Blog Archive

Friday, May 29, 2015

Good child/bad child: Travel edition

Last weekend, we traveled by air to California to visit family in a sort of "last hurrah" before Trevor is born. I knew that Audrey would be a handful on the plane, as she did not have her own seat and she does NOT like sitting still. But this was really our last chance to take a trip like this, since before we know it we'll have TWO kids which means TWO strollers and TWO car seats and TWO pack-and-plays and there's just no effing way we are trying to travel with all of that shit. Not until the kids are older and Audrey is actually sleeping in a bed and pulling her own damn suitcase.


We went into this with our eyes open, expecting the worst. The flight was only 1:30 long from gate to gate, so we hoped that even if it was the most terrible experience of our lives, at least it would be over fairly quickly. And all in all, it wasn't the most terrible experience of our lives, but ... yeah, let's just say we're glad it's done.

Good child: 
She didn't cry on the plane

My biggest fear was that she would have a screaming fit on the plane. Babies can cry, but toddlers can WAIL. And if her ears popped painfully, or if she wanted to run around but wasn't allowed to, or if another passenger had something she wanted but wasn't allowed to have (like an iPad), I knew that she would just lose her shit, because that's what very young children do. The thought of a toddler meltdown at 30,000 feet was terrifying enough to keep me up nights for a week leading up to the trip.

I call this photo collage "literally the worst torture I can imagine"

But she didn't cry. No wailing, no tears, no shrieking. We were not "those people" on the plane, and for that, I thank Audrey with every fiber of my being.

Bad child: 
She kicked the f*** out of the seat of the guy in front of us

But for the guy sitting in front of us, we were "those people" so hard he probably spent his entire Memorial Day weekend bitching about us. That's what I would have done if I were him. "F***ing kid kicked my seat for the entire flight, and you know what the parents did about it? NOT A GODDAMNED THING. I swear, the entitlement these days!" I would have moaned later on as I relaxed on my friend's patio with my feet up.

The thing is, it's hard to notice that your kid is kicking the seat in front of you. Audrey was sitting on my lap and we were playing her puzzle game on my phone, or reading books, which meant that I couldn't see her feet because the phone/books blocked my line of sight. So she would stretch her leg out and puuuuuuuuush it hard against the guy's seat, but by the time I noticed, who knows how long she had been doing it?

And then, even when I noticed, how the hell was I supposed to stop her? I'd pull her foot back off the seat and tell her not to do it, but then what? If she stretches her legs out straight, she's gonna kick the seat. I tried turning her sideways, but that was uncomfortable for everyone involved. I tried tucking her foot tightly between my legs so that she couldn't do it anymore ... but that lasted all of eight seconds before she pulled her foot out and shoved it right back against the guy's seat again.

So I guess, if you're ever flying and there's a lap baby sitting behind you kicking your seat, try not to lose your mind over it. And maybe gently inform the parent that it's happening, since as I discovered, there's a chance that they haven't even realized.

But if it's a long flight, feel free to lose your mind. Because that shit is seriously annoying.

Look how cute I am though?

Good child: 
She didn't cry on the plane

But, did I mention, she never cried a single time on the plane?

Bad child: 
She consistently bothered the same family in the gate area at the airport because they had a stuffed animal that she liked

There was this family traveling on the same flight as us, with two daughters that were probably 12 and 16 or so. And the 12-year-old had this thing that was like a stuffed animal that you fold in half to make into a pillow.

And Audrey saw it, and she was OBSESSED with it.

Every time I put her on the ground at the gate to let her run around, she just ran right back over to this family and tried to touch the stuffed animal. They were really nice about it, and let her touch the stuffed animal and poke its nose, and they kept insisting that she wasn't bothering them, but COME ON. I think they were just being nice to me so that I wouldn't feel flustered and embarrassed about my kid's total refusal to leave them alone. I would literally carry her to a different part of the airport, but as soon as I set her down she just sprinted back to this family like some kind of homing pigeon.



Good child: 
She didn't cry on the plane


Bad child: 
She made a giant mess of goldfish crackers

We had a package of whole wheat goldfish crackers.

Jesse wanted to eat some.

Disaster ensued.

