& sleeping cutie

So fair warning here: chances are I’m going to piss you off a bit here, particularly if you’re the parent of a toddler who’s a little less than cooperative. At times, this might sound like I’m complaining about something practically every parent would give almost any amount of money for. Know that I’m not, but really just making an observation. It’s still okay if you hate me for this. I’ll understand.

haters-gonna-hate_1231

The thing is, Squatch likes sleep. He gets that from his mom. Not that I don’t like sleep—I’m a pretty big fan—it’s just that Karli and Squatch can work the hell out of a nap. We’ve lucked out that we haven’t had sleeping problems very often or very long with this one. Yes, you can start to hate me now. If it makes you feel any better, he does get up pretty early

Keepin it classy in KC.

Keepin it classy in KC.

This past Sunday, Squatch and I took in a Royals day game with my mom as a belated Mother’s Day celebration. It meant he had to miss his nap, and really only got about 10 minutes of sleep on the way from the game to the barbecue place*. By the time we got home, he was beat. He was a really good sport about it, but he crashed early and slept in (till SEVEN A.M.!) the next morning.

*Gates Bar B. Q., if you were wondering. It doesn’t really get much better than baseball and Kansas City barbecue on a beautiful day. And while we’re on it, I’ll just go ahead and put it out there—KC barbecue is the best barbecue. I’m not even going to argue it, so don’t even try.

Monday, he finally did take a nap—FOR FOUR HOURS! Yeah, I know. That’s what I’m going to talk about, and why you’re going to hate me. Because while there is sheer awesomeness to be had in a four-hour nap, especially due to its rarity, there’s one thing I observed about this phenomenon: It’s really hard to get stuff done when your kid naps for four hours.

“But that’s just stupid. I can get a lot done in that four hours.”

First off, good to see you again, Imaginary Internet Reader. Haven’t heard from you in a while. And secondly, you’re right—sort of. The thing about kids, especially young ones, is that schedules and routine really matter. These guys can’t tell time, so routine keeps them from constantly flipping their shit. And if your kid routinely takes two hour naps, you learn to get things done during those two hours.

When your kid hunkers down for a four-hour nap, you don’t actually know it’s going to be a four-hour nap. You get your plan set for the two-hour slot you usually have to fill and you do all the things before your kid wakes up.

Only then he doesn’t get up. So what do you do? You don’t want to start on something you need to dedicate a ton of time to because he’s already passed his normal waking point, and he can pop right out of bed at any time now, demanding your attention. Instead, you decide to undertake tasks that you can easily abandon at a moment’s notice and require little commitment. You’re paralyzed on your couch because you just know the minute you settle into that big project, that’s when he’s going to get up.

And that’s how you spend half your afternoon watching YouTube videos instead of doing something actually useful.

“So why don’t you just wake your kid up after two hours so he keeps his schedule?”

Screw that, IIR. It’s four hours of me time. I’m not giving that up, not for all the YouTubes in the world.

(A quick coda: Yesterday’s was a three-hour nap, only the internet was out at my place for most of it, so I went with a book instead. Books: The internet before the internet was the internet.)

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& all the words

This truck was not made to be used this way. It paid the price.

This truck was not made to be used this way. It paid the price.

So tomorrow Squatch is 17 months old*. It’s also Thanksgiving. I’m going to combine these two things into one post. Really, just watch.

*I know it’s not really a big milestone age or whatever, but I haven’t posted in a while and you take what you can get.

In the past couple weeks, Squatch has picked up a bunch of words and is using them pretty regularly now. This is a new development I’m pretty thankful for* because it means I have someone to talk to on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I’m home with him all day. Ok, so not really talk to because our conversations usually consist of him pointing at something and saying a word and me confirming that the word he used is indeed the correct word (or close to it).

*See, there’s the Thanksgiving part.

I’m a little bit too technologically-impaired/lazy/tired/inept/lazy to get a video of him saying all his words. So instead I’ll try to provide a little Squatch-to-English collection of his vocabulary thus far, in roughly chronological order of how he picked them up.

