Category Archives: Health

Leonardo DiCaprio on Climate Change

OK, I know I just posted a clip of an actor getting all political at the UN General Assembly, but, here's another one. This time it's a very hairy Leonardo DiCaprio talking climate change.

Short, sweet and to the point, the newly-appointed “UN Messenger of Peace,” DiCaprio, says what most of us were thinking last week as the heat in the Southland became almost unbearable: wise up, world, climate change is very real! To quote the man of the hour himself: “You can make history … or be vilified by it!” Amen, brother! Now, about that crazy Unabomber beard…


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Swimming Lessons (2014)

Greta started her third year of swimming lessons this week — hard to believe she's been doing anything for three summers already, but she has — and though I still have some issues with the cleanliness of the pool's locker room and outdoor shower area, so far, things are going great.

Her teacher is very cool, the class size is much smaller than last year (there are six kids in her class versus last year's whopping 12-14!) and best of all, the pool finally got some chairs for parents to sit on. I've noticed that you have to get there kind of early to score a chair, but, hey, if that's what it takes, I'll be there before roll call every day!

Anyway, as you can imagine, I'm taking loads of pics every day (from the comfort of my awesome new deck chair!) but, this one seemed to sum up the unbridled joy of summer swimming lessons better than all of them combined, so…enjoy!

Greta's Swimming Lessons (June 2014)


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Greta’s glasses: Update

Sorry for not posting for a while, but work and the rigors of raising a tiny human being have been keeping me on my toes more than normal. I don’t know if it’s the pre-summer rush or what, but, life around the Yeti household has been pretty insane of late and, for better or worse, time has been flying by these days.

That said, I wanted to take a minute to give you an update on Greta’s eyeglass situation. We had our one month follow-up appointment with her eye doctor yesterday and not only did Greta do better on every vision test she took, but, the doctor said her eyesight has improved almost three times over since she started wearing glasses! Yay!

Greta at the eye doctor's (April 25, 2014)

I know we still have a long way to go, but, I could not have been prouder of my little bespeckled biscuit that day. Hearing her rattle off the shapes on the eye chart — most of which were too blurry for her to identify last time — filled my old withered heart with joy. Seriously, it was really cool, especially considering the fact that she’s only been wearing glasses for a little over a month!

But perhaps even cooler than the results of her most recent eye test is the fact that Greta genuinely enjoys wearing her little green and black Hello Kitty glasses now. And if I needed any further proof of that, her response to a little girl at the park, who asked why Greta was wearing glasses, totally sealed the deal. “My glasses help me see better.” Greta proudly replied.

And who can argue with that?

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Filed under Daddy stuff, Good Girl, Health, Mommy Stuff, Uncategorized

Girls who wear glassess…

When we went to the pediatrician for Greta’s five year check-up a couple of weeks ago, we expected to hear that she’d grown a few inches (three to be exact) and gained a little weight (three pounds there again too) and we were even prepared for some shots and her annual eye exam as well. But nothing could prepare us for what came next. Simply put, Greta failed her eye exam. Big time.

Even more troubling was the fact that my blind-ass eyes could see several of the images on the eye chart better than Greta could. The trouble seemed to be mostly with her right eye, and in the end, her vision was deemed 20/100, which might not sound that terrible, but is a pretty low score for a kid.


Then came the real kicker. On our way up to the front desk to pay, the nurse stopped us with the chilling words every parent most dreads hearing: “Don’t leave yet. The doctor needs to talk you about her test results.” Being the calmer of the two of us, Mrs. Yeti didn’t start really freaking out till later, but, I broke into a cold sweat almost immediately. Something was so wrong with our kid that we couldn’t even leave? WTF?!

So, we headed back to an exam room where Greta gleefully sorted through the free stickers she collected up front while Mrs. Yeti and I tried to act like everything was cool. When the doctor returned, he told us that it was probably nothing, but, that he was referring Greta to a pediatric ophthalmologist who would run a slew of more detailed tests to see what was up with her right eye. Bottom line, Greta might need glasses.

Of course, that’s not a death sentence or anything — and several friends of ours and people in my immediate family have worn glasses forever — but it was just a lot to process in a month filled with landmark birthdays and kindergarten orientations.

So, we made an appointment with the pediatric eye doctor and then totally wigged out for a week, each of us trying hard not to fall down the rabbit hole by looking up shit online about kids with failing eyesight. That said, I did Google “20/100 eyesight in kids” a few times and lemme tell ya, nothing good can come from looking up medical stuff online. It’s a freak show! Seriously, it reminded me of that house of horrors chapter in “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” the one they tell parents not to read unless your child has problems, but that every parent reads anyway and then flips out. It felt like that for a week.

