Before and After Photos

“Before and After What?”  you might ask.  Let’s just say I was taking a photo of my three beautiful children playing in a park in Hawaii while on vacation.  That’s the “before” photo.

I look at the photo on the camera screen and I notice that the lens was fogged up from being in the backpack with some cold water I had packed for them.  I asked them to (oh horror of horrors!) go back to stand for another photo after I clean the lens.  That second picture, my friends, is the “after”.

Three kids in a park - happy


Three kids in a park - unhappy


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Nap Time

Now that two of my three are in school full day, I spend a lot of time with my third.  One ritual we’ve been enjoying together is nap time.  Sometimes he wants to be alone and just goes to his bed but sometimes he and I snuggle together and fall asleep together.  Maybe it’s because he’s my last baby and soon this phase of our lives will be over.  Maybe it’s because things are finally a little more relaxed around here – when my oldest was this age, I had three babies around full time and no two of them fell asleep at the same time.

Whatever the reason, I’m glad I’ve slowed down enough to enjoy these afternoon naps while it lasts.

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Boy, Does HE Know How To Give A Compliment

My kids rave over their Mama.  They sing her praises most days when she’s at work.  As they’ve been getting older, they have also started to gain empathy and one day, my son realized that maybe I might feel left out when they were singing her praises.  After my daughter finished a rousing chorus of “Mom rocks !”, my middle boy says to me, very earnestly, “Daddy, you rock too.  Your farts stink, but you still rock.”

Thanks, I’ll take it!

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Modeling Good Behavior

I try not to think of it as “falling asleep on the rug during the bedtime ritual.”  I much prefer to think of it it, “modeling good behavior for my kids.”

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What Happens in Vegas…

…so my wife and I had a weekend jaunt to Las Vegas – our first weekend away from the kids in almost seven years (since our oldest was born).  While there, we went out for long walks, checking out shows, restaurants, etc.  At one point, we had a discussion about whether or not to hit a cocktail lounge or to just walk, talk, and explore.  We chose the latter, as it was so refreshing to just be together and joke around as we used to.

Then we came home.  The first night back, our kids were out of control – sleep-deprived and irritated that we tore them away from the treats, movies, late nights they enjoyed playing with Grandma, Auntie, and their cousins.  As the tantrums continued during the dinner-making process, I open a bottle of wine and my wife asks me to make her a Manhattan.  I had to chuckle thinking that for use, the one thing that happened in Vegas and stayed in Vegas was “temperance.”

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Our First Weekend Away

After almost seven years, my wife and I are having our first weekend away from the kids.  A couple of years ago we had a couple of opportunities to head out to a hotel and spa for a night but were back the next morning.  This time, we’re going to Vegas as my wife has a training class there so I’m just buying my ticket and we’re off.  The first time we did this was a couple of months before we got engaged and it was in Kauai.  It’s fun reflecting back nine years to that trip and everything that’s come into our lives since then.

My wife is feeling a little sad and missing the kids.  She’s also a little curious/concerned that I feel none of those things.  Then again, for me, it’s still to early to miss them.  It’s six a.m. on the morning after I dropped them off at my sister-in-law’s place and right now it just feels like the blissful quiet pre-dawn time that I enjoy before the daily chaos.  Perhaps around 9 a.m., when it’s still quiet, I’ll start to feel the emptiness.  Until then, I’ll just enjoy a quiet cup of coffee.

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Mama ain’t gonna teach you this

As my daughter gets older (she’s going on seven), she has less use for me in certain instances, such as doing her hair (the three-horned unicorn look I invented was quite forward-thinking, I thought) and fashion (cheetah print stretch pants and horizontal multi-colored striped blouse tells the world to look at your inner beauty).  Today, however, my daughter really needed a Daddy.  She was getting ready for school and freaked out because she couldn’t find a uniform skirt in her dresser to wear – she only had pants and she absolutely couldn’t wear pants, oh no, it had to be a skirt.  I calmly walked into her room and started to soothe her.  I realized that the reason she couldn’t find a skirt is because they were all in the laundry hamper so  I went to the hamper, stuck my hand in and fished around to find one of her skirts.  I demonstrated the sniff check that indicates whether a given article of clothing is ‘clean enough.’  I smiled as I tossed the skirt to her and told her to get continue getting ready.  I suppose that one day her instincts will kick in and she’ll unlearn this very valuable lesson and that’s okay, today it was just what she needed.

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That Looks Painful

My two boys, being close in age, have a lot of clothes that look interchangeable, with only a slight difference in size.  This means that they regularly wear each others’ clothes and my older boy will come out in high-water pants while my younger son has pants that drop around his ankles because he’s not wide enough to hold them up.  The only time this becomes an issue is when the mix up happens with their underpants.  It’s not a big deal for my younger son, but when my five-year-old comes out in 3T briefs, I start to worry.  Now that they mostly dress themselves, I don’t discover anything until bedtime, or when my older boy’s eyes start bulging out of his head.  That’s when I do a quick clothing label check and then suggest that he and I go back to the dresser and maybe pick something that would help him breathe better.

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Incredible Skills in the Animal Kingdom

My kids were watching a children’s show about incredible animal skills.  They got to the elephant and were explaining that the elephant can actually use the tip of its nose to pinch and pick up things – “what a great feature, to be able to use its nose as a hand !”

Big deal, I think.  My kids have been blurring the line between hand and nose for years…

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A Good Morning

Before having kids, a good morning was one where I would leisurely read the newspaper, watching the sun come up over the city skyline and mountains in the background, sipping a hot cup of coffee.

Now, a good morning is one during which I manage to get all three kids out the door without swearing.

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