  • happyscream“Woah” = woah*
  • “Wow” = wow*
  • “Ma” = ball (it has since transformed into something like “mall”)
  • “Shoosh” = shoes
  • “Took” = Turk (our cat)**
  • “Shee” = shirt
  • “Car” = car
  • “Tay” = chair
  • “Took” = truck**
  • “Sauce” = socks
  • “Tees” = this***
  • “Fee” = fish
  • “Beep beep” = beep beep
  • “Waba” = robot****

*These two he’s actually been using for quite a while, and it still cracks our asses up anytime he says them.
**The words for “Turk” and “truck” are easily confused and basically the same thing. Context needs to be gleaned from what he’s pointing at.
***”This” is usually used as a question when he’s pointing at something and wants us to say the word for it.
****I’m most proud of this one. It’s an indication that I’m doing this whole parenting thing right. (He learned it from the chain pull in his ceiling light that I let him pull to turn out the light at bedtime.)

You’ll notice that “Mommy” and “Daddy” aren’t on the list. It’s not that he doesn’t know them—it’s that he never says them. At least not to us. Sometimes, when Karli gets home, he’ll run out from his room saying “mamamamamama” over and over again, but we can’t exactly tell if that’s just his default babble or if he actually knows what he’s saying. So I’m not counting them. Not yet.

It’s just the start of a new era, I know, and I’m sure some day when he’s fully become his mother’s son and will talk for the entire car ride from here to Minnesota, I’ll look back at this and regret the excitement I felt over his first few words, hoping for a few minutes of peace.

But not now. It’s been far too quiet around here during the days.

& may the fourth be with you

It’s a pun. Get it? It’s a Star Wars thing. See, they got this thing called “the force,” and—ah, nevermind. You know what’s going on.

This last week was finals week where I work. That means two things:

  1. Tons of grading
  2. Full-time Stay-at-Home duty starts NOW.

Over the last week or so, I also got a couple packages in the mail from Hasbro. I’m on the mailing list of the PR company that does their “action brands” now. Mostly just to make you jealous. I’ll talk about the second package later, but today it’s all about the first package I got from them. Because it had this in it:

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What better time to talk about it than a national Star Wars holiday, right? I mean, we got the day off from work and everything!

So, just in case you can’t tell, those are toys based on the Angry Birds Star Wars app. Which, if you ask me (although nobody did), seems a little backwards, non?

On my iPhone, I have a whole bunch of electronic versions of games that I grew up playing in their original cardboard-and-plastic iterations—checkers, Battleship, Parcheesi, Monopoly, and so on. That seems pretty normal, so that I might be able to play against someone if I’m by myself. It also does all the setup for me so I don’t need to go find the box, get in an argument about who lost the damn top hat, sort out all the remaining pieces, read the rules, get in an argument about the rules, pilfer pieces from other games and the junk drawer just to be able to play the game, get in an argument about the rules again, flip over the board, then storm out of the room. Saves me all that work.

This goes the opposite way—it takes a wildly popular computer game and puts it in the real world so that you now have to go through all those extra steps to play. In the spirit of this idea, I considered writing this blog post out by hand and mailing it to all my subscribers, but there are way too many of you now, so I scrapped that plan.

Also, in the real-life boxed version, the pigs don’t blow up, so there’s that.

That being said, these things are pretty bad ass. The AT-AT Attack Battle Game is the “traditional” Angry Birds-style game, where you fling birds at egg-stealing pigs in their shoddily-built structure trying to kill them. The little figures that come with it are pretty cool, even if I’m a complete Star Wars noob who can’t tell an AT-AT from an Ewok. One of those is a robot, right? Whatever, I just like hurling the dudes at the pig robot and making things crash. Squatch likes that, too. He does the same thing when I build things with his blocks on the floor, only the thing he throws at it is himself.

They also sent me that little Foam Flyer Darth Vader pig, which—until Squatch is old enough not to try taking bites out of the baddest bad guy in the history of film—we’re mostly using to throw at the cat whenever he tries getting up next to the TV. Seems like a totally Darth Vader thing to do, right?

*GIVEAWAY ALERT*

The third thing in the box is the Millennium Falcon Bounce Game, which I have decided—in my magnanimity—to give away to one of my very special readers. It’s a little different from the normal Angry Birds game. It’s more like beer pong in a way. You have to bounce the little character balls into the Millennium Falcon while knocking off the cardboard baddies. Only you don’t then have to drink whatever Force Juice* is in the cup when someone gets it in.

*That sounded a lot more disgusting than I wanted it to.

