One Couple's Stumblings Through Parenthood and Marriage

Friday, June 30, 2006

Julia at Play

Does it get much cuter than this? Julia in the playroom? I love how Annie caught the light in this one. Caught in the act of spontaneous play.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Princess in Progress

Both Kate and Genna have come to more fully adopt their princess personae. Kate has worked hard on developing her princess poses, as these pictures show.

Now, bear in mind, these poses are completely spontaneous on her part - Annie has made no effort to train or coach her. Kate is just a natural.

Each month that passes she seems to be more and more a lady. I'm going to have my hands full. Where's that application to join the NRA ... ?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Three Steps to Cupcake Eating

Ms. Julia's official one-year birthday party was this past weekend. The highlight of the birthday girl's day (aside from swimming) was her acquisition of the Birthday Cupcake. It was a lot of fun to watch her go through her own process of 'eating' it.

Step One: The Presentation. See her pride as she lifts it up to the guests? She is making absolutely sure that all know that she is the special one here. After all, everyone is staring at her and smiling, and she is the only one in possession of a cupcake.

Step Two: The Offering. But Ms. Julia is a munificent birthday girl. She wishes to share her bounty with us povs. In this picture, she has performed the traditional 'breaking of the cupcake' and is offering a portion of it to her people.

Step Three: The Donning. Ms. Julia made some attempts at eating the cupcake, but she soon discovered that ends would more readily be served by wearing the cupcake.

But mommy was smart and had the whole event happen outside, next to a hose and pool.

We are on to you little one.

Monday, June 26, 2006

What Kind of Puppy Are You?

You Are a German Shepherd Puppy

Intelligent, quick witted, and a bit aggressive.
You've got the jaw power to take a bite out of anyone you choose.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

New Practices

I am considering incorporating some hindu asceticism into my daily regimen. These guys inspired me. The only catch is finding a partner. Are there any readers who are willing to be the guy on the bottom? I can't do that part so well.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Julia and Pasta - a Dangerous Combo

Julia has been eating solids for several months now. You wouldn't know it looking at this photo, though. She is still operating with the misunderstanding that pasta is to be shoveled with your hands only near your mouth, not actually in it, and preferably with a spoon. Still, she's cute so we'll keep her for now. We just need to figure out some more industrial means of cleaning her - high-pressure hoses, liquid detergent dips, dogs. Any ideas would be helpful ...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

At last - a cure for my neck ...

This Thai lady has finally found a cure for my neck problem. I have been so blind! I hadn't thought to look to the Third World for a remedy for my herniated disc ... how can you suffer from disc compression and rupture when your neck has been stretched like this? Genius! Good bye cervical traction, good bye oral steroids, good bye insomnia. Hello neck rings!

She even has a bit of a coy (boastful? gloating?) smile as she calls from her cell phone (which is smaller than mine). Erg, must fight ... jealousy ... ugh.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

An Honest Lady

Enough of the lying Chinese lady that played me the fool (I have yet to hear back from China's Premier Wen Jiabao for compensation), and let us move on to a little lady that never lies. That's right, I'm talking about a delimbed, mutilated, malproportioned highness known as Cinderella Barbie in a Cake (TM).

Annie made another of these sci-fi-movie-gone-wrong cakes for the second installment of the twins' three-year birthday. She decked this one out in the likeness of Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Annie is turning into quite the cake decorator. I might put her to work on the wedding cake circuit to start bringing in some extra cash so I can slack off more.

I must say that it was both satisfying and disturbing to carve Barbie up for consumption. When all was said and done, we all had our fill of cake while Barbie was left lying legless in a pile of smeared frosting. Very gory. I'm just glad that the movie Toys wasn't real. She would have had the girls' other toys kill us in our sleep.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Uncle Chrissy did some investigation (complete with Sherlock Homes hat and pipe) and discovered that the Chinese lady in my last post wasn't pregnant with quintuplets - the whole thing was a fraud! And I am a victim!

Evidently, she has had two previous pregnancies that have miscarried, so in an effort not to have her husband suffer through another disappointment, she concocted and then persisted in this ridiculous scam. He had no idea! Does he never feel her tummy (which she stuffed with pillows and laundry)? What kind of relationship do they have?

The poor guy even drummed up media coverage to help garner sympathy and then money to pay for the little ones. She was finally found out when a local hospital offered her a free examination.

I am ashamed that I perpetuated a lie. I am ashamed of China. I am now petitioning Beijing for redress. Is this what Communism has to offer?

