Thursday, December 31, 2009
I am addicted to blogger giveaways.
I began checking out other blogs when I knew I wanted to start blogging. I wanted to learn from them, but also support the mom/dad blogger community. Little did I know I would discover the world of giveaways. Books, pens, coffee, yogurt - I enter them all! And the addiction is spreading throughout my family.
This morning, my wife logged onto my computer to check out movie times and saw I had minimized 8 blogs. She began clicking on the links and about an hour after she went in the room to check movie times, I went to check on her. She, too, had fallen into the trap of giveaways. In that one hour, she manages to enter 10 giveaways! Not once within the hour did she check out the movie times.
Although I regret spending so much time entering (a task I usually do late at night after our two year old is asleep), I have won a lot of cool stuff and amazing experiences (Disney on Ice tickets, Ringling Bros. tickets, Zicam, etc.....) for my family. I am grateful for those opportunities and am grateful to the companies and the bloggers who open themselves up to share that experience with us. Gotta run now, more giveaways await!
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
To bring you up to speed, our table was somewhat close to the bathrooms - not entirely, but close enough for us to explain to our two-year-old the difference between M and W.
I even took my son into the M (men's bathroom) to wash our hands before dinner. Throughout the night, we must have spotted 5 men passing the M, and almost walking into the W and what made it funny, was that our toddler caught each of them. He would stand up on his little chair (okay, sorry for the bad manners) and with eyes wide open and finger pointed would say, "mama and papa, he went to the wrong door." To make the men feel better, there was one woman who saw the M, but was afraid to enter the W because she was looking for an "F". She thought it was "M" for male and was looking for an "F" for female. Shocking, but hysterical for us to watch.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Now, I had seen Keith Urban perform on award shows and knew how talented he is, but I've never picked up one of his Cd's. Well, that was about to change. He sang five different songs, each sounding more top 40 than country. His voice was simply amazing. His guitar playing was unbelievable. (I should note that my two year-old never puts down his ukulele and was mesmerized by Keith and his guitar). Keith took questions, joked with the audience and even invited a young guy on stage to play guitar with him! My wife and I instantly became full-fledged Keith Urban fans, immediately heading to our local Target store to buy the Keith Urban Defying Gravity CD. That night, our two year-old played his ukulele to "I'm in" and "Kiss A Girl".
Not only was it a fun day for my family, but it was truly an amazing honor to be there and we're grateful to Keith and to Verizon for bringing that opportunity to us.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
I don't want to go on and on about TV viewing because I do believe it is up to each and every parent to decide what is right for him or her and his or her child. However, I would like parents to have the right to parent their children the way they want to - not the way to media tells us to or the way some conservative advocacy group suggests.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
We took him to the doctor on Monday and they didn't find anything other than the flu. No swine flu, no strep throat, or anything else. The doc said it needed to run its course. My son doesn't like the doctor too much, but he did a great job. He listened and the doctor was able to perform all the tests.
Trouble began to brew when the nurse came in for some follow up items. They wanted to test the protein levels in his body because he was a little puffy. In order to do this, they needed to attach a plastic bag to him so he could pee in it. Bad idea. Kicking and screaming ensued. We finally got it on him and they said we needed to wait until he peed in it. Fortunately for us, there was an elevator in the office, so I proceeded to ride it with him for about 20 minutes. We should have been collecting tips because we were pressing the buttons for everyone. As long as you tell him which button to press, 1, 2, or 3, he's pretty good about not pressing anything else. The nice part about all of that was that there were many elderly people riding that day to the third floor and they got a nice smile from my boy's willingness to help and press buttons. Finally he went to the bathroom and we went home. We were there for 2 hours, the longest doctor visit he has ever had.
So, now the reason for the post. Since everyone and their kids are getting sick now, do we get the flu shot for him? We got the regular flu shot and we're still debating on getting the H1N1 shot for us. My boy is scheduled to get his flu shot in a week, but we're not sure if we'll give him the H1N1 shot. The doctor says yes since he is in preschool, but we're a little hesitant.
Well, we have time, so we'll see what happens. I'm guessing we'll all probably get the H1N1 shot, but time will tell. By the way, a good little trick to get your kids to use soap and wash their hands is to sing the ABC's. Good luck!!!
