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Aaaaah look at all the lonely people

Who doesn't know that lyric? An overplayed Paul song.

... Listen to me. So hipsterish. Yes, George is my favorite one. I also have a concocted list of which Beatle I like in order, but let's not get into that right now.

Right now, Lucille Virginia is watching Yellow Submarine on VHS. Yes, we have a combo VHS/DVD player.

I think if you live in Seattle you have to say George is your favorite one.

ANYWAY Lucille Virginia has been taking to a few Beatles songs like a fish to fish food. Yellow Submarine and Hello, Goodbye she has memorized lyrics to and will sing them often.

To hear her little voice say, "I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello" is more cuteness than a puppy snuggling next to a bunny.

I had a great talk with my mom today on the phone, all impromptu-like, and she told me she's never known a man who's taken care of his kids as much as I have.

"No way," was my response, less out of surprise than out of a desire to know about more dads who do what I do. Because my impression is the same as hers--I am in the minority of dads. Most do not stay at home with the kids like I do. Right? Maybe I need to meet more dads.

She couldn't think of any others who do what I do.

So I'm gonna pat myself on the back today for that one.

Lucille Virginia also sings, "In the toooown where I was born, lived a maaaaaan who sailed to sea..."

Currently we're hanging out in the kitchen, me with my ever-present friend Komputor, and her with yogurt and crayons and a coloring book. And a sponge for cleaning up her CONSTANT SPILLS.

Sure she can sing, but her spoon skills are terrible. Or concentration. One of the two.

Just now we had a breakthrough. She had about six or seven spills in a row, and I told her in a stern, but not loud voice, that she has to stop spilling. No spills. It made her cry, and I then gave her kisses and hugs and told her she's my good girl.

I told her a few ways to not spill--smaller bites, and hold the spoon over the bowl when it drips. Probably good to give her suggestions about what I DO want as well as what I don't, right?

Then I got up to rinse off the sponge to make room for more yogurt on it that I thought would eventually be spilled. And there were a few. So I told her again, same stern voice, no spills. She took this one better; in stride.

And she had no more spills. She also started looking at me to see if I noticed when she did have a bite with no spills, looking for me to say "Good job." So I delivered. I said it with each of the next five or six bites with no spills. And I saw the satisfaction on her soul each time.

This reinforces my idea that even though kids are demanding more of sweets and toys and playtime than praise, praise is very important to them. Perhaps it's more important in times of discipline, which happen on a minutely basis. The telling of what not to do must be coupled with the telling of what to do instead.

I'm not always great at that. Usually it's, "Don't climb on there. Get down." Or, "Don't yell." Or, "Lucy, stop it!" Or, "Get off my legs, please. No, I don't want to bounce you right now for the 50th time." I suppose in these situations there isn't much to say about what to do instead, cause she can do anything instead.

Kids do need lots of direction, though. They can't always think about something new to do themselves. Lucy knows that ....

gotta go. time for park.


Yer average day off; school mumblings

Oh man I am getting a slooooow start to my day today. Lucy woke us up before 7, all hyper and talking and wanting everything.

Deliriously I put my clothes on and made coffee, but not before standing at the door of Lucy's room for a few seconds, seriously considering laying down in her bed to get some more sleep. I was essentially pushed out of bed by my three girls, but it wasn't against my will or anything. That's just the way the cookie crumbles.

Had to play some video games. Then I got up to change Lucy's diaper, and after, made a Facebook update about how I'm "going to POWER thru these motherfucking dishes." Then I sat back down in front of the tv to save my Fallout: New Vegas game, but I got sucked back in and started playing again.

Ten or so minutes later I saved and turned it off. I asked Megan if she wanted to watch some tv before I turned the PS3 off, and Lucy chimes in with, "Diego? Diego!" and then, not two seconds later, "Yo Gabba Gabba? Yo Gabba Gabba?"

Then I had to take a crap. Meanwhile, Megan's been nursing the baby and doing laundry. I swear I'm gonna get to those dishes that have been sitting there for over two days, I swear.


