Saturday, December 31, 2005

Vacation By Numbers

2 -Weeks is the amount of time I spent up in Pennsylvania visiting family and friends.
12- hours is how long it took to get from Orlando Florida to Washington DC.
5- Hours is how long it took to get from Washington DC to Philadelphia. It should only take 3 hours. I hate Alexandria VA Traffic as well as anything called "Beltway".
17- hours of "Elmo's World" That we listened to on the DVD player to occupy Max. (Neh Neh Neh NEH, Neh Neh Neh NEH Elmo's loves his goldfish. His crayons too......)
140- Dollars worth of Gas to fill the Van to make the trip.
1017- Miles driven from my house in Orlando to Lauren's parent's house.
11- The Number of roads traveled in that 1017 miles. Seriously there are only 11 roads between my house in Florida and Lauren's Parent's house in PA. One of the roads just happens to be I-95.
90-Miles per hour was the average speed we traveled on our way up. (Until we hit Alexandria that son of a bitch town)
4- Number of Grandparents that were happy to see Max.
0- Number of Max's grandparents that were happy to see either Lauren or myself.
40-degrees Fahrenheit was the average temperature in Philadelphia PA.
20- about the number of Aunts and Uncles Max got to visit with.
3- The total number of "takes" it took LawnWhisperer, Jim and myself to stop laughing while making our semi annual "Make Fun of our Siblings" Holiday Video. (By the way Sharon if you are reading this, it was all Jim and John's ideas. Especially the parts where we make fun of you, my favorite sister.)
3- The number of Balloons Santa got Max for Christmas. Max loves balloons. And since the dollar store where Santa gets his Balloons had a limited supply, the one with Elmo on it had "Happy Birthday" printed on it. But we wrote "Jesus" on the bottom so it was okay.
3- The number of Dogs at my In laws house. Their two and our one.
103- The number of times the dogs were yelled at with phrases like "Be Quiet! You'll wake Maxfield." Or "Luna stop licking Jake." Or "Luna, Jake, Skeeter! Stop Begging for food."
25- Times I was accidentally locked out of my in-laws house because I always forgot to unlock the door when I left.
1- Flat tire on the Kia Mini Van during the whole trip.
6- Trains my Dad had working in his basement when we arrived for the holiday.
2- Trains that were working in my Dad's basement when we ready to head home.
1- Train that Max may be responsible for breaking. Maybe. There were lots of kids playing with the trains.
Gazillion- The number I would equate with how much fun we had.
9- Hours it took to get from PA to Florence SC where we stayed overnight. Why 9 hours? Because of Alexandria VA and DC traffic. Those cities suck for traffic.
2 -Roast beef sandwiches made for me by my mother inlaw.
1- Ham sandwich made for Lauren by my mother in law.
0- is the number of sandwiches Jesus got on this trip.
1- the Number of trucks we saw with plastic testicles hanging from the back that Lauren had to take a picture of.
75- degrees Fahrenheit was the temperature when we got back to Florida at 2pm on 12/31/05.

We had a really fun time over the vacation. Max got to see all his cousin's His Godmother Bridget and his Godfather Mr. Miyagi. Both sets of grandparents numerous times and he had a wonderful Christmas Morning. I am trying to post some of the pictures from the trip.

Max sporting a new Jacket. Notice the "Sear's catalogue-esque" pose.

It was a long ride.

You know you are in the South, when you see a Quad on a trailer attached to a pick-up truck, the Dixie flag and what appears to be testicles hanging from the Quad.

I hope everyone has/had a safe and happy New Year's Eve.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Happy Anniversary

I forgot to say Happy Anniversary to my parents. The inspiration for Poop and Boogies were maried 42 years ago on December 28th.

"Oh what a night. Late December back in 63."

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad. Sorry It was a day late.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Like Father Like Son

Doing Good

It is nice to know that Poop and Boogies is responsible for some Good in the world.

Read this post.

And this was the comment that the Lawn Whisperer left.

"lawnwhisperer said...
You got a note in your lunch?!!?"

Well, I received a phone call from the Lawn Whisperer and he said, "Guess what I got for Christmas. I got a lunch box from Mom with a note in it that says I love You."

I swear I could hear through the phone his heart growing much like the Grinch at the end of the original The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Pillow Talk

I am not sure what year my Godmother, Aunt Michelle, started this tradition, but I think I was maybe 14 or 15 when she gave me a pillow for Christmas. A nice, regular bed pillow.

Now you may find this weird or a strange holiday gift to receive but every year since then She would get me a new pillow. I think it is the perfect gift. Having a new pillow to sleep on every year is not something that I think is on the forefront of everyone’s mind to buy for your self. So receiving one every year at Christmas was such an excellent idea. She never really had to think about what to get me. No extensive shopping, no going to different stores. A pillow is all I wanted and it is what she would get me. I love getting a new pillow every year.

Lauren thought this was such a great idea. She was happy to receive the new pillows every year as well. We decided that this year we would continue the tradition that Aunt Michele started by getting Max’s Godparent’s Pillows for Christmas. Everyone could use a new pillow at least once a year. So if you ever get stuck trying to think about what to get someone for a Christmas gift or a birthday gift, think of Aunt Michele, and get them a pillow.

It is the gift that keeps on giving all year long.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Santa Wore Chuck Taylor's

I want to thank the Lawn Whisperer for guest blogging for me for the past week. Lauren, Max, Luna the dog and I traveled to Pennsylvania for the holidays. So this is a post from PA.

Did you know that between 1976 and 1980 Santa Clause wore Chuck Taylor's Converse All-Star sneakers? I swear this is true because during those years, when I woke up and ran downstairs on Christmas morning, there were always white footprints going from the tree to front door, that had the exact same tread as Chucks.

I knew this because my dad had two pairs of Chuck Taylor's Converese All-Star Hightops. A black pair and a white pair so I knew those diamond shaped soles anywhere. I always thought it was cool that Santa and my dad wore the same type of shoe.

I never could figure out why the footprints always looked like flour, but I guess it was the magic of Santa.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

HOT! by Lawn Whisperer

Guest blogger William's brother the Lawn Whisperer.

Too many times I write the negative side of Mrs. Whisperer. I feel a tremendous need to let others know of silly things that make me laugh. When the Cupboard is empty, I have to tell people of my plight. When the Hamper is so full that it takes three people to carry it to the washing machine, I have to let others know. But for one time I want to tell you blogger people that I find my wife to be Sizzling Hot. When all else gets nutty, I fall back on the fact that she is the hottest chick on the planet.

The First day I saw my wife, I told the guy I was with “I’m going to marry that chick.”
I still remember the outfit she was wearing, she was freaking blazing.

Many, many rejections ensued. Finally she came with me to my brothers wedding. She was absolutely smoking.

We got married in August; it was 100 degrees in a church with no AC. My wife made it feel like it was 65 degrees. She was so hot, that she cooled down the air around her.

She had help in raising our daughter, but she was a single mother for half of that time. She raised an absolute angel of a kid, and I find the strength, she needed for that, to be hot.

She puts up with me, and she gets mad at me, but she is hot when she is angry.

She looks 20 times hotter today, than she did when I first saw her. That makes her 20X freaking blazing.

The absolute hottest I ever saw her was just the other day. She was sitting on the couch reading a book to my five and four year old. She was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt, but she was doing what mothers do, she was raising our kids, and that I find to be the hottest thing in the world.

So, the laundry and the shopping can wait. My wife is busy being hot.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Can I get a sticker?

Guest blogging by The Lawn Whisperer (AKA The Keystone).

My wife runs my little guys on the Sticker System. We have these little charts on the fridge, one for Luke, one for Kyle. When they do something good, or behave for a certain event, they get a sticker added to the chart. Once they hit ten stickers, they get to get a toy.

There are a ton of breaches in this system, cracks that I for one cannot accept. If the Terrible Twosome goes into the playroom for five minutes, every toy is dumped on the floor. They dump every bin out to find what they are looking for. The room is turned upside down. When they are done playing, they leave the room in shambles. Now, if they clean up that room, they get a sicker. So they get a sticker for cleaning up the mess that they made. I don’t get it. So it got me to thinking. I would like to be on the sticker system. It’s a no-brainer. Once I get ten stickers, I get a prize. The only prize I want is some action. Ten stickers…I get lucky that night.

