Tag Archives: summer fun

“Star Wars” cupcakes!

I don’t know how they spell perfection in your neck of the woods, but, if you ask me, nothing says Father’s Day more than a big old batch of Star Wars cupcakes! Greta and Mrs. Yeti had actually purchased this very cool Star Wars Cupcake Decorating Kit: Galactic Empire for Father’s Day (or maybe my birthday, I can’t remember) at Williams-Sonoma a while back and we just finally got around to using it this past weekend.

Featuring environmentally-friendly soy ink — who says the dark side can’t be green? — on the Darth Vader and Stormtrooper cupcake liners and four different die-cut paper cupcake toppers (Darth Vader, Boba Fett and two different Stormtroopers) the set also comes in a super-cool display box that Star Wars nerds like me will enjoy looking at for hours!

But best of all, these decorations are so cool that they make even store bought cupcakes made from a mix look totally homemade. That’s right, Daddy still likes his Duncan Hines or Pilsbury (whichever’s on sale…I ain’t fancy!) yellow cake mix and chocolate fudge frosting the best.

So, happy belated Father’s Day to all the Star Wars geeks out there. Oh, and if you prefer your cupcakes to be decorated with characters from the good side of the Force, Williams-Sonoma also makes a kit featuring Luke, Leia, Han Solo and Yoda. So, whichever way you lean…enjoy!

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

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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Filed under Good Girl, Health

Beating The Heat: Play-Doh Style!

Don’t know what the weather’s like where you’re at, but, it’s been a swampy mess down here and Greta and I have been literally melting in the heat. Proclaiming she was too hot to walk the other day, Greta actually crumpled to her knees and made me carry her to the car before ballet class.

The next day, she crawled to the back door to put her shoes on because “her feet stopped working.” and then yesterday it was so hot that it actually rained. Today too. And when I say rain, I’m not talking about deep, cleansing rain that makes the L.A. skyline all super blue. Nope. This was just enough rain to increase the swamp factor in the air and make your car looks like shit. Good times.


So, when the rain started today we decided to stay inside and color until it cooled down. And once it did, we hurried to the store to pick up something new and fun (and most importantly, cheap!) to play with. We only ventured as far as CVS, so, our options were kinda limited, but, today, luck was on our side. And somewhere between the kids crafts and fake Barbie dolls on the toy aisle, I found the perfect inside toy…the Play-Doh Fun Factory!

Longtime Play-Doh aficionados will remember the Fun Factory as the little hand pump machine with the plastic strips with different shaped holes in them. I don’t know if my brother and I ever actually owned one, but, man, did we love that thing when we were kids. Anyway, one of Greta’s friends has a vintage Fun Factory and we’ve been on the hunt for one for for weeks now.


Our only disappointment was that the 2013 edition of the Fun Factory doesn’t come with those cool little plastic scissors, but instead comes with a tiny knife. Weird huh? Other than that, the little pump still cranks out star-shaped snakes and long, curly Play-Doh hair with the best of em. So, hooray for indoor summer fun!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Greta’s feet did start working again the other day. All I had to do was promise her a Hello Kitty popsicle and she was cured. Strange how that works, huh?

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Burbank, CA

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Filed under Daddy stuff, Games, Good Girl

Greta’s Dance Recital Rehearsal Pics (2013)

There’s no video yet (at least not any worth sharing) but, I did take loads of pictures at Greta’s dance recital two weekends ago. But, my favorite pics were actually the ones I took the day before at the dress rehearsal. So, here are just a few of the standouts. Unlike last year, everything went off without a hitch this time around and both the show and the rehearsal were awesome!

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the cute little blonde boy is Greta’s “husband” Rocco. Yes, she actually calls him that. And, as you can see from the pics, they are adorable together. Seriously, sometimes my teeth hurt from the cuteness!

Anyway, thanks also to everyone who made the schlep to Burbank High School to see the big show this year. And for those of you who couldn’t come, fear not, there is a professional videotape copy coming our way very soon. Once it gets here, we’ll bring it by so you can relive the show with us in the comfort of your own living room. Who knows, if you’re lucky, Greta might just tap out her number for you in person too. Lord knows she’s not shy about dancing in living rooms…or, actually, anywhere for that matter. Enjoy the pics!


– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Burbank, CA

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Filed under Daddy stuff, Good Girl

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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Filed under Daddy stuff, Good Girl, Health, Writing Stuff

Swimming Lessons: Week One

She may not be Missy Franklin (yet!), but, Greta started swimming lessons this week with a bang. Actually, it was more like a pained squint. See, Greta had such a hard time seeing over the glare of the pool on Monday that she spent half the class covering her eyes with her little hands.

So, we hit a couple of stores — it’s not as easy as you’d think to find toddler goggles with UV protection, especially this late in the season! — and we finally found a pair we could all live with. Greta loved the colors (especially the pink lenses) but, we were just glad she could actually see things while taking her class. Hooray!

Anyway, so far, Greta has learned to paddle around with her face in the water, jump into the pool, and kick. On Tuesday, she even “swam” a couple of feet from the center of the pool to the steps when thrown out there by her instructor. But my favorite part of it all are these cute-ass goggles. Seriously, they kill me. I’m gonna have to have them bronzed someday…

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Filed under Baby gear, Daddy stuff, Good Girl

Family Road Trip Rule #1: When in doubt…bribe!

Hit the road last week for our annual road trip to Oregon to visit my wife’s family. It’s a long-ass drive, but we love road trips (yes, even with a two-year-old in tow) and the time spent just hanging out with the niece, nephews and assorted brothers and sisters-in-law on the family farm is kind of, well, rejuvenating. I don’t know if it’s the country air or what, but, man alive, do we go home relaxed!

Anyway, I firmly believe that a huge part of the adventure is the actual act of driving there — seriously, we have found that even short-jaunt road trips are great for the soul — and since no one wants to have their soul-cleansing road trip ruined by a screaming toddler, I give you, Family Road Trip Rule # 1: When in doubt…bribe!

I don’t care what your kid’s favorite thing is (be it a food item, a beverage, toy or DVD) but secretly pack a lot of them in your car before you leave. Emphasis on the secret part, if they know how many you’ve packed, your screwed. Bribery only works when your child thinks that the desired item they will do anything for is in very limited supply. So hide your loot well!

Right now, Greta will do almost anything you ask her to for a Trader Joe’s Organic Fruit Leather. I don’t know exactly why she loves them so, but she’d seriously take a bullet for the strawberry variety…it’s crazy.

So, we packed 25 of them in a secret stash in the car, and the minute she acts up or won’t finish her meal or, well, any time she’s just being a typical two-year-old on an eight-and-a-half hour car ride, we bribe her. “Greta…if you do blank, we’ll give you a fruit leather.” we purr in her screaming, red-faced direction, and she calms down almost instantly.

If I wasn’t so happy it worked, I might be a little freaked out by it, but at the end of the day…it works. Like a fucking charm. Every. Single. Time. So, who cares why?

With order restored in our car, we crank up the tunes and resume our lovely road trip in peace…or, you know, until the next big blow up.

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Filed under Bad Baby, Good Baby, Intuitive Parenting, Terrible Twos