Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Here comes winter. where was fall?

Fall kinda came and went, but mostly we had only a handful of fall-like days. We may get a couple more this weekend and it looks like I will do my best to get the Christmas lights up. Once November arrives, I wait for that one last fairly warm day and up go the lights. If I waited until after Thanksgiving, I could be out in the snow on my ladder and that is no good.
The other day, the greeter at the grocery store advised the kids and I to "take our time so mommy could sleep in". Being an At-Home-Dad, I have come to expect that, especially in West Michigan which is ultra conservative. However, it kinda irks the father in me, and this is the fault of men everywhere. The assumption is that fathers are secondary. Like we are doing a great favor to our wives to do something with our kids even if it is grocery shopping. Men are becoming more involved but not to the extent they should. I still hear of dads who have never changed a diaper, or put there kids to bed. To be fair, I know of moms who wont let dads do some of those things and that is as much of a problem as dads who wont. Anyway, the disjointed point is that its time to move forward and throw out the 50's era parenting attitudes and embrace the fact that dads need to get more hands on and moms need to let that happen too.
Another minor irritation is this: The GR At home dads group was at the mall the other day for playgroup. Some moms who were there we obviously surprised to see so many men at the play area. (granted, the moms are normally a little nervous when we show up in force to a playground. They look like the pedophile convention just came to town.) Anyway, one mom said to the other "wow I've never seen so may guys here before" to which the other said "yeah, my husband is getting laid off too". More assumptions. See above.
Speaking of kids, mine are crazy. They fight all the time. My patience is gone.
Ephram is liking preschool. I was hoping for a little more challenge for him. We thought that there would be more one on one time which was our understanding when we asked what they would do with a kid who knows his colors and letters and reads already. They go over one letter a week and one color. He has fun and is happy that they get lots of snacks that he doesn't get at home like goldfish crackers and fake cheese and crackers and all that other crap that proves that food companies and tobacco companies have the same corporate vision.
Speaking of things that are good for your body and not good for your body. The swine flu craziness is driving me crazy. The news leads every day with more stuff and the internet is full of misinformation. Parents dont know what the hell to do. I am taking our pediatricians advice and will have them vaccinated if we can. There are a lot of parents that are not because the read on some discussion board that the vaccine has antifreeze in it.( coincidentally, the same chemical that these folks are worried about, not really antifreeze, is in your store bought cookie dough. Thanks mom.....or dad!) I saw one recommendation that said," see my page for some good information on why not to get your child vaccinated". When I went there it was a discussion board. Note to parents: discussion boards are full of liars. People say things like "i work in the medical field" That person may be the janitor or worse. point being, don't get your medical info from discussion board people. Thy probably just came from another discussion board after giving some other completely unreliable advice. I'm just saying get the info from a reliable source and make an informed decision.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

So are the days of our lives.......

It has obviously been a long time since I have written anything. That is how I start a lot of blogs apparently. Oh well, My 2 readers haven't really complained. A few things are going on these days.
I am in the middle of my own personal Renaissance. The creative side of me has been rearing its head and I have not only been working on writing music but generally thinking and feeling artistic lately. I have been devouring music like in the days of my youth. Consuming it like a ravenous hyena then scouring itunes and other sources for my next meal. Wilco, Son Volt, Pete Yorn, Mark Olsen, all kinds. I am even approaching the music I am listening to for new church songs with almost the same vigor. It is good. Even the kids are getting into it. I turn on the new Wilco album and they dance like little wild hippies throughout the kitchen and living room.
Speaking of Wilco, Azsure and I are going to see them in Ann Arbor in October. Yay!
I took the kids to the toy store to get some bike helmets the other day. They were quite happy about it. Soijer picked out a Barbie helmet that came with knee and elbow pads. She looks terribly cute and after the first fall with them on, she realized that the protection offered her a whole new carelessness about her safety. She has already fallen so many times that she has rubbed the Barbi stickers off of the knee pads.
I am actually running out of time so I'll leave it at that. a quick update. Back soon

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

One more small thing......