It's now 10:06. Dishes are done. BB is sleeping. Megan is making bread. Lucy is on the kitchen floor with magnets and a piece of paper, complaining about something or other. Life is normal. Life is fascinating.

Oh! Dude! I totally did some real nasty school stuff yesterday. I didn't expect to, but I got so much stuff done, the most important being registering for classes.

So there are a couple requirements I have to get out of the way. One is a foreign language requirement. I'm choosing to study Spanish. It's widely spoken in the states, and sounds beautiful. Also I have to take one 300-level Comm class before I can move onto senior, 400-level classes. I'm taking Spanish 101, and Writing for Mass Media (300-level). Once I complete WFMM, I'll be able to apply to the Communications school at UW.

It is a big weight off my mind being set up to walk into classes the day they start. Navigating campus was difficult yesterday. I was sort of learning my way around as I was getting stuff done. Finding Odegaard Undergraduate Library was difficult; it was on the other side of campus from where I parked. That was where I got my Husky card (student ID). Finding Hall Health Center was a little easier--I had to drop off measles immunization records from Western, where I was poked by a needle on two different occasions.

Lastly I had to drive to the registration building, which is off campus for some reason. It's by the Shell on 45th and 11th, but I never noticed it before.

It occurred to me, after I got home yesterday from all that madness, that I've never been a part of an institution so large. UW's campus is definitely bigger than Western's. And not every building is clearly labeled. Agh! They don't make it easy for newcomers. Anyway! I'm excited. All it took was a day of frustration and searching and huffing it around the nooks and crannies of campus, and I already feel more confident about going back. I should find out what buildings my classes are going to be in.... obviously there's more to do.

So yeah, the ball is rolling and I'm feeling good. Pies and Pints is still a weight on my mind, but now a distant one. They can all fuck off and die. You know, I can see the back door of the place from the back door of my place. I should invest in a BB gun or something and become a sweet non-lethal sniper. Scare some of those fools.

No! Bad dad! You're a dad now! You can't get arrested!

Why doesn't becoming a dad make guys stop acting like little boys?


BB Love

Not too sound too corny, but I fall more in love with my baby Beatrix every time I feed her a bottle. Now I see what it is with mothers and nursing. It's a very personal, primeval act. The best way to bond with a baby. Feeding is one of the only things a baby can do, it's probably what they most look forward to, and it's one of the very, very few things they have even a modicum of control over. I'd wager it makes them feel more alive; human, even.

The way she moves her arms, grabs tightly onto my fingers while she sucks, the facial expressions, the noises, the way her head moves back and forth as she's ravenously trying to latch her lips onto that bottle--it all adds to the love. I'm really starting to love my baby.

(which is good, cause if you don't, the impatience comes into play, and you make your baby less nice)

It's always weird at first when you have a new baby. There's suddenly a very small, new, loud stranger in your house. You know it has your DNA, but it's too small to look anything like you. You have to take it for granted that it's yours and keep taking care of it. But goddam, at about three months of age, they start looking way, way more cute. They lose that newborn look and start taking on facial characteristics of yours. They start smiling and cooing and baby talking. It's the cutest goddam thing.

She smiles at me all the time, and I'm starting to get good at making facial expressions and certain talking sounds that bring the smiles out of her. I'm making her jolly, just like her sister. Full of smiles. It's so easy to calm her when she cries--I just pick her up and rock her and cuddle and talk to her! Easy! When she doesn't stop crying, and she's well fed, and her eyes are starting to get red and tired, guess what you do then!

And for naps, all I've gotta do is rock her a little bit in my arms, lay her down in the crib, put some blankets on her, make sure her arms are out cause she'll probably pull the blankets onto her face if they're not, turn on the loud fan AND the noise maker, and leave the room.

