Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Holy Venn Diagram of Easter

As you can see, at the intersection of bunny rabbits, eggs, Cadbury chocolate and Jesus there is EASTER. Yeeeaaaa!!!

(This is why I'm not allowed to teach Sunday School.) (Ok, this is one reason why I'm not allowed to teach Sunday School.)

We hope your Easter was the perfect combination of adorable, slightly sulfuric, sweet, and holy.

Monday, April 25, 2011

BOB Books – Simply Awful or Just Terrible?

I know many parents adore the “BOB Books", so I hope rabid BOB fans won’t hunt me down for the BOB blasphemy I am about to commit. But OH… MY… BOB … I am not a fan. There, I said it. I do not like BOB books. You will not find me waiting in line at midnight at Barnes and Noble for the next installment of the BOB series.

Yeah, it may be pretty lame of me to criticize books intended for toddlers. And as a pretend writer myself, I don’t like to criticize the creative efforts of fellow writers. These books, however, were not authored by a writer. They were written by a random word generator and then edited by a bloated - and possibly inebriated - corporate committee. (Pretty sure that is almost totally true.)

Let me give you an example of the horror that is the BOB books. This book is called “Mac”.

The illustrations make me feel… slightly disappointed. I dunno. Kinda like I really want a fudgsicles but all we have are popsicles, ya know? Also, I have the urge to punch Mac in his stupid box head. But, mostly I just feel a fudgsicle-ish disappointment.

Here is the text of the entire story:
Mac had a bag.
The bag had a dog.
Mac had a bag and a dog.
Mag had a rag.
Mac can tag Mag.
Mac got the rag.
Mac sat on the rag.
Mag sat on the bag.

And this, my dear readers, is one of their BETTER ones of the first set.

Toddler friendly? Yes. I guess so. If by “friendly” you mean that toddlers will be able to read the words and quickly realize reading is an activity in which they should never willingly engage... then, yeah. This book is totally toddler friendly.

Now, here is the funny part. This is the description on the back of the book::

Here is what it says if you can’t read it off the picture:
Mac and Mag show the fun of good sportsmanship as they run and tag. The end of the story finds Mac with the rag and Mag with the bag, a switch from the beginning. Their expressions show the enjoyment of playing and sharing.

Wait… WHAT?? First of all, it’s a 38 word story (40 if you count “The End”) with a 43 word summary? I guess I am a purest when it comes to "summaries". And second of all… WHAAAT? Did you read the same story I just read? What sportsmanship?? What fun??? What story??? What’s happening?? Where am I? What’s that smell?

Now before you go and say “hey, those are meant for 2-year-old readers not adults” I want to point out that Alexander is not impressed either. He looks at them every now and then, but he always has this look that says “laaaame” by the end of the story.

My assessment could very well be off-base. These are very popular and successful books, after all. But in my opinion there are much better early readers out there. Ones that won’t make parents want draw eyes on a cardboard box just for the pleasure of throwing a punch at it. Preschool Prep has a good set. And there are these cool books called “We Both Read” where there is a page for the parents to read, and then an easier page for the kid to read.

Now I’ll just sit back and wait for “boxheads” (diehard BOB fans) to start picketing on my front lawn. Weirdos.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ava is Using Bubby’s Comedy Material

Here she is trying very hard to say “it’s not a hat.”

She said in more clearly when the camera was off, of course… but you get the idea. Lucky for her, Alexander’s trademark on the phrase “that’s not a hat” is still pending.

And here she is learning her letters.

Rocket Converted Into Castle

It’s the new hipster trend in reclaimed upcycled housing!!

Under construction:


Of course, now that I've written about it I'm afraid the trend is over. So very very over.

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Lost Video" from Ava's birthday

Let's see what gems ended up on the cutting room floor... enjoy!

I love how Alexander is holding on to Harrison for dear life, and then is thrown back from the massive g-force. The "fourth wall" of this fantasy, however, is broken when Harrison is asked "where did you land?" (expected answer: the moon, mars, planet Gerfaludfruuudin) and he answered "right over here" pointing the the floor. This fantasy sequence is OVER, man.

A quiet moment with Aunt Rachel. This is an accidental 5-second video taken when I meant to take a picture instead. The big-eyed yarfest continued for quite some time.