Working the system under the same parameters that the kids get, I should get lucky at least twice a week. If I hang a picture on the wall and it is crooked, when I fix it, I should get a sticker. When I go to work everyday, I should get a sticker. I should also get a sticker for coming home from work. Granted, these are things that I do everyday, but again, the system has flaws. I put the trash out twice a week, two stickers. I bring the cans back twice a week, two more stickers. I clean up the mess that I make in the kitchen that is another sticker. By my estimation, I should be getting 20 stickers a week, without even trying. That means I should be getting some action twice a week, without even trying. Anything I do over and above the normal should be a bonus sticker. Bonus stickers equals’ bonus action, right? I am only trying to operate under the same rules and regulations set forth by Mrs. Whisperer. Hey, it is her system, and I am only asking to be a part of it.

Monday, December 19, 2005

The Key Stone

William is on vacation. Guest Post by the Lawn Whisperer

I have lived the better part of the past 30 years as the poor deprived middle child. I have suffered through self-proclaimed neglect. I have been forgotten, misplaced, left, and pretty much ignored. Why, because I am the middle child of nine. Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you. So I have lived with this burden, and have done so with great fanfare, and complaining. I let everyone know of my plight. I beg the world to pay attention to me. I plead with anyone that will listen (and there are not many that will) to please hear me out. But now, I am changing my tune. I have had an epiphany. Well, actually, my mother has had an epiphany.

You see my mom has come clean. She has recently told me the truth about my neglect. That’s right ladies and gentlemen; the woman who cooked up many a meal that consisted of poop and boogies has spoken the truth. Momma Poop and Boogies has decided that it was time for me to know the truth. She shouted, “ You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!!!” No, no, no, I’m sorry, that was Jack from A Few Good Men. My mom was much nicer about it.

She told me that it is common in large families that the oldest child, and the youngest child are the ones that keep the family together. They are the ones that make sure that all stays good, and everyone sticks together through life. She said that is the case in most normal families. She then said, “Our family is not normal.” This is where it got interesting. My mom told me that I am the centerpiece to the family. That’s right, me. The Lawnwhisperer. She said that I was much like the middle stone in the great arches that have been constructed. She said that I am the Keystone. If you take the middle stone out of and arch, the rest of them fall, and the arch crumbles. I am the stone that holds up all of the weight. The Middle stone. The Keystone. She told me that I am the one holding the family together.

Now, I know that she told me this, just to make me stop making negative comments on Bill’s Blog. She reads them, and scolds me. I know she is just trying to make me feel better, but I have chosen to run with this theory. I, the Lawnwhisperer, am the Keystone to the Poop and Boogies family. I am very important. I would like to keep writing to you folks now, but I have other things to do. I must go, and keep the family together. There is a lot riding on my shoulders. I will try to check in from time to time, but I have a family to save.

Signing off,

The Artist Formerly Known as the LawnWhisperer

Now Known as the Keystone.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Coming Attractions

While I am away for a few days the Lawn Whisperer will be guest posting in Poop and Boogies.
You can find some of his previous posts here , here and here.

Here is what people are saying about the Lawn Whisperer.

Grace said "I love Lawn Whisperer"

Ozmyndius commented about one of Lawn Whisperer's guset posts "That's got to be one of the funniest things I have ever read!."

Kristine from Random and Odd said "William couldn't have picked a better guest blogger.

Eclectic said "likes me some lawn whispering"

Pssssssstt. The Lawn Whisperer, coming soon to a blog near you.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Christmas Card

This was the Christmas card we sent to family and friends. I wanted to wait to post it to make sure the people we sent it to received it. I will be on the road for a few days and may have a guest blogger post a story or two.

Psssssst.......The Lawn Whisperer is coming. .

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Santa Blogs

Dear Santa,

I know you are busy this time of year but I was hoping that you would be able to add a few items for the people on my list. I am going on vacation and I wanted to make sure you had this list early. These are gifts that I think you should get for the regular comment-ers on Poop and Boogies. I also like all their blogs.

I was inspired to write this list by Lois and Susie.
I have numbered them (in no particular order) and have provided links to them so you will be able to find them.

For Kristine- Bathroom spider repellent. lots of people to order stuff from Holey Shirt, and a boob hair razor.
Susie-Washable graffiti paint. And different outfits for her dog. (the dog is always wearing something.)
Kalki- a Target (the store) in her back yard with unlimited PPP. She could also use a new Cow fence for her neighbor oh and John Stamos.
Cat-The DVD's of all the American Idol, Veronica Mars and Buffy Seasons. She does not really need them because she probably knows the words to every episode.
Mrtl-. A better cleaning service and a moose. Lots of pie.
Lois-A book Deal. No more pets. A fire Extinguisher. A girlfriend for her son so she will have lots of Blog material. Oh and pictures of all of the largest items across the US. (she already has her own pictures of some but she could use more).
Barry-A better Fantasy Football Team and his addition completed on time.
Mary-An Armadillo for a pet. Lot of visits from her family since she transplanted to Florida.
SoozieQ-A fantasy football trophy so she has a model in which to make a bunch more and sell. (it really is a good idea.)
CK-A Mini van with flames on the side and a hot tub in the back
Ern-Her own license plate that reads ERNS-BIRD
Jewl-Her husband to come home safe and sound.
Stacie-A cross word book because she had so much trouble with word Verification..
Meegs- Pants that will stay on her fiance when he sleeps.
The Three Bitches-More comment-ers because I think their blog is a hoot.
KimmyK-Money so she could quit her job because she would be "very happy being anti-social bitch."
Yonzie-She really does not need anything because she keeps winning stuff from Blingo.
Eclectic- Raquet ball lessons and A life supply of popcorn (she likes popcorn more than Icecream. Strange I know)
Kami-More Overalls
Effie-Centipede bug spray and a book of poems.
Susie (Raising Liam) - DVD of the first two seasons of Biggest Loser.
Tammy-Nachos and Bean dip.
Metro Dad- A book of classic prank calls.
Mama Duck-A real Tailgate Toilet.
The Lawnwhisperer. A brand new John Deere Walk-behind mower or a week with Dr. Phil. OR his own Blog because he is too damn funny.

There are so many other bloggers that I may have to make a second list because I know I missed some. Sorry.

PS. Santa I would also like peace on earth and goodwill to all people and large screen HI-Def TV for Max.

Lost at the Target

We went to The Super Target last night to pick up a few odds and ends. Most times when we shop either Lauren or myself does the actual shopping while the other one entertains Maxfield. We picked up most of the stuff we needed when at one point we decided to split up. Lauren and Max went to go pick up cat food and I had to go over electronics. We were to meet at the front of the store.

Now I have been shopping enough with Lauren to know that whenever we split up we never are able to meet back up. The reasons for this are simple. One, I always forget to take a mental note of what she is wearing. So I walk back and forth in the front of the store looking at every person that resembles Lauren. I think to myself, “Was she wearing jeans? Was she wearing a gray sweatshirt?” I never get it right. And Two, I always try to think like her and predict which aisle she would use to get to the front of the store and head her off at the pass. I can never think like her. I always get it wrong.

So last night I am walking back and forth in front of the store looking for my wife thinking, “She said she needed candy bags, she probably is over by the holiday candy section.” I was wrong. Then it hit me, “She has Max. I just need to look for a 30 year old woman with brown hair with a toddler in the cart.” That fit the description of about 80% of the people in the store last night.
I go back to the front of the store because “Vizzini always said Go back to the beginning”. I am pacing back and forth for what seems forever but it was only like 5 minutes when I hear a toddler cry. It sounded just like Max. They say that a parent knows it’s baby’s cry. So I follow the cry. It stops. I listen again. There it is. I star walking to the sound. It stops. I stop. I try to listen over the ring of registers and the pumped in Christmas music. I hear it again. I am getting closer. It is just like playing Marco Polo.

I finally pin point the source of the cry. Not Maxfield. Parents knowing their baby’s cry thing. So not true with me. I felt like a lost kid.

A few minutes later we meet up and Lauren tells me that she has to run to the store next door. I tell her to meet Max and I out at the car. Max was getting a little antsy and it is easier to contain him in the car. I get him strapped into his car seat and I reach for the diaper bag to get him a snack when I realize that the bag is with Lauren. So in an effort to entertain him I put on some music.

Maxfield loves music. He claps hands and bobs his head to the beat. He complains when the music is not upbeat enough. He really likes when we dance together. He always laughs when either Lauren or myself shake our heads to the music.

