Category Archives: Good Baby

Daddy’s new favorite museum

Finally checked out the newish Grammy Museum downtown and lemme tell ya, that place is a SAHD’s best friend. The day we went was a free day — which was even cooler because admission is kinda pricey at $12.99 a head — and we didn’t have much time, but, man, did we have fun.

The exhibits are cool, the layout is totally unique (the three-story museum is small and narrow, but packed with state-of-the-art awesomeness!) but best of all, almost everything in there is totally interactive. We had to literally pry Greta away from the headphones in the Soul section. Seriously, she was rocking out!

And cooler still is the fact that all of the best interactive displays are completely kid-friendly and easy-as-pie to use. And since the place is so small, you can explore the entire third floor and still see your kid while they listen to music at one of the dozens of listening stations. Cool, huh?

Trust me, I’ve been to lots of kid-friendly museums since Greta was born, but, this one beats them all to hell. She could have spent the whole day there. Which means I could spend the whole day there and not have to worry about her getting lost or stolen or something. Hooray!

All I know is that next time we go, I’m going early and bringing my laptop or maybe a book to read or something while the museum babysits my kid. Hmmm…I wonder if they have Wi-Fi?

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Inappropriate Elimination

Ever had one of those weeks where you have a bunch of people coming into town or some big event or just a bunch of stuff happening in a few days and instead of doing anything useful until those days arrive…you totally waste every waking minute not doing anything constructive? Like you’ve got so much shit to do that you can’t decide what to do first, so, you check Facebook instead? Well, that’s what this past week has been like for me.

I cleaned up the house after the Oscar party on Monday, introduced Greta to the multi-cultural thrills of Mexican Lotería on Tuesday, and mourned Davy Jones on Wednesday — seriously, aside from a trip to the park, that’s kinda all I did today — and now, with the first of several houseguests arriving sometime tomorrow, I have tons of crap to do and no time. Oh well, at least the house is clean. Kinda. Well, lets just say it’s clean enough for the houseguest we have staying with us first.

Anyway, in the midst of all this craziness we bought a new cat box for our woefully-neglected cat, Nigella. Not thinking anything of it, I chucked the old litter box in the garbage on garbage day, so, it was gone, like, permanently, before I realized that Nigella hates and will not use her shiny new litter box. Not only did she shit on the carpet (twice), but Greta and I actually watched her pee on the rug behind the kitchen table while we played Lotería. WTF, cat?!!

I’m sorry, but, I went off on that poor kitty. In case P.E.T.A. or the SPCA is reading, I won’t go into details, but, there was a lot of kitty nose rubbing in piss and swearing going on. Greta, of course, found the entire episode hilarious and only stopped laughing long enough to remind me that I was using several of the very worst words on our “bad words” list. Oy…what a night. And then, of course, I couldn’t sleep. Every noise I heard sounded like an angry, abused cat pissing on my laptop bag or the fancy blue chair in the living room. So, I turned to Google.

Turns out there is a term for a cat not using their litter box, it’s called “inappropriate elimination”. And the experts agree that the best way to avoid inappropriate elimination is to place your new cat box side by side with the old one until the cat transitions over. Of course, that makes perfect sense. But, as I mentioned above, our old cat box was halfway to the recycling center before I realized I still needed it. Lucky me.

I know it sounds mean, but, my patience for kitty potty drama — or kitty drama of any kind, if I’m being honest — is pretty much non-existent since Greta came along. It’s terrible, I know, but, I just don’t have the time or energy to monitor one more living thing. Urgh…poor, Nigella. Life will get better for you when Greta gets older, I promise.

Anyway, just this morning, the cat finally used her box for the first time. Greta was thrilled: “Look, Daddy, Nigella made a big poopy in her box!” And I was relieved, but, still a little suspicious. So, all I can do now is keep our valuables off the floor, make sure Greta’s bedroom door is always closed, and pray that the cat doesn’t inappropriately eliminate on any of us while we sleep.

Like I said, it’s been a long week…

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A Perfect Day

I know I’m tempting fate by calling anything in my life perfect right now, but, yesterday was my wife’s birthday and, lemme tell ya, it was kinda perfect. Happy, fun, sunny and overflowing with yummy food and birthday cake…seriously, the only thing that would have made the day better was if it had been my birthday instead of hers.

So, thank you, weather, food, traffic and birthday Gods, you guys rocked it. Oh, and Greta was awesome too — even after spending two plus hours appreciating art at the Getty Center! — so, good on you too, cutie. And finally, happy birthday, Sweetie! Any woman that surrenders their free Denny’s Grand Slam to her husband on their birthday is cool with me!

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Barbie Scenario Building 101

Aha! After years of searching, I think I found my life’s true calling today, and it’s not writing or even parenting, but, rather a strange combination of the two. For lack of a better word, I call it Barbie Scenario Building, and this is how it works. I play one round of very descriptive, narrative-heavy Barbies with Greta — every story has a villain, a nice arc for the male and female leads, and several colorful co-stars to keep things light and fun — and then I’m out. And if I did my work well and gave her a great story to play off of, she’ll start from the beginning and play it all over again by herself so I can, you know, do the dishes and go to the bathroom and stuff.

