names from this week:
Jack Sparrow
Spanish Inquisition (no would expect it)

The morning after the NCAA Tournament brackets are released; this is when I miss working in an office.

Felix just clearly said 'not fair'. I'm sure we won't hear that very often.  

Relia is working hard to convince us that she doesn't have room for one more bit of dinner, but plenty of room for pie. Ah, toddler logic . . .

Got a call from a drunk southern guy who wanted to rent an apartment. Yeah, I couldn't help him.

I bribed Relia into picking some basketball teams. I, um, might have a problem.

Seen on Twitter: 'People are losing the spirit of Ides of March. Not just about stabbing. It's about coming together to stab in groups.'

Felix just brought me the changing pad and a diaper. Guess he is ready for a change.

I think I'm having sympathy false labor.

I just asked Felix if we should make some lunch. He said "yeah!". I then asked him what we should make for lunch and he proudly said "cookies!". He's a smart kid.

This week's rejected boy names:
Chanandler Bong ("That's MS Chanandler Bong!")
Peder Jr

I read to Relia tonight and we were trying to choose between two Dr Seuss books, 'Grinch who Stole Christmas' and 'Yertel the Turtle'.
Relia: I want the Grinch.
Me: But, sweetie, it's not Christmas.
Relia: Well, it's not turtle day!
I had no comeback for that. We read the Grinch.

At some point Relia will be able to eat a chocolate cookie without ending up looking like Groucho Marx.

Sarah just told me she has a hankering for Hy Vee deli. Who have I married?


Friday, March 29, 2013

From Aprill 2012

Relia has declared that we should have mini donuts every day.

When you're four years old and a bit tired, every TV show is the Hypnotoad.

Today I learned that twenty(!) years of neglect have not helped my meager algebra skills at all. (I aced the reading comprehension part though.)

There may be no more rewarding part of being a father than when I've made a meal for the kids and they actually eat it quickly and happily.

And . . . it's the due date. Now we can have this baby anytime in the next two weeks.

Holy crap, I just realized that for the first time in my life I'm older than anyone on the White Sox roster this year.

Nothing yet. If we go much further we'll schedule a long plane flight and an inception. (I may have misunderstood that last part.)

At the dinner table:
Relia: Fe Fi Fo Fum, I am a giant yum!
Felix: Fe Fi Fo Fum, I'm a giant too!
I guess we're giants now.

New addition: got a new ipod!

Announcing the birth of Leo DeFor, born 13 April at 12:53 AM. Weighing 9lbs, 6 oz. Both mother and baby are doing wonderful!

Relia just told me that she needs to use eHarmony. She's complaining that she's never had a date. Anyone have the number of a good convent she can stay in until she's 18?

Seriously, what's better than a little infant squeak?

Parenting protip, when changing a little boy, never assume that they're done peeing. Be on your guard.

Sarah has '16 and Pregnant' on. I feel so bad for those teens that I'm doubting whether we should ever have kids.      

Every time I see the WGBH symbol (and hear their sound effect), it makes me want to watch '3-2-1 Contact'.

I never feel more carnivorous than when I'm eating my children's cheeseburgers.

Relia just told us that she feels left out in comparison to all of the attention that Leo is getting. It broke my heart to tell her that soon we would have to leave her on an ice floe.

Felix just told us that we shouldn't put peanut butter in his eyes, or Leo's eyes. Noted.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

From May 2012

Getting a bit dressed up to see Relia's new school tonight (Kindergarten Round-Up). Relia saw me and said, "why are you trying to look handsome?".

Felix is absolutely amazed by the sight of our neighbor cutting the lawn. His surprise says nothing good about my lawn care habits.

We've all got our derby hats on. Do you have yours?

I have never cheered harder for a sit-com couple than I do for Amy Farah-Fowler and Sheldon Cooper.

While in the car . . .
Relia: Leo, you've won a prize. You get a free breastfeeding!
I'm sure that the eligibility requirements were very limited.

Every time I watch an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine, I think 'maybe it's not a good idea to let these trains make their own decisions'.