Audrey would not just take one goldfish at a time, and she wouldn't take them from our hands. Instead, she insisted on reaching into the bag herself, pulling out handfuls of crackers, and then trying to shove them all into her mouth. Crackers kept falling on the floor, but I had zero ability to bend down and get them. (seriously, have you ever tried bending down to reach the floor in a cramped airplane seat while 6+ months pregnant and with a toddler in your lap? It simply can't be done). We tried to pick up the crackers as they fell, but we couldn't get them all.

But then, Audrey's lap-squirming reached fever pitch, so I stood her up on the floor in front of me instead. She was pleased with this arrangement, and continued stuffing her mouth with goldfish.

And then she stepped on one of the dropped crackers and smashed it into powder, grinding it into the carpet of our lovely 737 aircraft.

When we finally landed and were able to stand up and move around, I picked up the 5,000 goldfish that had fallen on the floor, on our seats, between our seats, and down my shirt. I then scraped up the smashed goldfish as best I could with just my fingers as a tool, but it was definitely still a mess. Because my fingers are not vacuum cleaners (by the way, evolution, where were you on that one??)

Imagining this ground into my carpets hurts my soul a little.

I'm so sorry, Southwest Airlines. It will never happen again, though, because as I mentioned, WE ARE NEVER DOING THIS SHIT AGAIN UNTIL WE DIE.

Good child: 
She didn't cry on the plane


Bad child: 
She held the piece of protein bar I gave her in her hand until all the chocolate had melted

After we had trashed our seating area with stupid goldfish, I got hungry and pulled out my Luna bar. As usual, Audrey wanted in on that sweet action, so I broke a piece off and gave it to her. At this point, she was standing on the ground in front of Jesse.

But instead of eating the piece immediately, she just clutched it in her little fist until the thin layer of chocolate had completely melted over her entire hand. Then she shoved the piece in her mouth, getting chocolate all over her face as well.

It was such a disgrace that I thought it was actually photo-worthy.

All I had on hand was a couple of dry napkins, which I knew would be no match for all this melted chocolate, so I had to resort to desperate measures: I made her give me her hand and then I stuck her fingers in my mouth one by one and sucked the chocolate off them. She giggled because it tickled; I did not giggle because I know where her hands have been and now they are all up in my mouth oh god I have hepatitis for sure.

But it worked. Once I had removed the worst of the chocolate, the dry napkins were good enough to finish the job and clean up her face. And I had cleaned all the chocolate off her before she had a chance to smear it onto Jesse's pants, my pants, her own pants, the airplane seat, the carpet, her hair, the other passengers, or the flight attendants. I'm thankful every day for that small mercy.

Again, though, I'm sorry about the goldfish powder in the carpet :-(

Good child:
She didn't cry on the plane

She also didn't poop, even though she kept repeating "poopoo" and then farting and making us really REALLY nervous. It was too close for comfort.

So, overall, she was a nightmare to travel with and we're not getting on another plane as a family for at least ten years ... but she didn't cry on the plane, and you simply can't put a price on that. 

Overall, I give the entire experience a 7/10. If she had cried, though, rest assured that it would have been a straight 0/10. That goldfish in the carpet ... ughhhhhh.

Here is Volume 1 of Good Child/Bad Child, and here is Volume 2 if you're interested. And if you're not, GO EFF YOURSELF YA BIG JERK. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A gallery of photos taken by my toddler

There's a lot of argument out there about what it really takes to be a professional photographer. Is it the quality of the camera that takes a picture from good to great? Or the natural eye of the photographer? Can a person learn, through study and experience, to be as good as someone whose talent and vision appears to come to them naturally?

We aren't going to address any of those questions today. Instead, we're going to look at some pictures that my daughter has taken with my phone, because apparently that's something that she likes to do. Some of these pictures are bad; some are hilarious; some are haunting; none of them belong on anyone's walls.

Please enjoy.

"Bad Hair Selfie #1"
This photo truly captures the essence of what it's like to have a REALLY bad hair day. At the same time, we could all probably learn something from that strand of hair and its commitment to being an individual. Beautiful.

"Bad Hair Selfie #2"
What is she looking at? Is she showing us her teeth, or what's up her nose? 
Por que no los dos??

"Elmo Shattered Soul"
If this doesn't give you pause to rethink the direction your life is headed, then nothing will. 

"Modern Chaos"
 How do we make sense of our busy lives? Is this really just a photo of the bottom of my nightstand? Yes, it is.

