Thursday, April 30, 2009

Censorship in Action

I can't help it really. No, I mean really. It's in my blood. I come from a long line of hearty, down to earth, get your hands dirty, honest, and hard working men who have preceded me. I grew up watching them. . .and learning. It was inevitable that I would follow in their paths. With their vocabulary.

So, on the occasion when I slip-up, can I really be blamed?

Whenever she hears me use it, Mrs. LIAYF just sighs and corrects me. Gives me one of those motherly type looks. I'm sure all my Dad Blogging buddies know exactly what I mean.

She will say something like "Dish-cloth. It's a Dish-CLOTH, not a dish-rag!"

But after 40 plus years, can I really be expected to abandon all use of the word rag? It has a certain manly ring to it, doesn't it?? I'm trying. Honest I am.

(A washcloth by any other name . . . .)

Another word that I get that look for, if used in the wrong context, is juice. Like the other evening when, during Lukas' bath, my little guy wanted me to blow him some more bubbles. I told him I needed to get a little more bubble juice on the wand. "It's SOLUTION. Bubble solution!"

How about you readers? What words has your significant other nixed from the household vocabulary in the interest of "propriety?"

Monday, April 27, 2009

Afternoon Coffee With E.T.

As the eerie realization slowly began to sink in, I sat there not quite sure how to react. I felt an ever so slight shudder pulse clear through my body, but belayed any evidence of this to the person sitting directly across from me.

While visiting a neighborhood coffee shop and kids play area a few days ago, Mrs. LIAYF and I met a very nice local mother with her 2 1/2 year old twins (a boy and a girl). As Lukas and the twins played together we chatted amiably with this otherwise normal mother. And as we made small talk: "Where do you work?" "Do you come here often?" "Where do you live?" that sort of thing, it became oddly clear to me exactly who this woman was.

Mrs. LIAYF and I used to walk a lot all around our neighborhood before Lukas was born (we take shorter walks with our son now). And, about 8 blocks south of us on our street, we would often see a couple who, from a distance, looked a lot like us, lived in a house very similar to ours, drove cars much like to ours, and who at some point were obviously expecting a family addition (something we had been waiting a very long time for ourselves).

We secretly dubbed them our Evil Twins.

So, when this woman described to us where her home was in retrospect to ours, all doubt was cast aside. This woman was Mrs. LIAYF's Evil Twin! And, you know what? She had a really terrific attitude despite being an evil twin. Her kids were sweet and well behaved too. Hard to believe! At one point I even felt terrible for her, because her husband, my very own Evil Twin, was currently overseas bravely serving our country in Afghanistan.

As far as evil twin types go, these seemed to be top notch folks. Frankly, we couldn't have hoped for better. I guess we're lucky that way. At the time I seriously debated it, but in the end I decided against telling this sweet woman named 'Mandy' she was Mrs. LIAYF's Evil Twin.

She was so nice, we thought it best if she remained blissfully ignorant.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Think Out Loud Sunday

We held a garage sale yesterday. We called it a garage sale because "Crap We Accumulated While Childless At Other Yard Sales But Never Used And Now Need To Be Rid of So We Can Have Extra Room" sale just didn't have the same brevity. In the end, it was a hell of a lot of work for a whopping $140. I'm sure we will quickly spend it on other yard sales or on Craigslist buying stuff for Lukas.

(Kids kitchen Mrs. LIAYF bought off Craigslist the day after our Garage Sale)
I love peanut butter. Always have. But the last time Mrs. LIAYF bought peanut butter she bought an organic creamy kind. Seriously, the stuff was like syrup and I have been practically pouring it over my waffles for weeks, secretly cursing it under my breath. Now, I am finally nearing the bottom and miraculously I have discovered where all those solids have been hiding. Doh!

I am currently reading a short little book called The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists by Gideon Defoe. I found the book misfiled in the kids section of a local used bookstore. It's snort-food-through-your-nose -funny. Or maybe it's just my seasoned appreciation for juvenile humor.
And finally. . .

We are vacationing in Mexico in about a month. It will be Lukas' first trip outside the country and his only trip, besides our recent extended weekend to San Francisco. I, being a first time father, have for various reasons been a bit worried about this trip for quite some time.
I eventually did additional research on our destination and subsequently felt much, much better about traveling there. Mere hours later I came home only to have Mrs. LIAYF inform me of the potential global pandemic of swine flu originating from the area.

Well that's just swell! Needless to say, we will be monitoring this development very closely.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nothin' on Top but a Bucket and a Mop

You may have noticed from some of the pictures posted here recently that we have been letting Luke's hair grow out.