Saturday, October 3, 2009
These situations make me feel schizophrenic becuase I find myself having to entertain the parent AND watch her child and of course, mine.
So, the question is, how do you deal with playdates in which the parent doesn't seem to watch her own child? You want what is best for all the children and want to make sure they have a fun time, but how do you deal with the parent - especially one that wants to continue to have playdates? Any advice is appreciated.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
This weekend my wife held a Weil Baby party where she invited a few friends over and shared information about Dr. Andrew Weil's new line of baby products. The Weil Baby(TM) line of products was designed in partnership with Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. who is considered a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing-oriented approach to health care that encompasses body, mind and spirit. This new line of product is ultra-safe, healthy and functional - and both BPA-free and EA-free. Why does this matter? Because when our son was born two years ago, the options for BPA -free bottles were limited and very expensive - nearly $45 per bottle. This is not the case here. Safe bottles from a trusted source at a price we can afford. In fact, Proud Poppa would like to share some of these unique bottles with his followers. I'm giving away 3 free bottles and coupons for $5 off any Weil Baby products to three winners who visit www.weilbaby.com and leave a comment below saying what other product they would like to buy. Contest ends October 12. Good luck!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
The White House opened it's first farmers market last week and received criticism from pesticide organizations. Are people crazy? How do you protest the growing and selling of fruit from the ground? Are you really angry that local farmers use natural methods to help food grow? Okay, I am off my soapbox.We love our local farmer's market not just because we support local growers, but because it's a fun adventure for my family. We ride our bikes to the local farmers market each Saturday morning - okay, most Saturday mornings. - the Saturday mornings when we actually have our act together. We walk around with our two year old son pointing out the flowers and the fruits and vegetables. We hold the bag open and say, put in three red tomatoes. He has fun playing the "farmer's market game" and runs from station to station ready to find new fruits and vegetables to put in the bag. We listen to the musicians who set up each week and stop to let our son do some dancing. Then, we simply pack up, jump back on our bikes and make the three block trek home. We celebrate the White House farmer's market, even though we are 3,000 miles away.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
On Monday we woke up and we were already behind the eight ball and running behind schedule. Mainly because the boy woke up at 4am and walked into our room holding his missing sock in his hand. I escorted him back to his room, put on his sock, and we lied in bed until he fell back asleep. So back to the story. He usually has breakfast in the morning, but since we were running late, we tried to shove a couple blueberry muffins in his mouth before we left for school. We only got 1 1/2 in there, criminy.
We had been prepping him for the big day and he kept telling us he didn't want to go to school. He knew it was coming. My wife left first after about half an hour and I stayed. My boy had a little melt down right before snack time, partially because he didn't want me to leave and partially because he was starving. Their snack time is about half an hour past the time we usually do snack time at home. That made for a slight scene with the teacher and oodles of tears. I was trying to engage all of the other children while my kid was sitting there crying. Yikes.
The teacher was finally ready to try the separation and she told me to tell the boy I was leaving and then I'd come back. I tried to be quick about it, but it was tough, because he started crying and he had a death grip on my arm and I had to peel him off and not look back. I walked to the parking lot and sat in my car and listened for my boy. I couldn't hear him, so I pulled out my laptop and started catching up on some work emails. About ten minutes later, one of the teachers came out and told me that he was doing fine and he was helping the teacher clean up. I was so relieved that I Blackberry'd my wife and told her the good news.
About a half hour later my wife showed up and we went in to collect our son. He was very happy to see us and my wife got a little teary eyed. The teacher reassured us that all went well and that she was pleased with his progress. We had a sigh of relief and we were proud.
Today was day 2 of class and we were amazed at the transition. We were only there for 20 minutes and then we made the break. No crying this time and no phone call from the teacher. We went home and did work for a couple hours. My wife and I returned 10 minutes before school was over and we snuck into the classroom for story time. At first our son didn't see us, but about 5 minutes later, he noticed us and he got so excited and almost got teary eyed. He waited until story time was over to get out of his seat and then came over to say hi to us. We were so proud of him and so excited to see his reaction when he saw us. The smile and cheer was priceless...