IGreta getting glasses @ CostcoMG_5300

Greta getting glasses @ Costco

And then we had our appointment with the ophthalmologist — who was a very sweet woman with a calm, soothing bedside manor that rivals that of our beloved pediatrician in its sheer awesomeness! — who told us that, without a doubt, Greta needed glasses. Immediately. Yep, Greta’s pretty little eyes were that bad, and the sooner she started wearing glasses, the better.

In hindsight (no pun intended) I think Greta’s eyes were probably “that bad” at last year’s check-up too. But instead of letting her fail then, I totally bullied the nurse into letting Greta retake the exam until she got it right by probably memorizing the order of the characters on the eye chart. Yes, I know, I’m a terrible father. I just didn’t think her eyes could be that bad. Yikes…

I guess the good news is that we caught it before she starts kindergarten where poor eyesight could effect her schoolwork and stuff. But wow, I’m still feeling like a total a-hole for enabling Greta on her steady little road to blindness this past year…urgh.

Anyway, armed with our prescription and loads of nervous energy (that we were very careful to keep hidden from Greta, BTW) we headed out to shop for what Greta excitedly referred to as “big girl glasses.” And as luck would have it, we found the perfect pair of very cute, lime green and black Hello Kitty eyeglasses at Costco. Yes, Costco. Over the years, I’ve heard stories about the legendarily-excellent customer service at the Costco vision center, and, Patrick, the dude who helped us, did not disappoint. Seriously, he was amazing. Kind, patient, knowledgeable, and totally awesome with Greta and her overly-anxious parents…the man had us all at “hello”.

In fact, Patrick was so good at setting all of our minds at ease about the new reality in our lives (Greta will need to wear her glasses all day, every day from here on out) that I even teared up a bit when we left. So, thanks, Patrick at Costco. You nailed it, brother!

Greta getting glasses @ Costco

Greta getting glasses @ Costco

Greta getting glasses @ Costco

Greta’s glasses arrived last week and they are gorgeous. It hasn’t always been easy getting her to understand that she has to wear them whenever she is awake, but, every day gets a little easier. And finding a cool strap with little pink skeleton heads on it totally helped — we realized very quickly that part of the reason Greta didn’t want to wear her glasses was because she couldn’t change them up like her other “accessories” — her come to terms with her “new normal.”

That said, it’s definitely been a challenge — Greta broke down crying the other day before ballet because she insisted that “black swans don’t wear glasses!” — but, we’re getting through it. Kind of.

Anyway, I promise to post more pics and stories about our adventures in glasses land very soon and in the meantime, any advice on how to make eyeglasses more “fabulous” for a five year old would be greatly appreciated.

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Happy first day of Spring!

Thanks to the impossibly cute Google Doodle on the Google homepage this morning, I just learned that today is the official first day of Spring, aka the Vernal Equinox. Don’t feel bad, I don’t remember what a freaking equinox is either. Plus, the first day of Sping has a much peppier ring to it anyway, so, I’m sticking with that.

Greta and Mommy on their new bikes!

Of course, if you live pretty much anywhere in California, you know that Spring started way back in January, so, warmer weather is nothing new. But if you live somewhere really cold and snowy, well buck up, amigos, because Spring has officially sprung!

And in honor of that monumental occasion, I give you a recent pic of Greta on her Lalaloopsy “big girl bike”! As you can see, Mrs. Yeti got a “big girl bike” of her own for her birthday. Now all we have to do is find a bicycle sturdy enough to support me and we’ll be off and running…or, um…riding. Either way, happy first day of Spring, everyone!

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Filed under Cool toys, Health, Holidays, Mommy Stuff, Movie Stuff, Uncategorized

Swimming Lessons (2013)

Sorry for being away for so long, but, have been insanely busy the past couple of months. I know that’s what I always say, but, it’s the truth. Working and raising a kid is hard, yo! And now that I know how much sleep I really need and am trying to get it, I’m afraid blogging has fallen by the wayside. That said, there are a million things I wanted to share with you guys, so, since I just finished up a major project  yesterday, be prepared to be bombarded with blog posts big and small!

The other major time suck of the past two weeks has been Greta’s swim lessons. I know I shouldn’t call it a time suck, because, she loves going to the pool every day and she’s actually really good at it. The reason it’s such a black hole of a time suck is because of the time we scheduled the classes: 5:10-5:40PM. I know that sounds ideal for a vampire family like ours, but it actually eats into our day in a really weird way.

