Archives for the month of: October, 2012

This Pretty Much Defines Our Halloween 2012…

I’m a horrible parent.  Luckily, Worm isn’t going to remember this awful Halloween of 2012.  Childhood amnesia will work to my advantage for the rest of the holiday season…and no I haven’t dropped him on his head…yet.

If you remember, a couple of weeks ago we went Punkin’ Huntin’‘.  We picked up 4 glorious specimens of the cucurbita family (for me, Steph, Worm, and grandma who is visiting), mine bearing the fittingly beautiful name, Pepita.  Remember?

In all our eagerness, we carved out faces on our pumpkins, with grandma leaving hers uncut to exude the purity that Mother Earth intended for it.  Then we carried the pumpkins out on the porch for the entire world (here world = neighborhood) to set eyes upon.  And for a few days, passersby would gasp in the awe that glimmered just outside our home.

We thought that Pepita and her patch mates would stand the test of time, or at least until the end of October.  Sadly, this wasn’t the case.  I try to pass blame on the abnormal weather we had…90 degree temps, then rain, and 90 degree days again.  Blaming nature makes me feel good for a short while.  Then the guilt sets in and deep down I admit I didn’t have the emotional strength to resist the immediate life-affirming gratification of pumpkin carving.  I was weak.  Next year, I will try to be stronger…who am I kidding?  I will do what any red-blooded human would do, which is cut my pumpkin when I WANT TO and then bend the laws of nature in my favor.

Below are a few tips that I learned after the mold and bacteria began to devour my sweet Pepita and her cousins 10 days before Halloween.  Hopefully, I’ve told you after your pumpkin suffered the same fate.  Just kidding.

  1. After carving your pumpkin, spray inside with a mild bleach solution (1 part bleach to 10 parts water).  Dry with paper towels.
  2. Take petroleum jelly (Vaseline if you want to go name brand) and put a thin coat on the inside of the pumpkin where you carved.
  3. Use those electronic candles instead of the tea lights that use a live flame.
  4. Stun your family and friends as you watch your pumpkin last through the New Year.

As if the pumpkin fiasco wasn’t enough, it gets worse.  Worm doesn’t even have a costume, yet.  October 31st started almost 13 hours ago and we’ve got nothing…unless we try to squeeze him into his 6 month old bunny rabbit outfit from last year (which is a possibility considering we have some extra Vaseline lying around….)

As I write this, Steph is at Babies R’ Us sifting through the broken, unwanted scraps of the Halloween costumes.  I’m sure that the only ones left are a 6 and 1/2 legged spider and a toilet.  Yes, toilet costumes exist and it can get worse, if you really want to see.

Pretty Pepita and the Uglies

Can we save Halloween 2012?  Possibly.  If we dress Worm up in something cute (Oh Steph, I hope you didn’t get the toilet costume…),  we may be able to milk the neighbors for all the candy they’ve got!  And for me, that’s a win.

Sans Mustachio…

I just finished watching a documentary called Mansome.  If you’re a man and you haven’t seen it, you may want to cue it up on Netflix.  My wife made me watch it, I swear.  (I think she’s trying to tell me that I’ve lost that edge…) An hour and a half later, I didn’t know whether to do some pushups and beat my chest, or thread my chest and buff my nails.

Now that I’ve had some clarity (and some tequila, mas fina), I see the path in front of me.  I need to feel like a man again.  I need to prove to my wife that I still have “it”!  And the only way to feel like a man is to do something manly (other than visiting a strip club).  So, I’ve decided that I am going to grow a mustachio for the month of November!

Do I know what a mustache on my face will look like?  Hell no.

Am I afraid of not being able to recognize the guy in the mirror?  Hell yes.

Have I ever left facial hair on my face for a whole month?  I don’t think I’ve ever left facial hair on for a whole week.  I just hope that no one will be calling 911 next month saying they’ve seen Bin Laden in San Diego…that would not be funny.  Unless they followed up with “…and he’s quite dashing in person!”  Ok, that’s still not funny.

