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…and may just keep Worm’s parents out of jail!

I’m sorry Nutella.  You’ve been wronged.  You’ve had to pay out millions of dollars to some ignorant person that couldn’t find the time to read the label.

This is a classic example of how stupidity gets rewarded in America.  There’s no need to be educated in this country.  It will never pay so much, $3 Million, for so little effort.  (Besides, an education takes time and costs money and all you’re left with these days is a huge student loan debt and no job.  I digress.)

Um, hello?  Woman who sued my new favorite food company?  Athena Hohenberg?  I’m sure you’re NOT reading this post because you either:

  • A) can’t read
  • B) don’t see any real benefit to reading
  • C) now have enough money to pay someone to read (and think) for you

I have Nutella in my house.  Have I ever thought it was a healthy snack?  No.  Why?  Because it tastes so damn good!  It’s spreadable chocolate, for Tebow’s sake!

There’s 100 calories per tablespoon in it!  Half of those calories are fat!  The first ingredient is sugar!  Is any of this not obvious?

Just because the label says ‘No Artificial Colors’ and ‘No Artificial Preservatives‘ doesn’t make it healthy!  Just because you see it on TV, doesn’t mean that you should believe it.  (But if you see it on the internet, it’s probably true.)

Gimme That Nutella, Dad! Toss it Here!

Now, back to you Nutella.  Thank you for putting such a magnificent specimen in a jar for me to spread on some lightly toasted Hawaiian style bread with a side of fresh banana slices.  You are now my shining light and savior!  It wasn’t until that foolish lawsuit popped up against you that I smacked my 5 brain cells together and manifested a wonderful idea.

Here’s how you solved a serious weight problem for our family.  I’ve got a skinny kid at home that “needs” calories, or else the pediatrician is going to call Child Protective Services on us.  Worm is slipping down the infant weight charts faster than you lost that $3 Million.  So, I’ve decided to supplement his diet with some high calorie foods.  I’m trying not to load him up on dairy (like the pediatrician suggested) and I’m looking for some alternatives.  Since Nutella is so dense in calories and chock full of taste, it’s a perfect food for my son!  No artificial colors or preservatives and high in calories!  Awesome!

I promise that if I can get Worm back into the 50th percentile for weight before his weight check next week, we will name our next child Nutella Licious J.  (Come on, that’s an awesome stage name!  Disclaimer:  To be christened though, I have to clear it with the wife first.)

I wonder if I can sue a butter company because it made me fat…you betcha’!  In America, anything’s possible!

I have recently had the opportunity to interview for a TV series that is going to be based on stay-at-home dads.  Since I have a burning desire to walk the red carpet and have people pay me to wear clothes, I decided to try out.  What the heck, right?  What’s the worst that could happen?  One problem is that Gavin may not want to be on TV.  At this age, he has no say.  (We vote on things all the time, but he never asks any questions or says ‘Aye‘ or ‘Nay’.  So, 85% of the time, I win!)  How do I know what Worm wants?  Does he want everyone in the universe to see what he’s doing and how he’s growing up?  Does he want to be famous?

I thought about all of the great things that could happen if we were on TV:

  • My friends and family could watch us every single day on TV.
  • Gavin could become a reality TV star.
  • It would take my blog to another level.
  • I could get paid for changing diapers and brushing baby teeth.  (Gavin would get paid in jujube’s and jellybeans.)
  • I could eventually have my own talk show!
Then, I thought about all of the bad things that could happen if I was on TV:
  • My friends and family could watch me every single day on TV.
  • I wouldn’t be able to see myself on TV because I don’t have cable.
  • We would have to watch everything we say and do in public.
  • We could get negative press from the media.
  • We could be stalked by the paparazzi.
  • We could end up like the Kardashians.

Things I learned that day:

  • It takes 4 hours to get to L.A. (from San Diego) on a weekday morning.
  • It takes 1 hr and 50 minutes to get home from L.A. (to San Diego) on a weekday at lunch time.
  • I can’t drive more than 2 hours without having to pee.
  • 50 minutes of my camera interview will be condensed into 2-3 minutes.  Therefore, 95% of what I say is worthless.  (Have they been talking to my wife?)
  • There’s a lot of if’s in show business.

Stay tuned.  If I know something, you’ll know something.  If you’ve got any thoughts, feel free to comment!

We’re Just a Couple of Character Actors!!!

We did!  Our world-famous San Diego Zoo passes arrived in the mail, so off we went to see the animals today!

