Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Bestie Shot


Well hello there readers.  You don't know this, but I know you pretty well.  Yep, I do.  And with that knowledge I'm guessing that you have long felt, in the far reaches of the back of your mind, that you'd like to give back to 'Luke, I am your Father' for all of the heartwarming, funny, poignant, and smile inducing moments.

No?

Well, fine.  But perhaps if you've read and enjoyed the blog in the past you could still do me a solid.

You see, this blog is currently in the thick, the thick I say, of a reader contest for the title of 'Best Parenting Blog' in Western Washington (that would include Seattle as well as every point from the impressive Cascade mountains, West to the Mighty Pacific Ocean, and from the underside of Canada South to the winding majesty of the Columbia River).

Yes, of all the Parenting blogs that reside in this vast region of nearly 6 MILLION people, little ole LIAYF is considered one of the best.  Is it the very best?  That, of course, is a matter of opinion.  But if you enjoy reading here, your opinion matters.  Well, to me at least.

That all being said, if you feel like casting a nod in my direction, it would be very much appreciated. Heck, it might even inspire me to post more regularly here.

Don't laugh, it could happen.

Anyway, if you are so inclined you can vote by clicking here.  And as a bonus, you will even have a chance to win a trip to Mexico.  Voting ends October 24th.

Cheers, and thanks for reading.  The Management.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

I Would Die a Happy Man


Kids, they certainly call it as they see it.  For example, take this conversation between Lukas and I in the car on the way home from soccer yesterday.

Lukas: "Dad, if you had a choice would you rather be a grown up or a kid?"

Me: "Hmmmm.  Well Buddy, I think that I'd rather be a younger grown up."

Lukas: "Why's that?  So you won't die so soon?"

Me:  "Actually, it was so I'd have more energy to keep up with you little stinkers!"

Me:  "But........I guess yours is a pretty good answer too."

Lukas (smiling) "Cool."

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Long Time Ago (earlier tonight), in a Bathroom Far Far Away

Together we can rule the loo.

An epic battle between good and evil has been waging in our house for some time now readers.

And in a time when all seems lost, I hold out  hope that I can convert Lukas to see the light.  There have been a few times, without his knowledge, when I have actually witnessed him using the ancient and trusted ways.  Of course, not long after he was most certainly unduly influenced into using the unnatural method that he now practices.

You see readers, Lukas has been taught to be a Folder.  I, on the other hand, have tried to teach him to be a Crumpler.

I know, I know.  I am sure you are aghast as I am that this young boy is for all intents and purposes now doing Origami with his toilet paper.

I caught him folding his paper again this very evening, in fact.  "Young one" I said to him.  "You need to become a Cumpler!  Come with me, and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son Crumplers."

"You can even become a Crumpli Knight!"

"No way!"  he rudely responded  "I will never become a Crumpli Knight!"

"Stay with Folding" I bellowed "And you WILL see the dark side!"  I thought that was appropriate.

"NEVER" he whined loudly.

"You will regret this decision for years to come Young Lukas"  I warned.  "But wait.........I sense that there is another."

"Noooooooooo!" he screamed.  And as he ran off down the hall, he was yelling "Annabelle, don't become a Crumpler.  Don't do it. Don't do it."

His will is stronger than mine.

But alas, the other is just becoming aware of her powers.  And is the perfect age to be taught the ways of the Crumple.

She may very well be my only hope.

Image via Walyou

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Paws & Enjoy the Moment

Happy Sunday readers.

It's been yet another gorgeous weekend here in Seattle as we were once again treated to plenty of Fall sunshine and warmish temperatures.  Please, no one say anything, as we want this to carry on well into the holiday season.

Yeah, I know that is NOT going to happen, but while bathing in October sunshine, anything seems possible.

Mrs. LIAYF, Lukas, Annabelle, and I took advantage Friday night by loading up our red wagon and heading out for another walk to our local business district for dinner out.