In case you were wondering, I’m not the only person who thinks growing a mustache for an entire month is a great idea.  There’s a movement called Movember that raises awareness for men’s health issues, such as testicular and prostate cancer.  This annual event happens every…wait for it…November!  All you have to do is start November 1st with a clean face and then unchain the beast until December!

Mo is slang for mustache.  Vember is short for November.  Put the two together and you’ve got 30 days of wooly good times!

Put a bunch of “mo’s” in a room together and you’re going to get something done.  Something.

I’m looking for a few good men to join the fight against diseases that affect us men!  (It doesn’t matter where in the world you are…you can still join my team.)  Let’s raise some money for charity!

My team is called “The Hairy Worms” in honor of…wait for it…our very own Worm and for the other young Worms of the future!

Click this link to JOIN US or DONATE!

All proceeds go to the Movember organization.

Related Links:

Movember Website

The Hairy Worms

Pampers Soft Care Wipes

Pampers diapers are pretty nice.  There have a lot of neat technology in them and they’ve been around long enough to have proven themselves.  So when we got a free package of Pampers Soft Care Wipes along with our large box of Pampers diapers, I thought we’d hit the jackpot.  (Yes, my life has sunk this low…)

I’m sad to say that these are the worst wipes I have ever used.  For instance, when I try to pull one wipe out of the package, about 5 of them come out instead.  I’m a one-handed wipe puller.  Why?  I usually have the other hand keeping the baby from squirming off of the changing table.  If the dispenser gives me trouble, that’s an automatic FAIL for a wipes container.  I can understand 2 wipes accidentally coming out, but when I’m spending my post-diaper change time stuffing a handful of Soft Care Wipes back into the package, I’m not a happy daddy.

After I get my wipe out, I try to clean up the Worm’s bottom.  Since he eats solid foods, he has solid poop…sometimes with chunks.  The Pampers wipe is so “soft” that it just glides right over the poop pieces.  Over and over again.  I know this is graphic, but you would think that a good wipe design would provide some traction for “stuff” to stick to it.  This wipe is ridiculously slimy and barely picks up anything off of Worm’s skin.  Big problem.  I like to make one or two passes and get the majority of poop off of the baby’s skin.  The less I am in contact with the toxic excrement, the better.  I’ve even had the occasional “Whoops, my hand slipped off the wipe and I almost touched poopie with my fingers!” scare.  When I can hang on to the thing, using the Soft Care wipe makes me feel like I’m doing nothing more than buffing poop into the Worm’s skin.

Lastly, I try to use the wipe on the other end of the Worm, his face.  (Of course I use a clean wipe.  Not the same dirty one!)  At 18 months of age, kids are probably still smearing crap (most of the time it’s the food type of crap) all over their little faces.  I probably wipe Worm’s face about three times a day.  As I said before, the wipes are horrible at actually taking particles off of the skin.  These wipes are so bad that after a few passes with the wipe, little threads of the fabric start floating off.  The wipe falls apart because it’s too da#n soft!  It wouldn’t be a good thing for Worm to accidentally breath one into his nose and get trapped.  Every time these little flyaways have happened, all I could think was “What if he inhaled it?”  I don’t need another thing to worry about.  Trying to figure out who is going to win this season of “So You Think You Can Dance” is enough.

I have a baby coming in January who could probably benefit from a nice soft wipe.  Will I use the Pampers Soft Care Wipes on her?  No way.  It’s horrible.

I even checked out the Pampers website to find the MSRP on these.  Nope.  They weren’t even listed.   Hmm…I wonder why?

———-

Overall Rating:  1 Worm

Ease of Use: 1 Worm

Performance:  1 Worm

Features:  5 Worms (Too bad none of the features are useful for the wipes’ intended purpose.)

Durability:  1 Worm

Manliness:  1 Worm

Retail Price:  $?

———-

Pros:

Alcohol free.  Has lotion, natural aloe, and vitamin E.  Hypoallergenic.