Uhh, this is what happens when you take a picture with your finger over the lens. 

 This clean carpet reminds me of how one's soul feels after confession. Audrey has really captured something beautiful here.

"Transitioning Epochs"
What is the original subject of this picture? Is it even possible to truly grasp its depths?
Is it just a blurry photo of the TV taken in darkness, or is it something far more than that?
I don't know; I'm really just rambling at this point. 

"Night's Wishes"
Do I have to keep writing these descriptions? This is just a picture of our bedroom window that she took from bed. She also made a video but it was really creepy so I deleted it. Now I kind of wish I hadn't, though, because it was seriously creepy.

"Cold Comfort"
Audrey's beloved blankie is immortalized on film. 

 He watches always.
Sometimes he even watches from the leg of Audrey's pajamas.

Thanks for joining me on this terrific waste of time. Audrey is really a bad photographer. I mean just terrible. Did you see the one that was just her fat finger over the lens? Good grief. I hope she doesn't pursue this as a career. We're just steps away from her photoshopping a cat with a halo into corner of some of these.

I wish I knew how to do that. I would photoshop cats into every damn thing.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Indignities of Pregnancy: My outie looks like a nipple

It is generally understood among women that if your nipples are poking out through your shirt, you need to do something about it. Get a better bra, or wear warmer clothes, or tape them down ... whatever will help fix the problem. Because problem it is.

Visible nipples are incredibly distracting, and while they can occasionally be considered "hot" under the right circumstances ... every single day, all the time, at the office, around the family, and in the presence of young children are NOT the ideal times to be turning on your highbeams. It's trashy.

So with that in mind, let me just show you a picture of my stomach in its current state:


Or maybe a nose?

"Hiiiiiiiidy ho!"

It sticks out when it's cold. It sticks out when it's warm. It sticks out when I wake up, and it sticks out before I go to bed. 

When I was pregnant with Audrey, my belly button didn't really start to stick out until much, much later in the pregnancy ... and even then, it was barely noticeable. 

Even when I was 8 months in, it was barely worth a boop.

But this time around, that sucker has been saying "howdy'a do" for months now. And I still have months to go.

There is nothing to be done about it. If I wear more layers of underclothes in an attempt to tame it, it laughs in my face:

This is three layers working together to push the belly button back into submission.
Belly button's response: "Lol."

If I wear a single layer, it borders on obscene:

Wow ... is it cold in here, or like ... ?

This is my life now, guys.

I have a visible nipple on my stomach at all times. People look at it. I see it when I talk to them -- they can't help but glance down. And I don't even blame them. It's impossible not to look.

That's a, uh ... great haircut?





*boooooop* *boop* *boop*

Audrey is always poking it. :-(

The outie belly button: just another one of those indignities of pregnancy. 


Past issues of "The Indignities of Pregnancy" (which are all from when I was pregnant with Audrey like 37 years ago):

Monday, May 18, 2015

In which I am punished by a toddler

So last weekend, I left for Vegas on Saturday morning and returned just as Audrey was going to bed on Monday night. For a kid in the throes of a "MOMMYMOMMYMOMMY" phase, this was apparently a cruel thing to do.

Now, don't get me wrong; Jesse is a great father, and he and Audrey really enjoyed their time together. Their relationship is the better for it. After all, Audrey really only prefers me when I'm around. If I'm not there, she doesn't really care that much and is happy with whoever is playing with her and reading her books. And she loved her Daddy weekend ... even though Daddy took her shopping on a dog leash :-/

Questionable, Jesse. Questionable.


I'm back now.

And Audrey was pissed, and had to punish me for leaving. Here are a few of the things she did last week to let me know that while she's happy I'm back, I am NOT to leave her again:

She hit me in the face with both hands

She had something she wasn't allowed to have, so I told her to give it back. She refused, so I took it out of her hands. 

And she wound up with both hands and smacked me right in the face, as hard as her pudgy little toddler hands would allow. She did this a few times when she was younger, but I always responded with a very stern "No!", an angry face, and a momentary withdrawal from whatever we were doing, and she quickly learned that hitting wasn't cool.

But the other day, she was angry enough at me that she hit me even though she knew it was wrong. And I said "NO!" and looked mad and told her "we DON'T hit," and then she got really sad and apologetic, but ultimately reminded me that I had driven her to it, and if I hadn't taken away the object in question, she never would have been forced to hit me. So really, the whole thing was my fault, when you get right down to it.