Here’s what we’ll do for the giveaway. Leave a comment on this post and tell me you’re interested. You have till MIDNIGHT (CST) ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 8 to enter. I’ll pick a winner at random using some fancy randomizing method and that person will be the proud owner of a Millennium Falcon Bounce Game (retail $19.99), courtesy of Hasbro and a baby sasquatch. Sound like a bunch of awesome? Good.

Even if you don’t win or don’t want to enter, you can use the coupon code SWFANDAY at HasbroToyShop.com for the rest of today (May 4, 2013) to get 20% off any Star Wars toy.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I got these things, as I said, free from Hasbro. I wasn’t compensated for this in any other way, and all the opinions are mine. Obviously. They probably wouldn’t refer to “Force Juice.”

& a mediocre host

We made him put on his best get-up for the guests.

We made him put on his best get-up for the guests.

So I finally achieved a lifelong dream I never knew I had until the second I got the email from WordPress—I’ve been Freshly Pressed. Welcome to all of you who’ve come over because of it, and I hope you’ll stick around and see what the internet was made for read some of my other stuff. It’s pretty good, if I do say so myself. And for those few who’ve already recognized my greatness struggled through this crap since the beginning been reading this blog for a while, please be on your best behavior so you don’t scare away the guests. Don’t worry, I still love you just the same.

As a quick little follow up to the Freshly Pressed post, I should probably mention that the dog barfed up a whole bunch of that cake the other morning. I’ll save you the graphic visual, but let me paint a little word picture for you—think melting strawberry ice cream. With mystery chunks.

I figured a little orientation might be in order for those of you who care to take it. You might be wondering what a Squatch is and who the hell I am, so it couldn’t hurt to check those out. You might also want to “Like” me on the Facebook and “Follow” me on the Twitter because occasionally my nonsense spills over to those venues. And, if you really love irony, I’m on the Pinterest.

Once you’re all caught up, you’re welcome to peruse the archives over there on the right. It’s easy enough to find stuff. If you’re like me, however, and you don’t enjoy wading through mounds of turds to find the diamond, here’s some help finding the good’uns:

The very beginning of it all [12/23/11] and telling our parents [12/23/11]
Early grandparent antics [12/28/11]
Thinking about names [1/15/12] and Discussing Squatch’s real name [10/15/12]
I guess at Squatch’s gender [2/13/12] and I’m proven completely wrong [6/29/12]
Sleeping is an uncomfortable [3/17/12] dangerous business [3/20/12]
Getting impatient (an attempt at webcomics) [6/21/12]
Squatch’s birth story, as told by Squatch: Part 1/Part 2/Part 3/Part 4 [8/31/12-9/3/12]
First thoughts on actual parenthood [7/3/12]
I talk about picture books  [4/19/12], and again [3/26/13]
Shopping recommendations for baby showers [12/5/12]
I’ve griped about Pinterest (and other stuff) before [12/10/12]
Babies are boring [10/16/12]
Squatch’s first Christmas [12/30/12] and half-birthday [1/8/13]
Squatch tries rolling [10/26/12] and standing up [4/4/13] and getting sick [2/5/2013]
I turn 30 (presents still being accepted) [11/29/12]

If you like a lot of self-deprication and pictures of an adorable baby, you might like it around here. And if you like it around here, you might like checking out some of the other dad bloggers out there, which you can find in the Facebook Dad Bloggers page*. I don’t have a regular schedule of posting, but I try to post as often as my kid and job allow me to. If you stick around, I promise to try to work on almost getting better about it, maybe.

*If you’re a dad blogger yourself, you should join our FB group, if you haven’t already.

Thanks for coming by. Hope you enjoyed your stay, and take a goodie bag on the way out.

What? No goodie bags? Oops.

& you ruin everything, pinterest

You know Pinterest, right? Of course you do—everyone knows Pinterest. It’s that awesome little social media pinboard website that lets people share all kinds of amazing gems hidden on the internet.

WRONG.

PINTEREST IS OUT TO DESTROY YOU AND EAT YOUR SOUL.

Once upon a time, when your wife volunteered to make a birthday cake to celebrate her mother’s and sister’s birthdays, she could just throw a can of frosting on top of one of Mrs. Crocker’s finest box mixes and call it good. In, out, done. Boom.