We were listening to Ben Folds when I find the Black Eyed Peas CD and put it in the player. It’s dance party time in the KIA minivan. We were listening to track #9 (featuring James Brown). I am sitting in the front seat watching Max in the rearview mirror. He is laughing at my moves. We were really getting into it, and I was in the middle of my third Janet Jacksonesque head swerve thing when I look over and I see a Target employee watching me. The employee was gathering the shopping carts. But he just stood there watching me. I started to feel the flush of embarrassment creep up my neck and I signaled to him that I was trying to entertain the Kid in the backseat.

He looked at the back window, shrugged his shoulders and shook his head, laughed and continued to gather the carts. I then realized that we have tinted windows in the back of the van. He could not see what I referring Max. He probably thought I was some deranged idiot.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Yes, we have no bananas!

Monday, December 12, 2005

What's driving me crazy.

Yes, I know,

"Every Kiss begins with K(ay)" *

So does Killing me with these commercials.
Every Kiss my ass begins with K also.

*for those who know this ad, I know you just hummed the little jingle.

It's the books

I wrote about this before HERE. It happened again this weekend. Twice. We went to Borders on Saturday morning. We were only there for about 10 minutes when he stopped in the middle of one of the CD aisles. I kept calling him to follow me but he had that look. You parents out there know that look.

We went back to Borders Books again on Sunday evening. While he was enjoying the Dora the Explorer sounds book he was making sounds of his own.

I am amazed at this phenomenom of him pooping in book stores.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


A few weeks ago we went to a birthday party that had one of those moon-walk-things. I forgot to post pictures of Max having the best time of his entire life. Ever. He spent close to two hours in the thing and put up a serious fight when we took him out of it. Also, I do not advise letting your almost two year old wear "windbreaker" type pants while in a moon-walk-thing. Sure they are good for breakdancing, but in a moon-walk-thing, once you fall, the pants make it quite difficult to get back up.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Greatest Gift

Lauren and I have been quite busy preparing for the Christmas Holiday. Lauren pointed out to me that we have 22 people on our gift list this year and that does not include Max, Lauren or me. She said to me last night, “I don’t know how your parents did It.” with having so many kids and Godchildren and brothers and sisters.

Every year at this time I think the same thing. How did they pull it off? There were 9 of us. That’s a lot of presents for Santa to deliver.

Christmas morning was always a whirlwind in our house. The night before, my parents would arrange the gifts in piles under the tree with each of our names on our designated pile (We still, to this day, joke about who had the biggest piles of gifts, FYI- Jimmy). We would all come down the stairs at the same time and sit in front of our pile and as my parents watched sipping their coffee and tea, open our gifts at the same time, There were 11 of us in a small family room, tripping over each other to see what Santa brought for us.

I always tried to keep my wish list reasonable after I found out that my parents were acting as Santa’s agents. I knew they had a lot of mouths to feed and they always did their best to provide us with nice Christmas gifts. But one year, the only thing I wanted cost $60.00. I was willing to forego all other gifts if I could just have this one thing.

You see, in 1982 I was 12 and I thought I was a budding comic book artist. The only piece of equipment I would need, to be the next Jack Kirby, was a Drawing Table. I knew that sixty bucks was lot of money at that time and I did not have high hopes because I also knew that I needed socks, gloves, a hat and probably a new pair of Tough Skins.

When I came down to the tree that Christmas Morning, I noticed that there were a few gift boxes with my name on them. I was a little saddened that there was no table waiting under the tree but I knew that it was a lot of money and understood that things were tight. I opened the few gifts (gloves and socks) that I received and I sat and watched everyone else open their much bigger piles. I guess I would have to wait to create the next Spiderman.

As I sat and listened to my brothers “Ooohing and Ahhing” over their gifts I heard my mother, not raising her voice or anything but just a normal tone, say “Bill.”

I turned to look at her (and I know this sounds totally cheesy, but I will never forget the smile on her face) she smiled and nodded her head towards the back wall. I followed her eyes. There it was, a giant box, leaning against the back door. I jumped up and ran over. I tried picking the box up but it was too heavy. I spun it around so I could look at the front picture. A drawing table.

I was ecstatic. I turned around and looked at my mom. She had a devilish grin on her face. I guess the table was not with my pile of gifts because it was so big. I also think that my mom wanted to see my reaction to actually getting the gift. With so many kids opening gifts at the same time I am sure it was difficult to see everyone. Or maybe she was just letting me sweat it out.

I never did become a great comic book artist. The only drawing I do now is MooneyAngelo stuff, but I kept that table until I was 27. It is still one of my favorite gifts. Ever.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Mood Changer

We went to see the OB/GYN on Wednesday. We are supposed to see each of the doctors at this practice. Being a man, I get confused sometimes and forget which doctor we are going to see. Lauren suggested a while ago that we just call them all Dr. Vincent Van Gina (not to their faces of course).

While we were waiting in the exam room Max was having a grand old time playing with the stirrups. Moving them from the up position to the down position. I was surprised and slightly amused at the fact that the stirrups had covers on them. Covers similar to a golf club cover, but only these looked like little Crown Royal bags. I looked closer to see the printing on them. Ortho Tri Cyclen, a birth control pill, was written in yellow on both sides of the cover. Those drug manufacturers really know how to advertise. Pure Genius.

We waited for a really long time and I was starting to get pissed. I hate waiting. We were trying to keep Max from touching anything else in the room ( I mean sure he can play with the stirrups and get some kind of fungus but..well you know). Usually when we go to the doctors I grab a tongue depressor from the glass jar with the metal top and hand it to Max and he is entertained for a while. They don't have tongue depressors in an OB/GYN office, and if they did I would be somewhat worried. They did have these giant Q-tips but I did not think it would be cool for Max to play with them, besides I do not think they were for cleaning out ears.

Max was getting antsy and I was getting more and more irritated that they were keeping us waiting. Finally Dr. Van Gina comes in and apologizes about the wait, but I didn't want to hear it. I wanted to be bitter. Lauren was somewhat annoyed as well. It took the doctor about two seconds for introductions when she whips out Doppler machine and has it on Lauren's belly.

We all heard the quick thump-thump-thump coming from the small speaker. Max started smiling. Lauren started smiling. I started smiling.

Nothing can change a bad mood quicker than hearing your unborn baby's heartbeat

Missed Communication

Sometimes Lauren and I are so in tune with each other we can complete each others sentences, or we think of the exact same thing at the exact same time. Other times we are so not connected, that we have a hard time figuring out what the other is saying. Maybe it is due to me mumbling, Lauren being distracted or if it is just a miscommunication. Sometimes the miscommunication is funny. Here are the recent examples.

While walking into a store.

Bill: I need to find the men’s room. I gotta take a leak.
Lauren: What do you need a measuring tape for?
Bill: What? I said, “I need to find the men’s room”.
Lauren: Oh.
Bill: Do you want me to measure something while I am in there?

Over dinner.

Bill: How hot do you think this sauce is?
Lauren: How Happy?
Bill: Hot! How hot?
Lauren: I thought that was a strange question.

A few weeks ago we were over our neighbors house for dessert and coffee. It was getting close to Max’s bedtime and I really was not in the mood to socialize so I kept dropping hints to Lauren as well as the hosts that we had to get going. After a few, “Wow Max looks really tired.” And “Hey Max it’s almost time for bed.” Lauren was not picking up on my hints. At one point I turned to her, so no one else could see me, and I mouthed silently but exaggerated “LETS GO!”
Lauren not realizing that I was trying not to be rude says loud enough for everyone in the room to hear, “Sheesh Okay Bill, I heard you! Just hold on a sec.” She totally threw me under the bus.
I felt quite embarrassed.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


"Hey Lauren, you know how I have not been feeling well for the past 3 or 4 days? I just want to point out that I have not had icecream in 5 days. Coincidence?"

"Oh, behold the power of icecream."

Monday, December 05, 2005

Max or Damien?

A few days ago I was having a conversation with our babysitter's dad about how difficult it is to get into the Christmas spirit when it is 75 degrees outside. Yesterday he stopped by with an invitation to join him and his family at their church's Christmas Pageant/Concert. He said the choir and music would help put us in the spirit of the holidays. He also told us they have a pretty good "drama-squad" that puts on a decent show. Christmas carols and drama sounded like fun so we met them at the church. The show was an interesting mix of a holiday and religious songs performed by the choir and basic story line that the "drama squad" acted out in intermittent vignettes, about the meaning of Christmas.

Lauren and I were concerned with how long Maxfield was going to last before he would throw a fit, but much to our surprise he was very well behaved. We kept him entertained with toys and juice and crackers and Pepperidge Farm Goldfish. He also enjoyed the music and singing. We did not hear a peep out him and were very proud of his behavior.