Mind you, this has not been my idea. I have been hounding my wife about trimming our son's hair for some time now, but she refuses. She has these happy visions of a moppy headed little boy, with wavy curls and a big smile.
Silly Mrs. LIAYF. I have tried to impress upon her that the men in Lukas' ancestral line have never had any success growing out their hair. There is a reason we keep it short and manageable. That's because rather than looking like this:

Our hair ends up looking like this:

Fortunately for Lukas, he has more of his mother's hair quality. So, there's still a good chance Mrs. LIAYF will get the cute, wavy mop-head she wants.

But I wouldn't count on it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today is Earth Day

Here is the picture I used for my latest post (a Wordless Wednesday post for Earth Day) over at the Vacations Blog.

Happy Earth Day 2009. Start them Young.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Big Spring Contest

I am officially throwing my hat in at the very last minute for a contest over at . It is the Big Spring Contest and it sponsored by Kid’s Creation Redwood Swing Sets. Thanks to Tyler over at Building Camelot for cluing me in.

The winner of this contest will receive a 'Three Ring Adventure' play set and a Canon PowerShot SD1100 camera to record the fun.

We are asked to explain why we would love to win this play set.

Well. . . . .who wouldn't? Considering that all I had for a play set when growing up was a few hay bales stacked together and a bale conveyor with a spiky chain for a slide, and that in practically no time at all Lukas will be growing out of this:

It would be terrific to win the Three Ring Adventure and have a high quality play set for our son to be able to enjoy for years to come.

And if I win, you are all invited over to play. Wish me luck.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Seeing is Enjoying

Happy Monday everyone. It's a glorious Spring Day here in the Emerald City, the Winter weather seems to finally be behind us, and the mood around here is definitely upbeat.

As I have mentioned recently Lukas has been going pretty crazy with his words as of late. But it has been just this weekend that he has started to say his own name in earnest. We have heard a lot about the exploits of Daddy, Mommy, and Oookie (Lukie).

This morning Luke grabbed our camera (note to self: store camera in a much higher place) and ran over to me shouting "Oookie, Oookie, Oookie!". He insisted I take his picture so he could see himself on the screen. He even hammed it up. It was all fun, that is until I had to take the camera away.

I thought I would share the joy!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Last Minute Reprieve

Pssst....Hey there. Yeah, I'm talking to you Ugly.

Do you know how close you came to getting the axe? Booted? Quietly slipped into the donate pile? Well, now it seems you have gotten a reprieve.

We had high hopes for you in the beginning. But the fact was, Lukas NEVER took to you before now. I'm not going to say it is solely because you're Ugly. I might have thought so, but Elmo is not exactly Abercrombie material either, but that doesn't hurt him.

Ugly Doll. You would think that name alone would have got you further in this house, seeing how it worked for Betty. I prefer to call you an Ugly action figure. I'm not real comfortable with the 'D' word. Yeah, even after nearly two years. It's a guy thing.

Don't give me that look. I was initially on your side. Remember the time I grabbed you and together we shouted out to Lukas "Maverick, I'm your wing man. Take me to your crib or lose me forever!" but he just walked right on by? We had long since surpassed my self imposed limit on stuffed toys in the house. I took that as a sign.

But now, at just about the time I was going to discretely make you disappear, Lukas went and vomited all over his stuffed Monkey. He's ok. Lukas, that is. Not so much for Monkey. And now since you don't smell rancid and sour, you are the chosen one. "Beep-Bop". I hear your name a lot these days, so I guess that means you're safe.
It was that close.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Train Keeps a Rollin'

My real job is all about solving problems. And when certain things go sideways, which they do daily, I often end up breaking a process down to its core and then tinkering with different approaches to fixing the issue. This works great, at work.

However, I have developed a very bad habit outside the office of believing (incorrectly) that I can use this same approach with. . . . .well just about everything. We get a new appliance or electronic device and the manual never gets looked at because I can just figure it out. Similarly I don't need to look at maps because I can just deduce where we are and when we are getting close to where we need to be. Diagrams? Who needs em?

I have the utmost confidence in my abilities. That is, until they let me down. Honestly, this happens enough that I really should change my approach.

So, it came as a big surprise to me when I entered our living room the other morning to find Lukas putting together sections of his wooden train track. He had a few straight sections snapped together, with a curved section at each end. The beginnings of an oval.

His having snapped sections together was not what surprised me. What surprised me was that as I approached, he stopped, unfolded, and gave a long and thoughtful stare at this:

Then he proceeded to pull more curved sections out of the container and to continue his building project. I think I could actually see the wheels turning as he stared at that diagram. I won't embellish. He incorrectly attached the next curved piece of track. But hey, he is only 21 months old.

When I relayed these events on to Mrs. LIAYF, her response was "Hmmm. Maybe he will grow up to be an Engineer."

That would be great, I thought. I'm sure he would let me ride the on the train for free. And I wouldn't need a map either!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Favorite Film Characters?

I was tagged with an interesting Meme by FilmFather. I am tasked with naming my 10 favorite film characters, then passing the task on to 5 other bloggers.