On our way home we passed our neighborhood independent record store, where we noticed that a band was setting up for a live show.  We stopped in for a few minutes.

The band was called 'Paws', and although we had never heard of them, we quickly learned that they were from Glasgow, Scotland and the show they were setting up for was actually a benefit concert to help them because just a few nights earlier, also here in Seattle, their whole back catalog of music and artwork had been stolen.

What a miserable thing to happen to some young guys traveling in a foreign country. Obviously we felt bad for these blokes, who were touring the States in a black van.

So, while the band was filming an interview, we hung around the music store with Lukas and Mrs. LIAYF picking up a copy of The Who (Lukas has become a recent fan because of the song Boris The Spider - The class is studying spiders and recently released several into the classroom) and a used copy of the movie Goonies, while I followed Annabelle around and replaced the CD's she pulled off the shelves.

After the interview, Lukas was able to give the members of the band a 20 spot, which was our little way of letting them know that most Seattlites were good people.  They were very appreciative and in return allowed Lukas to choose from one of their two releases.  He chose one called Cokefloat.

After getting ice cream, we came back to see the band, who was now playing.  The kids loved the music, as Lukas was rapt and Annabelle held my hands and danced up and down over and over.   It was actually getting late so we only stayed for a few songs, but it was a pretty cool experience.

Annabelle didn't actually want to leave, and was prepared to let out a scream of anger as we loaded her into the wagon(she does that on occasion), but with the band playing loudly behind us Mrs. LIAFY astuely pointed out "No one will hear her this time!"

Then, while on our way home, we looked at the songs on the back of the disc and one stood out. 'Miss American Bookworm'.  That seemed appropriate for Annabelle, who is all about her books right now.   After she was safely home and in bed, we listened and enjoyed.

And, at about the 3 minute mark, the lead singer let out a healthy scream, which was certainly worthy of our Miss A. Bookworm. Check it out, they are actually pretty good.

And when they become famous you can say you heard about them first here.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Daddy Need to go Night Night!

You WILL go to sleep now.  Capisce?

I have a feeling that one day, in the distant future when Annabelle is a mother and we all have flying cars or at least our own jet packs, she won't have any trouble getting her kids to quiet down and go to sleep.  We should all be so lucky right?


I make this bold prediction, not without anecdotal evidence to back it up.  Quite the contrary actually as our little sweet cheeks has been practicing the art of putting things to sleep for months now.  

For the most part the beneficiaries of her sleep training techniques have been Lukas' stuffed animals as she will plant herself solidly in the middle of his bedroom floor, or alternatively his bed, and line up several of them for night night time and carefully lay a cloth over the back of each one and pat them.  

The only problem?  She can be a wee bit (and I by wee bit I mean no such thing) firm while patting them to sleep.  It's almost as if she is trying to desperately dislodge something stuck in their windpipes.  I think one of them even let out a squeal of pain earlier this evening, but who knows, I could have just imagined that.

Any-hoo, after the stuffed panda and leopard were beat solidly into slumber tonight, our little Miss A was not yet done as Lukas lay on his own bedroom floor with a blanket, hysterically laughing at her antics and saying "Lukas needs to be put to sleep too, Annabelle".  Of course that was all and good until my daughter then looked at me and gave a deliberate point at the floor.

"You want to put Daddy night night too?" I asked.  She nodded.

How could I resist?

And that's how Lukas and I ended up on the floor on our stomachs tonight with a 1 year old between us laying on a blanket and beating on our backs like a Swedish masseuse.   We, of course were laughing uncontrollable about this, and at the same time trying to emphasize to her to be 'gentle' with her sleep subjects.

But for now Annabelle would have none of our nonsense, even going so far as to shove our heads back to the floor  while saying 'Ni-Ni' when we were so bold as to lift them to see what was going on. She was obviously very serious about her parental duties.