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Yesterday was preview day at my son's preschool. Technically, it was the first day of school even though parents were able to attend the entire session. It will be different on Monday when our 2 year old faces school on his own. Hmm, he spent most of Friday clinging to my leg...wonder if it'll be the same on Monday. Remember to wear pants/shorts with tight waistband. It was supposed to be a special moment - a "first," but my wife and I hoped the experience we had would be our last. We committed the ultimate mistake - forgot to bring the camera. Well, a working one. See, ours broke and we forgot to get a new one in time for this momentous occasion. How could we have missed such a momentous day? Maybe we can recreate it on Monday, we thought. Then the calls started coming in from grandparents, aunts, uncles wanting to see photos. "What did he wear?" "Who is his teacher?" "Show us his backpack." My wife and I felt awful, but then we realized that we were more worried/sad/happy/nervous for our child and that doing what we could to prepare him for Monday, his first time alone without parent or nanny - fine, we're sure - is more important than feeling bad that we don't have photos. Call me rotten, but I'm hoping my child will start Monday excited, knowing that mom and dad love him and are hoping he meets great friends and learns to enjoy school. That would be a memory of a lifetime.
P.S. We're going to Target to get a camera today. (Photos of first day on Monday)
Monday, September 7, 2009
I copied the article below from the http://www.whitehouse.gov/MediaResources/PreparedSchoolRemarks/ website:
Prepared Remarks of President Barack ObamaBack to School Event
Arlington, VirginiaSeptember 8, 2009
The President: Hello everyone – how’s everybody doing today? I’m here with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. And we’ve got students tuning in from all across America, kindergarten through twelfth grade. I’m glad you all could join us today.
I know that for many of you, today is the first day of school. And for those of you in kindergarten, or starting middle or high school, it’s your first day in a new school, so it’s understandable if you’re a little nervous. I imagine there are some seniors out there who are feeling pretty good right now, with just one more year to go. And no matter what grade you’re in, some of you are probably wishing it were still summer, and you could’ve stayed in bed just a little longer this morning.
I know that feeling. When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years, and my mother didn’t have the money to send me where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday – at 4:30 in the morning.
Now I wasn’t too happy about getting up that early. A lot of times, I’d fall asleep right there at the kitchen table. But whenever I’d complain, my mother would just give me one of those looks and say, "This is no picnic for me either, buster."
So I know some of you are still adjusting to being back at school. But I’m here today because I have something important to discuss with you. I’m here because I want to talk with you about your education and what’s expected of all of you in this new school year.
Now I’ve given a lot of speeches about education. And I’ve talked a lot about responsibility.
I’ve talked about your teachers’ responsibility for inspiring you, and pushing you to learn.
I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.
I’ve talked a lot about your government’s responsibility for setting high standards, supporting teachers and principals, and turning around schools that aren’t working where students aren’t getting the opportunities they deserve.
But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself.
Every single one of you has something you’re good at. Every single one of you has something to offer. And you have a responsibility to yourself to discover what that is. That’s the opportunity an education can provide.
Maybe you could be a good writer – maybe even good enough to write a book or articles in a newspaper – but you might not know it until you write a paper for your English class. Maybe you could be an innovator or an inventor – maybe even good enough to come up with the next iPhone or a new medicine or vaccine – but you might not know it until you do a project for your science class. Maybe you could be a mayor or a Senator or a Supreme Court Justice, but you might not know that until you join student government or the debate team.
And no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it. You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers. You can’t drop out of school and just drop into a good job. You’ve got to work for it and train for it and learn for it.
And this isn’t just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country. What you’re learning in school today will determine whether we as a nation can meet our greatest challenges in the future.
You’ll need the knowledge and problem-solving skills you learn in science and math to cure diseases like cancer and AIDS, and to develop new energy technologies and protect our environment. You’ll need the insights and critical thinking skills you gain in history and social studies to fight poverty and homelessness, crime and discrimination, and make our nation more fair and more free. You’ll need the creativity and ingenuity you develop in all your classes to build new companies that will create new jobs and boost our economy.
We need every single one of you to develop your talents, skills and intellect so you can help solve our most difficult problems. If you don’t do that – if you quit on school – you’re not just quitting on yourself, you’re quitting on your country.
Now I know it’s not always easy to do well in school. I know a lot of you have challenges in your lives right now that can make it hard to focus on your schoolwork.