And a solo rendition of Happy Birthday.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Alexander's New Comedy Material

I 1 a skunk
Hapless Victim: I 2 a skunk
A: I 3 a skunk
HV: I 4 a skunk
A: I 5 a skunk
HV:I 6 a skunk
A: I 7 a skunk
HV: I 8 a skunk


A: I 9 a skunk
HP: Really?
A: I NIIIINE a skunk!
HP: OK. I 10 a skunk
A: I 11 a skunk
HP: I 12 a skunk
A: I 13 a skunk
HP: You know, jokes typically end at the punchline.
A: No end!!! I THIRTEEN a skunk!
HP: *sigh* I 14 a skunk.

(And so on and so on and so on and so on and so on. There's gotta be another punchline if you just keep counting high enough, right?? We have yet to find it.)


Here are a few previews of Ava's 1 year pictures.

Kim Youra Photography Blog

Kim is a baby photographer extraordinaire. Look what she let Ava do in her studio (see last picture on above link). That is dedication to her craft.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Roar and Sock

A Trip to the Moon

Since we buy everything on the Internets, we often end up with a stash of large boxes in our home. We trip over them, fall into them, repurpose them into shelving, and sometimes we just set them ablaze and push them off into the lake like the Vikings did with their diapers.com boxes.

Alexander decided one especially large box was a rocket ship. Destination: The MOOOOOOOON!

First he had to assess what he had to work with. I’m theorizing that since the neighbor does all his car work without a shirt on, Alexander knew that this was a shirtless endeavor.

Then he had to decorate it. (Note, shirt was donned… but mostly because it was a cold day. Mentally, he is still totally shirtless.):

Finally, it was time to hire a good captain. (In this case, his cousin who is THREE times his age and therefore has three times the space travel experience.)

(note: two heads)

And they haven't been seen since.

No, they made it back.

Mission Accomplished.

Fathers May Be Better Than They Appear In This Blog

Here is an actual transcript from an actual conversation with Tim (father of my children, giver of paternal wisdom, wearer of smoking jackets).

Me: Watch Ava, she is going to fall.

Tim: Why would I want to watch that?

Please watch her, she’s going to hurt herself.

Wow, that sounds horrible. No way, I definitely don’t want to see that.

I laughed for five minutes. Literally. Ava probably is fine, I kinda lost track. True story.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


If you look for potty training tips online, I guess you have this sort of audio-visual trauma coming:

What IS this? What is happening? Where are they? What on earth are we watching here? It's like this surreal German-Pentecostal Potty Training Revival. Even God is there.

What the WHAT?

Let us turn to 1 Flushilonians, Chapter 1 Verse 2 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, I ain't gonna pee pee my bed tonight, doeth the will of thine bladder."

And now I can't get that song out of my head.

Thanks, stoopid Internets!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Holy Geez

I can’t believe Ava is now ONE. I guess in retrospect, I saw it coming.

So, how do we commemorate this big birthday? In two easy steps you can try at home.

Step one: We party! (Par-tay, even.)

(the pink stuffed animal is a kitty. "Kitty" is one of Ava's favorite words - right next to "Up" "Down" and "Booooooooooook.")

(Classic WTF moment.)

(The "F" is for "Fun". This is a family blog.)

(Classic paparazzi moment.)


(Aunt Rachel always understands.)

After everyone left, and we changed her out of her cupcake encrusted dress, she crawled into a chair and passed out. Always the sign of an excellent party.

Step 2: We see the doctor!

OK, this step in commemorating a first birthday isn’t as fun as step one. Everyone else gave Ava awesome books, clothes, and toys, but Ava had to use her fake “oh, what a great gift” face when the doctor presented her with the gift of SHOTS. (FYI, Ava needs a lot more practice on her “oh, what a great gift” face. It was an epic fail. Epic.)

I got my baby data fix. Ava continues to be 97th (+) percentile for height but her weight has crept up to about 60th percentile. Don’t suppose this had anything to do with it:

"Totally worth it! Om nom nom nom!!"


Friday, April 1, 2011

My Dinner with Ava

Enjoy a random moment with Ava...

My favorite is how she says "book."

We both come off as a bit crazy.

Just a bit.

But keep in mind that the camera adds 10 crazies.