Swimming Lessons 2013

Swimming Lessons 2013

If we do anything remotely fun during the day, we know that every Monday thru Thursday we have to be back in Burbank for our swimming lessons. So, it cramps our park time with friends, makes dinner later than it normally would be, and worst of all, Greta is always tired by the time we get to the pool. Today she told me her legs were too tired to walk to the pool, so I had to carry her! So, note to self: ‘Do not schedule swimming lessons for this late in the day next summer.’ Urgh…

The other major bummer about the swim lessons is that, just like last year, the parents SUCK! No one talks to each other, like, ever. There is a small group of Chinese moms that chit chat with each other while their kids swim, and another set of Indian moms who do the same, but, they all speak in their native tongues. So, even the eavesdropping such at this pool. I have tried talking with some of the dads, a couple of the grandparents, and even Stripper Mom. (Remember her? The tousled blonde chick from Greta’s ‘school’?) but even she shuts me down every time. I’m like, hello, we’ve met a million times. Do you really not remember me? Wow. Guess she must be busy counting her stash of singles in her head or something. The only good thing about her being there is that the afternoons are much closer to her actual work time, so, unlike the mornings where she looks like hell, here, she always look super hot. So, that helps a little…

But seriously, who do I have to kill to find someone to chat with at this pool?! Anyway, at the end of the day, it’s not about me or the other parents at all. It’s about Greta, and she loves her new pool and her new teachers and most of all, her new Minnie Mouse two-piece. So, have at it kid! Daddy will just sit and take pictures…

Swimming Lessons 2013

Swimming Lessons 2013

Swimming Lessons 2013


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The Purple Plague

Oh, the joy of sick kids. On Tuesday, Greta came down with a nasty stomach bug that left her unable to keep anything down. Actually, she did eat two mini Popsicles yesterday, but, aside from that, nothing. Even water and juice came right back up. It hasn’t been pretty.

The only good thing is that she slept a lot, which meant that I got to sleep a lot too. So, I think that almost balanced out all the sleep I lost from getting up every couple of hours to help her yak and change her nightgown and stuff. Mrs. Yeti, on the other hand, has been totally screwed sleep-wise. Sorry, honey, I owe you a few good naps!

Oh, and then, another wonderful thing happened last night. I wear a tiny mouthguard when I sleep to keep me from grinding my teeth and last night it felt out of my mouth and landed in the toilet while I was peeing in it. Nice, huh? Luckily (or unluckily, as the case may be) for me, I was so immune to cleaning up disgusting things by that point that fishing my mouthguard out of the pee-filled crapper was easy. I mean, at least it didn’t land in Greta’s barf bowl!

And on top of all that, Greta checked out her first Barney DVD from the library. Yes, that Barney. Mrs. Yeti took Greta to the library on Monday night, and, in her sleep-deprived stupor apparently forgot about our ban on the purple demon. Urgh…forget about Greta’s measly stomach flu…the purple plague has been unleashed on our home. Enter at your own risk!


Filed under Daddy stuff, Food, Health, Mommy Stuff, Movie Stuff

Routine Surgery

So, I had umbilical hernia surgery last week. I won’t go into the grisly details, because, well, it’s really gross and I just don’t have the stomach for it (pun intended). But, rest assured that it was a fairly simple in-and-out surgery.

I checked into the hospital at 6:00AM and was home by 1:30 or 2:00PM. Easy peasy. Except for the part where I thought I might die or stroke out on the operating table. Don’t laugh, stranger things have happened during so-called “routine surgeries,” and the things they asked me before surgery made it a million times worse. “Do you have a religious preference?” Huh? For what? My last rites?! Oh, man, I was totally wigging. You name an ailment and I was convinced I would not only catch it, but die from it, last week while at the hospital. Crazy!

Needless to say, I am safe and sound now at home. I’m feeling much better, but, the pain meds are still totally tripping me out. I keep dreaming about Asian chicks, not in a creepy sexual way or anything, but, they’re just there, like, in every dream. Lucy Liu has been a regular this past week, and Michelle Yeoh has dropped by, as has my sister-in-law, Laura. Actually, Laura makes sense at least, since she practically moved in with us, after I got home from the hospital, to take care of Greta. Thanks again for that, Laura, you rock!

The best Laura story was the first day after the surgery, she came over before I even woke up and let herself in. Greta woke up and started pestering me for food or water or something (I know, the nerve of that kid!) and as I was coming out of a druggy fog to respond, I heard this angelic little voice calling out to us both from the living room. “Greta, I’m here. What do you need, sweetie?”

Perking up at the sound of Aunt Laura’s voice, Greta ditched me so fast my head spun. It was hilarious. But, it was also really wonderful to be able to fall back into a deep sleep and know that Greta wasn’t juggling knifes or something in the kitchen. Whew. Thanks again, Laura.