It was a lot of fun, and also pretty scary at the same time. Like I said, I think someday she isn't going to have a bit of trouble with her kids sleep routine.  

She will have plenty of practice by then.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Hearing Voices

I'm lucky he talks so much!

As I was closing my car door tonight and pulling the seat belt strap over my chest, I heard the phone ringing in my jacket pocket, which was sitting on the passenger side seat.  I had worked late, and was exhausted from the day.  


I finished my task before attempting to answer.  But unfortunately, I was too late and missed the call.  I did see that the number was Mrs. LIAYF's , which was not unexpected.  I figured she was checking on my progress as she was picking up both kids tonight.

But when I dialed the number back, I got something unexpected.  Something which made my heart sing just a little.  "High Dad" Lukas' voice bellowed over the phone.  "What do you want us to order you for dinner?" .  I hadn't anticipated he would answer, and it was a pleasant surprise when he did.

Lukas still has a perfect kid voice, which is high in pitch and crackles just a little bit when he speaks.

He could talk about the intricacies of financial accounting, or the latest developments in IRS tax code law and it would come out sounding like awesomeness.  Heck, he could ask me what I wanted for dinner that night and it would be music to a weary set of ears.

Which is precisely what happened tonight.

I'm not sure exactly why hearing my kids voice over the phone makes me so happy, but it does. Annabelle too, even though she still has a limited vocabulary, being only one.  You might hear the same thing, and think nothing of it.  But if it were your kid, it would be most likely sound awesome to you too.

I guess it's just another sign of how much I love my kids.  How much they mean to me.

I have a lot of short videos of them which includes audio, but that requires watching too.  I think it may be time to record some simple audio clips to file away in my archives.

I'm sure they'll be gold to me someday.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Those ARE Pilllllowwwwws!

"Does Dad ever sleep at work?" Lukas asked Mrs. LIAYF the other day.

I'm not sure what her answer was, but it should have been "Nope".  Sure, I find myself dragging myself around like a character from the Walking Dead on some days.  But I survive, and am still very productive.

He had a good reason for asking, but I will get to that in a moment.

But first,  I'll admit it.  I haven't been getting enough sleep lately.

I'd like to blame the kids for this, and really they do play a big part in the fact that I am tired a lot, but honestly I can't lay the blame firmly at their feet.  I just stay up way too late anymore, and get up just as early.  I could avoid this, of course, if I just went to bed right after Mrs. LIAYF and I got them to bed, got the dishes and laundry done, lunches made, and our calendars up to date.

But I don't. I find I still need some time to wind down after the long day.

This results in my often attempting to function the next day on a few precious hours of sleep.  And that doesn't work out as well for me as it did when I was in my 20's, or even my 30's.  Strange, right?

Lukas has noticed too.  That's because, as it was relayed to me, he spent a recent recess during school sitting with a 'cute' girl who had an interesting book of goofy inventions.  And when a page turned to reveal a particular bright idea, Lukas knew just where it might best be used.

"That would be perfect for my Dad" he announced to the girl - who was a friend.  And, upon hearing about it, I guess I would have to agree.  I could use one of those sometimes.

What was this wonderful invention? The one that seemed absolutely perfect for his old man?

Wait for it........

It was essentially a hat,  but made with pillows surrounding it.  That way, if the wearer happened to, oh I don't know, FALL ASLEEP in the middle of going about their day! they wouldn't bump their head.  Rather, they could just take a nap.

Yeah, apparently dad needs one of those.  He must think of me as a Narcoleptic.

"That is brilliant!!"  I told Mrs. LIAYF with a chuckle late last night when she told me.  "It's so nice to know that my loving boy is thinking all about me and my well being."  "Maybe I should go to bed now."

But alas I am tired once again today.  In fact, I think I could really use that awesome pillow hat invention thing.

I wonder if today they'll get to the page with the toothpicks that hold open eyelids.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Just Call Me Her Booking Agent


"Good Morning Sweet Cakes" I whispered to Annabelle as I pulled her out of her crib this morning.

