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Has it really been a year and a half since I’ve posted something here? Is anybody even listening any longer?

It’s unfortunate, because there’s been a heck of a lot going on over the last 18 months. We moved from Indiana to Michigan, although I’ve posted about that already… I think. Yeah, definitely. I’d like to say that we’re completely settled into our house, but we still have boxes here and there – you know, against the wall of the basement, in the corner of the bedroom, tucked away in a closet, up in the rafters of the garage – with…. with… well, with stuff inside them. Just… stuff.

I’m also back in school, completely determined to finish up my degree, for a number of reasons. First, and foremost, to set an example for the kiddos. It’s important for them to know the value of higher education and that it’s going to be expected of them to do the same. Lead by example! Next, because there’s not much more I can do at work without a degree. I love what I do and do what I love, but the only way to open up more opportunities is by completing what I’ve started. Lastly, because if I don’t do it now, I never will. It’s hard enough to dedicate the time now with everything going on. I can only imagine how hard it’d be if I waited until the kids are in gymnastics, soccer, baseball, or dance that require my presence multiple days a week.

There’s so much I want to share… so much that I can’t convey with a two or three sentence status update on FaceBook. Like, about that time just a couple weeks ago when Audrey, three and a half (if I don’t mention “and a half”, she gets very stern with me and corrects me of her proper age), decided that she was going to perform some complex math problems. I’m very proud at the intelligence that both of my kids exhibit, so imagine my joy, and overwhelming pride when Audrey lays this gem of an addition problem on me: “Daddy plus crazy equals fart.”

But, like I said way up there at the top… there’s been a heck of a lot going on over the last 18 months. It’s so terribly difficult to sit down, reflect on the day, and spew something coherent and, hopefully, witty into a blog post with… well… with so much stuff going on… Just… stuff.

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I know, I know, I know… I’m not supposed to put an apostrophe on a word if I’m simply pluralizing it. It just seemed strange to have “Pacis” in the title, because that doesn’t really look like a word either. Plus, this is my blog, so I’ll do what I want… you know, like wait a year or so between posts.

Our little princess has turned terrible… oops… I mean two… she’s turned two. We had pretty decent success is taking pacifiers away from Tyler when he turned two, so we decided to do the same with Audrey. I don’t want you to think we’re terrible parents, so let me clarify by saying that we didn’t take them away ON her birthday. We waited until two days after before emotionally destroying her.

Sarah, sweet as she is, believed that it would be less traumatic for Audrey if they made an event out of “getting rid of the pacifiers”. She made a special glittery bag with bows on it off they went up the stairs. Audrey, who is every bit as sweet as Sarah, sat on the floor and kissed each of her pacifiers good-bye.

“Bye bye, paci,” she’d say. It was adorable.

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Awww… she’s hugging it goodbye!!!

What really sucked though… what really sucked… bedtime. She wasn’t so sweet about getting rid of her paci’s when it was time for bed. That’s when it was no longer a game for little miss Audrey.

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What Audrey wants you to know is that we got to hang out with my parents recently. We went to a science museum for kids in Lansing, Michigan. The museum is called Impression 5, and I highly recommend it.

After the kiddos fully tired us adults out, we went to dinner at a nearby buffet-style restaurant. There wasn’t a lot of seating, so we grabbed the first table we saw that was large enough for the six of us.

Sadly, this table was RIGHT next to the fountain pop machine.

So there’s two problems with this situation.

1) We get front row seats to all walks of life.
2) Tyler simply CAN NOT talk quietly.

While sitting at the table that was way too close to the pop machine, Tyler looked at me with a grin across his face.

“Daddy,” Tyler says, much too loudly, “do you see that really big, really fat man with the really big, really fat belly?”

I’ve no doubt that the man heard Tyler, just as I’ve no doubt that every table surrounding us heard too. I couldn’t stop myself from smiling and giggling just a little bit as I attempted to tell Tyler “You can’t say that, buddy.”

I couldn’t be mad at him. When we watch cartoons or read books where there is a comically large person, we say something along the lines of what he said. He didn’t say it with any malicious intent and wasn’t making fun of the guy. We was, quite simply, stating what he saw…. very loudly.

And, in Tyler’s defense… that man was very, very large.

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Tyler was a monster when he was twenty months old.

Audrey is a peanut.

Audrey had her well-baby checkup recently. While she is on the growth chart… she is only barely on the growth chart. My little, tiny munchkin is merely in the 12th percentile for growth and weight. So, if 100 little girls lined up that were the same age as Audrey, and they were sorted according to size, Audrey would be the 12th in line, with 88 girls bigger than her.

She is absolutely one of the most beautiful girls I’ve ever laid eyes on

She pooped in the tub a couple days ago. Her and Tyler were in the tub having a grand ol’ time together. Tyler looked over and said “There’s something gross in here” and reached for something that confused me.

If you were to see an alligator sitting on your couch, your brain would shut down for a moment so that it could process what it was seeing.

What I was seeing was a little turd floating up in the bathwater. My brain wasn’t ready for that, so it quit working for a few seconds. Luckily for Tyler, it came back to life about half a second before Tyler grabbed the stink-nugget with his fingers.

“Ohhhhhhhhhh….. Audrey.” I honestly don’t know what else I said, but it was in a tone that Sarah recognized as “not-very-good”.

I grabbed Tyler, and yanked him out of the tub before the poo-tainted water got to him. I wrapped him in a towel and told him something like “stay away.”

I grabbed Audrey – by the part of her body that wasn’t in the sewage – and lifted her straight up… and then I froze. I hadn’t thought my plan through and I had no idea what my next steps were… So I just stood there… unable to do anything.

Poop and vomit disgust me. Especially when they are somewhere they aren’t supposed to be. You know, like in a bathtub. When something like this happens – and very luckily for my general health and well-being, this has only happened 3 times in the last 5 years – I can’t cope or function. I become completely dependent on Sarah to give me some guidance on how to do simple things, like breathing or swallowing.

So, I turned to look at Sarah with nothing less than an expression of utter bewilderment and fear.

“Sit her on the toilet,” she said.

And that’s what I did.

Then, I looked in the tub full of water and toys, and poop. It wasn’t all solid and it wasn’t all diarrhea. But it was all disgusting. I locked my gaze on the drain. I just stared at it. Somehow, the plug had to be pulled. I looked at it longer and prayed for a miracle that never came. I flicked my eyes to my left hand then back to the drain… and I was scared.

But I did it. I stared into the water, waiting for the poo-sludge to move around just enough to give me a slight opening to the drain. I reached in, quickly and deliberately, and popped it.

And then I did what any good husband would do… I washed my hands and occupied the kids while Sarah put all the tainted toys in a plastic bag and scooped all the poop into the toilet.

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