I forgot to mention something in the last blog that is definitely blog worthy. Last week the kids were playing and I was making lunch. Soijer and Ephram were arguing over a book. I called them to lunch and as we were sitting at the table Ephram says "Soijer, I am going to eat faster than you and get down and take that book and put it in my room and close the door." to which Soijer replies: "Ephram, if you take that book into your room, I am going to get down and go and open the door to your room, get that book, bring it back in the living room, open it up and break it over your head!!". Quite a specific threat from a 2 year old. I was speechless.


The holiday weekend is finally over! It was very busy with all the parades and concerts and stuff but was pretty fun. The weather was good and by good, I mean not hot. The parades went well and nobody fell off the trailer as it was rolling down the street ad we got rid of like 10,000 freeze pops. The cookout that evening was fun but the fireworks sent the kids into a complete meltdown. they freaked out completely and had a hard time sleeping even with their white noise cd's blasting at full volume. It doesn't help that the "fireworks" in the neighborhood, (and when I say fireworks, I mean farmer made IED's that surpass military grade high explosive), kept rattling the windows in the house and waking the kids. It finally stopped around 11:00 or so and they got to sleep. The service and concert on Sunday both went well. All that is left is to get up to the church tonight and hook up the sound system and the July 4th 2009 extravaganza will be history.
The new Wilco album is good, really good. Each time I listen to it, it gets better and I hear things that I didn't before. The kids even like it with their favorite song being "I'll Fight". How fitting.
I may have to get off the caffeine. I have been noticing lately that during my morning and afternoon and whenever else coffee, I am getting pain in my neck and shoulders. I am not happy about it. Coffee is one of my pleasures in life. I spend a lot of time and money on it. I am heading to the local roaster to get some decaf this weekend to see if it is indeed the caffeine that is making me tense in the back. Lets hope its just the kids. :)
Azsure and Ephram are going to Springfield this weekend so Soijer and I will have Saturday and most of Sunday to ourselves. I think we are going to do some birthday shopping for Ephram as well as Spend my gift certificates to Williams-Sonoma. Should be fun.
Thats all for now.....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Random update....

A few things going on lately, we are gearing up for the July 4th festivities here in Dorr. The band loads up on a trailer and we blast at full volume as we drive down the road in the parade. Its fun. We do 2 parades on the 4th then have the 4th annual Hedges family cookout for everybody that participated in the parade at our house. We have an outdoor service on the morning of the 5th and then the band is playing at the carnival thing on the evening of the 5th. I am just hoping that my voice will hold out for the weekend.
Azsure and I got a babysitter yesterday and she took the day off and we went to Saugatuck for the day. saugatuck is a very cool artist town on lake michigan. We spent the day wandering the stores, eating great food, tasting wine and otherwise just enjoying ourselves without the kids yelling and complaining. We cam home with four bottles of wine from the Fenn Valley winery. I have felt very refreshed after the trip.
Fathers day was good. I recieved a cookbook from our local tapas bar "San Chez" which I have wanted for a while. I am eager to try some of the tapas recipes especially the Blue Cheese Fritters which we our favorite last time we went out to eat there. I then got the day off while the kids and Azsure played outside. I laid around and didnt have to deal with any fatherly things.
We are having playgroup at the house tomorrow. Lots of kids running wild in the yard. I am also cooking out so it should be fun. Hopefully, it wont be too hot. I have to make cookies today as well as make up the marinade for the jerk pork tenderloin for the dads.
I'm on the facebook now. We'll see if that is going to be a blessing or a curse. I'll report later.
got my ship notification for the new Wilco album. Yes! It should be here in a couple of days. A little over a week later, the new Son Volt album will be out. Then in August, the Bottle Rockets have a new one coming. It is officially my best music summer in years! yay for me! and Soijer, who loves Wilco! and Ephram who loves Son Volt!
out for now!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Stuck in Illinois with the "Ephram's got the barf blues" blues......

So the kids and I traveled down to IL for a week with the grandparents. I needed a break from both full time parenting as well as part time church work. I also wanted some new surroundings to just kinda kick start some creative thought and play some guitar. I made a vow to not think of any church music for the whole week. Not that I don't like church music, but, it is something that is a job to me. I don't sit around and listen to church music unless I am working on finding new songs to play at church. I don't attempt to consume it like I would say, the new Wilco album coming out at the end of the month. Also, while here, I scored some music recommendations from my buddies so I should be good to go for a few months with more albums.

