Merry Christmas from us

24 12 2008

Dear Santa, all we want for Christmas is for Daddy to stop taking so many pictures.  

Nate says "Don't drop me!!!!"

the tonsils are still there...

Somebody help... he's choking me...

Homage to Christmas Past

22 12 2008

Crash Bandicoot was Isaac’s first video game addiction.  I can highly recommend it for children.  It’s very silly and the kids love them still.  Yes, I caught Isaac playing Crash Bandicoot Warped on my old PlayStation 1 last month.  And this first exposure to video games came with a lesson in marketing for Mom and Dad.  At the mall arcade Karen and a four-year-old Isaac noticed a plush Sonic Hedgehog as a prize for winning tickets.  Isaac was inspired and asked if he could have a stuffed Crash Bandicoot.  “Maybe Santa will bring one” says Mommy.  Later that evening a very worried Mommy looked on Ebay to see if such a thing existed.  It did, and Santa brought it for Christmas.  

That was four years ago, and Crash has seen better days.  As the boys get older they enjoy torturing plush toys, especially ones that are already starting to rip at the seams (You should what Isaac did to the Spiderman at my sister’s house).  One of Crash’s arms was starting to separate, so he became the latest victim of the fearsome Four Cousins of Destruction

CSI PlayStation

I’ve been given no details of the interrogation (and I have no idea what happened to his eyeball), but this is how Crash was found the day after Thanksgiving.  As “Mean Ole’ Auntie Dawn” was about to earn her title I informed her that Crash was not long for this world anyway.  She relented.  Crash is bound for the refuse, and it does make us a little sad because it reminds us of a different time in our lives.  Jonathan couldn’t talk yet.  MMmmmmmm………………

He’s plotting my demise

25 11 2008

Little boys prefer their mommies.  It’s one of those laws of nature.  It’s why, back when we had one child, I pined for a little girl.  I’m over that now.  Now I’m perfectly willing to say “Honey, the baby wants you” or “Go ask Mommy.”  You get the idea.  Mommy’s home, daddy takes the evening off.

Oh.  Hi!  Of course I'm glad to see you!

But a new wrinkle has developed in this little drama.  It’s this.  Since our babies nurse they sleep in bed with us.  (Any comments debating the pros and cons of this practice will be deleted.  You are not allowed to argue on my blog.)  All is well up until this point, or should I say this child.  Nathaniel has decided he doesn’t like me.  If he’s sleeping peacefully alone in our bed and I get in too he wakes up.  It doesn’t matter how quietly or gently I lie down.  First he stirs a little, then he starts fussing.  But Karen shows up and all is right with the world.  It doesn’t matter what time of day this is.  Early morning, late at night, whatever.  Last night Karen was updating her blog and I had to call her in just so I could go to sleep.

If you’re having difficulty following me, let me summarize.  I have been banished from my own bed by a four-month-old.

The funny thing is this.  Karen will come home from work and pick up Nate.  But he’s still staring at me.  This has been giving Karen a complex of sorts, and she’s terrified that Nate is favoring me over her.  The truth is this.  He’s sitting on her lap staring at me thinking (in Stewie’s voice) “She’s mine!  You hear?!  I’ll soon be rid of you!”

Is he still there?  He's ALWAYS there!

I’m going to be watching this one very closely….

Happy Thanksgiving!


9 09 2008

“Move over Ben, I can’t see the game!”

“Make me.”

Round 1: Feeling each other out

2 09 2008

Nathaniel likes to be held.  All the time.  But one day last week we set him down beside Ben for a while so they could get to know each other.  Nate was very taken with Ben, and was doing all sorts of messing with him.  Ben is used to being messed with (he’s got big brothers you know), so he took it in stride, all the while bopping Nate on the head with his forearm.

For Christmas buy me Nintendo stock.

31 08 2008

I’ve wanted to do a video game review for ages.  We like video games in our house.  Even Karen likes some games that aren’t marketed towards women.  She likes the Legend of Zelda games and she’s pretty excited about starting Oblivion.  Way cool, I say.  

There are very few games I purchase without reading a review first.  Trust me, it’s worth waiting a week after the game comes out to read a hands-on review of the game.  But sometimes it’s okay to break this rule.  For instance, you’re usually safe buying any of the Nintendo franchises because they’re all great games.  That’s why they’ve become so popular.  The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Super Mario Galaxy are two examples for the Wii alone.  But we recently realized that Nintendo is no longer trustworthy.  

I’ve been wary of Pokemon since the boys got interested in it this spring.  The whole thing sounded like a big money pit to me.  And I wasn’t disappointed.  There are Pokemon cards, action figures, video games, books, tv shows, movies, and now we own them all.  Released in 2007 are the video games Pokemon: Diamond, and Pokemon: Pearl for the DS and Pokemon Battle Revolution for the Wii.   We should have known better.