Ha ha just kidding; she cried and I hugged her and told her I loved her anyway, and she sat in my lap and snuggled me and hasn't tried to hit me since -- even when I wrestled her toothbrush away last night because she had dipped it in the bathwater but wanted to continue brushing her teeth with it. That's nasty, Audrey. You don't brush your teeth with bathwater.

She stole my chocolate

I had this box of fancy chocolate truffles that a friend got for me, and I had been slowly eating them at a rate of perhaps 4 per week. When it was a chocolate night, I would bring the whole box over to the couch and get myself comfortable before selecting my chocolate and savoring it slowly over the course of several minutes.

But then one night, I left the box of chocolates on the couch.

And the next morning, Audrey got it. And she pulled out one of the fancy truffles, walked over to the garbage can and threw away the little paper cup it sat in, and looked me right in the face before taking a bite.

I only had two chocolates left.

Now I have one.

She wouldn't share the chocolate or her cookies

I knew it wouldn't be right to take the chocolate away from her, since she'd found it fair and square and I knew that it was my own fault for leaving the box on the couch. If I tried to wrestle it away from her, she'd just have a big screaming fit, and then what was I supposed to do with it? She'd already put her mouth on it, so it's not like I was going to put it away and eat it later. So was I going to steal it out of her hand and then eat it myself right in front of her? How was that the better parenting option??

So I let her have it. But I asked her if I could have a bite.

And she was like "NO!" and shoved the whole thing in her mouth so I couldn't get it.

Also, last week, she got two cookies for snack at daycare just as I was picking her up, so we brought the cookies out to the car. As I was strapping her into her car seat, I asked if I could have a bite of one of her TWO cookies ... and once again, all she said was "NO!" and looked super offended. I leaned in to try and take a bite anyway, and she yanked the cookies away.

Nah, it's cool Audrey. Not like I ever do anything for YOU.

I let you dip your toast in my breakfast.
You weren't even eating the toast. You were just dipping it in whipped cream and sucking the whipped cream off the toast before coming back for more.

Also, she made me eat a Cheerio that had been on the floor for a day and a half and then had already been in her mouth. That's like ... the opposite of giving me some chocolate.

She took my underwear and hid them

Literally pulled them off my ankles while I was sitting down to pee (don't worry; I had just gotten dressed for work, so I only wore the underwear for a minute) and then shouted "MINE" and ran away and hid them somewhere. By the time I was able to chase after her, the underwear were in Narnia and I didn't have time to search for them. Had to put on a different pair. I'm sure we'll find the original underwear in like six years though.

Not cool, Audrey.

The moral of the story is, if you need to travel and leave your young children behind for any length of time, expect to pay the price for it. Your face may be smacked, your breakfast defaced, and your underwear may be stolen ... but sometimes, that's just life, I guess.

Oh and you might be savagely beaten with a balloon.

I got that balloon for her, too. So much regret.

This kid, I swear.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Las Vegas roundup 2015: I still hate that place

I'm back from my annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas, and I've got a few stories for you to enjoy. I still hate that terrible place, just so we're clear.

In which I try to take proper care of my fetus:

Doing this trip while 6 months pregnant is a rough situation from start to finish. When I got to the airport, they were using the stupid millimeter wave detection machine to scan people at security 

This stupid piece of shit.

... which meant that I had to opt out and have a TSA pat-down instead. Is that machine safe for pregnancy? Maybe. Probably. Not really. But at the end of the day, I'd just as soon NOT go through it than go through it, so alas I got a brief full-body massage from a large but friendly TSA employee. I felt good about myself, knowing that I had made the right choice to protect the baby inside me from damage.

... and then I spent the next two and a half days breathing a mix of 50% air conditioning and 50% secondhand smoke, because you can still smoke inside pretty much everywhere in Las Vegas. I also had sushi for dinner one night, because that's where everyone else wanted to go and because I LOOOOOVE sushi (and it's okay to do in moderation).

But hey, I opted for another pat-down on the trip home, which I'm sure totally made up for all the other damage poor Trevor had endured. I got your back, buddy.

In which the ATM angers me:

Knowing that I would be splitting checks with coworkers and such, I decided that I'd better get some cash out. So I went to the ATM and withdrew $100.

