Wednesday, May 27, 2009


On Saturday May 16th K8 and I had a date night planned. We had a babysitter coming to watch the boys so we could go out for sushi, K8 was finally willing to venture beyond the California Roll, then a slow walk around Lake of the Isles like we used to pre-kids. Before the babysitter arrived K8 happened to check her email and find an offer of employment from the United States Department of State.

K8's pursuit of a position in the Foreign Service started over a year ago as one of those things that you say "Why not? It doesn't hurt to try. It's not like I would actually get the job anyway." Well it looks like she got the job and we are in for the biggest change of our lives. While we bravely sampled uncooked creatures of the sea at Fuji-Ya we discussed all the changes and possibilities, fears and hopes, and the vast chasm of what we didn't know.

As we talked Q's voice began to ring louder and louder in my head. "On to adventure!", he would announce as he jumped off various surfaces. "On to adventure!", he proclaimed as he raced around the block on his big wheel. "On to adventure.", I replied to K8's questioning eyes filled with excitement and fear. "On to adventure!" Nothing like committing to upending your family's future over octopus, river eel, and Sake-tinis.

Since then there has been much research and daydreaming with small spurts of planning. By late July we will be living in Washington D.C. By mid August we will know where in the great wide world our government will be sending us. Until then it's not really worth stressing out over where we will be posted. We've got enough to occupy us with trying to sell our house and planning the move to DC.

Now that we've had some time to really come to terms with all this means to us and the boys, we are bursting with excitement... excitement and fear. Because leaving a life in a city you love filled with the best friends you could ever ask for, giving up close proximity to the family that is more important than you could ever express to them, and abandoning a standard of living provided by a sky-rocketing career that K8 worked so hard and long to achieve is scary, scary as fucking hell. But, as the saying goes, "Don't regret fear, fear regret."



Friday, March 27, 2009

Hot Wheels

I'm sure everyone is already covering Tesla's new Model S, concentrating on it's 300 mile range, 45 minute charge time, quickly interchangeable battery, and it's sleek styling. That is all awesome, but what blew me away is their claim that it seats 7. Add in the storage in the hatchback and under the hood and you've got room for the kids and all the stuff that goes with them... in an electric car!

This is what a family car should be. No exhaust that you have to tell your kids to stay out of. No oil changes. Damn, I what this car. Well, I've got till 2011 to save up $50,000.

I wonder if Hot Wheels will make an orange version of this one to add to our collection.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

...and it was still hot

The popular children's classic Where The Wild Things Are + Dave Eggers + Spike Jonze =

I'm so excited to see this I can hardly contain myself.

Edit: If anyone knows where I can get this movie poster I will love them forever.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's Kinda Funny

It's kinda funny how I have a hard time spending more than $20 on a shirt for myself but it took all my willpower to not buy every one of the new Monster Republic shirts (about $40 each) for the boys at Siji Kids. Though they have some seriously great deals on last season's stuff, in store and online.

It's kinda funny how putting the word "the" in front of something can make it seam so much more severe. "Ozzi has croup." Ozzi has the croup." See?

It's kinda funny how Facebook can cause blog-killing neglect.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Three Infections and One Birthday

We have a half eaten Chocolate Chocolate Cake from Cafe Latte on the kitchen counter, left over from K8's Birthday, begging me to add it to my already thick winter layer of all natural personal insulation. We have three separate prescriptions of Amoxicillin being administered at the prescribed regular intervals to all but me. We have Charlie Chaplin's The Kid in the DVD player reminding us of our nation's past and possible future. The house is a disaster of toys, clothing, and food shrapnel and I am without the gumption to remedy such overwhelming domestic intranquility. All gumption was exhausted the other day in meticulously, and lovingly, manufacturing the tiny 3D Q and O earrings out of origami paper. There is only one thing that can save me from this morose state of being. Beastie Boys. Loud, loud, Beastie Boys.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

GE puts the whole smart grid world in your hands

Some awesome internet magic that will totally impress your kids.

The OC

Wazzup kids! My supremely judicial home-girl, Sandra Day O'Connor, or as I call her Sandy D, is on da scene droppin' some old school civics knowledge on your new school IMing behinds. fools, check it!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What The.....

The most bizarre thing you will most likely see today, the Barreleye Fish, Macropinna microstoma.

Quote of the Day

Q and Ozzi are wrestling around, Ozzi goes bonk, and Ozzi starts to cry.

Q: "Sorry Ozzi."

He picks up a nearby toy and hands it to Ozzi.

Q: "Here's a little somethin' for your trouble."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Information Regurgitation

A few more things found on the internets that I think are worth passing on.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

Surf's Up

Yet another tool for my quest to have my boys win the National Geography Bee someday.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Speaking Of MIT

We've been updating/playing with Q's XO Laptop a lot over the last few days.

Q: "Who made my 'puter?"
Me: "It was designed by people at a university called MIT. It's a school where you learn how to create and invent super-cool new computers, robots, and stuff."
Q: "Can I go to school there?"
Me: "Absolutely. You work hard enough you can go where ever you want."

Then someday you can invent a new toy that is so awesome it makes a stay at home dad almost shit his pants when he watches the video of you showing it off at TED just like David Merrill did today.

Lazy Friday Link Dump

Yesterday was Charles Darwin's 200th Birthday and all week GeekDad has been celebrating with all sorts of naturally selected posts about introducing young minds to the fascinating world of Evolution.

MIT Media Lab does it again with Topobo, a robot toy that is brilliant in its simplicity.