Next month we may be taking in a few Chinese exchange students (highschool age kids). I will hold them accountable for this. Someone will pay.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Can't Complain

Annie and I thought we had it rough as she progressed through her third trimester with the twins. She got very large, and most strangers thought she was full term at 6 months.

But then I saw this photo.

This poor gal (in China) is carrying around at least five babies! She isn't even out of her second trimester in this photo. How in the world is she walking around? The report says that her girth has now exceeded her height. Nice stat.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Comforting Julia

Kate got pretty sick over the weekend. This sickness then made it's way to Julia, who has since had to contend with her first real sickness (beyond your typical runny nose). Here she is, looking tired and worn out. Poor girl.

But Kate is such a wonderful sister. She must have felt some empathy for Julia, because she went out of her way a number of times to cheer her up. And it worked. It sure beat a poke in the eye, Genna ...

Friday, June 16, 2006

Blog in Space

Right now my blog is being featured on Check it out! I am famous! It is hilarious which screen shot they took ...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Twins's Birthday

Yep, Julia was born the day before the twins turned two, so we have three birthdays in a two day spread. June is an expensive month.

Kate and Genna were born on Father's day, at 7:38 and 7:45 in the morning. That was good day. They started out cute and have only become more beautiful as these three years have gone by.

I'll be going down to the gun store with my dad and brother to purchase a couple shotguns for any would-be suitors. I know my girls are years from dating, but I want to make sure I'm a good shot.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Julia's Birthday

Yep, one year ago little Julia was born. My how she has grown. Everyone wish her a happy birthday. Make your checks payable to me ($100 minimum).


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Portraits - Beware

I probably shouldn't share these photos. My daughters are too beautiful. But, I feel compelled to, so enjoy.

The first two are Kate and Genna's three-year photos. Aren't they just little ladies? Last we have Julia, of course, with her 11-month shot. See her teeth? She has a gap between her two front upper teeth that is very endearing. We call her 'gapper' and she doesn't seem to mind. The twins still insist on being called various princess names. I guess Julia may want to be called something else once her grasp of the English language and her Disney indoctrination are more fully developed.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Birthday Cake

The twins had their official three-year birthday party this week. It was early because we wanted to give preeminence to Julia's one-year birthday party next week.

Having three birthdays within a two-day spread isn't easy. You try it!

Every birthday is special, though, so Annie celebrated the event by baking some very special cakes. Check out her handiwork.

To make this, she removed the legs of a Barbie Cinderella doll (it was a gruesome procedure) and inserted the doll's torso into the top of a skirt-shaped cake that she made. Isn't it clever? She then dyed white frosting pink and blue and decorated the 'dress' by hand. She is quite talented, don't you think?

This Barbie doll looks more glamorous as a de-limbed, frosting-covered princess than as a her normal, ill-proportioned self.

The twins were thrilled with it. We had them wear their own princess dresses for the occasion (the whole party was princess-themed, much to my nephews's joy).

Though it looks as though we have set the princess aflame, rest assured that it is only the candles burning. We plan on reattaching her legs at a future date. It will be touch and go for a while, but we'll keep you posted on her status.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Princess Style

In anticipation of the twins's birthday party, Annie wanted to take the girls to Great Clips to get their hair trimmed. How can you have a princess party if the princesses don't have their hair properly arranged? You can't.

Genna went first. She was reluctant, but the hair stylist's promise of lollypops was enough to convince her to climb into the chair. With enough oohing and aahing from us she really began to feel like royalty. Here she is smiling for the camera. As she would put it, "Hair so long!"

Genna is shorter than Kate. That's why it was interesting that the stylist was able to trim Genna's hair in the back while Genna was sitting, but then had to take Kate down to do the same job.

We realized that Genna has a longer torso, but shorter legs than Kate. The net difference: Kate's long dogs make her taller, though Genna's proportioning was more convenient for cutting hair.

It's interesting the little things you learn about your kids when you least expect to.

It's also interesting to note what dorky parent's we are. We took a camera to Great Clips! I can't blame Annie - I was just as excited to capture the moment for posterity.

It helps that our girls are so photogenic. Any modeling agents out there who want to take on some new talent?

Friday, June 09, 2006

My Mullet & Me

We hadn't been in Disneyland fifteen minutes when I came across this kid who was sporting one of the best mullets I had ever seen. Unable to help myself, I secretly took a picture of him in all his glory. In good conscience, I didn't want to post his picture and mock him on the internet - afterall, he was just a teenager trying to have a good time at the happiest place on earth with his family.

And yet, I still had to share the mullet.

