Author: russ

Dec 2

Pasadena Wind Storm

Some of you have heard, or have gone through, the Pasadena Wind Storm Catastrophe 2011!  I’m joking about the title, but it’s actually true.  We went on a drive through Pasadena, to go grocery shopping, and we counted 10 trees down just on the way to the store.  And I’m not talking about branches.  I would say pretty much every single house lost tree branches.  Our neighbor lost some brances and our walk to school is now blocked!

No school! Couldn't walk there if we wanted to! What do you mean, "go around?" If the path is blocked...NO SCHOOL!

We got lucky.  There were many people that had their homes crushed.  We only lost some fence pieces. (more…)

Nov 29

Tis The Season…For Vomiting

This is what I look like when Uncle Andy takes pictures while I'm holding a sick baby.  Damn paparazzi...they are relentless.

Don’t you just love the yin and yang of the holiday season?  On the one side you have your joy, your family, your cheer, your decking of the halls, your wonderment fantastic! And on the other side….you have the vomiting.  The fever, the sore throat, the cough, the congestion, the torn flesh from the sides of your nose from blowing into gritty tissues, the diarrhea, and more vomiting.

I’m not a big fan of vomiting.  When I’m sick, I go out of my way to not throw up.  I will curl up in a ball, I will moan, I will rock back and forth, pray, breathe heavily, spit, pray to a different god than the one before – just in case, whatever it takes. I do NOT want to throw up.  Kids on the other hand have no problem throwing up.  The instant the mood strikes, they will purge.  This will happen over the toilet, in their bed, on my chest, the couch in the living room, on berber carpeting, wherever they happen to be.  Unless the kid has a fever, getting him to stay laying down in one spot is next to impossible.  So we parents need to be on our toes at all times, listening for that precursor burp-gag thing, so that we can chuck a large bowl under their face.

I think the winter season is the perfect season for all the wonderful holidays, because if we had Christmas and Thanksgiving in the spring or summer, then the winter would have nothing.  It would be one of the most depressing times of year.  Snow would be linked to heavier traffic and freezing cold, instead of snowmen and Santa’s home.  The leaves falling would signify the beginning of the Vomit Season as opposed to the Holiday Season.  We really need to have those awesome family holidays during the winter to balance out all the depressing sicknesses that come up this time of year.

Right now, Noble is laying on the couch after having thrown up all morning.  We’ve got another type of yin and yang going on: there’s an uncomfortable air in this house where the empathy that Gayle and I have for our son is mixed with the selfish thought of “Not me, please not me!” This won’t stop me from rubbing his back, his hair, or washing his face after he throws up.  But it does mean that I’m living the Vida OCD-a. It’s not even 11:00am, and I’ve washed my hands 4000 times, and had two large glassfuls of hand sanitizer.   My thinking is that if I drink it, it will kill the germs inside my body.*

*Don’t do that.  Seriously.  Don’t.  JOKE ALERT!

This is what I look like when Uncle Andy takes pictures while I'm holding a sick baby. Damn paparazzi...they are relentless.

Nov 28

Establishing Chores

Someday he'll be making us dinner!  Gotta train em early...

It dawned on us the other day, as Noble was running around the backyard enjoying his game of “Throw Toys Wherever The Hell I Want When I Am Done With Them” that perhaps we need to institute some policies.  It then dawned on us (yes, lots of dawning going on over here)  that Noble didn’t have any set chores.  This kid needs some chores! (more…)

Nov 21

The Perfect Christmas Gift For Dad

Manhood = Baa Bye

So there you are, wishing your husband would be more involved, maybe take the kids to the park or to the mall, or a hike, or “just wherever, just go!” But there’s something standing in the way:  his masculinity.  It’s next to impossible to exude that alpha dog manliness out in public when he’s carrying your teal diaper bag.  It looks like a damn purse! (more…)

Nov 17

Key Translations For Your Child


Children are remarkable.  These little creatures learn to speak our language from our daily communication with them, and then, they take the wonderous joy of it all and turn it on us, thinking they can use their great use of our language to trick us!  Not today, not anymore.  I’m gonna help.

I feel it is my duty to translate a few of these manipulative uses of language in the hopes to save you, the parent, from falling for the sneakiness of your child. (more…)

Nov 14

Kids Captioned 4

When life brings you sunshine, make your own puddles.

The ground is winning. Big time.


One man's art is another man's "NOOOOOOOOO!!! MY CHAIR!!!!"

THIS is how you get attention. Clench your fists, tense every muscle and you too can double your volume.

Rough night of drinking too much milk, gambling away his diapers, and getting kicked out of the playgroup for peeing on a couch. The back pain in the morning will be punishment enough.


See previous “Kids Captioned” posts here, here, and here.





Nov 8

Read The Signs

Two of us are having a great time, and one of us is not. Can you guess?

There are signs for stopping.  There are signs for going.  There are signs for pushing and pulling; for open and closed.  We like to have things spelled out for us because we’d be so lost otherwise.  For example, if upon approach to a door you attempt to pull it open and it does not open, then chances are you could spend a good long afternoon standing at the door until someone comes along and pushes it open for you. Some of us are pullers, and some are pushers.  And without a sign designating which one to do, we would be a lost society just standing in front of doors, hopelessly waiting.  Honestly, I have not heard of any person who would pull a door, and then if that didn’t work try PUSHING it open.  It’s a ridiculous notion.  It requires way too much problem solving and common sense! We NEED that signage. (more…)

Nov 4

Where Do YOU Draw The Line?

Must Have Complete Supervision

I read a facebook thread where a woman claimed that if she had a kid, she would leave the baby in the crib, asleep, and take the baby monitor with her a couple blocks to the store if she needed to get something.  My initial reaction was, “What the hell?!  Are you kidding me?!  What is WRONG with you?!  If punching was legal, I would punch you.” But then I settled down, because this gal doesn’t actually have any kids.  So that’s divine goodness.  But it also got me to thinking just how many people feel this same way about their kids, and am I too far in the extreme of child protection. Or am I right in completely judging this gal? (more…)

Nov 2

Lessons, Tips and Tricks for Halloween


This year we had a really fun Halloween.  I’m happy to report that both of my children were well behaved, which means no crying, no whining, no obnoxious behavior, and no physical violence!  We were so proud!

But Halloween was not without it’s lessons.  So I will share some ideas with you now, a couple days later, in the most untimely post possible.  Although next year, I will post this a few days before Halloween, making it the most perfectly timed post ever! (more…)

Oct 28

How To Make A Zip Line

Lovin That Zip Line!

Yes, sure, there are cables, harnesses, seats, and other gear you could purchase if you wanted to go out of your way to make an authentic zip line.  But who has time for that when you are relaxing in your backyard and your kid comes up to you and wonders, “What can we do?”  Am I really going to tell him, “I have a grand idea! Let us sally forth to the hardware store and purchase many expensive pieces of equipment and spend the afternoon trying to figure it all out! And perhaps, yes perhaps we will complete our mission in time for one quick zip line run before bed.” PASS!

We were in need of something to do that day, and this enormous rope was laying on the ground in front of me.  And I just so happened to be wearing a belt. (My pants will sag if I don’t wear a belt, because I don’t really have a butt….why am I explaining why I wear a belt?  What is wrong with me?) We also have a couple of perfect orange trees in the backyard.  All these ingredients together, along with a memory flash of Tango and Cash and the improvised zip line they made to escape prison, made for the answer of what we’d do.  Oh yeah!  We were making a zip line!

And now you can, too.  Here’s how you do it: (more…)

Posted in How To