We hit snack time this morning and I asked Felix if he was ready for a snack. He said yes, and then proceeded to pull two pieces of bread out from under the blanket on the couch. These were quickly shoved in his mouth so that he could eat them before the snack. Looked like a chipmunk. Never a dull moment with kids.

Why don't we have little gauges on babies to tell us when they need to eat yet? I mean, it's 2012 for gossake!

If the clouds somehow clear, the eclipse will start at 6:19p. (Well, it will start then no matter what the clouds do but it will be much less impressive for us in Mpls if we're cloud covered.)

It feels strange to not be thinking of baby names anymore.

It's amazing how many songs from 1980-1982 make me want to go roller-skating.

Relia just asked me if turkeys could fly. I'm not putting her in charge of Thanksgiving promotions.

It's far too early to argue with people who want to eat cereal with a knife.

"Kicking and a' gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer." One of the all time great song lyrics.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

From June 2012

My wife knows *two* different aardvark songs. What kind of world is this?

When my kids are playing phone and I say 'who you gonna call?', they never understand that I'm making a joke.

Relia: What is a 'ninjo'?
Me: Do you mean a 'ninja'?
Relia: Yeah.
Me: They are a kind of fighter. They're very sneaky.
Relia: They sneak up on people . . . and say BOO! (giggles to herself) And then they kill them.

The phrase 'full body sneeze' takes on whole different meaning to a seven week old.

I'm showing Felix 'Finding Nemo'. I think it's his first viewing. He just told me 'I don't wanna be inside a whale. I'm too big!'.

I just had a traveler help me out with the very tricky airport codes for Oakland and Seattle. Um, thanks dude.

Relia told me that if I want to lose weight, there are shows on 'after I go to bed' that can help with that.

About 20% of my dad duties can best be described as 'jungle gym'.

We took a little trip across the river to WI today and saw a car with a giant decal of a Packer's helmet on it. This conversation happened:

Relia: He had a football on the truck!
Me: This is Wisconsin and that was for the Packers.
Relia: Packers? I hate the Packers!
Felix: (getting into the act) I hate crackers! I hate crackers!
Since then he has shown his 'hatred' by eating every cracker he could find.

For tomorrow nights lullaby, Relia has requested 'Rock This Town' by the Stray Cats.

I like that it is now the standard convention that the first thing an animal does when it escapes the zoo is to start a Twitter account. I wonder if they'll update the 'Life of Pi' movie to include this.

While driving in the car tonight we passed a park where there was soccer:
Me: Do you see them playing soccer over there?
Relia: How can they play soccer in the rain?
Me: Uh, they just do.
Felix: You put down the umbrella first, Relia!
He's a very practical boy.

So the new Spiderman is the guy who had to sue for his Facebook money? That somehow seems like the most realistic superhero origin story ever.

If I had a nickle for every time I have to tell the kids to finish their suppers . . . I could probably hire someone else to tell them.

The movie 'Ted' looks so awful that I'm surprised that Adam Sandler isn't in it.

Just got back from 'Moonrise Kingdom'. Loved it. I think it was the film that Max Fischer (Rushmore) would have written.

After our first garage sale this morning, we got in the car and Felix said 'good job everyone!'.     

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

From July 2012

[More Olympics material, including a long series of 'rejected' Olympic events that I made up.  I think I'll gather those together in a separate post, found here.]

The total amount of fireworks being exploded in my neighborhood is kind of breathtaking.

Lord help me, Relia has discovered She-Ra.

Ok, fine, I'm kind of getting into the Tour de France. I'll admit it.

What I wouldn't give for one cool overcast day.

Cailou is what Charlie Brown would have been like if Charles Schultz had been both a) Canadian and b) addicted to prozac.

When we got in the car, Relia asked to listen to 'Babooshka' by Kate Bush. I'm counting this as a parenting win.

As we were leaving the grocery store, Felix shouted to me, "Daddy! Daddy! You forgot to get me a soft voice."

Waiting for the kids to go to bed so I can watch the opening ceremonies. (We'll let them watch the DVR version in the morning.)
The torch lighting was seriously cool.