When it works, it’s awesome. She’s happy, I’m happy, the Barbies are happy. But, when my scenario building fails (hey, they can’t all be winners) well, then you actually have to sit down and play Barbies for a while. Don’t get me wrong, I am totally down with playing Barbies with Greta — in fact, if I could get paid for doing that all day, well, hell, we might just be able to buy that new Paul Frank Barbie bedroom set we’ve had our eyes on — but, sometimes, even Daddy needs a break.

So, that’s where Barbie Scenario Building comes in handy. Think up some cool, exciting situations, lay out a compelling, funny narrative and you’re good to go. Oh, I should add here that Greta already cooks up some rocking Barbie scenarios on her own. I’m not kidding, her imagination knows no bounds. Everything is always extremely descriptive and she’s already a pro at making up different voices too! Her Ken is hilarious, and her Robot Ken (a new addition to our troupe) is even better!

But when she’s tired, or sad, or simply finds that her Barbie play needs a little injection of juicy, high-octane, Hollywood drama, well, let’s just say she knows who to come to…

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A chipped beef Christmas

OK, so, last time I wrote, Greta had proclaimed herself “healed”. Well…big shocker…she wasn’t. In fact, since my last post, she has been pooping up strangely cream-colored gravy. I know that sounds gross, my apologies if you’re eating your lunch or something when you read this, but, that’s what it looked like. Pale gravy.

Actually, I’m feeling the writerly compulsion to get a little more specific than “pale gravy” here. So, weak-stomached readers, please, feel free to totally free skip to the next paragraph. Anyway, when I was a kid my Step Mom used to buy these weird chipped beef and gravy packets for us. They came in these little plastic baggies that you plopped into boiling water for a couple of minutes and then slit them open and poured the chipped beef, gravy and everything over some toast. I remember it being pretty yummy, but, man alive, it looked like shit. Literally. And now, I can say with some certainty that it looked exactly like what Greta was serving up late last week. Chipped beef deluxe. Extra runny.

Anyway, so, she’s got the shits — or as she so eloquently put it as she thrust her crap-covered hand in my face on Wednesday morning: “Daddy, I threw up in my butt!” — for a couple of days. Then I get the shits, real bad. Then, my Mom arrives Friday afternoon ready to drive with us to my Grandparents house in the middle of nowhere for their annual, all-family, early-Christmas blow-out. Deep down I knew we shouldn’t have gone, but, hey, we were already packed, Mrs. Yeti was working all weekend, and, hello, my Mom did drive way out of her way to commute with us to Grandpa’s. So, I popped my daily limit of shit pills, changed Greta for the tenth time that morning and hit the road. On a Friday. At rush hour. In Los Angeles. As you can imagine, it was a lovely ride.

What should have been an hour-and-a-half drive turned into a three-and-a-half hour slog from hell. I’m not kidding, walking would have been faster. So, we get there, hang out a little bit and have some pizza. Yeah, I know, bad idea. Actually, the pizza was the first of several bad ideas. Let me just say this, when you’re shitting brown water in the morning and you cork it up with diarrhea pills in the afternoon and then hop into the car for a three-and-a-half-hour slow boat to China, pizza is not your friend. I literally felt like I was gonna explode after I ate my first piece. I drank a soda to help me burp it down a bit, but, nothing worked. I couldn’t burp, I couldn’t fart, I couldn’t poo…urgh…I felt like Augustus Gloop stuck in that chocolate tunnel in “Willy Wonka”. Ah, who am I kidding? It felt like Augustus Gloop was stuck in my chocolate tunnel and I wanted him OUT!

So, we’re tired, our hosts are tired (or just old and cranky, it’s hard to tell the difference sometimes) and right before we go to bed Greta, who ate like, two bites of pizza, decides she wants to eat some Cheetos. Ding! Bad idea number two. But, hey, I’m bloated, totally stopped-up and exhausted, so, what the hell, you wanna eat Cheetos in bed? Eat up, kid.

A few Cheetos in, she finally falls asleep, I do too and six or so hours later I have the mother of all bowel movements. I swear to God, I thought I was gonna crack the toilet wide open with that epic, hard-ass turd. Whoo-hoo! But, lemme tell ya, it was heaven sent, baby. And I went back to bed feeling absolutely glorious.

Until about two hours later, when I awoke just in time for Greta to barf on my face. Yep. She got my ear too, but, trust me, the face is the worst. Of course, she was covered in Cheetos-tinted barf as well, so, I stripped her down, stripped the bed and woke up my Mom for assistance. God bless her, she woke up, stared incredulously at the two of us for a minute and then got down to business.

People weren’t due to arrive for the party till 1:00PM, but, we both knew that Grandma would be up in a couple of hours and that the last thing she’d wanna see is a barfy crime scene in her guest bedroom, so, Mom and I worked fast to get that shit cleaned up. And we did. Note to self: If I ever kill someone and need to cover it up…call Mom!