Wal-Mart customer service sucks. ....
The Wal-Martization of Benton IL is complete. You can barely get anything unless you drive to the walmart. I don't know if it is just the Benton walmart or all walmarts but its like the dementors from Harry Potter. If you get to close, you start to get the feeling that you will never know happiness again. It is a soul sucking chasm for which there is no escape and I had to go there just about every day to get something. The greeters might have well have been saying "welcome to wal mart, guns are that way, please bring one back and kill me". They really need the guy from the Grandville Meijer store to spruce up the attitude. With this in mind, I determined to stop whining about the greeting and take a proactive approach. I would give the walmart greeter a warm greeting myself and hopefully brighten their spirits amidst the downtrodden throng of humanity that passes through there everyday. So with my spirits high, I headed out for some road snacks for the trip back to Michigan. I cruised through the door ready to spring my joy on the greeter. Problem, no greeter. Hmmm.....oh well, there has to be someone around in a blue smock that needs a lift. Finally I went to the speedy checkout with my stuff. I waited for the lady in front of me to finish then I sprung. "hi" said the checkout girl. "GOOD AFTERNOON!! HOW ARE YOU TODAY!!" I shouted. She was a little taken aback. "OK I guess" she replied. "FANTASTIC!!" I assume at this point she pushed a button somewhere that alerted the manager or Sam Walton himself that they had a live one. Any way I paid for my stuff then happily yelled "HAVE A GGGGRRRREAT DAY!!!!". She looked a little scared". as I was walking towards the door I spotted my initial target, the Wal Mart Greeter. "yes" I thought to myself. As she looked up from digging some sort of filth out of a cart I yelled with all of my joyous gusto "HAVE A FANTASTIC DAY!!!!!" She smiled. Sweet Victory. Take that soul sucker!
We had planned to leave the wonderful land of Lincoln on Monday morning but Sunday night, Ephram got a really high fever and said his head was hurting from "staying at the circus too long". (welcome to my world boy, I live at the circus) I decided to give him some of the new children s Tylenol I had picked up (wal mart again!) for Soijer earlier in the week. I gave him the suggested dose of strawberry flavored goo , which smelled a lot like strawberry schnapps by the way, and about 2 minutes later, he refunded it all over the carpet at my folks house. Later, I tried again and got the same result but in the toilet this time. Thanks Tylenol, your attempt to make medicine taste just like super sugar candy has burned me for the last time! We switched to the melty tab things the next day and they stayed down. So after an extra day in IL we made the trip back to Michigan without incident. On a side note, Ephram loves to stop in Gary Indiana. Every time we go to IL, I try to time it so we don't have to stop there but he must see the abandoned buildings and crack houses from I-80 and it triggers his urge to pee immediately.
I woke up in sweet cool Michigan this morning, ran a couple of miles and the kids and I set of to play at the park with the guys and kids from the dad's group. Fun was had by all. I am, however, going to most likely have to work the rest of the week to pull the kids back into the fold after being with grandparents all week. I guess that is the price paid for a little respite.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Becoming highly effective and the Swine Flu

I am not terribly effective but I am working on it. Steven Covey is assisting me right now. I don't know if any of you know the Franklin Covey system of planners but you've most likely heard of the book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People". Anyway, I have been making an effort to establish my roles for the week on Sunday. Roles being things like, father, husband, worship leader, etc. you get the idea. So anyway, one of my roles the past few weeks has been "musician". I am trying to get back into being more creative and bringing back the musician in me. Learning new songs, writing a little and generally beating on my guitar whenever I can. So this weeks challenge/goal for myself was to write a poem about anything. It didn't have to be anything groundbreaking and I'm not much of a poet. Being someone who usually finds the humor in chaos ( Ask me about my song "West Nile Virus Blues"), the recent media blitz and corresponding all around paranoia about the swine flu provided the inspiration.
So here ya go a Guit-Box daddy original poem:

N1H1 musing #1
I Thought it was just a cough.
A lingering cough from the recent weather change.
But someone at the grocery store told me "we're done for"
That "not only are illegal immigrants taking our jobs, now they're killing us"
"No, really, it's just a cough"
I wanted to look up the word "pandemic"
but ended up playing Daily Trivia instead
People freaked out a little
I was just irritated that I couldn't sing
When I turned on the t.v. and there was nothing but static,
I decided to write a song about it.
Actually I decided to write a sonnet, but I couldn't remember the rules.
All I could come up with was this:
"Oh foul swine!
Oh eater of bones and garbage!
In the farmers romantic sight
you are clever and wise!
but to everybody else....
you are pork chop demise!!"