Leonardo's Basement makes me wish the boys would grow up even faster.

Monday, February 9, 2009

My Funny Valentine

I am not a big fan of what Valentine's Day has become. I don't deplore romance or flowers or even the occasional tacky gift and I think it's good for us to have a day reserved to remind us to show a little love. My issue with Valentine's Day is the lazy consumerism of it all. IMHO Valentines Day is a holiday for simple handmade expressions. Flowers and chocolates are fine but apply a little creativity and personalization to it in some way. Valentine's Day was made for crayons, scissors, and glue sticks.

One year I made a "Vouchers Of Love" coupon book to go with a few bottles of K8's favorite wine. Another year I bought 50 Spider-Man valentines, wrote a different little note on each one, and hid them all over in K8's stuff. This year most of my handmade efforts have gone to Q's valentines for preschool.

Thank God for ArtScraps and small class sizes!

The one plan for K8 this year I will disclose is two tickets to Romeo & Juliet at The Children's Theatre Company.

Droppin' Science

Q's ever-growing interest in the world around him is really beginning to play into my dorky hands. Not that I have an extensive scientific knowledge, I just love discovery and I seem to be passing that on to Q. He gets almost as excited as I do about discovering something new, even if it only holds his attention for 5 seconds before he runs off to something else.

After Q watched an episode of Curious George in which George did something similar, he told me he wanted to put nuts and seeds in some water, freeze it, and put it out for the squirrels to chip away at. Quite entertaining!

The Science Museum of Minnesota here in St. Paul has catered to our schedule and returned their Preschool Playdate to Monday mornings. Sweet. This will probably motivate us to finally add them to our stack of membership cards. Until then, they still offer Children's Museum members reciprocity during the Preschool Playdate. The new Water exhibit is pretty cool with the water vapor entrance being the highlight for Q.

From what I've seen on YouTube and a few blogs, A LOT of parents took advantage of the extreme cold over the past month or so with the throwing a cup of really hot water into the air to make an instant "cloud" trick. We did too. Q's Oh's and Ah's were worth the minor frostbite. We never did get bubbles to freeze though.

A parent of a preschooler is only as good as his tools... or is that a carpenter? I don't remember. Anyway, we've recently acquired a few useful "instruments of science". Both boys have been having a lot of fun playing with a small prism we got. Q has been begging for a magnifying lens for a few weeks now so I finally caved when he found one with two LEDs on it for less than $5 at the Science Museum. Now he spends many of Ozzi's nap times inspecting our small rock, fossil, shell, and coral collection we have to keep out of reach while Ozzi's awake. The best new tool of all is my new G1 phone. With mobile access to Wikipedia, YouTube, Google Maps, etc. there is no question that Q can ask that I can't answer right on the spot. Awesome!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Food Ingredient Decoder

This food ingredient decoder from Kashi is a handy resource online to help you understand what all those ingredients in little Timmy's Fruit Loops are.

Raising Minnesota

This past weekend Q and I made it out to Medicine Lake for the Art Shanty Project. Since then I've been pondering getting involved next year and trying to build an ice shack of my own. I have no idea what I would do but you know it would be kid oriented.

You still have a little bit of time to make it out onto the ice to check out the wackiness for yourself. It all ends Feb. 14.

Monday, February 2, 2009


It was a rough weekend. K8 spent the whole weekend with a nasty sinus headache that just wouldn't let go. Ouch.

Ozzi has a giant welt in the center of his forehead. It looks like the corner of the coffee table has converted him to Hinduism. Maybe Ganesha will make his new cold go away. Double ouch.

I have a wonderful little bruise across the bridge of my nose after being attacked by my ladder while trying to force it into a pile of snow and ice. Though considering the level of disregard for my personal safety while I attempted to remove the ice dams on our roof, I should consider myself lucky that's all I got, but still, ouch.

K8 has been doing a damn good job balancing a demanding career with getting in quality time with the boys. Yet Q, it seems, has entered a catholic mother phase in which he has taken it upon himself to break K8's will with guilt. I don't know how many times Q told K8 to, "Go to work for just a little bit then come home." All of my attempts to explain why mom has to go to work, that he's lucky to see her as much as he does, and that for many kids both parents go to work everyday are disregarded. The cliche "starving kids in Africa" speeches swim just below the surface. Then this morning Q and I have this conversation.
"Papa, Barack Obama lives in the White House?"
"Yep, now that he's president he lives in the White House."
"And he works in the White House too?"
"Yeah, his office is in the White House too."
He ponders this for a few seconds, making connections.
"Papa, I want MomMom to be president."
"Umm, No. No you don't."


Thursday, January 29, 2009

"Mr. Mom" In The News

Yesterday morning the Today Show did a little story about the current economic downturn boosting stay at home dad numbers. They do make a few good points specifically for those dads that have been laid off and a few good tips in general. But unfortunately they also, to a certain extent, implied that stay at home dads are "forced" into staying at home and that "Most dads don't know what they are doing."

The other thing that bothers me and most other stay at home dads is the common use of "Mr. Mom". Look, I understand that it was a popular movie and that it is often the only frame of reference for many people when it comes to SAHDs. What I don't understand is why the use of this term doesn't bother most women. Calling me "Mr. Mom" blatantly implies that caring for my children and maintaining a home is "woman's work". That shouldn't just bother me, it should offend most anyone. To put it another way; When the Today Show does a story on the rise of women filling CEO positions will they use "Playing Mrs. Dad" for the title?