Cons:

Why would you want to put lotion, natural aloe and vitamin E in a wipe?  I’m not trying to moisturize poop.  Besides, they slip off of my hands when I’m wiping!

Things I would modify:

I would just trash this product and design another one.  There’s just way too many issues.

Where to find:

I have a feeling they are on clearance everywhere.  They’re not worth the money, even on double coupon day.

I see that ignorance is still rampant, even way out here in the dirty south west.  Yoga is a practice that encourages physical body movements and stretching to help one gain health.  It’s also a practice that gets middle-aged men and women so sweaty and liberated that they feel the need to rehydrate with a half-caf mochaccino latte and show off their perspiration stains at the nearby Starbucks. Like the old adage ‘If you don’t use it, it will rot and fall off’ states, you want to begin exercising early enough to make it through your teenage years before all that’s left sitting in front of the Xbox are your eyes, ears, and thumbs.  Or so I thought.

In a very free-spirited coastal town a few miles north of ‘America’s Finest City’, is Encinitas, CA.  Known for its surfing (and recently, its surfing Madonna) and it’s “Woodie” Meet every year, it’s a pretty relaxed beach town.  Until now.  Parents are up in arms (but, not in the sun salutation pose) about yoga being taught in their child’s school a few times a week.  To them, it seems that getting schoolkids to stretch is bad enough, but to christen it “yoga” will deviate the pliable young minds against Christianity (America’s religion) towards evil Hinduism.  First it’s yoga, then in the blink of an eye the kids will be singing “…one nation, under Brahman, with liberty…” followed by break for a vindaloo lunch and gulab jamun dessert.

Parents with children at some of the Encinitas Union School District schools want this weird and “unconstitutional” thing (I’m assuming yoga here and not the other unconstitutional things that happen in schools) to be stopped before further damage occurs to their children’s bodies and minds.

So, I took it upon myself to do a little research.  I pulled out the original copy of the U.S. Constitution that I keep under my mattress and started reading.  After nodding off 4 times in my perusal, I found this:

AmendmentXXVIII.

Section 1
The right of citizens of the United States to practice yoga shall not be denied,
although too much stretching will be construed as treason, as well as 
blasphemy for the God we mention  on our printed currency. In
addition, yoga practitioners, who are thus deemed experts, may be deported
to India (on the taxpayers dollar), where the source of the demonic practice originated.
 
Section 2
Blah, blah, blah….

Worm, I Thought You Are Supposed to Be Smiling In That Yoga Pose?

The parents have a strong point about the yoga now.  I see that it can be unconstitutional.  Their lawsuit, which I’m sure will follow, will bring up Amendment 28.  But, the defense also has a good argument and can at least claim 4 things:

  1. The children have not been practicing yoga and are not experts, hence bypassing the deportation portion of the amendment.
  2. The children have not started wearing tee-shirts with “Om” symbol on it to school (which will be another stupid lawsuit to hit the news soon enough).
  3. The children have not been burning incense, as most devout yogis do.
  4. The children have not been meditating during the class, because they all fall asleep when the opportunity arises.

Some of the awesome quotes (and my commentary) of the articles below are:

“…the yoga poses serve as religious expression or a way to invite Hindu deities into the body…” – I would like to invite the Hindu deity with all of the arms into my body to help me get a handle (or three) on my phone, dirty dishes, vacuum cleaner, TV remote, and Worm at the same time.

“…It’s not just yoga; it’s the background of who’s teaching it and how they were brought in…” – Yep, you got it right parent!  The yoga teacher is criminal and has a background in that Eastern meditation stuff.  There’s no way in hell anyone should be mentally calm in the face of a group of screaming idiots.  There’s something unnatural and inhuman about that!  I’m sure you don’t want your poor child to succumb to mental and emotional stability.

“…It’s pretty difficult to do anything these days that doesn’t have some relationship to some religion…” – I agree with this statement.  I do my best to never let my flat palms touch together, like clapping…because it may send the wrong religious signal like “Look, I’m praying!  Now, I’m not praying.  Now, I’m praying again! Ok, now I’m not.  Clapping teases the god(s) and I couldn’t do that to them.  Especially on Sundays, when they are really watching my every action.”