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I hasnt even been a full month yet!

When you have your own blog that is seen and read by throngs of people, and by throngs i mean, like, 3, you apparently have to keep up with the writing or you get comments like "time to update your blog" (you know who you are) or how bout some new rants.. Well, here it is: the update. A months worth of goings on all packed into a few sweet paragraphs for you, the fans, the curious, the ones waiting for their (ahem) videos to download. (wink wink)
March flew out and I was happy to see it go. Anything that gets me closer to summer weather is a great thing. Azsure plodded away at rehearsal for the play she is in and I plodded away apparently at the comfort food because before I knew it, I had gained five pounds just sitting around bored eating. Never fear though, I am slowly reversing the process and am happy to report that my pants fit again.
Soijer had her 2nd birthday which was fun. we went to Meijer gardens to see the butterfly exhibit and then came home and ate cake. a person from our church made and Elmo cake which was nice. She got some cool toys and Has been fighting with Ephram over them ever since. Happy birthday!
Speaking of Ephram, he is down in Illinois with the grandparents so the Soi-bean and I have been having a little daddy-daughter time this week. it has been fun. We went to home depot and sears to look at refridgerators.
Yes refridgerators. its time for a new one. Its not that our current fridge doesnt work, it does. everything is nice and cool. But the drawers and plastic stuff is all torn up. I did call fridgidaire and another parts place to replace the drawer assembly and the price quote caused me to utter some random explitive and hang up. So me and Soi-sauce have been out this week looking for a shiny new fridge and there are some shiny new ones out there too. So many that I really have no clue what to get. oh well, I'm sure it will all come together soon enough and I will see a day where I can take a pepper out of a drawer without the whole assembly falling out.
Got the new Wilco DVD the other day. Ive watched the first few parts of it and its good. You should check it out. Jeff Tweedy is a strange individual but he's got the rock and roll in him so I approve. On a random music note. I heard "Ballad of the Kingsmen" by Todd Snider the other day come through the ipod random playlist. Man, that guy spends a lot of time with the reefer. Anyway, the watching of Jeff Tweedy and Wilco gave me the inspriation to pull out my old Supro flattop acoustic and give it a play. I hadnt seen the thing in over a year and when I pulled it out, the freakin thing was still in tune and when i strummed the ultimate rock chord (thats open E by the way) It came out like a warm stew. I was comforted and satisfied to say the least. So I immediatly took it upstaris and pledged to learn a new song on it this week which I have already done. "I'll follow you into the dark" by Deathcab for Cutie for those interested. dont ask, I really dont know how Death Cab for Cutie ended up in my music library. Maybe for the very reason to provide a renewed connection to the Supro. The wood on some parts of that guitar is like fresh pasta dough. now I know why willie nelson still plays that guitar that is more hole that wood.
Azsure's show has started and I went to see it on Saturday. It was really good and very funny. she had lost her voice the night before opening but you couldnt tell at all. shes a pro. Seeing her do the creative thing made me almost a little jealous. Seeing the buzz from the live performance and all. I do get to perform every week at church but it doesn't have the same effect as playing a rock show. I guess it's because the decadent element of the rock show is precisely what you are trying to get away from in a worship set. Its like there are two guys inside me battling it out. One wants to be good and the other one wants to booze it up and kick the other guy out on the street. That is probably the innner battle in most people though.
Saw my first wasp the other day so those of you who have followed the blog from the beginning know that it will soon be time to get out the old cans of wasp killer and make the rounds in the yard warning all of the wasps to not make a homestead here lest the be terminated with extreme prejudice.
Holy frijoles!, I have really rambled on for quite a while about some really boring stuff so I will leave you all to ponder my insight. My Wii tennis skill level isnt going to increase itself.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Eleven years of wedded bliss......