And that stupid f***ing ATM gave me this:

The only way this could have been more inconvenient would be if the machine spat out 100 Sacajawea golden dollar coins instead. At my face. At high speed.

A $100 bill? Seriously?? So then, I had to find one of those bill breaker machines and use that to turn my stupid $100 bill into twenties. So my trip to the ATM involved two separate transactions at two separate machines that were located roughly one mile away from each other.

Thanks, Vegas. I especially appreciated the $5.99 "convenience fee" you charged me for this incredible inconvenience. At least USAA refunds that shit, or else I'd probably be in jail right now.

In which I accidentally do the saddest thing in the world:

By midday Sunday, I was kind of peopled out. I don't consider myself an introvert by any stretch of the imagination, but apparently even I can reach a point where I need to not be around people I'm expected to talk to and socialize with. So I decided I would sneak off early and go out to lunch by myself. At a restaurant. I was gonna "table for one" it up and I was looking forward to it.

When I was younger, I thought that going out to eat at a restaurant by oneself was weird and sad, and totally something people looked at you funny for doing. But now that I'm older, I realize that nobody gives a single flying f*** about what anyone around them is doing (unless it's REALLY weird ... like if I went to lunch by myself whilst wearing a clown suit), so I have no problem treating myself to a lovely meal alone. Hell, I'll even order appetizers and dessert if I want to. When nobody's watching, you can do whatever the hell you like.

So I went to a restaurant in the Paris casino that I have been to before and that I know is good. And I walked up to the hostess, staring nervously at the giant crowd of waiting people, and said "umm, how long for a table for one?" And she responded that I could be seated right away. Woop woop! All these suckers waiting 45 minutes for a table should have considered being weird solo losers like me!

I got to my table and sat down. 

And was handed a brunch menu.

And then I realized: today is Sunday. Mother's Day.

I am at a Mother's Day brunch.

By myself.

This is the saddest thing I have ever done in my life.

See this woman, happily surrounded by her children and loved ones?
This was not me.

But you know what? It was f***ing outstanding. I had Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon on it (DELICIOUS) and hash browns and bread and butter and endless strong-tasting decaf coffee. I sat there looking around at everyone in the restaurant, watching people walk by out the window, and letting my exhausted brain rest. 

And I convinced myself that I wasn't out to brunch alone at all, but rather that Trevor-the-fetus was treating me to a nice mother-son brunch. How sweet of him! Audrey, how come you never take me out to brunch? WHY CAN'T YOU BE MORE LIKE YOUR BROTHER.

In which I learn that I am lucky to be married:

So it turns out that I find pretty much everything that is currently in style for young men to be absolutely repulsive. At the airport in Vegas, as I prepared to head home, I saw all these groups of guys and my thoughts were pretty universally "ugh". 

The Hitler Youth haircut -- ugh. The light linen button-down shirts that are unbuttoned to halfway down the chest to show off some wisps of chest hair -- ugh. The tight pants -- ugh. The beards -- ugh. The goatee with very light facial hair over the rest of the face -- ugh. The brightly-colored tight-fitting board shorts -- ugh. The loafers and boat shoes -- ugh.

The "Hitler Youth" look: short on the sides, long on the top, combed over to one side.

If I were single and trying to date right now, it would not be a good time. I'd have to start dating women. Women always look good. And they can't grow rapey facial hair, which is a huge bonus.

Also, one guy had the Hitler Youth haircut but the hair on top was so long that he had pulled it into a little ponytail in the back.

This guy even has the rapey facial hair.
Double ugh.

Thank God I'm married. To a guy in the military. Whose hair is usually cut by me. If Jesse ever loses his mind and is like "leave the top a little longer this time," I can just be like "Oops, I forgot that the smaller numbers mean the haircut is shorter, not longer! MY BAD."

Not in my house, bitches. Not in my house.

But I'm back now. And not a moment too soon. Smell ya later, stupid Vegas.

You did look pretty nice from the turnaround point on my morning walk, though. But you'll never hear me say that out loud.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Toddler Projects: the most important things on earth that you will never understand

Being the parent of a toddler can be very challenging. They're moody, they're sassy, they're whiny, they're demanding ...