I know the statistics say that people are getting smarter with every subsequent generation, but sometimes it’s just hard to see.  I just pray (in a non-denominational, non-religious way) that this foolishness won’t magnify to the point where I’d have to travel to India just to legally stretch out my limbs.

Related Articles:

Encinitas Union School Yoga Sees Backlash, Parents Call It Religious Indoctrination

Parents May Sue Over Yoga Lessons In Encinitas Schools

Parents Object to Yoga Classes in Schools

Parents May Sue Over Yoga Lessons in Public Schools

 

Fall is my favorite season.  Once a young lad, I spent many an autumn raking the fallen leaves, sipping chai tea in the brisk evening air, and baking apple pies for my family.  Just kidding.  I was shooting rabbits with my bow and arrow, planning out ‘Mischief Night‘, calculating my trick-or-treat route, and making traps in the woods and covering them with leaves for unsuspecting victims.  I lived in New Jersey.  The bar of morality and righteousness wasn’t very high and I was damned if I was to trip over it.  So, I crawled under.

Now that we live in San Diego, we don’t get the big weather changes that strongly signal the closing half of the year.  So to imitate the fall season here, we decorate the house in orange and brown, turn on the air conditioning, and parade around in turtlenecks.  Hooray!

To further the charade…at this age Worm will believe anything…we drive out of the city to pick pumpkins from a fake patch on the side of the freeway.  Just like the pilgrims used to do!

A little bit northeast of us (you can’t really go anywhere except for north and east of San Diego) is a little town called Ramona.  Yeah, that one.  The former “Turkey Capital of the World”.  It’s been a long time since the feathered kind of turkeys have been spotted there, but you’re sure to run into a few of the human variety.

If 70 Degree Autumn Weather Disgusts You, LOOK AWAY!

Ramona is home to Mountain Valley Ranch, a nice little stop off the 67 highway, near the edge of town.  Mountain Valley Ranch delivers the goods with pumpkins by the truckload!  Pumpkins as far as the eye can see, which from Worm’s 34″ of elevation, is only about 20 feet off into the distance.  So, the Ranch was perfect for him, and for us!

Worm decided the patch was a bit too ‘natural’ and went for the easy kill, the peck of pre-picked prepared pumpkins in presentable propriety.  This was an area where white collar children could pick the pumpkin (or supervise a parent picking the pumpkin, as in our case) without expending too much energy or leaving the comfort of his/her dry-cleaned and pressed clothing.

Mom, I Think This Is the One!

Then it was daddy’s turn.  And I wanted to do the real deal.  Let me forage through the patch and find myself a pulchritudinous specimen.  For this, we needed a wagon.

Worm, I Feel Like I’m Doing All The Work…BTW, Does The Earth Seem More Tilted To You?

A few hours later and deep into the isqoutm squash patch, I found the cucurbit of my dreams!  It was the finest pumpkin 2012 had ever delivered and I laid eyes on it first.  Quickly, I kicked the little monkey out and used his shirt to provide a cushioned wagon ride for ‘Pepita’ all the way to the cash register.  (In case you’re going for a visit, Mountain Valley Ranch only takes cash!)

Where Fore Art Thou, Pepita?

Worm, exhausted from the extra walking effort on unpaved ground, fell asleep on the hour long ride home.  And I spent that quiet car time basking in the thrill of the hunt and relishing in the glory of my find.  It was as if Tebow shined brightest upon ‘Pepita’ for mine own eyes to see.  Now that I’ve found you, I cannot wait to gut you, carve out your eyes, and light a match inside of your head…

 

As a side note, Mountain Valley Ranch also has: petting zoo, corn maze, corn cannon, and more!  It’s a fun, memorable place to take little ones!  You can check out their website for more information.