I would to need a lot more time for this than I actually have to solidify my choices, so instead I just pulled 10 off the top of my head which are amongst my favorites. Film Father went into detail about why he loved his characters. I, on the other hand, am simply naming them. Most need no introduction.

The Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. "Just a flesh wound!"

Dewey Finn from The School of Rock. "One great rock show can change the world."

William 'Bill' Munny from Unforgiven. "Hell of a thing, killing a man."

Maximus Decimus Meridius from Gladiator. "My Name is Gladiator."

Ray Kinsella from Field of Dreams. "If you build it, they will come."

Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride. "You killed my father. Now you are going to die."

Jules Winnfield from Pulp Fiction. "Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?"

Clark Griswold from National Lampoons Vacation. "We'll all be whistling zippity-do-da out of our..."

Dr. Ellie Arroway from Contact. "Ok to go!"

And I couldn't finish this up without this nod to my blogs namesake. This Darth Vader clip cracks me up. "Luke, I am your father!"

Now, for the passing it on part. I am tagging the following bloggers with this meme. It is fun to think about, so enjoy.

Zoes Dad
DC Urban Dad
Vegas Dad
Super Mega Dad

All that comes with it

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

One Color He Can Wait to Learn

I have posted more than once about my son's enthusiasm for all things Elmo.

Well, a few days ago Mrs. LIAYF and I pulled out a basket of old toys which Lukas had not seen in quite a while. Sitting amidst these toys was a small red stuffed Elmo. Upon seeing him, Lukas nearly exploded with excitement and flashed a huge smile the size of Texas. He has rarely let that Elmo out of his sight since.

Seeing how happy it made him, we let Lukas take this Elmo along to daycare with him. While there, he laid down at nap time with his friend, and immediately fell fast sleep. In fact, having Elmo along worked so well that we allowed our son take Elmo to daycare with him all week long.

Until yesterday.

That's because yesterday, someone (who shall remain anonymous) forgot to grab Elmo out of the car when dropping Lukas off at daycare and drove away, leaving our son calling out longingly all day long for his furry red pal.

So when Mrs. LIAYF picked up Lukas at daycare yesterday afternoon she learned that when it came to nap time, with no Elmo to help Lukas drift off, things had the potential to get very interesting and painful.

"He asked for Elmo all day long, but it wasn't here to give him," said the care provider.

"What happened at naptime?" Mrs. LIAYF asked.

"Oh, it wasn't a problem. We just gave him BARNEY instead"

Serves me right. Today, Elmo is back with Lukas at daycare. And someone has his fingers tightly crossed!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ready to Rumble

It was a hotly contested Boxing matchup between an up-and-coming flyweight challenger with unlimited potential, and an over-the-hill heavyweight who has definitely seen better days.

The excitement was palpable. They bobbed. They weaved. They went toe to toe for several exhausting rounds. Once, the older and more experienced boxer was knocked off balance and went down hard, to the visible thrill of his competitor.

In the end the tired old heavyweight, whose only shining moment was a forfeit at the hands of the yellow flyweight Frazier, was no match for the energetic young challenger.

In lieu of a shiny belt, the victor received a flower and a congratulatory hug and kiss from Mrs. LIAYF.

A fine prize indeed!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Put Your $ Down

(Whed socks, daddy. Whed socks!)

With his hometown Mariners staring at yet another rebuilding year, Lukas decided to go with a somewhat safer choice when giving his opening day prediction of the eventual American League Pennant winner.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Equal Parenting 101

As difficult and time consuming as it has been at times over the past nearly two years, I am extremely proud to say that Mrs. LIAYF and I have played a fairly equal role in teaching Lukas the essential skills he needs to succeed in life.

Equal? I recognize some will not believe that child raising truly can be equal. So, for those of you with doubts let me present the following recent personal examples:

1. To expedite his vocal development Mrs. LIAYF has been tirelessly reading Lukas books of all varieties. I have also tirelessly pointed out all of the really cool pictures in those books.

2. Mrs. LIAYF has been working with Lukas to recognize the different 'Colors' in his Richard Scarry book. I have been teaching him to stack colored cups on his head at bath time.

3. Mrs. LIAYF has been using numbered cardboard nesting blocks to teach Lukas how to count to 10. I have been stacking those blocks with him and then charging them like a raging bull, teaching him to knock them over with his head.

4. Mrs. LIAYF has been giving Lukas a big boy cup at meals recently, teaching him how to drink from it without spilling all over himself. I have been teaching him to dip his Fig Newtons into the milk in the cup for maximum enjoyment.

Sure, I could go on and on, maybe even write a book about the teamwork that Mrs. LIAYF and I have employed to bring our son to the developmental stage which he now finds himself.

But I'll settle for this simple blog post. I'll leave the book to Mrs. LIAYF. This is a team effort after all.