Then it hit me - my buddy
Ian could help. I have always wondered what I would look like with a mullet, but haven't had the nerve and wherewithal to grow one. But Ian, the preeminent Photoshopper, could give me one. So, here we have the glorious mullet I saw in Disneyland, but with my beautiful face. What do you think? Shall I grow one? I am sorely tempted ...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Max in Peril?

Genna has always had an affection for children. You can see that from her smile as she looks at the camera. She usually just adores them, but then sometimes spices it up with a good eye poking. Here she is with her buddy, Max, in her clutches. He was enjoying it at first, but then must have remembered Genna's propensity for quick jabs to eye, and began to fear for his safety ...

In Genna's defense, she has only ever poked Julia's eye and she truely means well, but that subtlety was probably lost on the young man.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Julia Standing Tall

Here are some pictures from the night Julia pulled herself up to standing for the first time. My family was in attendance, which may have been why she chose this night to unveil her new skill.

As you can see, Julia is quite pleased with herself. Her legs were a bit shakey at first, but now she does it flawlessly.

After pulling herself up a few times, she took a moment to reflect on her new talent. Here she is, gazing at the horizon, pondering what this might mean for her.

Her future is bright. As for mine, well, I see a lot of chasing her, scraped knees, stair climbing, and trail of destroyed household items.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Next Challenge

I mentioned yesterday that my sister-in-law, Jen, ran a marathon. It was a fund-raiser for a foundation that does research for children with leukemia and related cancers. A very good cause.

Since she so masterfully completed that task, I challenge her to this:

This is the annual Escape from Alcatraz triathalon, consisting of a 1.8 mile swim across the SF bay, then 18 miles on a bike, finished by an 8 mile footrace.

I would do it myself, but I don't wear pink.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Mother Genna

We have been spending the weekend babysitting the Thomas kids with the Swishers while Jen and Bryce are down in Southern California for the weekend. Jen is running a marathon as a fundraiser. That's right - a mother of five running a full marathon. Pretty cool, eh?

Genna has displayed some new tactics that she is developing to get what she wants - but she has needed younger toddlers to do one of them. The first thing she does is what I call 'parent shopping.' Just like an unscrupulous lawyer will 'judge shop' until he is confident he will get the verdict he wants, Genna will go from parent to parent, and aunt to uncle, until she gets the answer she wants. If daddy says she can't have candy, she will ask mommy, and then other authority figures until someone says yes. This has made it doubly important that Annie and I be on the same wave-length.

Her second tactic is a mimicry of Annie's time-out technique. We were all at the McDonald's play area yesterday when we looked over to see that Molly (one of the Thomas kids), was standing against the fence and crying. It turned out that Genna had put her on a time out for not listening to her. We have no idea what she was demanding her little cousin to do. We told her that she couldn't do a time-out - only adults could. But only a minute later, Maggie was being placed on a time out by Genna. When Genna explained why Maggie was on a time-out, she used the same words and gestures that Annie uses when she places Genna on a time out.

It is amazing how and what kids learn.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Brushes with Greatness

I don't mean to brag, or be a name dropper, but I have come close to meeting a lot of famous people. For instance, I went to kindergarten with the girl who played Punky Brewster (though I never met her). Also, my cousin does work with Nick Nolte, and I hope to meet him. Heck, I even saw Sean Hannity at a distance! The best one: my grandpa shook hands with a man who shook hands with Abraham Lincoln. Yep, when you know me, you almost know a lot of famous people.

Ever heard of that theory of seven degrees of separation, that we are at most removed by 7 degrees of separation from any given individual on the planet? For instance, take a look at the pictures below. The first one is of Annie (left) and her sister Chris (right) hanging on the arms of Andy, the lead singer of Erasure. They accosted him after his recent accoustic concert in San Francisco. See how I almost met another famous person?

The bottom picture is of a good family friend, Jeff, with Kate Pierson of the B-52s. He was playing in a band for which she was the lead singer! Jeff is an incredibly gifted guitarist, and is guaranteed to be a force in the music scene. Ya, we're pretty much best friends, Jeff and I. He said that he would totally hook me up once he's famous.

Are you all jealous yet?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

A Peace Offering

Ever since Julia began pulling herself up she has become a mobile terror, though an unbearably cute one. Here she is on her first unauthorized, and self-propelled, climb up the stairs. That is my hand reaching for the pacifier that Julia is holding out as a peace offering (she knew she was being naughty).

As you can see, she made it up four steps. She would have gone higher had we let her, provided she did not tumble down - she hasn't caught on to the whole gravity thing.

Why don't kids learn the rules before they gain the ability? It seems we are all destined to spend some time in the school of hard knocks.