So, the room looked great, but, Greta and I still felt like shit. There was talk of us leaving, but, Greta’s beloved giraffe (who also took a dousing in the face when Mt. Greta erupted that morning) was still in the dryer and Greta had finally fallen into a deep, much-needed slumber, so,we figured we’d stay and see how she felt when she woke up.

Luckily for all of us, Greta felt much better after her long mid-morning nap, so, we stayed. I was still dragging my ass — I have a feeling “dragging my ass” is the new normal this holiday season — but, we ended up having a really awesome time hanging with my Grandparents and the extended family, so, I’m really glad we stayed around.

In fact, I know it sounds kinda corny, but, I think we were healed by the magic of Christmas. Once everybody started to arrive for the party, and they cranked up the Christmas music, and the food and drinks started flowing, I genuinely started to feel better. Greta too. It sounds crazy, but, maybe two cc’s of Christmas cheer was all we needed to get right back on track. Or maybe it was just the food and baked goods (which were out-fucking-standing!).

Either way, the good news is that father and child are on the mend and we still have a whole week till Christmas. So, bring on the Christmas week adventures!

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Christmas presents wrapped: check

Urgh, what a day. Greta was kinda sluggish and tired all day, no fever or anything, just a general blah-ness I guess. Anyway, she skipped her nap and then fell into a deep, deep sleep right before we ate dinner. Mrs. Yeti and I decided she needed the sleep and figured she’d probably sleep through the night…but, guess what happened? Yep, you got it. She woke up four hours later and proclaimed herself “healed”. Yes, she actually said that, it was hilarious.

So, seeing as it was well after midnight, guess who got to stay up with the newly healed patient? Right again! Honestly, it was no big deal and it was kinda fun to hang with her since she’d been so blah all day, but the best news of all is that we spent our time together wrapping the bulk of our Christmas presents. Meaning, most of the bigger boxes and all of the stuff we bought Mrs. Yeti. So, hooray for us, our beautiful little tree actually has presents under it!

Now, if I could just get those damned Christmas cards started all would be right with the world…

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You’ve come a long way, baby…

Yesterday was Greta’s last ballet class of the year and to celebrate this monumental event, her teacher, Miss Sommer, let the parents actually sit in the studio and take pics and video of the class in session. We invited my brother and his wife (aka Uncle Guy Guy and Aunt Laura) and this is the perfect snapshot he captured of Greta in the studio.

As you can see from the confident little glint in her eyes, any initial fears she may have had about taking a ballet/tap class are long gone and she’s just as hammy when cameras are around as the rest of us. Ha! Congrats on your first three months as a ballerina, sweetie. Long may you jeté!

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Riding out the Santa Ana winds…

It’s 4:30AM and the wind is seriously howling outside. I mean, like, the worst Santa Ana winds we’ve had since we’ve lived down here, which has been like, forever. I wish I had the energy to record the sounds for you, so scary!

And howling winds outside, of course, means non-sleeping toddler, which means, non-sleeping Daddy. So, in order to spare Mrs. Yeti the agony of our tossing and turning in bed at every fallen tree branch outside — at least I hope that’s what I’m hearing, who knows? — Greta and I have moved to the living room for the duration of the storm.

Yep, nothing like a little Raisin Bran and “Parenthood” to get your mind off the insanity outside. Has anybody but us been watching that show this season? It is FANTASTIC. Really great shit and if you have kids, it’s even better…actually, it’s almost too realistic sometimes, but, I love it. And Greta likes all the kids on the show, so, it has become our late-night “story” of choice.

Anyway, back to the bunker of blankets on the couch. Here’s hoping one (or both!) of us will fall asleep before the power goes out and we really start wigging. Yikes…

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A head cold for Thanksgiving…

What’s better than driving two-plus hours to San Diego in the dead of night on the heaviest traffic day of the year? Doing it with a raging head cold. Urgh…I suppose it could be worse, but, man, colds are just so fucking annoying…especially during the holidays!

The upside is that no one will let me near the food prep tomorrow at my Mom’s house, so, I guess I’ll be watching the parade with Greta all day on the couch. Yay! Oh yeah, the other upside is that Greta keeps asking me if I’m sad — apparently I look as good as I feel — and when I tell her that I’m just not feeling well, she hugs the shit outta me and whispers: “It’s OK, Daddy.” So cute!

Of course, it won’t be so cute if she gets a cold too…but, hey, we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. Happy Thanksgiving, amigos, hope it’s a good one!

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Halloween Pics (2011)

As promised, here are the pics from our handmade Halloween 2011. As I mentioned before, Greta went as an adorable Blue Fairy and Grandma as a forest nymph, or, Mother Nature. Either way, she looked appropriately woodsy and totally awesome!

Mrs. Yeti went as Little Red Riding Hood, and though it might not register on first viewing, I was supposed to be the Wolf. Unfortunately, every wolf mask I tried on scared the hell outta Greta, so, I ended up making my own mask out of brown felt and some corduroy scraps I found in Mrs. Yeti’s sewing closet. I think it looks a little woodsy owl-ish up close, but, hey, at least the girls looked good!

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