Some may say I'm cruel for leaving a baby to fall asleep alone. I used to feel that way with Lucy. I would sit next to her in the baby rocking strap-in chair, or stand next to her by the crib, and let her hold my hands and look at me until her eyes VERY SLOWLY closed. But when you've got two kids, man, there's some serious work to do around the house. I've got no time to waste, babying my baby. Laundry is an every-other-day type of thing now, and there are always dishes to do. And diapers to change! Yeesh! Today I changed a wet BB diaper, then changed Lucy's wet diaper, put a load of laundry in, then changed BB's poopy diaper, then changed Lucy's poopy diaper. That's four diaper changes in the space of fifteen minutes.

It all happens so fast at home with the kids. Soon they'll be big and strong, but not yet. They've got a looooong ways to go. In the meantime, there's no time to think about all the work that needs to be done. A dad's just gotta do it, get it done, and look the other way toward the new task. It's nice when I can get both kids sleeping, and take some time out for whatever the hell my overworked mind wants to tell my slightly fatigued body to do. But that's not often, and if it doesn't happen, there's no time to cry over spilled milk.

One thing that was cool today--Lucy put her pants on by herself, twice. We're getting there.

Oh, another thing--Lucy is really starting to look like a young woman! She breaks my heart. I am definitely going to have to fend off lots of boys. "Time to get a shotgun," my friend told me last night.


Pizza Play by Play

Gah! The sauce needs more pepper, salt, garlic, and oregano! More of everything!

Pile it on! Stir it together! Move! Move! Move!

AAaaaaahhhh the Coke is cold.

Took too long to start letting the dough rise, doh! Dinner's gonna take a while longer people! I know, I know! Just hold your horses and everything will be more or less fine!

The sauce is tasting nice now. You just pile in the spices and suddenly tomato sauce tastes like traditional pizza sauce. My Megan reminded me that with each bite of pizza, you're not consuming that much sauce, so every small bite needs to be "pungent" she called it.

Oven's preheated! Shit! Are you ready!

Yes sir!


Dun--- dun dun daaaaaaaa!

Pizza's in the oven! Goddam I fucked this one up, general. We'll pray for the best sir!




Alright, I already feel like not writing, but

I feel I should update this thing. It's been a few days.

So this morning, it's Megan's Sunday, and we all wake up leisurely and I make coffee and play Fallout 3 and Megan nurses BB and Lucy is running around being crazy, coloring with crayons, and at a point Lucy, Megan and BB were in our room. BB was getting a diaper change, and Lucy always loves to watch and try to help in some way she's not old enough to help with. (she did find a baby doll at the park, belonging to some coddled boy with intense stranger anxiety, which she went crazy over, carrying it around and putting it in a stroller and in the swing--maybe it would help her get some of those feelings of wanting to help with a diaper change manifested--you know, to help get it out of her system) ANYWAY!!!

So I'm out here, playing video game, and the girls are all off to my right in the next room, and all of a sudden BB starts crying really, really hard and, through Megan's scolding, I learn that Lucy had thrown her heavy, wooden duck truck (duck toy with four wheels--weighs about 3 pounds or so--pretty dangerous to throw) at BB, and hit her in the head.

It takes one event to set the whole day off on a wrong note.

Lucy was already being a little demanding and hyper this morning as soon as I got up. It is pretty hilarious, how she gets in bed with Megan and BB and I in the early morning, all sneaky, and lays down with us, and then we all wake up together, but at that point she's already been waiting a good hour, and when Megan and I are just waking up, she's already rearing to go. I get up out of bed, lumbering and slow and difficultly, and she says around 50 times, no exaggeration, "Graham crackers and milk?" Just repeating it over and over again.

I never responded. I probably should have. It was too early to deal with her effectively. A dad has to be awake for that. Filled with coffee juice. Of course I rewarded her insistence with -- guess -- graham crackers and milk.

She's got so much energy, and is constantly talking and looking for, what's the word, not acceptance, but... acknowledgement from us, that it takes a parent willing to constantly divert their attention from whatever they're doing to sate her. And not only that, we have to act like we're excited about the dumb shit she says all the time. It takes patience. It takes an acting skill. I've got an acting skill of like 85 these days.