The Nintendo Wii communicates to the handheld DS via WiFi.  In Pokemon Battle Revolution you can battle your friends or family on the Wii with the little Pokemon dudes you’ve been collecting in your Pokemon: Diamond and Pearl games for the DS.  But here’s the catch.  That’s all this game does.  Battle with little fighters you’ve already got.  There’s no adventure, no story, nothing to unlock or collect.  You just battle.  But you can already do that with the DS games, so why do you need to spend another 50 bucks just so you can see the battle on your TV?  

We actually bought the Wii game before we had any of the DS games, so we were more than a little disappointed we couldn’t play it out of the box.  So, take 50 bucks for a Wii game and add 35 bucks each for two DS games and you’ve got a $120 investment in Pokemon.  You wanna know why I let them play so many video games this summer?  When you spend that much on video games you feel an obligation to use it or you’ve wasted all that money.

END NOTE:  I complain mercilessly about how dull and uninteresting Pokemon is.  But it has (for the moment) replaced Zelda as the video game that the kids play with Karen.  As parents we often look for things to do with our kids that everyone will enjoy, and right now Karen has found that thing.  It’s that thing they wake up talking about and go to bed dreaming about.  They will always remember this as the summer they played Pokemon with Mom.  And if that makes her the coolest mom in the whole second grade, good for her.

Baby? What baby?

29 07 2008

This is the first in a new series I’m doing.  It’s very similar to a Wordless Wednesday, but since I now have two babies at home I’m calling it Twosday Tuesday. (Get it? I thought of it all by myself.)  I even made a new category for it so if you click on that you can see all the entries and feel yourself become happier as you gaze at the incredible cuteness.  This series will focus on the dynamic relationship between Benjamin and Nathaniel.  In this picture we’re in the “I’m gonna ignore it until it goes away” phase of the relationship.

A study in procrastination

24 07 2008

I’ve heard the grumblings.  “Where’s Mark gone?”  “Is he back yet?”  “What’s he up to now?”

Okay, maybe you didn’t care, but we have been busy.  More accurately, Karen has been busy.


Little boy #4 showed up on Tuesday morning, just before lunch.  Well, he didn’t just “show up,” he had to be forcibly cut from Mommy because Monday night he did a somersault and turned breech.  He’s the fourth child, the fourth boy, he had to be the first at something.  So he’s the first c-section.  Wonderful.  At least there’s not going to be a #5 (sorry Bennie) thanks to the other procedure they did Tuesday morning.

“Yeah, yeah, what’s his name?”  His name is Nathaniel.  After my contest I’m sure I had my mother in law worried that he’d never have a name.  And with good reason.  He didn’t have a name for the first 27 hours.  We introduced the boys to him that first night and told them “No, he doesn’t have a name yet.”  To be honest we probably won’t call him Nathaniel much.  He’s already been graced with a few nicknames.  I’ve been calling him Mr. Cheeks.

We finally brought home mom and baby on Thursday at lunchtime, and everyone is glad that they’re home.  Ben seems the happiest though.  Many posts later dealing with his reactions to baby brother.

Daddy! I’m Squidward!!

25 06 2008

What happens to the Bumbo seat once the older brothers start messing with it?

Next will be the toilet seat I’m sure.

And the winner is…

9 06 2008

This is where I post the results of my first ever giveaway. If you missed it, here it is.

After the first day I wasn’t sure what kind of a turnout there would be, but wow! This was awesome, and I was very pleased to see that I’m not the only one out there with a sadistic sense of humor. Thank you to everyone who participated, whether your suggestions were real or facetious (or both). The entries were so good that I must begin by honoring some that were awesome but didn’t win.

Honorable Mentions

Lauren was the early frontrunner. Not necessarily for the names, but she had by far the best stories. And her blog has the best tagline ever.

Bennie advertised my contest on his blog. That’s because he’s awesome like that, but then he went and made reference to “baby #5,” and that broke basically the only rule we had.

Karen’s Dad suggested Eddoes, which was the first food-related entry, and I thought it was brilliant. But if we’re talking Trinidadian heritage, wouldn’t Beddoe be a better name, in honor of the last stop for food and drink on your way to Maracas? And with three brothers he’s sure to be an “Uncle Beddoe” eventually.

Kristi suggested I.P. Freely, which was the only reference to those Bart Simpson crank calls that we love so well. I was secretly hoping for more entries like this.

But there can be only one winner, and as soon as I read Sandi’s culinary based entries, complete with alternate spellings, the contest was pretty much over.

And now for the winning entries (take your pick):

1. Gryll Marx
2. Char Broyel
3. Stayk Flambay
4. Ryyb I.
5. Sirloyn Stayk
6. Philay Menyon
7. Hoht Kwyzeen
8. Byrnt Dynner
9. Soopis Ezy
10. Weldon Berger

My personal favorite was Gryll Marx. Marx is close to Mark so I could call him Junior. Or would that be Joonyur?

This was a lot of fun. I’ll have to do another giveaway sometime, but I’m not having any more kids so it will have to be a different kind of contest.