Bob Costas is 60 years old. He is pretty much the sports reporting equivalent of Dick Clark.

Bonus suggestion for the Olympics:
1. The female gymnasts must not only be over 16, they must also *look* like they're over 16.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy Monday

From August 2012

[Quite a bit of this is Olympics related.]

Leo loves it when they swim. He shakes and kicks and giggles.

Felix was handing out little trucks to Relia and I. We simply took them and held them. After a minute Relia asked him 'why are we holding trucks?'. He looked at us and simply said, 'I don't know'.
He could not be more my son.

I humbly submit that the 'unofficial' sports of the 1900 Olympic games in Paris were nothing short of awesome.

Suggested Olympic events (that I wish I'd thought of two weeks ago):
4 X 400 meter speed dating

If I was in a bar brawl with some Olympic athletes, I'd want to be there with some water polo players.

Finally watching the Olympic opening ceremonies with Relia. I just explained who James Bond is by saying "he's kind of like a human Perry the Platypus". She got that right away.

Found Relia and Felix on the porch spiking baby dolls. Relia helpfully explained, "we're evil villains".

Felix's bedtime routine keeps getting more and more complicated. And every single item on the list is absolutely crucial. It's like I'm raising a protocol droid.

Felix just asked if he can have a 'free breakfast'. Next he'll ask us to stop charging for Wi-Fi!

Today I told Relia that I was sorry that I'm such a stick in the mud. She said, "A stick in the mud is fun! You can draw letters with it!". I'm not sure if she was reassuring me or saying that I didn't even rise to that level of fun.

Can you give children away on Craigslist? Asking for a friend.

As a penalty, Relia can't pick what's on the TV today. Right now I'm showing her 'Much Ado About Nothing'. I thought about doing 'Henry V' but I'm not quite that cruel.

Soundtrack of our house:
Me: I'm going to put some clean clothes on Felix.
(frantic sound of running feet)
Felix: Nooooooooo!

Aurelia starts kindergarten today. It doesn't seem possible that she's old enough but somehow she is! Good luck, sweetheart!

Relia's first day went just fine. She had made a friend (at least one) on the bus. She told me about the kids she is sitting near. They have names like Dasher, Korval and Lover. I kind of doubt that any of those names are right...
She said that she get kicked while on the playground. She demonstrated this with a move right out of 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'. This was reported to a Miss Guinea Pig, another name which I'm doubting is quite right.
A bit of drama coming home as she got off at the wrong bus stop. For whatever reason, her bus stops at each end of our block. Sarah went to wait at the correct one but she chose differently. We got it all figured out with no problem.
She is excited for tomorrow. Felix, meanwhile, is bummed about the whole thing. He figures that he is also ready for kindergarten and doesn't want to hear differently. Leo hasn't shared an opinion either way yet.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

From September 2012

Relia is having her bath and playing (her words) Hunt for Red October. She's never seen the movie or read the book. Also, she is only five. Relia: I'm sorry, we have to sink it.
I hope that she convinces the Soviets!

 Also, because everyone on Facebook should know this, I woke up last night after dreaming that I was chased around an old and cluttered house by a lone Dalek.

I'm not sure if I'm betraying my younger self or not, but I am *so* glad that school is back in session today.

Felix saw an old car today, one with fins on it. He called out "a shark car!". I looove that.

Y'know what? I was ready for some football.

Relia and Felix like to watch various 'bossy' TV shows. The ones where the TV tells them to say something or do something. As far as I can tell, my kids have literally never followed those instructions. It's like they're being trained on how not to listen...

I do not own a single hat that doesn't look better on Felix.

Felix and I, after he asked me to read that beloved children's classic, 'Everyone Poops'.
Me: Do you poop?
Felix: I poop sooooooo much!

Every minute or two Relia updates me on the fact that she is still not talking to me.

Felix would like me to stop singing showtunes at the table. Or at least songs from 'South Pacific'.

Felix just asked for some money. When I asked him why, he said 'because I need to save up for later'.

Relia wants me to take her to some Elmo musical. We'd need to buy about ten tickets. One for her. One for me. And one each for the team of wild horses needed to drag me to such a thing.