But they also have this independent streak that cracks me right the hell up. And I think my absolute FAVORITE part of toddler parenting is when Audrey embarks on some "toddler project" that completely engrosses her while making no sense whatsoever to me.

Here are a few toddler projects that have monopolized Audrey's attention recently:

Operation Lego Shoe

On its surface, Operation Lego Shoe was simple: the goal of the project was to fill my shoes with Legos, for unknown purposes. But in practice, the project was far, far more complex than any of us could ever understand.

Operation Lego Shoe began when Audrey took a pair of my running shoes and placed them on the second stair over by the front door. She then toddled down the entire front hallway to her bin of Legos and chose a bunny figurine, carrying it carefully down the hallway back to the front door and placing the bunny figurine inside my right shoe.

She then went back down the hallway to the bin of Legos and selected a chicken figurine. This was carried back to the front door and placed inside the left shoe.

Next was another bunny figurine, followed by a Lego person. A pink brick was offered to her, but she scoffed. It was not the time for pink bricks. We weren't yet to that stage of Operation Lego shoe.

Back and forth she went between the shoes and the Lego bin, carrying a single Lego piece with her each time. The piece was always carefully selected, after multiple different pieces had been examined and discarded. By what criteria was she judging the suitability of each Lego? She had begun with the figurines, clearly, but once those were all inside a shoe (left or right depending on some other, different criteria that we were not privy to), she was choosing bricks to put into shoes. How could any one brick be deemed better than another? Was it based on color? Shape? Just a gut feeling she had?

I don't know. All I know is that she was putting Legos into my shoes one by one for almost thirty minutes. And when she was finished, nobody was allowed to touch the Lego shoes, so they remained on the stairs until after she had gone to bed.

For all I know, those shoes filled with Lego saved all our lives that day. In fact, I'm almost certain they did. And if a single Lego chicken had been placed into the right shoe instead of the left ... I shudder to think what would have happened to us. 

Operation Car Track

Audrey has a Little People car track that she got for Christmas.

Look how bitchin' this thing is! You know you jelly.

At first, she was really too young to appreciate it and mostly just liked to watch as I sent the cars down the track over and over. 

But now, she's old enough to grasp the basic physics of it, which means she not only plays with it, but ... performs experiments. Lots and lots of experiments. I call this Operation Car Track.

I have caught her putting a binkie with a plastic backing down the ball track: 
Rating: 6/10. Made it all the way down, but very slowly.

She has put her 100% silicone binkie down the ball track:
Rating: 1/10. Only moved an inch or two before becoming stuck.

A sippie cup full of milk:
Rating: 0/10. Required Daddy's help to get it out from where it was wedged in a turn.

Some scraps of ripped paper:

Rating: 1/10. Mostly fell through the holes in the track. Each scrap of paper seemed to behave in the same manner. Tested six scraps.

A crayon:

Rating: 3/10. Moved several inches but had no ability to negotiate turns.

A plastic ball from a different toy:

Rating 11/10. Holy shit, this thing had so much speed by the end that it launched itself across the kitchen and under a shelf in the pantry.

So many times I have been searching for something around the house and found it wedged into Audrey's damn car track. So many times.

At least she's curious? :-/

Operation Lego Stick

Audrey has just recently learned how to stick Legos together. When you think about it, this feat requires kind of a lot of coordination. I mean, you have to hold two pieces with them both facing the same direction, and then you have to line up the corners perfectly and push them together until they click into place. Considering that newborn babies don't even have the ability to hold things at all, this is pretty impressive.

The thing is, she can ONLY pull this off with the square pieces. Anything bigger or more complex than that just melts her little mind.

Pictured: Professional-level Legoing.

So she builds sticks. Sticks of square piece after square piece after square piece. As many as she can find in her bin, she just adds on to the bottom of her stick. She becomes so engrossed in this project that you could offer her a binkie made of cheese and she'd still ignore you.

The trouble is, her stick starts getting really really long, and then it becomes unstable. She tries to hold onto it and add another piece to the bottom, face locked in concentration, but then she applies leverage to the wrong spot and the stick breaks in half.

"Uh oh!" she announces, picking up the broken stick pieces and trying to put them back together. But now everything goes wrong. Every point of leverage becomes a point of weakness. Her two stick pieces become four pieces, then six. She is furiously angry and throws the Legos down, scattering them violently with her hands like she's salting the earth to make sure nothing ever grows again.