Azsure and I celebrated 11 years on Saturday. I cant really even remember who I was before we got married but I'm pretty sure that that guy would have ended up in a lot more trouble. We went out for dinner on Friday night to celebrate and went to Bistro Bella Vita which is my favorite restaurant downtown. It touts itself as "mediterranean country cuisine" but all I know is that its is good and it is fresh. I had the boeuf bourguignon and was awesome. it had lots of squash and potatoes and green beans and brussel sprouts in a yummy wine sauce. Azsure had a rotisserie chicken in a goat cheese fondue and it was really good too though quite rich. I finished it of with the Tiramisu. all yummy. The thing I like about going to Bella vita is that it is inspiring to me as a home cook. I really like to cook but I dont know how to build flavors. I pretty much need a recipe. i dont know if that is a talent thing or a learned thing but I would really like to know how to do it better. i would like to be able to hit the farm stand and just grab some stuff and bring it home and cook something healthy and tasty for me and the fam.
On a related food note, I have become goldfish cracker intolerant. We rarely have stuff like Goldfish crackers in the house but grandma brought a huge tub of them last time she came and I love the things so I have been eating them along with the kids for snacks. Well, i have come to realize, after a few terribly upset stomachs, that its the goldfish crackers. There is no other explanation. It must be the hydrogenated oils or something because my body is rejecting them.
Speaking of snacks, its snack time....

GR Dads on the news

I got a cal the other day from our local Fox affiliate wanting to do a story for the news that very night. Despite the late notice, I rounded up a couple of the dads and we made it out to the park for an interview. It turned out fairly well I thought. Thanks especially to the camera guy who ended up catching up with me elbow deep in Soijer poop out at the car. Or not.

you can see the clip here

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Despite being weary.... I blog....

Its been a pretty tiring last couple of weeks and I haven't had anything too exciting to write about. Azsure started her rehearsal for the Grand Rapids Civic Theater production of "The Foreigner" which keeps her gone from whe she goes to work in the morning until about 10:30pm or so Monday through Thursday and also Sunday nights from 5:15 until we'll see. I've quite a bit of time alone with the kids and it is a little challenging to say the least. The house is pretty much a mess and I have been snacking uncontrollably for the last week, which is fun, but my pants are starting to tighten. Luckily, I found this cool new workout to try starting tomorrow called the UFC fat blasting workout. Anybody who knows me is really havin a laugh right now vbecause I am not what you call Ultimate Fighting Championship material. Not yet at least!!! Check back in a month.
I had one especially fun moment with Soijer this week. I have been sing two Wilco Songs to Soijer every night at bedtime since she was a baby. "Mistunderstood" and "At Least thats what you said". Well, the other night at the appropriate moment during misunderstood , Soijer yells out "cause you still love rock and roll!!" I, of course in response gave her the horns. you know fist in the air, pinky and index finger raised in triumphant rock appreciation. It was a great father daughter moment.
In other news......hmmmm...... The new parenting book I am reading says I have an "authoritarian" approach to parenting. Thanks for that. Luckily, I just bought one of those military style jackets so now I can wear it while I tell the kids to eat their veggies and clean up their toys.
all for now.....

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The toddler food revolution begins........

Another short note today to mention how much my kids like avocados. So today I made Avocado and tomato whole wheat wraps. They loved it! So much better than an ordinary avocado sandwich. There is some great satisfaction in getting something really healthy into a toddler and them being happy about it. Its also good to stick it to the food companies who insist on trying to poison us all. On a related food note, I constantly see moms at the park, mall or wherever, continually shoving food at their kids. like the whole time. "Here johnny, here are some more goldfish crackers. oh and some fruit snacks too" (that's not fruit lady!!!) Anyway, It peaked my curiosity because none of the dads in my group are even giving out snacks during the play time. I wonder if its a gender thing? Is it a nurturing thing for women? hmmm....curious. I'll still save my tirade regarding the crap that passes as food and kids snacks for another day. That's the second time I've mentioned that but its coming.
My wife's mother is coming in tonight for a visit and Ephram has been freaked out all day. He is really excited. I've been trying to give him a little leniency (wow did I really spell that right the first time? spell check says so) since he is over excited. It should be fun and give me some time to decompress.
Speaking of compressing, My wife got the lead roll in the Grand Rapids Civic Theater Production of "The Foreigner". It is pretty exciting for her and we are all very proud. We are a bit concerned that rehearsal is Sunday through Thursday nights from 7:00pm to 10:00pm and that it will cause me to go a little crazy with the kids but the way I see it, total insanity should set in after a week or two and I can enjoy the bliss from then on out.
Lastly, Human Touch by Springsteen is a killer song. That's all...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Robots built for warfare? Come with me if you want to live.....