[From a shared picture]  When I get a headache, I take two aspirin and keep away from children, just like it says on the bottle.         

Q: If a parent speaks in a forest of children, does it make a sound?
A: No, sadly it doesn't.

Things you didn't wake up thinking you'd say: "It's ok. You can *both* be mama kangaroos!"

To think, if we'd be prego one year later we'd be considering the name Gangnam Style DeFor.
And now I'm being told that we could have gone with Guy Smiley DeFor...


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Rethinking the Modern Home

This post about how modern mid-century houses are deathtraps for children, gives me a little pause.  But then I think, if any of them survived, they'd only be stronger, right?

From October 2012

The kids have driven me to such lengths this morning that my grammar is not so well anymore;

Just watched 'Rear Window' with Leo. He prefers sports but sometimes I can convince him to watch the classics.

Heading to Austin, taking Relia to the Halloween Warm Up tonight. I'm guessing we'll be thinking more about 'warm' than 'Halloween' by the end...
Back from Austin. Relia had a great time (so did I). I got to help lead tours, i.e. hold a lantern and that was her favorite part. We'll definitely go again next year.

Conferences for Relia are scheduled for next week. Sarah has told me NOT to wear a shirt that says 'Those that can, do. Those that can't, teach'.

This morning, each of my very special children, each in their own way, is driving me insane.

Relia keeps saying 'buenos dias' to Leo and seems genuinely upset that he isn't answering. I keep telling her that he doesn't speak Spanish but that doesn't seem to matter to her.

Why does making breakfast for two children require 83 separate trips to the kitchen?

Relia asked for the 'red, blue or brown cereal with the scientist on the box'. She got some Frankenberry.

Ok, weather journalists, we understand that you're live and covering the weather. You don't actually have to try and report in the waves and the wind for us. Go inside, like a smart person would.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Have a Great Friday

March Madness

As part of my continuing effort to get Relia interested in sports, I offered her a bet on the NCAA Basketball Tournament.  We each picked the winners for the first round, 32 games, and whoever picked the most correctly, gets to pick where we have lunch.  Then we roped the FP Gal into it, too.  The standings after one day:

FP Gal 11-5
Relia 12-4
Peder 13-3

Still anyone's game.

(We invited DF to play, but he declined.  That's ok, I'll get him with the football picks one of these years.)

From November 2012

Felix suggested a new slogan for candy corn: You Bite it With Your Tongue.

I put Leo in a Viking outfit today so that he wouldn't be able to throw anything.

Keep in mind, if it wasn't for Article II of the Constitution, we could all be voting for Alex Trabek today :(

Loooong night with Leo last night. He kept waking up screaming. I never should have had that long chat with him about the national debt yesterday.

Watched part of a documentary about the Titanic with Felix. The entire time he was betting on the ship being ok.

  I love that Netflix lists 'Macbeth' as a crime drama.

Watching some college football with Relia. I asked her if she knew what a university is and she said (and I quote): "It's a community that comes together to turn teenagers into grown-ups."

Snow this morning. I showed it to Felix through the window, wondering what he'd say about it. He's only two and last winter was blessedly warm. I asked him what the white stuff was and he would only say that something happened to the leaves.

You know what gets silly putty out of a kindergartener's hair? Scissors.

Felix brought home some art projects from daycare. This includes his 'corn-dog'. The rest of us would call it a 'cornucopia'.

Felix has reached that lovely two year old stage where he is either napping or is clearly in need of a nap.  
[Good lord, he was a nightmare for a while.]

I've changed no fewer than four messy diapers today. Any more are Sarah's responsibility.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

From December 2012

I'd forgotten how stressful a free crawling baby can be.

Felix is wearing an orange apron. He looks so cute that I'm thinking of getting him an application at Home Depot.

Watching 'Dumbo' on Netflix. The kids totally do not get that the 'pink elephants on parade' are a consequence of drinking. Wonder if the kids in '41 did?

There are times when I'd like to sock Michael Buble right in the kisser.