And that's how Operation Lego Stick always ends. I've tried helping her by repairing the stick, but she just gets even angrier, like I'm showing off or something.

Which, if I'm honest, I kind of am. It's not often that I get to feel superior to someone, and I take what I can get.

Operation Inventory Collection (incomplete)

Audrey was packing supplies to take to daycare one day, putting them into a little bowl. She packed several binkies and a doll headband. Originally, there was also a measuring dropper for liquid medication, but at the last minute she decided she didn't need that (and didn't want to carry the extra weight, obviously), so it was discarded.

When it came time to head out to the car, she made one final stop on the lawn to add the critical final items on her list: two seed pods from our front yard.

Once the bowl was packed, I tried to take it away from her. Instant meltdown. Okay fine, keep the bowl. Doesn't hurt me any.

Then she got in the car and I gave her a cracker. She had to set down her bowl in order to eat the cracker, but it fell out of her car seat and spilled its contents everywhere. Meltdown. Meltdown intensified when we arrived at daycare and I wouldn't let her take the seed pods inside with her.

She's obsessed with these f***ing things.

I don't know what she needed all that stuff for, but I can only imagine that if I hadn't taken it away from her, she'd either be on the moon or at the top of Mt. Everest right now.

Operation Binkie Cup

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find the ideal containment device for all your binkies? Something that fits them all perfectly, is safe from accidental spillage, but is also easy enough to access when you find that you need one?

Of course you don't; you couldn't possibly understand!

Operation Binkie Cup followed several other failed operations. Operation Binkie Bag, Operation Binkie Bowl, Operation Binkie Box ...

But then she tried stuffing all the binkies into an empty sippy cup that had just come out of the dishwasher. And it was like the Heavens opened up and light shone down and music played. It was so perfect!

Of course, once the perfection of the cup as a binkie storage facility had been established, Audrey then had to continue to experiment to find the perfect order in which to put the binkies into the cup. I'm not sure what her definition of "perfect" was, but it sure took her a while to figure it out. Binkies in the cup, binkies dumped out of the cup. Binkies in the cup in a different way. Binkies stirred with hand. Certain binkies carefully removed from the cup. Binkies replaced in the cup.

Once she had it exactly how she wanted it, she ... dumped all the binkies on the floor, walked away to play with something else, and has never attempted to put the binkies in the cup again.

Toddlers are f***ing weird, man.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Drawing Practice: How to draw a terrible frog step by step

Drawing frogs is hard. I know because I just drew this:

Do frogs have cow spots? I assume they do, because otherwise this frog wouldn't have them. Also, just noticed I didn't color in all the spots. Don't you worry about that.

My other forays into drawing practice have been unqualified successes. Don't believe me? Look how fabulously I can draw an elephant-shark now: 
I think something may have gone wrong with this.

So now, we're gonna learn how to properly draw beautiful, awe-inspiring frogs!!!


This frog looks kind of ... rapey.

Patent's Patented Frog 1:
This frog looks VERY rapey.

Let's just pretend this one never happened and start over with something else.

The more "technical" or "medical" looking frog. THESE ARE USUALLY REALLY HARD. I'M NERVOUS GUYS.

Patent's Patented Frog 2:

Damn son, this frog looks dope as f***. I could illustrate a whole children's book with frogs like this guy. In fact, I SHOULD DO THAT.

Alright, who wants to publish this shit? I don't have a title yet, but that part should be easy.

Look how adorable this fella is! And look how easy it will be to draw!!! Even I can't possibly screw this one up!

Patent's Patented Frog 3:

HE'S ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!
There's just one thing missing, I think ...

A pair of sinister eyebrows:

Now it's perfect.

(and if you liked the addition of the sinister eyebrows, maybe it's time to revisit this old post about adding eyebrows to smiling characters. I forgot how creepy these f***ers got.)


Here's one that was just made for me: a frog that looks derpy as hell from the get-go. Really plays to my strengths.

As usual, I like to show off my drawing skillz with at least one animated GIF ... and today is no exception! So here we have ...


And the final product:

He looks like you just told him something SUPER awkward.

Why did you do that?

Do you have no concept of what is appropriate to say and when?

Jeez. Learn some tact already.

And I can't wait to write my children's book. There will be so many characters ...

And they will all be hideous.