About half way through the show, the actors on stage were asking “Aunt Belle” about the meaning of Christmas. It was at this point that Max decided to speak.

There was not a sound in the church besides the actors speaking.

(I am paraphrasing some of the dialogue. )

Kid 1: Why do we celebrate Christmas?
Aunt Belle: Well, do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?


Aunt Belle: And that he was sent here to help us?

MAX: Na na, NO.

Aunt Belle: Do you know how they say he was the King of Kings?

MAX: NO no no.

Aunt Belle: And that he died for our sins.

MAX: No.

I looked around to see if anyone was looking at us but no one was. I glanced at Lauren and could see her holding back the “church giggles” and in an effort to stifle my chuckles, I shoved a fistful of Goldfish into my mouth.

Maxfield did not say anything else after that. He was a perfect angel. Or devil?

I need to keep my eye on him.

Friday, December 02, 2005

When she said Yes.

Four years ago On December 3rd 2001 Lauren agreed to marry me (see yesterdays post).

After the disappointment of not being able to propose the day before, I went to work on Monday morning knowing that by the evening I would be possibly engaged. I did not get much work done. During lunch I went to the jeweler to pick up the ring. This time they had it ready for me.

I put the ring box in my front pocket and carried it around the rest of the day. I was afraid I would misplace it. Every half hour I would take the box out, open it and make sure that the ring did not disappear. OCD at it’s finest.

Since my plans from the day before were somewhat foiled I spent the rest of the day trying to figure out if I should wait until the weekend to propose or if I could make arrangements for later in the week. I kept thinking to myself, “Who gets engaged on a Monday?”

On the way home I decided I would ask her that night. When I got home from work I was surprised to see that Lauren had pulled out the folding card table and had it set for dinner (we did not have a dining room table at the time and we usually ate in front of the TV). She had candles lit and everything. “Shit. She knew what I was doing? How did she figure it out?” I thought. I think I tried to talk her out of eating at home and that we should go the mall but she went to all the trouble of making a nice romantic dinner.

I sat down and tried to eat but I could not. I was nervous. I played with the food, constantly checking my pocket to make sure that the ring was still in there as well as making sure that she could not see the box. I barely touched the food. She kept asking me if everything was okay.
During the dinner I asked her if she would go to the mall with me so I could get some shopping done. She did not really want to go. She pointed out the fact that we just went shopping yesterday and that the mall would be crowded. But she eventually said she would go with me.

When I met Lauren she was working at a UNO Chicago Bar and Grille attached to the mall. Since then it changed over to a Ruby Tuesday’s. As we approached the entrance I told Lauren I could really use a drink, which was true because I knew it would calm me as well as I needed an excuse to go into the bar. She agreed.

The layout of the Bar/restaurant changed since the time that we met and it took me several minutes to figure out the exact spot that we met. After we finished out drinks I asked her “Where do you think the spot that we met is in this place?” She looked around and pointed out over to a spot which was quite crowded with tables and patrons. I grabbed her hand and I said something like, “Let’s go look.”

Lauren resisted slightly, but followed. We were standing between too big tables filled with diners when I said, “Do you think this is the spot?”
She said, “ What are you doing? I don’t know. It’s too hard to tell.”

I then pulled out the ring, got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. My hands were shaking and my voice quivering. The look on her face was one of disbelief and shock. The people that were enjoying their meals surrounding us did not notice a thing. She said, “Yes”.

We kissed and then left the Ruby Tuesdays. On our way out we passed a carousel, which we decided to ride on to kind of remember the moment.

Later that night, after telling both sets of parents, we went for a walk in the park. We were trying to extend the special night. While walking hand in hand, our breath visible from the cold, Lauren looked up into the dark sky and saw a shooting star. So it turned out okay that my original plans fell through.

It would have been romantic.

Exactly four years ago today I was supposed to ask Lauren to marry me. It did not happen as planned.

Flash back to November 25th 2001. We were already, as Mom would say, “living in sin” for a few years so it was time to, as Dad would say "shit or get off the pot" and make it official. I worked in a Sports Bar at the time and I was working on a Sunday afternoon because of football. Every now and then I would bet on a few games but I would rarely win. This particular Sunday I had some type of weird parlay bet going with three different games. I won the first two but the last game did not look good. I bet on the Miami Dolphins who were being dominated by the Buffalo Bills and were down by 14 in the fourth quarter.

As I left work I said to Mike, the guy I bet with, “Call me if a miracle happens.” I went directly to the jeweler to price out engagement rings. I was talking to the sales lady about all the payment options and when I could actually pick up the ring. I was on the fence about whether I should get a simple ring and get engaged right away or if I should wait until I had more money, buy a nicer diamond and wait until after the holidays to propose. My cell phone rang. It was Mike form the bar. “A miracle happened. Miami won 34 to 27.” I hung up and ordered the nicer diamond and a nicer ring.
The sales lady said I could pick up the ring in one week because they needed to set it. I said okay and made my plans for the following Sunday to ask Lauren to be my wife.

I was going to ask her Sunday December 2nd, 2001. We were going to go Christmas shopping, have dinner at the place that we met, I would pop the question and we would have plenty of time to go tell her parents and my parents the good news. She did not have a clue about my plans.

Sunday December 2nd, 2001, I told Lauren I had to go to work “for a few minutes” as an excuse to go pick up the ring. She was a little disappointed because we had plans to go Christmas shopping at Peddlers Village, a nice, outdoorsy festival type of place. I told her I would be only a little bit and that we would still be going shopping.

I arrived at the Jewelers, nervous and exited to actually pick up the ring. I knew this was gong to be a great day. I found the sales lady that assisted me from the week before and she gave me a puzzling look. I pulled out my paper work and asked for the ring. She looked it over and said that the ring was not in yet. It would be there tomorrow.

“What? Last Sunday you told me a week.”
“ I know but our office downtown was closed on Sundays so I could not place the order until Monday so it is a week from last Monday.”
“But YOU said a week. Do you know that a week is SEVEN days? Not Eight.”
“I’m sorry.” She pouted but immediately perked up and smiled to say, “But it will be here tomorrow.”
“But I wanted to get engaged today I had the whole thing planned.”

She looked horrified and she apologized about 90 times. She made a few phone calls and told me that I could pick up the ring in Delaware if I wanted. Delaware, which was about 1 and half hours away. I couldn’t do that because I would then have to explain it to Lauren and ruin the surprise.
I left the store in a huff.

Lauren and I went shopping at Peddlers’ Village and we had a nice time but I could not help but be distracted with the thought of not having the ring. The day was perfect. It was sunny and cold, but not too cold. We shopped drinking cider and hot chocolate. Perfect day to get engaged. We were driving home and Lauren even suggested that we go to dinner at the place we met. I was so pissed because it would have been perfect but I declined because I wanted to bring her there the when I had the ring.

Needless to say we did not get engaged that day. It would have been romantic.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Happy Day

Happy birthday to Max's cousin Marcus. He is One today.

Also today Maxfield is 21 months old. We're going out for beers.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Whose your daddy?

The face of our refridgerator is covered in magnets and pictures. The bottom door (the fridge) is covered by Leap Frog Magnetic Farm animals and multi-colored Fisher Price numbers and letters. The top door (the freezer) is covered with pictures of family members and bulletins and other crap held on by "real" magnets.

Every night, in an effort to help Maxfield remember or know his cousins, I hold him up to the freezer door and we play the "Where is..." game.

"Max, where is Mom Mom?"
He points to Lauren's mom.
"Max, where is Pa?"
He points to my dad.
"Max where is Elvis?"
No we are not related to Elvis. Max points to the Elvis magnet that holds up a greeting card.
"Max where is Marcus?"
He points to the Elvis magnet. He points to Marcus about 50 % of the time. I know he gets confused with the "S" sound at the end.

The other night we are playing this game and I decide to see if knows our animals and us.

"Max where is Luna?"
He points to the dog.
"Max where is Mommy?"
Points to Lauren.
"Where is Daddy?"
Points to Lauren.
"No. I said Daddy. Where is Daddy?"
Points to Lauren.
"Max? Where is DADDY?"
He, again, points to Lauren who is now laughing that nanny-nanny-poo-poo-laugh and Lauren says,

"He thinks I am both, because I DO IT ALL. Heh heh heh."

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Is it wrong.... be on the telephone while using the toilet?

Top Gun

I saw a show on the History Channel about aircraft carriers. The pilots were talking about the how difficult it actually is to land a plane on a moving ship; that there is a very thin margin for error. Everything the pilots said reminded me of changing Maxfield’s diaper.

