Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Music That Doesn't Suck

I love Blitzen Trapper's well crafted songs and their melodies are always great.  Big shout out to my buddy Joe who I believe introduced me to this band.  The clip here is from a few years ago but still great.  Enjoy...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ask EJ pt 2

Travelling home tomorrow from our trip.  We had a great time and the kids were better than we could have asked for.  Golf, sun & sand was just what the doctor ordered.  Now on to the main reason for the post...

You wanted it you got it!  EJ is back answering your questions.  Now that she is 4 you really need to bring it if you want to try an stump her.  Remember EJ knows it all and has been asking for more questions.  Please post questions on the blog or Facebook page by Thursday night and I will ask her and post her responses on Friday.  You can see her responses to the last round of questioning here.
The Princess
Beach time
The kids love having their names in the sand

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Travelling with Kids

As I mentioned in my post yesterday we left on vacation a trip to Hilton Head, SC.  I think I made the mistake of calling it a vacation yesterday and I am sorry for doing so.  A vacation is supposed to be relaxing and when you return home you feel rejuvenated.  Travelling with kids is neither relaxing or rejuvenating.  Case in point here was our breakdown of yesterday:

3am - EJ comes into our room complaining she can't sleep...I take her back to her room and lay down with her for 5 minutes until she does and I end up falling asleep next to her.  Proceed to get kicked, punched and pushed around by a 4 year old for 2 hours.

5:00 - Finally get up and go back to my bed.  Don't ask why I didn't do this earlier.

5:30 - Get up, shower and get dressed

5:35 - Walk into M's room.  He smiles and sits up. Get M dressed while my wife showers and gets dressed.

5:40 - Wake up Attempt to wake up EJ, she growls and pulls the covers over her head (seriously when did she turn 15?)

5:50 - Finally get EJ out of bed and start trying to get her dressed

6:50 - Leave our house.  Yes it took 1 hour for EJ to get dressed/fed.

6:50 - 8:00 - Drive to the airport in the rain and traffic with kids screaming in the back seat.

8:00 - 8:30 - Check in and go through security (kids sitting in strollers and somewhat calm)

8:30 - 9:15 - Chase M & EJ around terminal hoping to burn off some energy.

9:15 - Announcement that plane is broken and we will be delayed (NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!)

9:20 - Announcement that we are switching gates and getting on another plane (YESSSSS!)

9:25 - Board Plane

9:45 - 12:45pm EST - Wrestle with M for 2 hours straight

12:45 - 1:45 - Get luggage and rental car

1:45 - 3:45 - Drive to Hilton Head from Charleston...everyone else in the car sleeps.

3:45 - Arrive in Hilton Head.  Chug first beer.

What part of that sounds relaxing and rejuvenating?  We are on a trip.
Slides at the end of a long day.

EJ doing some prep work for her next round of questions.

Why am I the only one looking at the camera and smiling?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Music That Doesn't Suck

Whew! I have been up since 5:30am and travelling all day.  We are on vacation down in Hilton Head, SC for a little while.  EJ's birthday is today as well...too much fun.  In honor of her birthday I will pick a song she likes right now...Gotye's "Somebody I Used to Know".  I saw Gotye in concert around the time this song was starting to get some play and he played it early in the set.  It told me that he was confident in his other music and he didn't disappoint.  Anyways this is a cool cover of the song by Walk off the Earth - 5 people playing 1 guitar.  Enjoy...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday Links v3

Hi everyone.  Busy but fun weekend.  Saturday we had the kids pictures taken because their 4th and 2nd birthdays are coming up, went to a street festival and had some friends over from the burbs and ended up the night hanging out on the street with some neighbors.  Sunday involved watching my wife's cousin's kid while they went to a Cubs game, had a friend of EJ over with her parents for a playdate and sprinkler/outside time for the kids.  Somewhere in there I was able to fit in a 6 mile run so all was not lost.  Enough about me...on to the links.

We have a sand table but most of this post is spot on with my feelings about sand.  The guy who wrote this is hilarious.  Check out his post about Max and Ruby.

A bunch of dad bloggers wrote about depression.  I have had my battles with it and reading these posts make me feel like I'm not alone.  Maybe, someday I will write about it.