We put up a barrier of laundry baskets to keep Leo from crawling out of the living room. Felix is now worried that Santa won't be able to get through.

I woke up and the voice of Harvey Firestein has come to live in me.

Felix just told me that I'm the 'best'. All you other dads can stop trying so hard. The awards have been given out.

Waking up for presents is about 20 times better with small children. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Relia went out of her way to be nice to Felix at lunch. She said "Maybe if I'm extra good, Santa will bring me another present at bedtime!" Um, no, that's not the way it works, dear. But I hate to discourage her just yet...

Felix got his first haircut today. I nearly cried. Yes, I've been living vicariously through his glorious long and curly hair. (God, I miss my hair!) He no longer looks like some crazy kid. He looks like he's gone all button down and corporate. He went from surfer dude to wall street trader. He looks good (but I'm still waiting for it to grow out again).

The wife wants to know if there have been more Batmans or more Catwomans. I don't know the answer.

I've set off the traditional New Year's Eve fireworks for the kids. They were suitably impressed. Earlier, Relia tried to get me to skip them since it wasn't the 4th of July. She changed her mind.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Eternal Winter

This has been a tough week of weather.  A tough month, really.  We've had snow and snow and snow.  And also lots of very cold weather for March.  It has felt more like January. 
This past week has been the worst though.  It's not just the snow.  We often get big snowfalls in March, after all.  But they usually feel like temporary things.  "Ok foot of snow, you'll be all gone in a couple of weeks."  Not this one though.  This felt like an announcement that we're not done with winter yet.

I keep telling myself that the Twins home opener is about ten days away from now.  Spring simply has to be around the corner. 

From January 2013

Nothing makes me feel my age more than booming down the road, listening to Journey blasting from the speakers of the mini-van.

We just saw a Carmen Miranda style fruit hat on TV. I asked Relia if she wanted one and she told me "everyone at school has one". I don't think that's remotely true, but I really hope that it is.

I asked the kids to act like ninjas, be all quiet and sneaky. Now Felix is running around yelling 'Sneak! Sneak! Sneak!'. I think that breaks the ninja code...

I tried teaching Felix how to spell his name. He stopped me and told me that he was 'too dangerous'.

Writing Tips from Pixar

This is a great list

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

From February 2013

Sarah tells me that little boys are composed of 'noise, covered in dirt'. Which means that after a bath, Felix is a being of pure sound.

If there is any karmic justice in the universe, then I must have left a lot of clothes lying around when I was a kid.  (Mom answered "You did.") 

Relia singing: "I long to be a princess . . . but my parents aren't good enough . . ."

[From when the kids were sick:]  I'm about one vomit covered onsie away from filing a hostile workplace claim.

Super Bowl posts: 
  • Did the football picks with the kids. Relia is going with the 49ers. Felix is picking the Raisins.
  • Watching the Puppy Bowl with Felix. I feel lost because I haven't really followed the Puppy regular season.
  • Look closely. I think Alicia Keyes is using a player piano.
  • To be honest, I preferred the wardrobe malfunction.
Truth is, Groundhog day was re-appropriated from an earlier pagan holiday that also centered on groundhogs.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Light Posting

I think the biggest problem that I've run into with regular blogging is Facebook.  When I have a quick thought, I go there and post it.  The audience is bigger and the comments are more regular.  The FP Gal points out that Facebook doesn't archive well though.  It'll be tough to go back and see everything, especially for the kids when they're old enough to read.  So I've decided to go back and post some of the stuff, month by month.  I'll have posts up throughout the week.  Maybe throughout the next few!

Happy Monday

Sorry about the hiatus. 

Monday, March 04, 2013

Comet Watch

I'm not sure if Comet PANSTARRS (the current comet with the silly name) will live up to the predictions of brightness or not but there are some very nice pictures here.  The best viewing should be next weekend and the following week.  Look due west right after sunset. 
I hope it pans out!

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Alan Calhamer, RIP

Some sad news from the gaming world.  Alan Calhamer, the creator of Diplomacy has died.  To my mind, Diplomacy is a near perfect board game.  It relies almost completely on skill.  Skill at negotiating and judgment.