To change a diaper I (the pilot) have to position a diaper on a moving target (Max) with little room for error or there will be an accident or leakage. I have to make sure that the blue stretchy lining is aligned perfectly with his butt. That his pecker is pointed down (to prevent him peeing out the top) and that the Velcro/sticky tabs are properly placed and fastened.

Here is part of an article I read about landing on a carrier.

The carrier is 1,123 feet long and 257 feet wide, but an incoming plane must be almost exactly 14 feet above its ramp as it comes in. Approaching between 12 and 16 feet is considered acceptable; deviate much more and the landing is in jeopardy.

Next, a pilot must couple the plane’s tail hook with one of the four arresting wires strung across the deck – all while staying at full power, and constant speed. If something goes wrong, the pilot has to be ready to blast off the deck and come around again.

Doing that – touching down and throttling right back off – is termed a “bolter,” and it’s not a desired outcome (though anything, a pilot will remind, is better than crashing). In other situations, such as if a plane or piece of debris is still on the landing strip, the LSO can “wave off” a plane, sending it overhead and back into the
approach pattern.

It is kind of fitting.
Somtimes I wish I had Signal Officers.

By the way my favorite MooneyAngelo is up.

Brushing the Zoobies

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Sunday, November 27, 2005

Tis the Season

The fact that I now live in Orlando Florida and not Philadelphia Pennsylvania hit me pretty hard this weekend.

I watched the neighbors across the street putting up their Christmas tree. I watched our next door neighbors string their lights over the peak of their garage. I watched them inflate a giant Santa suited Snowman while Christmas music was blaring from their sound system. I listened to them humming Little Drummer boy as they staked plastic presents into their front yard.

How did I witness all this? Because it is 4 weeks until Christmas. It was 79 degrees.

And I was cutting my grass.

Was cutting.
My Grass.
4 weeks before Christmas.
In 79 degree weather.
Listening to "Joy To The World".

I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around this right now.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Letter to Mom

Dear Mom,
I know you were concerned with me and my family being away for Thanksgiving. I just wanted to let you know that this Thanksgiving was just like the past 35 Thanksgiving's of my life, minus 37 other people.
Like my brothers and cousins used to and still play football on the Thanksgiving morning, so did I. You can see I attached pictures of me teaching Maxfield some of the basics of the game. You will be happy to know that I won. I beat Maxfield 28 to 7. He only scored a touchdown because I got cocky running into the endzone and was mocking him and I fumbled. He was lucky enough to pick it up and run it back for a TD otherwise I would have shut him out.
After the game we went home and complained how sore we were while watching football and eating snacks.
Lauren, Max and I went out to dinner. It felt just like we were home. The restaurant was packed and noisy and I could swear I saw a guy with three nipples protruding from his shirt (just like Dennis). We had Turkey and stuffing and mashed potatos and all the traditional Thanksgiving day foods. Max enjoyed them all as well as a side of french fries.
When we got home I called you so to make sure you picked our Pollyanna (Secret Santa)persons. As we get older it gets harder and harder to get gifts for these people. Anyway we had a nice Thanksgiving.
On Friday morning I decided to wake up at 5:30 am to go Christmas shopping. Black Friday is the New "Last minute shopping" for me. I just missed the big fight at the one Walmart I went to, it made the news down here and everything. It is totally ridiculous that these people were fighting over laptop computers. I mean C'Mon people it's not like they are Cabbage Patch Dolls.
Anyway I went to some other stores and then Lauren and Max and I went to some more. I am almost done my Christmas shopping. It was funny we went to Old Navy and Maxfield became fascinated with the headless Manequins that they have there. I have a picture with him posing with them here as well.

Well enjoy the rest of your Holiday Weekend. I miss you and love you and please make sure my pile of Christmas presents is bigger than any one elses.

Love Bill.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Watching TV adds 10 lbs.

Last night Lauren and I are watching The Biggest Loser and the one dude, Seth, (not the other guy that cries every ten seconds) gets weighed in at 204 lbs.

I turned to Lauren, “Wow, he weighs about what I weigh.”

“You don’t weigh 204.” She said.

“No but I weigh about 200. I fluctuate but I am about 200 pounds right now.”

She just looked at me.

“Great.” I said, “You look at him and you look at me, and now you think I am fat.”

She was silent for a moment. She looked at the TV. Looked at me.


Choosing her words carefully she said, “No…….Bill……I am sure….he is just….ummm….shorter than you.”

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Last night we were doing a little early Christmas shopping. Basically I was shopping for myself. I am looking to get a camcorder so we can record Maxfield on Christmas morning. We had one that was given to us a gift when Max was 3 months old but it did not handle being dropped down the steps.

When shopping, we let Max run around. Either Lauren or myself has the job of being Max Herder, while the other actually does the shopping. While I was busy talking to the electronics guy at Sears (where America shops) Lauren followed Maxfield over to the toy section. When I finally caught up to them, 20 minutes later, Max was playing in the aisle with a boy his age and Lauren was talking with the boy’s parents.

I introduced myself and listened in on the conversation. They were talking about how the two kids were getting along nicely and what not. During the conversation it came up that we only lived two miles form this family and that maybe the two kids could get together for a play date. I mentioned how that would be nice since we do not know many people with kids Max’s age being that we recently moved from PA to Florida.

The dad mentioned that he was from PA and in the conversation he said he was not an Eagles or Steelers fan but that he was a Cowboys fan. He stated that he watched the Cowboys over the weekend.

“Wait a minute.” I said, “The Cowboy game was not on any of the local televisions stations. Do you have the NFL ticket?”

“Yes. We had to get it so we could watch the Dallas games.”

I smiled and joked, “Oh I am sure we all could become great friends.”

After we said goodbye and we went into the mall I asked Lauren if what I said was rude.


“I was just joking.”

“You just met the guy. People who know you for years don’t get you sense of humor.”

Monday, November 21, 2005


This is a conversation from a few weeks ago. Lauren had an appointment scheduled with OB/Gyn Kenobi on the same day that hurricane Wilma was making land fall in Florida.

“I think I will reschedule it my appointment.”

“I don’t think you need to reschedule Lauren. The news says we will only be on the outskirts of the storm.”

“But the news also said there would be high winds and the chance of tornados.”

“I think you should go. It will probably be a pain in the ass to reschedule.”

“I am going to cancel it Bill.”


“What if I am at my appointment and a tornado hits and I don't have my pants on?”

Saturday, November 19, 2005

He hasn't a clue

Thursday, November 17, 2005


It is starting to get a little cooler here in Florida (high 50s I know I should shut up). Lauren


asked me to go and turn the fan off in Max's room. Of course everytime I go into his room after


he is sleeping I lean over the crib and I hold my hand real close to his mouth and nose, just to,


you know, make sure he is breathing.


Do other parent's do this? Is it Paranoia (or should I say Parentnoia)? When does it stop?

****Update 1/4/05. Many people figured out my little secret code thing. For those who may visit this at a later time and are trying to figure it out. I italicized letters in the text to spell out "Read between the lines". If highlight the white spaces between sentences with your mouse (Click and drag) it spelled out the good news.

Don't go towards the light

I have very bad eyesight. During the day I wear contacts and usually only wear my glasses in bed to watch TV. I try to stay up and watch The Daily Show with John Stewart and catch what I can of Letterman. More often than not I fall asleep with my glasses still on my face and they get lost in the sheets. Last night I was drifting off in the middle of The Daily Show when I decided to run up stairs to the office and send a quick email.

When I got back to bed, I turned of the TV, turned out the light, put my glasses on the nightstand and went to sleep.

I was asleep for maybe an hour or two when I woke up for no reason. Lauren was asleep next to me. I could hear the hum of the baby monitor and knew Max was asleep. I could hear the dog snoring at the end of the bed. The cats were locked in the garage. I turned to squint at the clock to see the time but could not make out the red blur of the three numbers. I reached for my glasses and knocked them off the table. Since I was still groggy I figured I would leave them on the floor until morning. That is when I saw an eerie glow coming from the hallway.

What was it? All the lights were off in the house. This was a soft white glow. Coming from the hallway, or maybe the stairs. Adrenalin started to course through me and I shot up. I got on the floor and started feeling around for my glasses like Velma in Scooby Doo. I couldn’t find them.

Was it a ghost? No the house is not built on and ancient burial ground, nor is the house old enough. Was the light the moon? It was a full moon last night. No it couldn’t be there are no windows in that part of the house. The hair on the back of my neck stood up. I frantically searched for my glasses. Finally I found them.