You may recall my post about Mr. Mom. Here are the Top 7 things never to tell a SAHD.  I would probably have added a couple more but these are good.

Finally check it out there is a quarterly magazine that focuses on modern fatherhood.  I got a subscription from my wife as an early father's day present!
EJ & Mom looking good for the camera...
M deciding he wanted to be in the picture
A little al-fresco breakfast...I can't believe I fit.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Music That Doesn't Suck

Back at it on another beautiful Wednesday here in sunny Chicago.  This 4 song set by Wilco on NPR's Tiny Desk Series is perfect to sit outside and listen to.  Enjoy...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I Love You EJ

If you couldn't tell from this, this or this EJ definitely has her own opinions.  Proof of that came again yesterday.  EJ did something that required her have a time out.  Time out over I turn to EJ and tell her I wasn't happy about what she did but I love her.  This is the conversation that follows:

EJ - I know dad, you say that all the time

Me - Well I do love you and when I put you in time out or take something away from you I want you to know I still love you when I do that


When did she turn 15?
Seriously Dad?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday Links v.2

The cousins with Grandma and Papa
Hope you all had a great Mother's Day weekend.  We went to Cleveland this weekend where my family lives.  It was a good/busy trip as my wife's whole family was there as well for a baby shower for her cousin.  To make it more interesting the in-laws all stayed at my parents with about family time.

This weekend I went to a museum with EJ, celebrated EJ's & M's birthdays, was used by my kids and their cousins as a human jungle gym, ate at a restaurant that may or may not be owned by the Irish Mob, golfed (horribly), went to the pre-baby shower party, had brunch with my mom, and got to see a friend.  Needless to say it was a busy weekend but fun was had by all.  We drove back early this morning (Monday) which will hopefully result in the kids going to bed early so I can do the same.

Anyways, on to the links:

I like this post about working moms.

One blogger went out and did a product review of his wife as a mom.

Disney finally puts out the movie "Brave" that has a princess that isn't over the top girly and then they go and do this.

Neither of my kids used binkies for that long (thumb and finger suckers) but when they did I'm glad I was ahead of the curve.

Men! Do you need to get something for a special woman in your life?  My sister-in-law has some cool stuff (well at least most women I know think it is) over on her site.  Oh and she also blogs about all sorts of things too (like family visiting).

Mother's Day photo

Me, EJ, wife and sister. EJ wanted to match her mom.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

I am lucky.

I have a fantastic wife who is a wonderful mother to our kids.  

I have an amazing mother who has helped me become a better parent. 

I still remember when I was little playing checkers with my now 93 year old grandma and sitting on the davenport with my other grandma eating pizza. 

I am lucky.

I have these special women in my life. 

I love you all.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there I'm sure your kids are lucky too. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Music That Doesn't Suck

Happy Wedne...errr, Thursday!

I saw Rodrigo y Gabriela at Summerfest in Milwaukee a few year ago.  Their high energy show was something to see.  I highly recommend seeing them if you have a chance (July 24th in Chicago would be a great father's day present)  What they can do with their guitars is amazing.  Bonus today since I am a day late in getting this up you get the NPR Tiny Desk version so you get a couple extra songs.  Enjoy...

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday Links

Hi everyone.  It is a beautiful day here in Chicago.  Kids are napping and I am sitting outside typing this.  Nap time for EJ is starting to go away so I need to treasure this time now.

Made pizza with the kids Friday night.  I put some pictures below.  They don't do justice to the mess we created, it was great.  Saturday, I went to MCA Day Chicago.  It was a charity celebrating Adam Yauch (aka MCA) of the Beastie Boys who lost his battle with cancer last year.  The reason I went was to support a very good friend and his family's foundation that funds research towards head & neck cancer.  Oh and She's Crafty an all female Beastie Boys cover band was headlining it.  One of the other acts performing was a bluegrass band that covered a couple Beastie Boys songs that were surprisingly good.  The highlight might have been the end of the night ending here.

Some parenting ideas I may or may not use.

I heard about parents in Brooklyn that don't use diapers a couple weeks ago and I don't think I could ever do this.