I get it. I know what that’s like. My father left my family when I was two years old, and I was raised by a single mother who struggled at times to pay the bills and wasn’t always able to give us things the other kids had. There were times when I missed having a father in my life. There were times when I was lonely and felt like I didn’t fit in.
So I wasn’t always as focused as I should have been. I did some things I’m not proud of, and got in more trouble than I should have. And my life could have easily taken a turn for the worse.
But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.
Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. Maybe someone in your family has lost their job, and there’s not enough money to go around. Maybe you live in a neighborhood where you don’t feel safe, or have friends who are pressuring you to do things you know aren’t right.
But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying.
Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.
That’s what young people like you are doing every day, all across America.
Young people like Jazmin Perez, from Roma, Texas. Jazmin didn’t speak English when she first started school. Hardly anyone in her hometown went to college, and neither of her parents had gone either. But she worked hard, earned good grades, got a scholarship to Brown University, and is now in graduate school, studying public health, on her way to being Dr. Jazmin Perez.
I’m thinking about Andoni Schultz, from Los Altos, California, who’s fought brain cancer since he was three. He’s endured all sorts of treatments and surgeries, one of which affected his memory, so it took him much longer – hundreds of extra hours – to do his schoolwork. But he never fell behind, and he’s headed to college this fall.
And then there’s Shantell Steve, from my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Even when bouncing from foster home to foster home in the toughest neighborhoods, she managed to get a job at a local health center; start a program to keep young people out of gangs; and she’s on track to graduate high school with honors and go on to college.
Jazmin, Andoni and Shantell aren’t any different from any of you. They faced challenges in their lives just like you do. But they refused to give up. They chose to take responsibility for their education and set goals for themselves. And I expect all of you to do the same.
That’s why today, I’m calling on each of you to set your own goals for your education – and to do everything you can to meet them. Your goal can be something as simple as doing all your homework, paying attention in class, or spending time each day reading a book. Maybe you’ll decide to get involved in an extracurricular activity, or volunteer in your community. Maybe you’ll decide to stand up for kids who are being teased or bullied because of who they are or how they look, because you believe, like I do, that all kids deserve a safe environment to study and learn. Maybe you’ll decide to take better care of yourself so you can be more ready to learn. And along those lines, I hope you’ll all wash your hands a lot, and stay home from school when you don’t feel well, so we can keep people from getting the flu this fall and winter.
Whatever you resolve to do, I want you to commit to it. I want you to really work at it.
I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.
But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try.
That’s OK. Some of the most successful people in the world are the ones who’ve had the most failures. JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
These people succeeded because they understand that you can’t let your failures define you – you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time. If you get in trouble, that doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker, it means you need to try harder to behave. If you get a bad grade, that doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it just means you need to spend more time studying.
No one’s born being good at things, you become good at things through hard work. You’re not a varsity athlete the first time you play a new sport. You don’t hit every note the first time you sing a song. You’ve got to practice. It’s the same with your schoolwork. You might have to do a math problem a few times before you get it right, or read something a few times before you understand it, or do a few drafts of a paper before it’s good enough to hand in.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new. So find an adult you trust – a parent, grandparent or teacher; a coach or counselor – and ask them to help you stay on track to meet your goals.
And even when you’re struggling, even when you’re discouraged, and you feel like other people have given up on you – don’t ever give up on yourself. Because when you give up on yourself, you give up on your country.
The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.
It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.
So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?
Your families, your teachers, and I are doing everything we can to make sure you have the education you need to answer these questions. I’m working hard to fix up your classrooms and get you the books, equipment and computers you need to learn. But you’ve got to do your part too. So I expect you to get serious this year. I expect you to put your best effort into everything you do. I expect great things from each of you. So don’t let us down – don’t let your family or your country or yourself down. Make us all proud. I know you can do it.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I'll start by saying that my wife went to the doctor today and she was not feeling well, so I knew I needed to pick up the slack. I got home and I started the turkey tacos. I packed up some snacks for Max and then we took our nanny to the train station.
I wasn't sure, but I thought the post office closed at 5pm, and I wanted to rush and get some stamps. It was close by, so after the train station, we found a parking spot and walked to the post office. The line wasn't long, but the people getting help, needed more than just postal help in my opinion. Luckily there was a 2 year old girl in front of us and Max made some small talk. We got some Simpsons stamps, Hawaii stamps, and some polar bear post card stamps, then we were off.Max loves going to the car wash and I thought it would give me a good chance to give him a snack. We went to the gas station and then waited in line for about 20 minutes to get the automatic car wash. He had watermelon and ducky crackers.