Being Monday morning, a morning that Mrs. LIAYF and Lukas could actually sleep in a bit longer than myself and my little girl, I had just tiptoed upstairs ever so gingerly, avoiding all to the problematic creaky spots on the fir stairs like Baryshnikov in his prime. (Okay, maybe I was lumbering a tad more than Mikhail would have, but in my defense I hadn't had my morning coffee yet.  The point is, there were no creaks - from the floor at least).

And, as I do on most mornings such as this one, I gently laid her on her changing table while handing her her morning milk.  That usually keeps her busy while I diaper and change her into her clothes for daycare.

But this morning, as I was handing her her bottle she swept her arm at me, knocking the bottle out of the way rather grumpily.

"Book" she said, still obviously a little bleary eyed from her sleep.   I again tried to hand her the bottle, but again she swatted at it.  "Book!" she said, louder this time.

"I'll read you a book when we get downstairs Sweetie"  I reasoned.  "Right now I need to change you for school"   "BOOK" She then raised it a notch, loud enough that I thought she would wake up the rest of the family.  "Shhhhhh!" I put my finger to my mouth indicating she was breaking our agreement.  Of course, she has never actually agreed to any such thing,  but it's kind of like George Costanza's deal with the Pigeons.  It's unspoken.  THEY KNOW THIS!

"BOOK"  She continued,  smiling now.  "BOOK. BOOK", ultimately forcing me to relent under the dual forces of cuteness and self preservation.

"Okay, okay!" I whispered, reaching over to the nearby bookcase and pulling out the first book I could grab.  "But let's read it quietly"  I exaggerated my mouth at this point. Qui-et-ly.  The book was 'Good Night Gorilla', which she enjoyed while I got her changed and ready for daycare.

Mrs. LIAYF and I are actually very pleased that our 1-year-old is now so interested in books (She is obsessed with them of late).  It's like a switch has turned for her.

That's because for the longest time, she wouldn't sit still for them at all.  I would try and try again, but her attention span, coupled with her constant need to be in motion, resulted in her often losing focus before we would finish the first page.

I knew she would come around.  That she would love books just as much as the rest of the family. There are, after all, books everywhere in the house and Lukas has been reading her stories recently as well.  I wouldn't even be surprised if a big reason for her interest in books is watching her big brother bury his nose in them.  She imitates so much of what he does after all.

And now that I know that I can actually buy her silence with a good book, I'm not opposed to riding that horse until it drops.  That's a win win.

Now, if I could only get her to sit on the potty for a book too, I'd be golden.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Dog Gone Antics

I scream, you scream.

It has been an absolutely beautiful weekend here in Seattle readers. Our fair city was bathed in golden sunshine on Friday, my birthday, and again today for Lukas' first soccer match of the fall season.

I am happy to report that the Silver Eagles soared this morning, although Lukas was only 1 of the 5 kids who showed up for the game.  Thankfully, they play 4 on 4, since one of his team had to leave halfway through the game.  Lukas was exhausted after having played the entire game.

Later on this evening, to celebrate said birthday and soccer victory, Mrs. LIAYF and I loaded Annabelle (and intermittently Lukas) in the red wagon, and headed out to our local neighborhood town center enjoy the weather and to dine out.

After dinner, we all walked down to our local ice cream shop for cones. Coconut for me, Nutella for Mrs. LIAYF, Peppermint for Lukas, and sampling's of all of them for Annabelle who moved from family member to family member flashing her adorableness until we relinquished tasty bites.

As it turned out, she wasn't the only one looking to sample our ice cream tonight.

About half way through, a Mom pushing an empty stroller sat  a couple of seats down from us outside the ice cream shop.  She also had a friendly looking yellow lab on a leash.

