Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cooking with Poop and Boogies

I enjoy cooking. Most weekends I cook dinner for the family and I usually like to experiment with different ingredients. I will get an idea for some type of meal and I normally do not look up recipes. I try to wing it. Two weeks ago I tried to make fried avocados and I thought I would share my experience.

Fry some ground spicy sausage in a pan, as it browns chop it to make it into small crumbles.

Dice one mango, one red pepper, half an onion and a few slices of cucumber. Mix it all together throwing in a pinch of orange zest and a splash of lemon juice. You want the consistency to be that of a thick salsa. Mix in the ground Sausage.

Slice avocados from top to bottom and remove pit. Use a spoon to make the divot left by the pit a little bigger on each half of the avocado (this is where the salsa/sausage goes after it is fried). Use a spoon to scoop the meat of the avocado from the skin making sure to leave most of the avocado intact.

Mix one raw egg with a little bit of milk in a bowl. In another bowl combine a dash of cumin, cayenne pepper, and garlic salt to some breadcrumbs.

Heat some oil in a frying pan.

Dip and roll the avocado halves into the egg and then into the bread crumbs and make sure it is evenly covered.

Out of the corner of your eye, through the kitchen window, watch your five year old fall from the monkey bars. Out of the corner of your ear, hear your wife yell for you to come out to the back yard. And hurry. Wash the raw egg off your hands, turn off oil on stove and run out back. Listen to the five-year-old scream. Debate whether child is actually injured or just faking it because he heard you were having fried avocados for dinner.

Have wife tell you she heard something break. Tell five-year-old to "shake it off". Have wife tell you again she thinks something broke.

Take your five-year-old to local emergency room and be told they have to transfer him to another facility. Run home a few hours later to check on other kids and to get stuff for an overnight stay. See the ingredients to the fried avocado sitting on counter, in raw egg, for the past few hours and dump them all in the garbage.

If you follow the last part of the recipe it should end up looking like this.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Extended Family

Over the past few weeks I have had five nieces/nephews make their First Holy Communion. I have attended each of their parties celebrating the event. When attending these types of large family parties I always seem to forget that extended family will be there. The extended family I refer to is the In-laws to my brother(s) hosting the party. Their mother and father in-law, various brother and sister in-laws, nieces and nephews and aunts and uncles that are of no direct relation to me are in attendance. I always seem to forget their names and I know, for the most part, they forget mine. I always seem to get a little bit of social anxiety in these situations.

The last time most of Extended In-laws and I met were at the wedding of the mutual family member.

Since I have 7 brothers, at these big parties I sometimes get, "Which one are you? You were so funny at the wedding when you guys roasted (insert brothers name)." Or maybe they say "Bill? Or is it Dan, right? Were you the one that said that -Bulson push-shove thing/The groom's got big balls./The groom has three nipples./Joan thinks we are getting naked- at (insert brother's name) wedding?"

I then introduce myself and have to admit that I don't remember most of my brother's weddings and that most likely I did not say any of those things. It usually ends with an awkward moment of me not remembering the Extended In-law's name and I take a long extended sip from my beer in the hopes that my silence forces them to say something else.

Anyway at these recent parties, over the past few weeks, I decided to take a different angle to those Extended In-law conversations. I now admit to saying those things at the wedding. I then say the most off-the-wall somewhat offensive comment I can think of and then introduce myself as Kevin.

It has been working great. My brother Jim's, John's and Dan's In-laws all think Kevin is a little strange.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


We have been a video game free house. Not by choice or design, because I love video games, but more because the kids never showed interest or asked for any types of video game system. Then Max broke his leg. The very generous people at my job all chipped in and bought Max a Nintendo DS.

I wished I would have video taped the past three days of Max and his DS. The recording would have provided a documentary on the early signs of addiction. I Googled "signs of addiction" and they include the following.

*Extreme hyperactivity and excessive talking
*Change in overall attitude/personality
*Loss of interest in things that were important before
*Loss of interest in family and friends
*Unexplained silliness or giddiness
*Difficulty in paying attention and forgetfulness
*Lack of motivation
*Unexplained moodiness and irritability
*Defensiveness/temper tantrums.

Maxfield is totally addicted to the DS.

In other news the Signs of Addiction also describe the typical behavior of three year old.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Parental Love

When each of my kids were born I could tell that I had a certain amount of, I don't know what to call it, I guess instinctual love works, for them. I knew that I loved them from somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind and heart but I never felt that certain connection or bond right from the get go. I think part of the reason for that is that I did not feel the love from my kids right from the start. I know that may sound wrong but that is how I felt. I felt the need to protect them and nurture them but that reciprocal part of the relationship just wasn't there. Lauren nursed each of the kids so they didn't need me.

I didn't feel connected to Maxfield until about he was about 6 months old. Sure, I loved him more and more each day, but it wasn't until his personality developed that I could feel his affection and need for me that I truly experienced the love that a father can have for his son. It was also about the same time that Lauren stopped nursing.

When Wyatt was born, I became Max's best friend. Lauren spent more time with Wyatt and I spent more time with Max. My attention and time was focused on Max and it took at least 9 months for me to feel the father connection to Wyatt. Although he was still nursing he became more independent and his laugh and attitude made me completely fall head over heels.

Now with Jackson my time and attention is now split between the two older boys. My focus is on taking care of them, knowing that Lauren is taking care of Jackson. I was sure that I would not feel the bond between us for a much longer time. I was wrong. For some reason, with Jackson, it was around the three month mark where I came to fully appreciate my love for him. Maybe it is due to Max and Wyatt interacting with Jackson more and Jackson is giving back quicker than the other two did. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I am more calm and patient as a dad. Maybe it is due to the fact that I am finally getting this parental love thing down and I can recognize Jackson's personality and needs of me quicker.