Without moving from the floor, with sharper sight, I tried to figure the source of the light. I did not want to turn on bedroom light because I did not want to wake Lauren and I was afraid it would prevent me from figuring out the where the hazy glow was coming from.

Was it the computer from up stairs? No the angle is wrong plus it goes into a sleep mode. Did I leave the second floor bathroom light on? No. I even closed the bathroom door. What was it? I was getting nervous.

I finally stood up and went into the hallway. I looked up the steps and realized what the light was. On the top of the steps there is a gate to prevent Max from falling down the steps. There is a motion sensor night light on it so when you approach, it lights the way. Whew. No Ghost.

I calmed down a bit, went to the kitchen to get a drink. I climbed back into bed, placed my glasses on the nightstand and started to drift off. Five minutes later I shot back up wide- eyed. Wait a minute. The safety gate has a motion sensor light. Key word here is MOTION.

I jumped back out of bed. What the hell set the motion sensor light on? Not the dog. Not Max or Lauren or the cats? Crap. Now I had to go and check the whole house, which I did. I did not find anything.

I slept with one eye open and with my glasses on the rest of the night. I think the safety gate is malfunctioning.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Max? Max! MAX!

I realized, as Maxfield was playing in the kids-play-area at the mall, how important it is to like your child’s name.

I must have said his name 100 times over the span of 30 minutes.

"Max, you have to share."
"Maxfield, you can’t push."
"Max you can’t jump from the….Okay I guess you can."
"Max, you have to wait your turn."
"Maxfield, you need to hold my hand."
"Max, don’t lick the stairs."
"Max, be gentle."
"Max, Where’s your mother?"

And so on.

I still like the name.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Ham and Jesus

Back in August we drove back to PA for vacation. As we prepared for the 17-hour trip back to Florida my Mom packed us a bunch of snacks and drinks for our trip. There were cookies, chips, cans of soda, and about 8 ham and cheese sandwiches (Mom was trying to clear out the fridge).

After 8 hours of driving we decided to stop at a Cracker Barrel in NC. As we pulled off of I-95 and into the parking lot, I noticed a rust colored pick up truck facing us. The truck was kind of sticking out of the driveway and as we approached. We could not get around the pick-up. I looked at the driver and through my hands in the air in frustration. The driver, a ratty looking guy made a hand gesture, which I thought meant, “go around” So I did. I made the turn and waved back to the driver to say “thanks”.

We were making our way through the crowded parking lot I noticed the truck turn around and follow us. I pointed this out to Lauren, “Crap. The guy thought I probably gave him the finger or something.” The rust colored pick up was clearly leaving the parking lot when we pulled in. Why would he turn around? I told Lauren to wait in the car.

I got out of the car, a little nervous, thinking there was going to be a confrontation. The guy parked his pick up a few spaces away and approached me. The muscles in my neck tensed up, my palms started to get a little sweaty.

“Excuse me.” He said, “My car just broke down and I had to put a new alternator and I have another 6 hours drive and my wife is pregnant and starving. I was hoping you could spare some money so I can get her something to eat.”
I heard what he said but my mind was racing. I have dealt with my fair share of panhandlers. I puffed up my chest and said, “No! I can’t help you out. Sorry!”

He took a step back. “I don’t mean any harm but she needs to eat.”

“Look buddy, I don’t have any cash on me.” I shot back.

He walked way.

I was flustered as I tried to un-strap Maxfield from his car seat, adrenaline pumping through my body. I told Lauren what the guy wanted and that I could not believe the guy would be panhandling. That he actually turned around in the parking lot to ask us for money. The nerve.

Lauren said something to the effect of “What if he really did need food? We have all those sandwiches your mom made. Offer him the sandwiches.”

I sighed, knowing that I was probably too harsh to the guy. I grabbed a few sandwiches and a couple of cans of ginger ale and ran over to his truck. He started to walk towards me, followed by a woman who had to me at least 8 months pregnant. I said, “Look, I’m sorry. I don’t have any money but you said you needed food. This is what I have.”

He took the sandwiches and handed them to the woman and she unwrapped one, right there, and took a huge bite. She really was hungry. He thanked me and they got into their truck and they left.

Later, in the restaurant, I was telling Lauren that I felt bad about my initial response to the guy. And she said, “Yeah. You never know it could have been God testing you. Hell it could have been Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus.”

My Mom was happy that her sandwiches fed Jesus.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Christmas in November

This weekend we went to the Festival of Trees at the Orlando Museum of Art. Instead of art, they had very cool Christmas displays. Mostly decorated trees with varying themes. They also had Christmas table settings and Gingerbread houses. Everything was for sale. Max got to meet and scream at Santa.They had carolers there. I requested "Freebird" but they did not know it.

For those people who know me, you know I love penguins. Nothing says Christmas like Penguins.

I tried licking it.

Max did his best to try and break every ornament.

This was the strangest part. I think they were a street gang. At first there were five or six of them but as time passed their numbers kept growing. They all wore red hats and purple outfits. I did not see them flashing any gang signs but we kept our distance anyway. "Once you're a Jet, you're always a Jet........"

Thursday, November 10, 2005


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It’s a sickness really. Maybe a strange form of Tourettes. I don’t know.
But any time I see a person sit backwards on a chair, straddling the seat with the back-rest against their stomach I have to say out loud, “Hey, hey,hey-hey. What’s Happening?”

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Where is the remote?

I watch a decent amount of television. Sometimes I am embarrassed by how much TV I do watch. I could be working on other things such as reading, writing, or MooneyAngelo stuff. I could be working on fixing up the house or hell I even could try exercising. But no I watch television.

I admit I enjoy some of the reality type contest shows. Survivor, Trumps Apprentice, Rockstar INXS and even The Biggest Loser. I find these shows are quickly losing their appeal to me. Not because of the crying and the “I thought we were friends. I trusted you. How could you do that to me?” that seems to come with every one of these shows. But because each one of these show’s contestants (and I am sure there are many others) are constantly saying the same phrase.

Each contestant on every one of these shows says this phrase at some point to show that they are going to do their best. That they will not get voted off. That they will not get fired. That they will sing better than everyone else.

Every time I hear the phrase I cringe. I gag on the Doritos I was eating. I look at Lauren and shake my head in disgust. This phrase is now causing me seizures during my television entertainment.

The Phrase is GAME ON.

“Oh I have been out on the island for 20 days with no food or shelter but it’s GAME ON time.”

“I did really well as project manager and I will not let John throw me under the bus. The GAME is ON.”

“I did not realize I was supposed to be singing my best from the start. Well now it’s GAME ON.”

Does anyone else hate this phrase?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


We have taught Maxfield baby/infant sign language. Many doctors and parents have documented the benefits of baby sign language.
Better relationship between the parents and the kid.
Improved brain development of the child.
Improved language skills.
Children that were taught sign language do better in school at a later age, and so on and so on.

But the real reason we taught Max sign language was to prevent tantrums. Knowing that he wants something, that he has needs, saves the headache of a screaming child and a frustrated parent. This by far the best reason to teach a toddler sign language.

I worry that the signs that we taught him will prevent him from actually speaking the words that he is trying to convey. I know he knows many words. He just does not speak them. Seriously why should he even try to say “milk” when he can just sign it to us?

Maxfield knows some, what I like to call, “solid” signs. Signs like “milk”, “drink”, “eat” and “bedtime”. These words all have an object involved. A specific need. He also, much to my amazement, knows the signs to, what I call “abstract” words. Signs based on a concept. Signs like “more”, “help”, “thank you”. Intangible signs.

Of course some of the textbook signs we taught him have been modified to suit his style. Whether it is because of laziness or just creative freedom, I don’t know.

Here are some examples.

Book Sign for MILK- One hand in the air imitating squeezing a cow’s udder.
Max Sign for MILK- One hand clapping. His fingers move so fast that his fingers hitting the palm of his hand creates a noise. This is followed by a whine.

Book Sign for HELP- Both hands slightly patting the chest.
Max’s Sign for HELP- Either one or both hands slapping his chest like an ape. This sign started out as HELP. Now it means, “Please open the cabinet that the television is in, and turn on Elmo. NOW”

Book Sign for THANKS- An open hand, palm facing the face, is brought up to the chin and brought back down.
Max’s Sign for THANKS- This sign is very similar to the Signs for EAT, Blowing a kiss, covering the mouth during a cough, HOT, and our sign for “Excuse me, I just burped.” When Max wants to say thanks, he either coughs or imitates a burp, ocassionaly he blows a kiss which I guess works.