Down the street there is a Crown Book Liquidators store and a Halloween store next door. I figured I could get a jump on things and check out the Halloween costumes and maybe buy a couple kids books at 1/2 off. We narrowed the costume down to Diego or a train conductor. Next door, we bought some flash cards and a birthday gift for someone for under $18.
Friday, August 21, 2009
We were doing just that two weeks ago when we heard the sounds of America circa 1975. "It's A Small World" came closer and closer until the Ice Princess arrived on our doorstep. I had read about ice cream trucks in my son's books, but until now, we had never been able to actually share the experience in real-life. I screamed to my wife to bring out some money and explained to our son what was happening. He could not believe he could get any ice cream he wanted from the nice ice cream lady. After we bought our ice cream we sat on the step eating it together. Seeing my son's smile as he ate was priceless and so each Saturday, we return to our front stoop, waiting for the Ice Princess to pay us a visit. It's a reminder of Americana and a memory of a lifetime.
It is a two step procedure and today I completed phase one. For this phase, they gave me some local anesthetic and drilled down into the roots of my tooth. He used a carbide and diamond drill tip to do the work. Then, they clean out the root like the picture above and then they fill it with a temporary compound.
For my next visit in a month they will go back in and take the camera and dig a little deeper and clean things out a bit more. Then they put some rubber material and fill the hole. Hopefully it won't be too bad where they need to put a stainless steel rod. The nurse was explaining the procedure and she said that there are still some dentists that will use a paper clip instead of a rod and that it actually does work. It strengthens the tooth like rebar in concrete. She reassured me that this doctor did not do that.
My mouth is still numb but I'm not feeling any pain. I actually felt good enough to go to the original Topps and get the new habanero hot dog. I could barely chew it, but it hit the spot. Stay tuned for part 2 of the root canal which will happen in a month!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I must tip my hat to Little Kuts for the set up they have. They had a tv and they were playing the movie Shrek. They also have a play area that has trains and other various toys for kids to play with. After the hair cut, they walk away with a nice balloon. I'm sure it will be another 2 months until we go back, but when we return, we'll be sure to bring some cookies!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I looked it up on the Huffington Post and found this excerpt:
"The president ordered a cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, jalapeno peppers, and mustard as well as several other cheeseburgers to go." - Rachel Weiner
There are only two locations in southern California. One in Carson and one in Cerritos and apparently, business has been very good. I am a bacon cheeseburger fanatic and this one was top of the line! The beef was of good quality and it had a real piece of bacon on it. The Fries were thick and very good. They also serve peanuts in the shell while you're waiting.
Two thumbs up on this restaurant and I wouldn't be surprised to see more of them popping up in Southern Cal sometime soon. Check it out!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I looked in his mouth to see if it was still in there and it wasn't. I asked him where the gum was and he said, "In the potty." I marched back to the bathroom with him in tow and looked at the closed toilet, nothing. I peeked over to his small portable training potty and the lid was up. I peered inside and at the bottom I found a slightly mangled piece of wintergreen Orbit chewing gum.
My wife and I had a big laugh. We realized that we were extremely lucky because had he picked one of the bubble gum flavors or something tasty, then he would have been all over the gum, but fortunately enough for us, he picked one with a very strong taste. I think we're in the clear for a while when it comes to chewing gum. Now, cookies and cupcakes, another story...
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
For about one month now our ice maker has been broken. Not ideal when dealing with 100 degree temperatures! We've intended to get it fixed, but time just continued to pass and before we knew it, it was August. We called Sears and was told it would be $70 just to come out and look at the problem. I then went online and scanned the Better Business Bureau for local appliance repair companies. I found one that came out the same day - for $35. Of course, he told us the ice maker was broken and that it would be $280 to fix it. I excused myself for a minute to check out the cost of the parts on line. Found out it was $180, not including shipping. As desperate as I was for an ice cold coke, I said, "all I have is $230" and the repair man said "okay!" I've negotiated before, but not usually that much. Lessoned learned - bargain, bargain, bargain!