Just a quick note today to mention this article I read in the New Yorker about a gunsmith who makes a recoil-less, fully automatic shotgun that is mounted on a small ground robot or U.A.V Helicopter. It was so freaking interesting and scary that I had to post something about it. If you like this sort of techno thing, or if you have seen the Matrix too many times, give it a read. The picture in my mind was of hundreds of thousands of armed to the gills, Wall-E style robots parading down Pennsylvania Avenue (kinda like the Soviets used to parade their ICBM's). Really interesting stuff. The coolest thing he talked about was a larger robot that breaks into a building then drops seven of the smaller robots armed with this crazy auto shotgun to clear the place out. Before you know it, someone from the future will be sent back here to kill the guy that created this thing because, of course, the robots will have taken over and turned humankind into slaves.

Here is the article

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The arrival of middle age....with a little fame on the side..

I use the term "middle age" loosely. My college professor of sociology told my that my generation would have an average life span of 120 years. I don't think that he anticipated the effect that processed and fast food would have on our evolution in that it would drive our society backwards instead of forwards. That's a whole other subject that I'll get into another time. I'm talking about reaching the big 35. Probably not actually middle age but, considering what I did to my body in my early 20's, a lofty goal none the less. My birthday last Thursday was good. My folks came to town from Illinois and we went out for dinner at On The Border where my favorite is the fish tacos (talk about food that is not good for you, the fish tacos are a definite heart killer but it was my freakin birthday). My wife had purchased a new pan for me earlier in the week and it came actually on my birthday which was cool. I know, what your thinking, a pan for your birthday how exciting, but i was fairly jazzed about it because it was an All Clad pan which I have drooled over for quite a while and am now fully prepared to engage in some culinary masterpieces such as fried plantains and Blue Cheese Fritters. (both favorites of mine from the Tapas Bar). I also brought in enough birthday dough and gift cards (35 is apparently a milestone so you get more stuff), to afford the espresso machine I've had my eye on for quite some time. The kids broke my old machine so I am looking forward to making my own coffee drinks again. On a side note, my apologies to Starbucks, I know you guys are in some trouble but I have to look at my own economy too. I'll still be around a little especialy around christmas for a peppermint mocha so dont fret. Overall, my birthday week was really enjoyable. I did have to play in a wedding so that took up my friday and saturday but all was well. I just need to get out and get some espresso and maybe a glass or two for my new machine when it gets here.
Now for the fame part......We had a small article about the dad's group in the local family magazine which led to an interview on WLHT radio here in Grand Rapids. It was a very short interview but I think I did ok and was not a bumbling idiot and got the info across so hopefully that will lead to some more members. I was just happy to find out that it was not some sort of cruel prank which was in the back of my ever conspiracy laden mind.
With all of that said, its time for spring. It's time for playgrounds and not malls. Its time for cargo shorts (the official uniform of the stay at home dad), sandals, t shirts and getting rid of the fight to get a toddler in a winter coat into the five point harness of a carseat. As I have said in the past "Be gone winter.....come again next year. you've worn out your welcome"

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sometimes, my job is just.........