Though there are some real gems that come out her mouth, such as, "Hamburgers? And french fries? And doughnuts? In my mouth?" and, "Do some blow? Want do some blow?" (that's asking me to blow in her face), the vast majority of utterances that come out of her mouth are updates about where we are and whether or not our eyes are open, and whines and yells that are simply tests to see if she can make us angry. Because, at least with angry, she gets some attention. It's acting out, I know. So I try to give her lots of leeway, but sometimes it runs out.

Like today. I was mad at her for a long time today, after she threw that duck truck at BB's face. Understandably, right? A two-year-old seriously hurting her 3-month-old sister? Fuck yeah I'm gonna get mad. But mama gave Lucy the ol' time out, and explained to her why she was in time out. So she knew she did something wrong. I, however, stayed mad at her. I never yelled, but for the next couple hours, I was pretty strict with her. I had her pick up all the books and toys she had left on the floor, and didn't respond too much when she spoke to me, and told her to get out of my way a lot and to stop pulling the chair out from under the table.

Then I noticed the tension level in the house was getting pretty high, so I had to really make myself calm down. I gave Lucy a big long hug from behind after I helped her up on the chair to see mama making bread dough on the counter, and I said, "Maybe dada's been too mad at you today." And other 'I love you's and 'It's gonna be ok's. After that, we all got happier.

Lucy, however, is still a bit crazy. I'm not taking her to the park today. Not only do I feel that she doesn't deserve it, but I've got some school stuff to do.

Oh, man. School. I can't believe I'm going to go to UW. I'm so excited. It's gonna be tough and rough and make me feel good about myself.

See? I love writing. Look at how long this thing is, compared to the title at the top.

Autumn quarter starts something like September 25. There was a day of big stress a few days ago. It was money-related, big surprise. It started like this: I had my first meeting with my adviser. It went well. But when she asked me, "What's your financial aid situation?" and I realized I had no answer for her yet cause I did not know, I became very aware of a potentially deal-ruining situation.

I came home that night and talked about it with Megan, who said, bless her, that she'd be willing to help me front the cost of taking just one class and paying for it out of pocket. So I knew that, if I was to get no financial aid, I could at least take one class. Not a big consolation, but something.

I went online to my UWNet thingy. It said, "As of right now you have no awards." So I took that at face value.

Next day I call the financial aid office to find out about my shit and it's too early. I did call at like 9:05, and they open at 9, so I figured I had to give those lazy non-parent people working in that office some time to come in and sit down and get their shit together. By the time I had time to call again, after taking both kids to the park and putting them down for naps, it was like 3 p.m.

The guy on the phone was like, "Ok, it says here that you have no awards at this time. So let me just make that happen for you...." This was the precise moment of relief.

"Make what happen?" I said after a brief, surprised, and suspiciously delighted pause.

And he was all, "Dude man totally time for the money to reign down on you [sic]."

I'm totally getting money, but it hadn't been processed yet, or whatever. SUCCESS! I think I'll start off going half-time. Two classes. Three would be too fucking crazy, what with the child care and all that. At least I don't have a paying job to worry about.


I lay in bed #million

I lay in bed
A rest my head
I really had better sleep
Cause I've got 2 kids now
and neither of them sleep


She naps easyish

This is what Lucy and I are listening to at the kitchen table right now. I've got my laptop and she's got a pen and some crayons and a copy of The Stranger to color all over. So listen to the song and you'll get the authentic My House Experience as of Right Now. There's something about Ozzy that makes even his corny ballads totally awesome.

Lucy is currently whining about how I won't draw a second elephant for her. But that's not what I wanted to talk about. What is what I wanted to talk about is--holy crap, I got really really lucky in one regard with regards to my new baby.

First let me let you ponder what it might be for a few sentences. I love to draw things out, like Lynch. Oh, by the way, to further distract you, Megan and I came up with a great nickname for her, based on the way her hair looks-- Lynchmusch. Her hair is turning into a mix of Jim Jarmusch's and David Lynch's. She's our little Lynchmusch.