"Can I go pet the dog?" Lukas asked.  "As long as you ask first" Mrs. LIAY reminded him.  It turned out the dog's name was Stella.   Stella was a nice dog.  But as Lukas leaned over to give her a pet, she completely engulfed the rest of his peppermint ice cream cone in a flash. It happened so fast, that no one seemed to know what had happened.

Lukas jumped back, looking stunned for the briefest of seconds.  That's when his emotions took over.

And he broke into uncontrollable laughter!  "Oh my gosh!" he managed, in between hysterical laughs.  "That's the funniest thing that has ever happened to me!" he gasped.

It was a refreshing response compared to his younger days.

The mother, of course, looked mortified.  "I'm so sorry!!" she said.  "My husband is right inside, he will buy you a new cone."  But it wasn't necessary, as Lukas was about done with  his ice cream anyway.  He rarely finishes a whole cone.  Plus, he was too busy laughing to respond.

And with that, we gathered up our kids and our red wagon, and headed towards home.  Taking into account all the distractions along the way, it took us a good 20 minutes to walk the 5 minute route back to our house.

And as we finally did arrive at home, Lukas was still laughing about the lightning quick demise of his Mint ice cream cone.

You'd think that would teach him a lesson, but I'm not altogether certain he will be more careful next time.

He might even be looking for a friendly dog.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Laser Show

A rare early sighting 

I was in the middle of bathing Annabelle last night, with my back to the door, when I heard something zoom behind me.  I turned, but saw nothing.  

"Weird" I said to no one in particular, although I should have been informing Annabelle, who was busily attempting to shove 9 rubber duckies into an over sized cup.

Then I heard it again.  It made the sound of the wind blowing down the hall.  "Strange" I said aloud, having seen nothing, as I turned back around.  I looked one more time, just because, and that's when I saw him.  He was a Super Hero in a blue mask and a long blue cape emblazoned with an red "L" on a large white star, surrounded by another circle of white stars.  I recognized him.

"Laser Boy!"  I said.  "You startled me".  To that he just smiled.  "I am in need of service, Laser Boy" I continued.  "I can't find Lukas, and he needs to come in here for his bath!  Can you help me find him?"

Laser Boy nodded slowly.  Then was off in a flash of light.  Presumably to search for Lukas.

I returned to bathing Annabelle, when moments later Lukas walked into the bathroom.  His belly was extended and seemed sort of cushy under his shirt.  "Lukas" I said.  "Did you eat too much?  Cause you look a little full.  Oh, and did Laser Boy find you?  I sent him to look for you just a bit ago."

"No Dad, I haven't seem him" he replied with a broad smile.  "I'll go and look!"   And with that, he was off.

Oddly, this strange sequence of events with Lukas and Laser Boy both being in our 2nd story, looking for each other, yet NOT running into each other, happened a few more times.  I was perplexed.  Then, a few moments after Laser Boy had shown up, and I had sent him off to find Lukas and tell him he didn't have to look any longer, Lukas walked into the bathroom  holding a cape and a mask.

"I didn't find him Dad.  But I did find this."  He held up the suit with a puzzled look on his face.  "Maybe Laser  Boy zoomed so fast that he crossed into a another dimension." I offered.  Lukas just smiled as he crawled into the tub for his bath.

Then, if you can believe it, an even stranger thing happened.  Lukas, hearing his mother climbing the stairs, darted his eyes around the room to make sure we were not being watched.  "Dad" he whispered, drawing me closer with a the tiny curl of his index finger.  "I need to tell you something."

"Yes" I whispered back.  "What is it?"

And, with a smile radiating brighter than the blazing sun on the early September day we had just completed, he opened up to me.

"I'm Laser Boy!"  He whispered.

I could tell the stress of the secret had been weighing on him.  He beamed. I just looked back at him, my heart now as toasty as the evening air, and with a broad smile of my own said:

"That explains SO much!".

I rubbed his hair lovingly then, and dumped a cupful of water over his Super little head.