If you read my last blog, you learned of my experience with E falling in a public toilet and my ensuing fear of what he could be infected with. Well, this week, the "march of 1000 fecal armies" visited my other child. Literally. My sweet, angel of a daughter Soijer, who will be 2 in April, has been fighting her afternoon nap for the past few weeks. It drives me crazy. She needs the sleep. I need the break. E needs to play Wii bowling without someone screaming at him and standing in front of the TV. So lately, I have been leaving her to babble and make noise and play in her crib and whatnot for however long it takes for her to either go to sleep or for me to decide that its too late and she can go to bed really early. Yesterday, she was doing her normal thing and I listened for a while to her through the monitor and after about an hour or so I decided that it was time to go in and tell her to go to sleep. When I walked into the bedroom, I was met by a punch in the face of super stink and almost just closed the door and sealed up the room. Then my eyes met my sweet daughter happily giggling. Happily giggling with her pants off. "whatcha' doin baby" I say in my sweet daddy voice masking my irritation of her again refusing to sleep. That's when I notice. Poop..... Squirty poop........ Everywhere...... All over the sheets....all over Elmo...All over Bunny...... All over care bear.....a little on Soijer's head..... a lot on her hands.....Once again the thought of closing the door and sealing the room crosses my mind. I open my mouth and nothing comes out. I am officially speechless. In my mind, I am cursing the 1000 fecal armies with all of my best cuss word combinations but there are none sufficient to convey the utter horror I am experiencing. I have to take a minute. Time to conjure up some of the parental wisdom, patience, love and all the other stuff that the books say come with parenthood. I don't have any. I try to take a deep breath or two, but the smell shocks me back to reality. Finally, God presents the miracle I was waiting for. Soijer looks at me, looks at her hands and, with the sweetest angel voice says "daddy.....................poop". I am disarmed. "yes baby" I say, "poop". I suck it up and get to work, get Soijer clean and into the tub, put all of here sleeping buddies into the washing machine and go about looking around for secret poop smudges on the wall or crib or whatever. Finally, i finish all of the cleanup and finish the day. My wife found the whole situation hysterical. I laughed too when I told her about it but there were a few minutes there where I about lost it. I'm not sure what the lesson is for that one. Maybe there is no lesson, just a story for my amusement and all of Soijer's first dates.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nintendo Wii with a side of public restroom disgust-o-germs please....

We had been thinking about purchasing a Wii for ourselves and the kids so we had been on the lookout for a while to see when one would be available. finally last Sunday, we saw in the Sunday ad that Target had some. I called on target, none left. Called another and they had 9 left. At my lovely wife's urging, I hurried and packed Ephram into the car and we sped off to Target to get a Wii before they were gone. Anyone with a toddler knows that anytime there is a time sensitive matter to take care of, the toddler will inevitably affect the speed by either engaging what I like to call "toddler speed", which is the slowest, lollygaggiest manner of travel possible, or in this case will have to use the bathroom as soon as you are the farthest distance possible from a bathroom. So as we are cruising down 100th street, Ephram yells out " I have to go peepee!!!!" Can you hold it? "No"!!! It was, as it always is, an urgent situation. So I push the gas a little harder in an attempt to get to the marathon station at the freeway as fast a possible while Ephram holds his wiener and does the pee pee wiggle in his car seat. Finally, we pull in to the marathon and jump out. Of course now, Ephram engages Toddler speed and slows down to look at the packed snow on the wheel wells of our car. "Pee pee Ephram" I yell which brings him back to the reality of the urgent matter and he starts to run to the door. We haul it into the bathroom and pull off his coat and make it just in the nick of time. After the major relief of making it to the bathroom, I tell Ephram not to linger at the potty and that lets get going so we can go get the Wii. He, of course does not care about time and is standing, pants down, admiring the decor of the fancy gas station bathroom. "step back and pull up your pants" I say. (for those who don't have boys, the step back command allows for your toddler to bend over and pull up his pants without sticking his head on the public restroom toilet). He replies "first I gotta flush". I say ok go ahead. Well instead of walking around to the side of the toilet, he just reaches out from the front to get to the handle. Enter slow motion reaction from me. My eyes assessed the long reach, then moved down to the floor where I noticed the wet from the snowy tile floor. I tried to stop him but to no avail. His shoes slipped and he went forward. All the way forward.......into the toilet. The un-flushed toilet. He reached out both hands out and caught himself.......but caught himself in the toilet.....the pee filled, nasty, public toilet. As the horror registered in my mind of a thousand fecal armies set to march up his arms, E says, quite calmly "uh oh". Yeah uh oh!! Luckily, I had rolled up his sleeves so he only had skin contact. We scrubbed his arms like nothing before and then when we got in the car doused his arms with hand sanitizer and were on our way. We did end up getting a Wii but there were only a few left when we got there. Ephram has not come down with any third world mega virus either so all is well. Until next time.....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Time to beat the dead horse.....