Okay, back to the matter at hand. Parents--take a guess. Ponder with me a bit. What is the one thing with kids that you want to not take a long time, but always does? It's something that can make you pull your own hair out.


So how do you put your kid down for a nap? Wait, it doesn't matter, cause I've got you beat. Here, let me tell you how I put her down for a nap just today. I'll start with how she woke up this morning.

She woke up this morning.

Ha. ha.

She woke up this morning at 5:55 a.m., at the precise moment Megan was walking out the door to go to work. Good thing I went to bed at 11:11 p.m. It would have been later, cause Fallout 3 is way way too fun, but I'm diligent about not staying up too late. So I was awake enough to get up with BB. It took me a few minutes, but that's neither here nor there. It is some where, though. Ha. ha.

I got up and warmed up a bottle for her and fed it to her while I finished my Star Trek: Voyager episode. Paris was innocent! I knew it all along. Lucy woke up at about 6:30 a.m. She had woken up last night around 4, and I got up and put her back to bed. It was funny watching her stumble into everything on the way to her room from ours. Someone's been drinkin! ha. ha.

Okay I've gotta go make a house with Lucy and her blocks hold on.

Okay, now it's like an hour later and Lucy's totally pissed me off, but I'm getting over it. Potty training and trying to get her to dress and undress herself are the culprits. Or, her reaction to these things is the culprit. Ugh. Diligence, dad. Diligence. It'll happen.

Anyway. BB falls asleep when I just put her in the crib, throw a blanket on her, and turn on the noise maker and the loud fan. Usually she won't cry right away. If she's not tired, sometimes she'll just silently stay awake, looking at her colorful butterfly toy. Other times she'll cry. But dada knows the signs of a baby that's full of milk and all pooped out and tired, and most of the time I get the timing right. I'll put her in the crib when she seems tired, and walk out. She falls asleep the vast majority of the time.

I think I've talked about this here before, but it's still sorta new to me as I'm still figuring it out. Anyway I got BB to take a nap for about an hour between 7 and 8 or something like that. She woke up cause she had a poop, so I changed her diaper. She still looked tired, so I laid her back down in the crib, but somehow I don't think this one's going to take. She's currently wailing in there, and Lucy's begging me to take her to the park. So this is the end of the blogging bye~!


My earliest memory/ Lucy update

I want to tell you about my earliest memory. How old I was is a mystery to me. Even my mom probably won't remember this one, but it was her voice that made the memory stick.

I was a baby. Or baby-sized. You know, in that range. Maybe I was in a bed, maybe it was a crib. I want to say it was a crib. I was laying down, and probably fussing a lot. I say this because what I remember most, the most clear part of the memory, is my mom singing, "Hush little baby, don't say a word, mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird." You know the song.

It immediately made me relax and stop crying. I remember being surprised at how calm it made me, how comforted. Mom must have seen my eyes start to close, cause she walked out of the room in a hurry, probably cause there are a trillion things to do that don't involve child care when you're caring for a child. I remember thinking that mom walking out of the room should, by all reasoning, make me cry more, but I was too tired and too relaxed by her singing. I fell to sleep.

Thus ends my earliest memory.

Now I want to tell you about Lucy. She's two years and five months and one day old today. She is learning all kinds of stuff. Speaking in sentences, general comprehension of the words mama and I use to speak to her, even if she doesn't know what all the words mean, learning how to clothe and unclothe herself, how to eat cleanly, and most importantly, how to express her thoughts, are the big ones she's working on now. And it's amazing to watch.

Whining takes the place of most negative thought expression. Anger and frustration fill her much of the time. Mama and I expect her to behave like a little lady, even though she doesn't understand all the rules yet. But she's coming along nicely, and we're trying to be as nice to her as she needs us to be. Not more so; we're not gonna turn her into some mooshy marshmallow. But she knows we love and respect and support her. Every time we tell her no, or that's naughty, or whatever, whenever we express a negative reaction to something she does, we always try to explain clearly what it is that she did that was so naughty. And then we give her love and hugs and nice words. For every "don't do that," there's a "good job" waiting around the corner.