Worm is 18 months old.  We’ve kept him alive thus far and cheerfully pat ourselves on the back.  His incredibly resilient body took a lot of abuse and punishment from my inane innate parenting skills.  I look at my fathering style as a healthy blend of unintentional tomfoolery and collegiate style hazing.  “Worm, if you can make it through my method of parenting, you can join us in this club we call manhood!”

I never get anything right the first time.  I shouldn’t feel bad when I screw up the experiment Worm.  That’s why we’re having more than one kid!  One doesn’t just hop into a car for the first time and know how to drive it, right?  I’m sure the third child will be perfect!

Barring the fact that Worm really didn’t start walking much until almost 17 months and really didn’t start talking until about 2 weeks ago, he still made the cut off.  Whew!  With much surprise, we’ve made it through a large list of the 18-month milestones.  Since you can find those boring milestones elsewhere on the web, I haven’t included them here.

You’re Better off as a Back Seat Driver, Worm. We’ll Revisit This When You’re Old Enough to Reach the Gas Pedal…

This is a list of Worm’s latest been-there-done-thats:

  • Tells the dogs “Shut up!” when they’re being loud.  (Or “Sha daa!”  Already picking up our bad habits…)
  • Goes in a closet or corner to potty.  (Good thing he has his diaper on.  It’s heredity.  His father has tried to go out on a balcony to pee…)
  • Plays hide and seek. (He can be eerily still and quiet for this game…good skill to have for NINJA training!)
  • He closes the hallway closet doors every time he walks past and they’re cracked.  (OCD?  Is he going to be the next Howard Hughes?)
  • He Swiffers everything.  His desire to clean is impressive.   (Couch, coffee table, dog beds, etc.  I’m going to build a stool so he can start doing dishes.  More OCD?)
  • If he shreds paper and makes a mess, he picks each piece up to throw away.  (One day, I’ll be able to get him to clean up my mess.  Even more OCD?)
  • He can open a twist-off lid (…and feed the dogs)
  • He puts his fists up to his eyes and fake cries (Thanks Grandma for teaching him this.)
  • When you ask him where poop comes from, he points to his butt cheeks and goes “Ick!” (Thanks again Grandma!  This is going to be useful when figuring out which body part goes on the toilet seat.)
  • Says “Dada” to me  (…and random men in public.)
  • Brushes his teeth (…after he sucks all the toothpaste off the brush.)
  • Feeds himself with a spoon (…and the dogs too.)
  • He sees and points out things that are out-of-place.  (Why is that piece of grass on the sidewalk?  And he puts it back on the lawn.)
  • He points out all of his body parts (…and always double checks that his wee-wee is attached.)
  • He knows pretty much everything in the house (…he just doesn’t vocalize it.  Chicks dig a man of few words.  He’s on it already!)
  • And speaking of that, he stares at the pretty girls wherever we go.  (Right now, it’s the long creepy stare, But at least he’s got good taste in women!)
  • Can survive on grapes and juice for days. (Seriously?  He’s got supermodel tendencies.  All he needs to learn is the “Blue Steel” face.  That milestone’s at least a couple of months away.)

Stats on the Worm:

– 34″ tall

– 22 lb 2 oz

1″ vertical jump

– ∞ 40-yard dash  (He can’t run for more than a few feet before stopping to pick up some flower or bug on the ground.)

 

 

 

Worm, it looks like you’re at it again. (9)

You’re ripping food out of the cupboards and then (11)

When tomorrow should see us moving ahead,  (11)

We’re back in the cupboards with hands on the bread. (11)

Why do you squeeze and poke it so much?

Can you grip it less tight?  Try a softer touch.

My potato chips! Stop!  I’d rather you not

Pummel or trample them with your sumo squat.

Dad, I was checking the freshness dates on everything. Quality control, you know?

The Cheez-its have not done any wrong,

Why do they suffer?  Were they doomed all along?

Already have your hands and feet doled out wrath,

I pray you’ll be cleansed of your deeds in the bath.

Not cereal too!  When will it end?

As you tear open boxes,  I see a trend.

One hundred times now we have seen you destroy

The food in the pantry and cupboards.  Bad boy!

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