Book Sign for DRINK-A hand shaped like it is holding a cup and tilted towards the mouth.
Max’s Sign for DRINK- Max started using this sign and it looked like the universal sign for “Can I have Beer.” Or “Ooops it looks like some one had a little too much to drink.” I t has now evolved to a pinky-and-thumb-out-surfer-dude “hang loose” sign.

With Friends Like These

The following is part of two funny phone conversations I had with my brother.

Bill, I just want you to be prepared for what may be in your future. My wife just called me and told me that when I get home I have to give my son and enema. You see he is a little constipated and the she took him to the doctor and the doctor said that is what we need to do. Why me? Because I am the poop master. Apparently that is my title in the house. This is what I have to look forward to this evening when I get home from work. Everybody always says “Ohhh being a parent is wonderful” or “Fatherhood is so rewarding.” What is so rewarding about giving an enema? How do I explain to a four year old that I am giving him an enema? How are you supposed to do that? I know the kid is in pain. He didn’t even want to go trick or treating and if he doesn’t want to do that, than I am sure he needs this. I just wanted to let you know that is what I have planned for this evening.

This is part of the phone call a few hours later.

So I get home and I say , “Luke, come here. I have to give you an enema.” He says to me, “M&M’s okay.” So now I know I let the kid down already. I bring him into the bathroom and I show him the box. On the back is a picture of the position he needs to be in and I explain to him that I need him to kneel down like the guy in the picture. So he gets down on the towel that I laid out and I tell him I have to take his pants off? “Why do you need to take my pants off?” I tell him to just do it and I leave the bathroom to get another towel. He turns to me and says, “Dad? I am not going to like this am I?” How am I supposed to answer that? I come back and he locked me out of the bathroom. He kept saying that he was fine and that he did not need the enema. I had to get a wire hangar and break into the bathroom to give him an enema. I was trying not to laugh. No one tells you this is what being a father is all about. I tell him to relax, that I have to insert the plastic tube into his butt. He said “No you don’t.” I explained that it was going to hurt me more than it hurt him. Although I know that is a bunch of bullshit. So I go to insert the enema and he clenching his cheeks so tight. You should have seen it, I am fighting with a four year old trying to pry open his cheeks. Do I have help? No. Because I am the Poop master. This is my job as a father. I take out the trash, cut the grass, move heavy things and I give enemas. They are the manly jobs.

Monday, November 07, 2005


You would think that after six months of having the child safety locks on the cabinets in the kitchen, that I would not try to open the cabinets the regular way.

But everyday while putting away the dishes, I just grab the handle to cabinet door and pull. It opens an inch and then "clack" it gets stuck. I curse under my breath and I think "Why do I think that the locks know when an adult is trying to open the cabinet?" I fight with the latch, and open the cabinet, and put the dish away.

Then, 30 seconds later, I will go to put another dish away and just pull on another cabinet door. "Clack". It gets stuck. It is an endless cycle.

Friday, November 04, 2005


Every now and then Maxfiled and I will go to Books A Million (Books A Million is much like Barnes and Noble but not as upscale). Books A Million has the Thomas the Tank Engine railroad play set that keeps Max busy while I get to read comic books or magazines. They also have a large train like platform that Max can play on.

On our last three visits (no Lauren) to the bookstore Max has used this opportunity to have an explosive diaper. I do not manage well with changing him public restrooms. It always is an adventure, with trying to tie him down to the changing station, keeping his hands out of the urinal, preventing him from eating the blue urinal blocks, as well as getting him properly cleaned.

I don’t know what it is about Books A Million that loosens Max’s insides, but after the third time, I started to think maybe it was the air inside the store.

Last night Lauren, Max and I went to the Library. Our library system in Orlando is very cool. You can borrow video games, CDs, DVDs, complete seasons of TV shows, oh and books. There was a lot to look over since this was our first trip to the library.

We were not there longer than 20 minutes when Max had another explosion.

It’s books. It has got to be books. Not just one or two books, but if he is surrounded by thousands and thousands of books. I don’t know if he gets nervous around so much reading material or if he has picked up on the fact that I bring a book into the bathroom at home and he has subconsciously linked books to “going”.

I hope he gets over this by the time he starts school. He may have some serious problems working on his term papers.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I am not touching you.

The other night we are laying in bed and Lauren is drifting off to sleep. I put my face very close to hers and stare directly at her closed eyes. She senses what I am doing. She opens her eyes. "What?" She says.
"I'm trying to sleep."
"I know but you do this to me all the time."
"Go to sleep." She closes her eyes.

I stick my finger out just centimeters away from her face and I hold it there. It is just enough for her to sense it without me actually touching her. She slowly opens her eyes, “What are you doing?” she asks somewhat groggy.


“Well knock it off. I am trying to sleep.” She closes her eyes.

Thirty seconds later I reach my finger up again just below her eye. Without moving she says, “Knock. It. Off.”

“What? I am not touching you.”

She turns over and mumbles something.

“How come it’s funny when you do it to me?”

Then it hit me.

She plays “I’m not touching you” In bed WAY more than I do.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The History of MooneyAngelo

While in college the Lawn Whisperer dated an Art Major. He spent many a night sitting up with her as she worked diligently to meet her deadlines for her projects. What is a guy to do while his girlfriend is sculpting and painting? He decided he would sculpt and paint with her. Taking the scraps of Bristol board and left over paints he set out to entertain himself with his artistic talent. I use the word talent very loosely.

One of his first creations was a barn. He painted it free hand. It was very ugly. He named it the “Ugly Barn.” His next piece of work was a picture of a duck. It was pretty lame. He titled it the “Lame Duck”. LW’s middle name is Mooney, which is an old family name, and he signed his work MooneyAngleo.

The best part of the “Lame Duck” was the birds flying in the sky. LW never having studied art in elementary school was unaware that the simple way to draw birds flying in the distance was to use the style of the lower case ‘m’. LW thought that he was supposed to use the lower case ‘w”. All of his early paintings had birds flying upside down. The upside down birds became a signature trademark of his work.

The MooneyAngelo signature upside birds also inspired a series of paintings. A blue “w’ was a Blue Jay. A red “w’ was a Cardinal. A black ‘w” was a black bird. He painted these on canvas as well as boxer shorts.

I an effort to expand his horizons, MooneyAngelo embarked on painting more complex scenes. His works during this revolutionary period included: “The Invisible Robber”, which a was a black and white etching of a stick figure policeman pointing a gun at and empty space. “The Snowball Fight” which is two snowballs boxing. And “The Unfortunate Cow” which showed a cow not quite making it over the moon.

Having a minimal audience that understood his genius, MooneyAngelo realized that some of his images needed a story to make a more serious impact on the viewer. “A picture is worth a thousand words.” He said. “But with a story, my pictures are worth a thousand Plus.” And so each of his masterpieces would now have a companion poem.

Fast Forward
Many years later, LW rediscovered his portfolio of hundreds of paintings and poems. Knowing that there may be an audience for his work at this time, he sought to improve upon his already existing ideas. Since MooneyAngelo had the artistic style of a
2nd grader, LW asked for assistance from his brother William who had the artistic style of a 5th grader. William would re-invent the images, adding his own influence while keeping true to the original context of the writing and images.

And that is the history of MooneyAngelo.

I plan to update the MooneyAngelo Blog/site once a week. Please check it out and leave comments. Lawn Whisperer loves comments.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Sugar High

I think Maxfield had a good time last night. He enjoyed seeing other kids all dressed up. He only made it to a few houses because our neighborhood was pretty lame with many porch lights out.

Couple of cool things to note.

1. Maxfield is officially 20 months old today.
2. "Maxfields Favorite Uncle"'s birthday is tomorrow. Happy Birthday.
3. MooneyAngelo is updated.
4. My brother Jim (the youngest and my mom's favorite son) and his wife had their fourth baby on Halloween. That makes it the 20th grandchild for my parents. Her name is Olivia although I was hoping for Elvira or Broomhilda or something like that. Congrats.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Brother can you spare a dime

I know I should not talk about my kid being as cute as he is, but, man he is just buckets full of cuteness in his Halloween costume. Lauren and I went back and forth as to what Maxfield should be this year. I of course like the superhero route. Batman or Superman or maybe one of the X-men. But Lauren convinced me that there is plenty of time for those costumes in the future.
Lauren wanted to try her sewing hand at making a costume and decided on a Hobo outfit. She did an excellent job. She even made the hat.