There are a trillion more things I could say about her, and I could edit this piece further, but it's time to take her to the park. Mama's first day off from her first week back at work is today, and she's taking care of BB and I guess I've got Lucy all day. But one more thing--

I'm always surprised at how she glows when she smiles. It takes over her whole face, and all her little baby teeth show, and it fills me with an inner peace. She's so jolly. I attribute that to myself for always playing with her and throwing her around and making her fly high in the sky and freaking out mama and reading her books and paying so much attention to her. She's like, my whole life, man. But now BB has come into play and I'm learning to share Lucy with her, and she's learning to share me.

Enough. Park time.


Day 2 of 2 Kid Time

I'm not saying it's gonna be this way forever, but so far it's not been that hard.

Yesterday was already different than today. BB slept in bed with me until I was ready to wake up, or until Lucy woke us up. We had a really early walk outside, which put BB out pretty well. She then took a big nap. I fed her three bottles throughout the day. And her and Lucy took tandem naps, which is definitely something I'm going to want to replicate every day, if possible.

But you know kids. Nothing stays the same. Except that they want what they can't have.

Today BB was up earlier and didn't sleep with me in the bed. Megan carried her around as she got ready for work, which was nice of her. She even brought me a cup of coffee before I got out of bed. I think she's happy, or at least suppressing her despair, to be back at work.

One thing that's different about BB than baby Lucy is that BB can be left alone for short periods, and she even falls asleep by herself. Lucy may have as well, but I was always too scared she's suffocate on her blankets, or, gasp!, be lonely. I was pretty worried all the time with my first kid, and she got maybe more attention than was absolutely necessary. Not a bad thing, but I may have been working or stressing myself harder than I needed to.

Now that I've got two of them, I need to not be as stressed. For everyone's sake.

Right now BB is sitting next to me on the couch, propped up by the Boppy pillow, and Lucy is watching Yo Gabba Gabba. Everything is cool. Today, so far, is not so hard. I always think I shouldn't count the proverbial chickens before they hatch, but fuck it. Today is starting out to be a good day, which bodes well for the future.

And my future is gonna look a lot like what it looks like now. ...

except I got accepted into UW. School starts late September!


Up early and it's fun time!

BB woke up this morning at like ... 4:30 a.m. or so, and had a crying fit that lasted until sometime into the 5 a.m.'s. We've got a small apartment, so even though Megan left the room with her, I could still hear her, and it was totally keeping me awake. After like an hour of it I just got up and let Megan have the room.

Now I'm up and playing Fallout 3 and I'm going to make coffee and it's 6:20 a.m. I organized a shitload of King Diamond and Ozzy mp3s that I got from a good friend recently, so it's metal and coffee and Fallout 3 and coffee time, before 6:30 a.m.

This is my life. I wouldn't trade it for anything.


You might be a hippie if...

Jeff Foxworthy's "You might be a redneck if..." jokes were funny because of the pairing of the possible with the obvious. For example, the one about having a dead tv underneath a working one, or two cars piled up in your front yard, definitely means you're a redneck, but he put the "might" in there, which made it funnier. It was like he wasn't trying to point any fingers, but the evidence speaks for itself.

Okay, here's mine: If, when you're done giving your daughter a bath, and she exits the bathroom to show mama and sister how naked and clean she is, and you're standing there staring at the ruddy bathwater, rubbing your face and feeling how greasy it is, and you want to wash your face, and you could use the sink, or you could just kneel down and hold your face over the tub and use the old bathwater to wash your face instead, thereby saving water, and then you wash your face with said water, you might be a hippie.

It'll catch on. I'd better write several "You might be a hippie if..." books and have several comedy specials that rocket me to stardom with whatever fan base is the democratic equivalent of whatever fanbase Foxworthy reached.