Boy, did we miss the zoo!  (Ok, I missed the zoo.  Worm can’t tell the difference between stuffed and live animals yet.)

Today was the perfect day to visit the zoo.  It was cool and overcast outside and you know what that means?  If you get to the zoo early enough, you can see the creatures out and about doing their thing (i.e. stretching their legs, eating breakfast, reading the paper).  We got to see them up close and personal doing their morning routine!

Since the San Diego Zoo is so large and the time between Gavin naps is so small, we can’t tackle the entire park in one shot.  So, we choose where we want to go the democratic way! By a show of hands, who wants to see the leopards? My hand goes up ecstatically.  By a show of hands, any oppose?  Worm is picking at the Vel-cro on his shoes, which, incidentally, negates all voting privileges!  Hooray!  We are going to see the leopards!

I’ve got about 90 minutes to find the leopards, see everything else along the way, and get back to Eleanor (my faithful Land Cruiser).

As we pass through the zoo, I see: capybara, kopje, elephants, rattlesnakes, condors, zebra, giraffe, secretary birds, peacocks, flamingos, leopards, wow!

As we pass through the zoo, Worm sees: something furry, zooworker sweeping up trash, something furry, metal sign, something huge and not-so-furry, cable railing, something slithery, sprinkler head, something feathery, a baby, something stripy and not-so-furry, a tour bus wheel, something super tall and not-so-furry, a zooworker equipment truck, a zooworker pushing a large trash bin, a machine that presses pennies into zoo pictures, silicone sealant between two pieces of glass, wow!

It’s amazing how two people can go to the same place and see it so differently, eh?


How do I explain to Worm that you can see things like sprinkler heads, babies and tour bus wheels outside of the zoo?  Instead of going to the zoo, we could have just taken public transportation through downtown San Diego.  He probably would have been more interested…

Maybe next time, I’ll drop him off at the bus stop with an all day transfer pass and I’ll go to the zoo!

The San Diego zoo is awesome! There’s so much to see!

It’s one of those days,

A busy-ness haze.

There’s no time to rest!

There’s no time to graze!


It’s quarter to nine.

And not normally when

The Worm gets his nap,

Which is around 10.


Dinner last night has

Won over my gut.

It’s making some noise

To get out.  Now what?


Worm can’t be left un-

watched in the abode.

I’ve gotta go bad,

Or else I’ll explode!


My only option

Is for Worm to view

His dad on the can.

How awkward! Pee Yew!


I hope that Worm is

Not scarred yet again.

By watching me do

Something quite un-zen.


Worm, forgive me for

Forcing you to be

Locked in the bathroom

With my poo and me!

Look, Maybe You Shouldn't Bring Me in The Bathroom With You Next Time. Ok?

I need to document these times in Worm’s life now, so that (in a few years) when my memory fades, I can look back at my blog and refresh the brain cells on the things he was doing at each year of his growth.  I can entertain him years from now with the truth commingled with a little bit of fiction while he’s wiping drool off my face and changing my diapers at the ‘home’.

The first year of development has a list of milestones that should be achieved.  Of course, each chart varies on what milestones should be completed at each age category.  But, I choose the chart that stresses me out the most and makes me worry that the Worm is below average.

Please take into account that we asked the stork to deliver us an athlete that would support us financially into our golden years.  We also made it clear that we would give up brains for athletic prowess, since career-wise, it pays more.

Here goes:

Milestones completed up to 1-year-old  —

  • Drinks from sippy cup
  • Feeds himself
  • Poops himself  (I wish he would start changing his own diapers…)
  • Recognizes and responds to his names (Love, Lovie, Worm, Wormie, Dude, Babe, Bug, Bubba, Honey Bun, and occasionally Gavin)
  • Uses utensils to eat (Uses fork, spoon, and the ever handy spork.)
  • Uses short straws to drink (and to make music)
  • Claps hands (He’s ready for the circus.)
  • Crawls insanely fast (Christmas day was the first day he crawled.)
  • Stands up from sitting position without holding on to anything
  • Climbs (He can climb onto the coffee table, couch, and roof.  Ok, I help him climb onto the roof.)
  • Supports body weight on two hands (Remember doing ‘wheelbarrow’ with your friends as a kid?  Worm does this all the time!)
  • Visually tracks objects moving at moderate speeds
  • Searches for things where they were last seen (Some object permanence as well.)
  • Recognizes household objects by name (He can point out about 15 or so things in the house when I say the word.)
  • Recognizes body parts by name (Ocular Orbit, Nasal cartilage, Auricle, Oral cavity…you know.  Easy stuff.)
  • Mimics actions of mom and dad (such as lifting weights, clapping, pointing, some sign language)
  • Performs sign language (about 10 or so signs.  Thanks Alex and Leah!)
  • Turns book pages (80% of the time he reads books from left to right.)
  • Fears some strangers (the stranger, the more fearful)
  • Can pincher grasp a straw from one end and locate the other end into correct opening (wickedly good hand-eye coordination with either hand. Hallelujah!)
  • Places objects into container (We’ve got to nurture this milestone…)
  • Can locate source of sounds and find us when we call him from another room (He’s almost as good as the dogs at this!)
  • Stretches arms and legs out to get dressed (Keeps me from having to use the tazer during changing time.)
  • Gets frustrated when he can’t: do something, get something, or lift something.  (That’s a milestone?)
  • Plays ‘Give’ and ‘Take’ with objects
  • Mimics talking on the cell phone (I wonder where he picked that skill up from??)
  • Bobs up and down to music (He’s got that rhythm!)
  • Opens and closes cabinet doors (and conveniently tosses stuff out of them)
  • Flips off lights (has a hard time flipping the switch on, though)
  • Pokes everything with his index finger (sometimes even his nose)

Milestones NOT completed at 1-year-old —

  • Doesn’t say any real words (like angioplasty, perpendicular, ostensibly…)
  • Doesn’t shake head no (but then we really don’t say no to him a lot.  We try to redirect his attention to something more parent-happy.)
  • Doesn’t roll a ball back to me (It’s hard to play together when one of us doesn’t comply…and I’m not naming names.)
  • Doesn’t wave hi or bye (but he gives a good ‘Where the hell are you going?’ look)
  • Doesn’t imitate words we say to him (He only babbles in his own language that only the dogs understand.)
  • Doesn’t play pat-a-cake (Isn’t that a girl’s game anyhow?)

Worm, you’re doing great!  Your mother and I are very proud of you!

I think I’m somewhere under the bell curve of fatherhood, don’t you think?  And as an extra little pat on my own back, I’ll just sneak in a point for me!

Gavin – 11; Daddy – 6

Gimme a Hi Five Dad!

Here’s the skinny.  It’s Worm.

We had our 1 year checkup with the pediatrician.  She breaks out her measuring sticks to size up our future NBA all-star.  (We’re making him sleep with a couple of basketballs to get him dreaming about the game.  It’s called mental preparation.)  Then she punches the stats into her machine (sometimes called a computer) and out comes a chart.  It shows us that our baby is less than 30% in the weight category for his age.  (Hello?  Have you seen ‘dat baby’ daddy?)  Apparently, skinny babies are not in vogue.  We get lectured.

“What types of foods are you feeding him?”

“You know.  Formula, fruits, veggies, rice, quinoa, potatoes, chicken, etc.  We try to feed him healthy stuff.  Organic, if possible.”

The doctor’s brain hears the words “healthy” and “organic” and instantly translates our words to something more like “We are vegetarians and we only feed our kid grass-fed wheatgrass and imported kale chips.  And occasionally, granola.”


We try to abate the doctor’s fears of our child abuse by letting her know that our child is extremely active.  When awake, he doesn’t stop crawling, playing, or moving.  The blank stare she returns lets me know her brain didn’t register a thing I said.  Then she starts in.

“You should be feeding him high calorie foods, like whole milk, butter, cheese, cream cheese, regular yogurt.  You know, things like that. No low-fat food.”

“Sounds great!  From what you’re saying, most of his calories should be from milk products.  We’re going to cut out the middle man and just buy a cow for Worm.  (That’s what Indians do, right?)  It’s probably the best way to get him fat enough to be ‘in the 50th percentile’.  There doesn’t seem to be any downside to loading up on dairy!”  (Ok, I didn’t say that to her, I just nodded and smiled.)

In my brain, I translate the rest of her ‘blah, blah, blah…’ to “Listen you damn new age hippies.  The fact that you even question vaccines for your baby means that you’re crazier than Mel Gibson.  Can’t you see that you’re the problem with society?  If you don’t feed your baby tons of cow products, then we can’t sustain the beef and milk industry, the pharmaceutical industry (bovine antibiotics and hormones) will go out of business, the price of beef will skyrocket, and I’ll never see a 99 cent cheeseburger again.  So stop smoking the weed, sniffing the tie-dye, and dancing naked during the full moons.  Get your kid fattened up or else….