In an effort to be politically correct we are calling him an "Economically Challenged Person".

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Trick or Treat

Two weeks ago I bought a few bags of Halloween candy to give to Trick or Treaters. I have not touched those bags. That is 14 days that candy, such as Butterfingers, Kit-Kats and other good treats, have sat in my house un-opened. Lauren set the rule that that candy was not to be touched. It was reserved fro the kids.

The other day I went and bought another bag of candy. Since that bag did not fall under the original rule, I opened it and have been enjoying it for the past few nights. I technically did not break any rules.

Friday, October 28, 2005


"What's wrong? All of the sudden you are in a bad mood."

"Oh there is nothing sudden about it. I have been in a bad mood since I woke up."

Thursday, October 27, 2005


MooneyAngelo has finally updated after a long hiatus.

No Evil

Hear no Evil.
See No Evil.
Pick No Evil.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Parental Worries

I know there are other really important things that a parent needs to be worried about, such as:
Is he eating right?
Am I too lenient/strict?
Is he sick?
Is he happy?
Should he quit the pacifier cold turkey?

There are many, many others.

But one parental concern has been nagging me for a really long time. When I think about it, I get really anxious and uncomfortable.

When I put Max’s shoes on him I constantly thinking about the stitch in his socks.

Is the stitch to his sock bunched up under the fleshy part of his toes that he is constantly scrunching his toes inside his shoe to make the stitch recede into the space between his toes and the pad of his foot? Once it is there is the stitch too thick for the 3rd and 4th toe (Roast beef toe and the toe that had none)? Think about it, don't you hate when this happend to you?

Is the stitch going straight across the pad/ball of his foot? Is this causing him to walk on his toes?

Did the stitch rotate up on the knuckle of his little toe and causing him severe aggravation where he is “flicking” his little toe, non-stop, inside his sneaker? Will it cause a callous?

Is the sock not pulled on tightly enough, causing a bunch of fabric to be at the front of shoe?

Are the folds of his socks at his ankles causing too much irritation just below the inside anklebone, where the sneaker meets his foot?

Is the sock bunching up between his toes? Especially the big toe and the one next to it.

All of these bother the hell out of me, I am sure they bother Maxfield. But he is only 20 months old. He can’t fix the problem himself. He can’t tell me, or his mother that his socks are bothering him.

Will he remember that I did this to him?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Riding the Storm Out.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have suffered from any damage from Wilma. It was our first hurricane and we only saw the very outer edges of the storm. There was heavy rains and wind but we were fine.
What we did to pass the time.
We built a fort.
Taught Max how to make lighstsaber noises with a flashlight.
We watched tree branches fall in the back yard.
We Wrestled.

Music debate.

My parent’s musical influences on me and my sibs were Elvis, Beach Boys, 1950’s Rock and Roll (via Sha-Na-Na), Motown and Neil Diamond. There was many a Sunday afternoon listening to records of these artists. As we got older of course each of us developed our own taste in music. We all pretty much had the same taste; we all liked the same music.

I remember when Pink Floyd’s The Wall made it into our house. My mom had to put up with all us singing, “Mother do you think they are trying to break my balls.” over and over again. We listened to Neil Young and Crazy Horse, singing Powder Finger at the top of our lungs. “Look out Momma there’s a white boat coming up the river”. Notice the mother theme in these songs. We were just serenading my Mom.

There, of course, were arguments over who was the bigger fan: who knew the words to every song. Kevin and Sharon would argue over lyrics to AC/DC’s Back in Black. Who was Little Nemo from Genesis’ “Then There Were Three”? Why did Peter Gabriel Leave? Silly squabbles over music.

My first record album that I bought with my own money was Barry Manilow’s Greatest Hits.

Why Barry Manilow? Because all of the other decent bands and singers were taken. I am the sixth of nine children. My older siblings already had cornered the market on Pink Floyd, Abba, Genesis, Neil Young, Beach Boys, The Who, BeeGees as well as anyone else. As an individual each of tried to stand out from the others. Dan liked Cheap Trick. Sharon liked Peter Frampton. Kevin liked Genesis.

So when it came to music I tried to stand out. Break out from being the middle child. Maybe get noticed for my musical tastes. Barry Manilow was a way to do that. The Lawn Whisperer, the other middle child, chose Andy Gibb.

We argued over who was better.

According to the readers of Poop and Boogies Lawn Whisperer Won. He is very happy.

Now should I be embarrassed about being a Barry Manilow fan? Should Lawnwhisperer be ashamed of Andy Gibb? Or is it even more embarrassing to admit that we know all the words to the songs in Grease 2. (That would be my mom’s influence)

“Who’s that guy? On the motorcycle. What would they say if the knew it was Michael?”

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Great Debate

I need a little help here.
This Great Debate has been ongoing for over 25 years. I would like to settle it by using the opinions of the people that read Poop and Boogies for a little closure on the topic. Since I think the people who comment here can be objective in their opinion I will rely on you to solve this dispute.

If you were, say, 10 or 11 years old back in the early 80’s (remember think like a 10 year old BOY) . Who was cooler (less nerdy, less dorky), which was the better talent to be a big fan of:

Barry Manilow or Andy Gibb.


Does life get any better than this? Maybe....If there was beer..... or if this picture was taken at a Hooters....but other than that does life get any better?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Know Your Ologist

Maxfield has to undergo a series of Blood tests to determine why he has a low white blood cell count. So far they have taken his blood 4 times and he is scheduled to have blood drawn 6 more times in the next three weeks.

We need to see a blood specialist after all the results come back.

Lauren called the pediatrician after the last test to check on the results as well as get information about the specialist. She was put on hold so the nurse (the same nurse from this story) could retrieve the info. After a few minutes the nurse comes back to the phone and says,

“Yes Lauren, you were holding to get information about the Oncologist”




Lauren gulps and says, “WHAT?”

The nurse, I guess hearing the concern in Lauren’s voice says “Oh I’m sorry. I meant the Hematologist.”

To which Lauren responded, “Don’t scare me like that!”

I know that in pediactrics Hematology and Oncology go hand in hand. I know there are a lot of Hematologist/Oncologists doctors. But seriously does the nurse have to use the "O" word.

This nurse is absolutely a fucking idiot and has no Phonse-side manners.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

First Thanks

Growing up with such a large family of boys, most of my Saturday’s were occupied going to games. Little League baseball, basketball, and football.
If I was not playing I was required to attend my brothers’ games. My parents would not allow me to stay home by myself. Sometimes Saturday’s would be an all day event because 4 or 5 of my brothers would be playing at different times throughout the day.

There was one benefit to attending these all day events. Treats.

Treats are what we called any type of sugary food from the concession stand.
At some point during the 6-hour day, my dad would ask, “Who wants a treat?”
Of course no one ever said “No”.
We (anywhere between 3 and 7 of us) would walk over to the concession area and stand in line as we told my dad what we wanted. He would repeat what we said to the people working. “Bottlecaps, uh, Razzles, Charleston Chew. What? Oh. Billy what flavor Charleston Chew? Strawberry. A Fun Dip. I am not supposed to let you have that. Okay. A Fun Dip. Red Hot Dollars and a Snow Cone.” As the lady working the counter handed my dad each item he would turn around and pass it back.

We would walk back to the area in the bleachers or on the hill that overlooked Field 2 that was designated by one of our parents as the meeting spot. Sitting through a T-ball game and a Minors League blow out (usually the Lawnwhisperer’s team. He was always on a stinky team) did not seem to suck as bad once you had your treat. We would devour our candy and then fight to sit still through the next couple of games. We were not allowed to “horseplay” we were “there to watch the games.”

At some point, when the candy was gone and the wrappers were in the trashcan, someone, sometimes me, sometimes someone else, would say, “Thanks Dad.” Immediately following the first thanks there was an echo of “Thanks Dad.” from everyone else.

In my mind it always felt so good to be the first to say thanks. By being the first to say thanks that meant I was the only one to truly mean it. Everyone else was just saying it because someone else said thanks. I always felt bad not being the first to say it.

As we got older it became a competition to see who could say thanks first. If it was one of my brothers and not me, I would hold my ‘thanks” until later, so my dad knew I meant it. So he wouldn’t think I was just saying thanks because someone else did. Often times I would hold my “Thanks Dad” too long and would forget to say thanks at all.

For every time I forgot.

“Thanks Dad.”

That should cover me for a while. Except that my dad rarely reads Poop and Boogies and I am sure all of my brothers are calling him right now to say thanks so they can beat me to it.