I love The Onion. I just hope I can be as successful as the guy in the story

A SAHD reality tv show?  I'm sure it will shine a great light on stay at home dads and dads in general.  I guess there are two other shows in the works on other channels.

Way to go Yahoo!  Hopefully this will start of a trend and many other companies will follow suit.

How was your weekend?

The help loved putting the ingredients on (and eating them)
A little pizza dance party.  Is EJ doing the running man?

Friday, May 3, 2013

EJ's answers

Thank you everyone for your questions.  These answers are all EJ's, all comments I made to her during her answers are noted.

Q: Why is the sky blue?

A: because some men on the roof painted it.

Q: How is one of the four major food groups, macaroni and cheese, made?

A: I asked her on Monday.  She kept telling me she needed to think about it more.  I asked her again that night and she said she needed to sleep on it.  I asked her in the morning and  she said she was still thinking about it but today she would know the answer.  I asked her Tuesday night before bed and she sat there a second deep in thought and came up with this answer.

You put it in a pan with butter and peas.  I know because we make it sometimes.

Q: EJ What do you want to be when you grow up?

A: An airplane driver (easy one already knew that, duh dad)

Q: Please describe a full recipe for baking bread including all ingredients and steps

A: Can I think about it for a little bit? Me - how long? EJ - about 20 minutes (2 minutes later) I think I know now.

You mix some onions and butter together and put them in the oven for 20 minutes. 

Q: Why does Cora (our dog) have four legs and you have only two?

A: Because she is a dog. (after I pressed) Because we go faster than dogs by going to sleep and eating healthy food.

Q: Why do we have bugs?

A: Because they want to eat our food. (I repeat her answer and she raises her hand) Because Red Eye Tree Frogs eat them.

Q: How do you make a sidewalk?

A; That's a hard question.  The truck (cement mixer, her favorite truck) takes the cement and puts it on the ground and then you wait for it to get hard and that makes a sidewalk (wow...kind of surprised about this one)

Q: Where does food come from?  How do they make it?

A: The baker...they bake it

Q: How do you make cookies?

A: You put beer in it, not the bottle, just the beer, crack eggs, sugar and powder (wife says "you mean flour" EJ turns to her and says "I SAID POW-DER") mix it together put it in the oven and then eat it.

That was easy

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Saturday night without the kids

Yes I know it is Thursday and I am talking about what I did last weekend, sue me.

Sunday morning my wife and I were signed up to run in a 5k in our neighborhood.  The best part about this plan?  Fitness?  Accomplishing something?  Nope, the kids stayed at our friends house since we had to be out the door early and I wasn't going to push them in a stroller for 3.1 miles while they asked me all sorts of questions (Daddy why are you wheezing?  Daddy, why are you clutching your left arm?  Daddy, why are you laying down? Oooh, oooh, Daddy, Daddy, an AMBULANCE!!!!).

Saturday night rolls around and right before we drop the kids off I walk into our bathroom and step up to the left foot is wet.  Finish my business and have this conversation with my wife.

Me - Hey did you notice the water around the toilet?
Her - Yeah I noticed a couple times and just cleaned it up.
Me - Why didn't you say anything?
Her - I thought you missed or something

Now this really got me going...she was questioning my aim???

I take a look at the toilet and confirm it wasn't my aim (still a deadeye) that was the problem...just a simple leak. (that could have been fixed earlier)

Drop the kids off at our friends house (thanks E & D!) and what I thought would be a nice relaxing night without kids turns into a trip to Home Depot on a Saturday night so I can fix the toilet.  My wife volunteered to come and we pick up what was needed and some stuff that wasn't needed and start to head home.

Wife - Think we can stop at McDonalds and get a sundae?
Me - Ahhh that's why you came along.

Got home. Ate sundae. Fixed toilet. Went to bed.  At least we didn't have enough time for Bed Bath and Beyond...

Photo of a kid because really isn't that why you are here?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Music That Doesn't Suck

Happy Wednesday!  Warm weather always makes me want to listen to the Backspin Channel on Sirius (old school rap/hip hop).  This is one of my all time favorites.  Enjoy...