And to make sure he puts on weight, I’m scheduling a weigh-in for Gavin in 6 weeks.”

To Be Continued…

What About the Milk Chocolate, Dad?

After posting a recent article on a little girl genius, I’d like to give you a taste of what the dunderhead (IQ = mine) part of the population does to make more rational people shake their heads in disbelief.

We’ve started feeding the Worm solid foods about 6 months ago.  He’s got an insatiable appetite for all things edible (or plastic).  At around the 10-month old mark, we started allowing Worm to feed off our dinner plates.  He would point at what looked appetizing and we would let him sample it.  Vegetables, rice, chicken, pasta, etc.  Of course, only foods that were shown to be low on the food allergy list were dropped into the baby’s mouth.  It was fun to see what Worm liked and didn’t like to eat.

Then one day, we decided to get a little crazy with the food selection.

In the morning, we decided to make Worm a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  (In case you were wondering, peanuts can be severe and life-threatening for those with a peanut allergy.)  We definitely wanted to test out peanut butter on the Worm.  This isn’t the dunderhead part.  We planned on giving Worm peanut butter that day, especially in the morning.  If there was a reaction, we would be awake and ready to drive him to the hospital emergency room.

Here’s dunderhead move #1.  The jelly part of the sandwich was a mixed berry blend and strawberries were one of the ingredients.  (Strawberry allergies are fairly common.  Did I know this ahead of time?  Yes.  Did I use my brain to make the PB and J sandwich? No.)  I probably should have used grape jelly instead.  (Did you know that white strawberries do not produce the allergic reactions of the red ones?  Read here. Did I just increase your IQ by one point?  I sure did.)

One of the rules of experimentation is that you don’t test two variables at the same time.  (All we could say was oops and thank god he didn’t have a reaction to either peanut butter or strawberries.)

Another rule of experimentation is that you must wait until the first experiment is complete before running another experiment.  Did we wait?  Not even a whole day passed before we shoved another couple of high allergy foods into Worm’s mouth!

For dinner that same night, Steph, Grandma, and I went to our neighborhood Chinese food buffet.  (It makes total sense to take a baby to a buffet once he starts to eat solid foods, right?  I mean, why open the door a little bit?  Why not throw the door wide open and break it off the hinges?)

Hey?! Where's the cupcakes and cheezy poofs?

In what could be called overzealous enthusiasm (or reckless stupidity), we decided to feed Worm a variety of foods from the buffet trays.  And we didn’t realize that some of the foods had shrimp, fish and/or fish products in them until after Worm had eaten.  (Fish and shellfish are also very high on the food allergy scale.  Severe reaction such as anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock can occur upon eating.)  Did I think about this ahead of time?  No.  Dunderhead move #2.

We got lucky that day.  Our family history only shows shellfish allergy from one of the grandpas and no one else.  The chances of food allergic reaction in Worm was pretty low.  But, we will try to be a little bit smarter in dealing with any more of our kids in the future.

If there is anything that you can learn from an idiot like myself, it’s this:

  • Don’t do what I did.  Give your kids one potentially high allergy food every couple of days.  You should let your child pass the new food through their gastrointestinal system before moving on to another.
  • Check your family history of allergies.  Make note of who in your family has allergies to alert yourself of potentially reactive foods.  Food allergies can be passed down.
  • Make a list of the high allergy foods you want your baby to try (Cow’s Milk, Wheat, Soy, Peanuts, Tree nuts, Fish, Shellfish, Eggs are very highly allergic).  Check off the ones that your baby has tried and make note of any bowel movement changes.
  • Check your baby’s skin for any changes after eating.  (It’s hard to tell if your baby has a skin rash if you can’t see through onesies.)  Check again after each diaper change for any redness, hives, bumps, etc.
  • Read food labels.  (Unless you’re at a buffet and you’re trying out the free-for-all smorgasbord technique like we did.  Not recommended.)
  • Know where the hospital is.  Severe allergic reaction in babies can constrict airways pretty quickly.  Lack of oxygen can lead to brain damage. You don’t want to waste time seaching the internet for the hospital during an emergency.
Related Links:

Food Allergies in Babies

How To Test Foods on Your Baby For Allergies  (Very informative blog)

Peanut Allergies in Babies

Strawberry Allergy Signs in Babies

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