Then along comes Pinterest to make everyone look bad. Now just to keep up with the internet’s Joneses, she’s gotta buy two cake mixes and some food coloring so that there are multiple layers in incrementally deeper hues of pink. Then she has to separate out the cake mixes, dyeing each batch perfectly and baking them so they come out right before setting them out on the dining room table to cool so she can assemble the cake the following day.

Of course, the following morning when you’re out with your baby son at his swimming class, your dog will decide the bowl of food she has downstairs is no good and will eat the darkest three layers from off the dining room table. When you get home, your wife will yell at the dog and then send you to the store for yet another box of cake mix and vegetable oil.

After re-baking the three dog-eaten layers, your wife will send you to the store again because she needs more powdered sugar for the buttercream frosting—because canned frosting won’t cut it with Pinterest. Then she’ll send you another time for vanilla extract because she thought you had more than you did, and you’ll be thankful you live across the street from the grocery store.

When she starts to assemble the cake, the super-thick buttercream will start to make the newly-cooked darker layers resemble the faces of those poor massacred teens from the scare-fest videos in driver’s education. Your wife will realize this is because these layers didn’t cook long enough and begin to swear at the cake and for Pete’s Sake WHO SWEARS AT CAKE IT’S SWEET AND SOFT AND DELICIOUS AND I LOVE YOU CAKE. She’ll get fed up trying to frost these layers and throw them in the trash. You’ll cry—partly because you just had to go out and buy that cake mix and partly because cake just went into the trash instead of your belly. This is a sacrifice to the Pinterest gods. They are a vengeful lot.

Your wife will achieve success with the remaining three layers, as they’ve been cooked correctly, and cover them in swirly doodads, also in incrementally darker hues of pink. This last part will be relatively painless, except for the hand cramps because you and your wife had to stir food coloring into the super-thick buttercream frosting and squeeze it out of a bag. You and your wife will feel better looking at a finished cake and she’ll still love her family. You’ll go to bed and softly cry into your pillow because two days were shot to hell on a birthday cake.

I hope you die in a fire, Pinterest. You and your raised expectations.

The cake of destiny.  You win this time, Pinterest. THIS TIME.

The cake of destiny.
You win this time, Pinterest. THIS TIME.

& get up, stand up

Adorable in stereo.

Adorable in stereo.

Did you know that babies learn things by themselves? Yeah, like without you teaching them a damn thing! I know, right?

See, I had this plan. Our kid is adorable. (That wasn’t part of the plan—it just happened.) We’d like him to stay an adorable little baby sasquatch instead of growing up into a big, smelly, hairy one. I don’t believe this is too much to ask. So my plan was to just not teach him things. If he doesn’t learn how to do all the big-people things, he’ll just stay a little people forever. Logic.

Well, turns out that plan can just go right into the crapper. Doesn’t matter what I do (or don’t do), that kid is just gonna figure it all out on his own. Dammit.

One of his newest tricks began last week. Squatch and I were hanging out, playing some stacking cups on the floor at home while Karli was at her exercise class. At one point he just scooted himself around, grabbed onto my pant leg and pulled himself right up. He sidled right on over to my head and started playing with my nose. Sorry that I didn’t get a picture of this—some things gotta be just for me.

You're gonna love what I'm working up for you.

You’re gonna love what I’m working up for you.

Of course, he proceeded to lay a pretty heavy stink bomb in his diaper that then required immediate attention. Don’t worry, Bloggy-verse—that one was just for me, too.

He’s been standing for a while, as long as he’s holding onto something. He started cruising around sideways on the furniture a little while back, too. He can even push around his little walker things for a little ways. The pulling up was a new thing, though. It caught me a little by surprise. I laid him down for bed and when Karli came home, I told her what he’d done. She poked her head in to check on him, and he was sitting up and trying to pull himself to standing again in his crib, which meant it was time to drop the mattress again. We put it on the lowest setting—Karli was a little sad about that—and now the top is right about at mouth-level. At least he won’t topple himself out, though. We weren’t ready for doing that, either.

Before I go, I’ll leave you with a little video I grabbed last night. He just wanted to stand up a bunch, and he pulled himself up like 17 times over the course of about an hour. This was the only video I got to turn out because he was using me to pull himself up again. At one point I set him farther away and he crawled over to me to pull himself up. I didn’t get good video of that because I might have been too busy keeping myself from crying. No, you’re the pussy. Shut up.