My last blog included some ranting about the Michigan budget and lack of what I consider to be common sense regarding how to exercise said budget when it comes to snow plowing. For a new chapter in the ongoing plight of the snow plow powers that be, enter the Allegan County road commission. The other day, while walking out to get the mail, one of my daily pleasures as an at home dad ( a couple minutes of silent peace), I see that the gigantic, monster gas sucking fiend that is the Allegan snow plow truck is heading into our subdivision, plow engaged against the already smoothed snow covered surface. Normal reaction to this sight would probably be indifference. Not me. I was miffed. We hadn't seen any sort of snow in the past five days! the roads were decent! You're blowing the budget for crying out loud!! Wait for the snow #$@#@!!! No plow for days when our road had a foot of snow on it and now this?? Couldn't believe it!! I was mentally writing my strongly worded letter to our leadership. Now for the best part. As I sat on the driveway having some sort of silent hissy fit. The guy comes back up the road and, wait for it.....plows like a foot and a half of packed icy dirt/crap snow onto my driveway. aahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I'm going to save some of those chunks for the next time he comes around. If you've ever seen the movie Funny Farm with Chevy Chase, its like the part with the mail man. He is my new nemesis.
On a lighter note, we went out to San Chez, a Tapas Bar in GRand Rapids. The food was really good and it was a fun experience. I ordered Michigan Artisan Beer from the drink menu and about half way through the owner came out and asked me how I liked It. I thought that strange until I got the bill and it was $19 bucks. No wonder he came out. Lesson learned. It was a good beer. not $19 dollar good but still tasty.
Azsure (my wife) is going to St Louis for a conference and will be gone for 2 nights. Its always a bit of a challenge to have no break from the kids all day and night but I do get to sleep on the most comfortable part of the bed, the big hump in the middle. Im taking the kids out thursday to the mexican place for fun. we rarely go out for lunch or dinner so it will be a treat. plus I have a coupon!
One of these days, I am going to actually write a blog about beng a dad. There are some good stories Im sure and I need to tap into that. It would probably be more constructive than talking about snow plowers. Plus how many stories about snow plowers end with my 3 year old son falling in to the public toilet. Tune in later for that.....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

blog blog blog........

Though the Michigan winter has tried its best to destroy me, I live. Though the snow keeps me in a bit where my children try to break my will and send me past insanity, I survive. Be gone winter, come again another day.

That's about it. Christmas...good. New Years...good. First half of January...not too bad. My only complaint is the roads. Our exquisite Michigan leadership has once again proved their genius by, in an attempt to save money, not paying plow drivers to plow on the weekends. Cause we never get snow on Friday through Sunday in Michigan. There are also huge craters all over the city because the roads are falling apart. Our wonderful elected officials refuse to look to other states road technology to maybe learn something about building roads that last for a few years and have settled on just patching with asphalt because its cheaper. Thanks guys, you'll notice that the roads out of Michigan are the worst because they get the most traffic from all of the moving trucks taking people out of the state. Next thing you know, the big three auto makers will be building moving trucks because there is a need for them as people move out. They will use the insight that they have in the past to put all of their money into the production of vehicles that wont be used in a couple of years but hey, that's what they do. On a related note, Hyundai gets the North American car of the year? Everybody at GM should resign in shame.
Speaking of broken things, my bread machine broke. not really broke but I realized that the nonstick stuff on the inside was chipping off and getting into the dough. nothing like feeding your family poison for who knows how long. I know what your thinking...bread machine, how very masculine, but I was kinda distraught because I used that thing so much to make pizza dough and whatnot. Oh well, a new one is on the way. That one by the way was from wal mart and it lasted 10 years. The new one is like the Cadillac of home appliances so we'll see if it lives up.
With the new year came a few resolutions but a lot of them came out like a to do list. Clean out the file cabinet, clean out under the sink, organize the front closet. The others were a little more serious. Be more patient with the kids. Az suggssted this one. Its a good thought, sometimes I get really tired of the fighting and the whining. now when I say something to stop it, Ephram asks "are you going to turn into the incredible hulk daddy"? yes I am ephram, yes I am. The other thing was to force myself to be a giver. It is easy to help people out but my probelm is not paying enough attention to notice peoples needs on a day to day basis. So that's the idea, to remind myself daily that people, especially here in michigan , need help or at least a pick me up during the daily grind and take action.
lastly, I'll be 35 next month. hmmmm....yeah... not sure what to say about that....