Archives for the month of: November, 2012

We’ve got one lemon tree in the back yard of our house.  It only seems to produce lemons in the winter months of the year.  It’s an underachiever, but we still love and water it.  (It reminds me a tad of myself…prickly and sour.  I digress.)

For me, having fresh lemons in the cold season (yes, both definitions of cold) is better than a flu shot.  (Disclaimer:  If you’re nuts enough to think that eating a lemon can replace a flu shot, you may be nuts enough to believe that eating natural and organic food can keep you healthy.)  Lemons not only have vitamin C, they also contain citric acid, calcium, magnesium, bioflavonoids, and limonene, a GERD and heartburn reliever.

Now here’s a refreshing scurvy-fighting strawberry lemonade recipe for those transcontinental ocean voyages!

Ingredients:

  • 4 lemons, medium to large size (squeezed to make 1 cup of lemon juice)
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 7 strawberries, sliced
  • 2 quarts water plus 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

Here Daddy! You Take a Bite!

Preparation:

Place 2/3 cup water and sugar into medium saucepan and heat to boiling.  Cut off the heat.  Stir occasionally until sugar is melted.  You’ve got sugar syrup now.  Let cool to room temperature.

If you hadn’t read the ingredients list, then at this point, you will squeeze 4 lemons to make 1 cup of lemon juice.  If you need 5 lemons to make 1 cup of lemon juice, don’t fret.  The world will be ok with your inability to choose perfect sized lemons.

Slice up the single lemon you’ve got left.  (This is to signal to the dazed, late-night foragers of your fridge that the yellow jug is lemonade, not pee.

Slice up the strawberries.

Find a 3 quart jug and toss the 2 quarts of water into it.  Then add the sliced fruit and your freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Since it probably took you 30 minutes to prepare everything, your sugar syrup mixture has probably cooled down.  Add it to the jug.

Put some ice (and two shots of vodka, if it’s still morning)  into a glass.  Fill glass with MVG’s strawberry lemonade and grab a seat on the front porch before the whole world passes by without you.

BathWriters By Alex Toys

One morning, my mom and I dropped into the local department store to give the Worm a new playground to destroy experience.  In our game of hide and seek with the Worm, we stumbled upon the BathWriters set by Alex Toys.  Cool, I thought.  Worm is starting to show interest in writing, so we thought it would make for easy cleaning if he had the whole tub to write in, on, and around!  For the price, we decided to give it a try.

BathWriters is a bath time writing set with red, blue, yellow and gold liquid markers.  It even comes with a sponge to help you clean up the mess your child leaves behind!  The liquid markers are essentially liquid soap and can be used to add more suds to the bathtub when your child has been soaking for hours.

There’s not much to expect from bath markers, but BathWriters does not clear the bar.  Being well above the 3+ age recommendations, I decided to see how well I could write with these things.  First off, the liquid soap markers are twist open.  I could do that.  Then I tried to write on the wall.  The twist off cap closed once I made contact with the bath wall tiles.  Ok, something’s wrong here.  The liquid soap filled marker needs to make contact with a surface in order to write.  Then why would anyone design a writing tool that stops writing when you push on the tip?  I couldn’t write with it and I’m 100% sure that my toddler wouldn’t be able to use the set either.

So after playing with the markers for a few minutes longer, I figured out that I could NOT write on the wall like it shows in the picture on the box.  I could only write on a horizontal surface…and I wouldn’t even call it writing.  I just squeezed the liquid soap out like a squirt bottle.

BathWriters is essentially colored liquid soap packaged in 4 individual marker shaped dispensers.  I was foolish enough to purchase these on a whim.  The packaging made me believe fantastic things would happen…like they would actually write on the bathtub walls as advertised!  Hopefully in our next game of department store hide and seek, we won’t run into these BathWriters again.

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Overall Rating:  1 Worm

Ease of Use: 1 Worm

Performance:  1 Worm

Features:  1 Worm

Durability:  1 Worm

Manliness:  1 Worm

Retail Price:  $8.95

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Pros:

Pretty box.

Cons:

Boatload of chemical ingredients that are supposed to make liquid soap.  Doesn’t write on vertical surfaces.  Liquid just pours out of the tip and doesn’t give one the opportunity to actually write.

Things I would modify:

Redesign the entire product.  There was little effort put into the actual design of this product and it shows.

Where to find:

Alex Toys Website

Target

Children are precious gifts that radiate purity that most of us adults have long since purged from our bodies.  Every creation, natural or man-made, is wondrously new and exciting to them.  Life exists in a world filled with magic and splendor amplified only by the one true way to live, being sensorially submerged in the present moment.

One of the major treats of being a dad (other than getting poop under my fingernails) is watching my son (and soon, daughter) morph into something beautifully human.  I get the opportunity to experience the nuances of life through another pair of eyes.  It’s as if I get to be reborn.

Worm, You’re Quite Possibly the Least Scariest and Most Huggable Monster In the Universe!

This Halloween we didn’t buy enough candy, we destroyed our pumpkins and we forgot to cook up any caramel apples.  With the hustle of life with a toddler, the wife and I did not get or make any Halloween outfits for ourselves.  We even waited until the last day of October to fetch one for the Worm.  Spider or monster?  And even at 4pm that same day, we were debating whether or not Steph should return home sans costume.  I tried to make amends with myself for the half-hearted attempt, but gnawing inside was the idea  that I could have done more to make my favorite holiday what I wanted so badly for it to be, memorable.

The pint-sized outfit accompanied Steph home from work.  And just as soon as the little monster was stuffed inside, all of my holiday shortcomings disappeared and I forgot about our imperfect Halloween.  The Worm had me entranced.  The twice discounted and finally clearanced costume became his skin.  Where there were once small hands, two furry little claws happily snatched at candy from the bowl.  His floppy new feet skipped across the kitchen floor, all the while jiggling the sewn-in polka-dotted pot belly on every step.  Giggles, squeals and laughter were this monster’s fierce sounds and it filled the house with its infectious energy.  The blue costume became the embodiment of all that defines the spirit of Halloween for me and as quickly as Worm absorbed the new threads as part of himself, he consumed me as well.  I could not take my eyes off of him.

Halloween has a special place in my heart.  I have fond memories of the fall season and everything about it resonates in me.  I still get giddy when the season approaches and melancholic as it leaves.  So seeing the joy on Worm’s face this past Halloween brought up those great memories and feelings from years gone.  That evening, Worm and I shared a moment so similar yet so different, that I’m stuck with a loss of words to describe it.  On the surface, I not only saw him, but saw my own childhood as well.  And underneath, I recognized a sliver of myself that would carry on in him after my body has completely failed.  The very definition of fatherhood was as apparent as the little blue monster standing in front of me.  It touched me so hard that I was crushed by its magnitude.  I realized in that moment I had been born again.

Gavin – 18; Dad – 7 (You really made this Halloween special Worm!  Thanks!)

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