Anyway, another thing I noticed during the last few days is that my surgery really freaked Greta out. She hasn’t said anything about it directly, but, her demeanor has been strange all week. She’s been very moody and temperamental and has been very curious about what happened to me when I “was gone” — Mrs. Yeti and I had to be at the hospital so early on surgery day that we had Laura spend the night and wake up with Greta after we’d left — and she’s even asked me when I’m leaving again. I have assured Greta that I’m not going anywhere, and she was pre-warned several times that we would not be there when she woke up on surgery day, but, something tells me she’s still a little skeptical about the whole thing. It’s weird.

We’re doing our best to show her how much better I’m feeling and that I’m on the mend, and Greta is very excited to go with me to the doctor on Monday to remove my bandages (urgh, at least one of us is!). So, hopefully that will bring the whole thing full circle for her. And I’m sure she’ll also mellow out a bit when things finally get back to normal around here.

I mean, in her defense, Greta’s little toddler world has been pretty hectic since we got back from NYC. We’ve had lots of people visiting, lots of indoor time while the sun scorched the earth outside, — BTW, kiss my ass non-believers, global warming is real as shit, deal with it! — both Mrs. Yeti and have been working like fiends, and then this big old belly surgery pops up (again, pun totally intended). Anyway you look at it, things just haven’t been normal in Gretaland in a while.

And the way this next week is shaping up, that trend should continue until about midweek, when, hopefully, things will get back on track for everyone.

Until then, I guess the Barbies and stuffed animals in our house had better prepare for a whole new wave of belly button surgeries performed by the ill-tempered Dr. Greta. Oh joy…


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My Time

Spent Saturday ringing in the 80th birthday of my Grandmother with family and friends. The party itself was great, lots of food, retro candy bars, pink lemonade, sweet-ass cupcakes and entirely way too many songs sung by my aunts and uncles. Yep, you heard me right, during the speechifying portion of the party, several of the children sang their tributes to my Grandma and it was…well, kind of a freak show.

It’s not to say they can’t sing, because some of them totally can, but, wow…watching these grown-ass men and women duke it out for their solo in the spotlight was beyond unsavory. Fearful that one of his siblings might be getting more attention than himself, one of my uncles actually started juggling in the middle of the after-party at my Grandma’s house. Juggling! He even brought his own juggling clown bowling pins and shit. Like I said…total freak show.

Anyway, at that same after-party I struck up a conversation with one of my singing aunts (who is usually my favorite of the freak show faction of the family) and told her how great she looked. “Have you lost weight?” I asked. “Yes, almost 25 pounds!” She purred back. I pressed her further for details — which wasn’t hard, considering how much this aunt likes to talk, especially about herself — and she explained that she too was on Project X.

Hearing this, I got very excited and told her that Mrs. Yeti and I were trying really hard to stick to the tenets of Project X ourselves. Hearing this, my Aunt stopped cold, quickly scanned my body from head to toe and said: “Well, when it’s your time, you’ll stick to the diet.” She then leaned in real close, put a hand on each of my shoulders and said: “But, hey, you’re good as you are right now too.”

Silence. I just stood there for a stunned beat, staring at my aunt. Did that big old pot just call my kettle ass fat? I mean, wow, if she’s this nice when I compliment her, just imagine what she’d be like if I said something mean. Of course, I knew her heart was in the right place and that she didn’t mean to sound like a smug, little, newly-thin bitch, but, unfortunately, that’s exactly what she sounded like. And, instead of thinking of some pithy comeback all I did was grumble silently to myself, for like, fifteen minutes straight, while she spouted off all the great things that have happened to her since she lost the weight. Seriously, she was giving me recipes and shit. It was brutal.

Luckily I was pulled away to the living room at that point by Mrs. Yeti (good save, sweetie!) so, I never got the chance to punch my aunt in her newly flat gut or lay her low with some snappy, withering comeback. But, trust me, I’m working on it, and the next time we meet in the field of battle, dear Auntie, I won’t be so easily defeated.

In the meantime, back to Project X. One week to go till the reunion and whether it’s “my time” or not, I’m gonna lose me some more weight…if for no other reason than to shove it down my Aunt’s warbling gullet. Ah, ain’t family grand?

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Long live Obamacare!

Wow, just wow. Every once in a while the Supreme Court gets it right and today they got it crazy right. I don’t think Obamacare is perfect, but, it’s a much needed step in the right direction. And as a SAHD whose family of three, in an effort to save money, has three separate health care plans with three separate providers and all the paperwork and bullshit that comes with it, all I can say is…amen, baby. Let’s fix this shit! Long live, Obamacare!

And long live Chief Justice John Roberts for breaking rank with his backwards-thinking cronies for a change. As Joe Biden would say: “This is a big fucking deal!”

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