Lauren is nursing Jackson and maybe the reciprocal love is due to the fact that a few years ago I was in better shape and now I am starting to get man-boobs and Jackson is just confused.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bloody Murder

"What's wrong!?" My mom would bark from the bottom of the steps in response to the scream that came from the upstairs hallway.

We would all go suddenly quiet in the upstairs hallway and give the collective evil eye to the brother that screamed.

"Nuthin." One of us would reply from the top of the steps making sure to stay close to the shadows so mom might not recognize the person responding.

"What do you mean 'Nuthin.'?" Mom would ask. Which would then be followed up with "Someone is screaming bloody murder up there."

In the upstairs hallway, heads would snap in an accusatory way towards the offending screamer. Silent whispers of "I told you to be quiet" or "It's your fault" would be directed at each other.

The offender, also clinging to the shadows, half leaning down the steps, would apologize.

"That's enough!" Mom would say without ever clarifying enough of what.

We would wait a few minutes, laugh at the person who was scolded, and go back to our our game of hallway tackle football or our steel cage match. The offending screamer was not hurt but was most likely cheering at a touchdown or a perfect Greg Valentine Figure Four move. If someone was ever actually hurt, required stitches, broke a bone, what have you, we would never scream. We would all be quiet in an effort to cover up the incident; including the brother that was bleebing. Quiet and brothers usually mean someone is hurt. The quieter the bloodier.

Our screaming bloody murder was never really murder.

I never understood the phrase screaming bloody murder. When I was eight, I thought my mom meant that someone was actually screaming the words bloody murder. When I was twelve, I thought my mom meant she wanted to murder someone after hearing the scream. When I was sixteen I thought my mom was trying to be British but without the accent.

Now? Now I get it. Maxfield will scream like he is being fed into a wood chipper if Wyatt knocks over a Lego building. Wyatt will wail, as if he was getting scalped with a hatchet, if Max stands in front of his view of the TV. They both scream like they are being murdered.

Bloody murder.

I appreciate the phrase. I get it's meaning, but since I was once one of the people screaming, I know that 99 percent of the time screaming is not the result of injury or something serious.

No, I try to listen the long moments of silence to know when something is wrong. I will call up from the bottom of the steps. "What's wrong?"

"Nuthin." Max will call from the hallway upstairs.

"What do you mean nuthin?" I say. Which I then follow up with,"You guys have been quiet for 5 minutes now. Who is hurt?"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I kissed Lauren and the kids and I told them I would see them at home in a few minutes. I ran back into the Chuck E. Cheese to get a jacket that I left at a table covered in pizza and cake and presents from the party we just attended. I was a little frazzled. 90 minutes in Chuck E Cheese with a bunch of 5 year-olds will do that. I said goodbye, again, to the birthday boy's parents and headed towards the door.

A woman, who was not with the birthday party I just attended, stepped in front of me.

"Excuse me."she said. "Are you Poop and Boogies?"

I did not recognize the woman. I looked over my shoulder to make sure she was talking to me.

"Uhmmm. Yeah? That's me. I'm Bill." I shook her hand.

"I'm Erica."

Erica told me she recognized Max and I from the blog and that she thought she recognized my wife Gigglepotamus. I asked her if she knew me and Poop and Boogies from someone else, like a friend or relative of mine. She said no. She said she found P&B a couple of years ago through Nilbo's blog and she has been reading ever since. I was flattered. Erica told me she started her own blog a short while ago.

I looked around to see if any of the parents from the earlier party could hear my conversation. I do not keep the fact that I blog private but I don't really advertise it to other parents either; especially the parents of Max's friends. I tried to think if I wrote any stories about the other parents at the party. I realized I hadn't and felt more at ease. Now, I did not care if the other parents heard that I was recognized for my writing. I have to admit being recognized is good for the ego. I felt a bit cocky and was kind of hoping that they would overhear us talking.

Another woman approached and Erica said. "This is my sister Kristy. She reads the blog too. Kristy this is Poop."

That's right. She introduced me as Poop. Now I was hoping that the other parents could not hear our conversation.

They told me they read P&B everyday and that they enjoy it. They were very nice and it was great to meet them. Erica was very funny. Again, I was very flattered and I felt like a small celebrity. Then they told me that due to their Internet security at work they only have access to very few sites and P&B is one of the "four or five sites that gets through the firewalls".

Basically, reading P&B is better than staring at a blank monitor.

I wonder what the other four sites are?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Mean Lady at the Church

I took this picture on Saturday May 2nd at about 11:46 AM. At the bottom of the picture is Wyatt and his cousin Valera playing nicely in the pew in front of me and Valera's mom (my sister) at their cousin's First Holy Communion.

2 Minutes Before That -My sister and I were still fighting some serious church giggles.

3 Minutes Before That-My sister and I start fighting some church giggles at the thought that the people in the pew in front of our kids probably think that Wyatt and Valera are my sister-in-law's kids. We wonder if our sister-in-law is mortified since it is her parish.

2 Minutes Before That-My sister and I start laughing at the fact that we are the Godparent's of one of the 1st Holy Communion recipients. What kind of example are we setting.

1 Minute Before That- My sister and I start laughing. In shock, but laughing.

1 Minute Before That-My anger passes.

30 Seconds Before That-I contemplate how many Hail Marys and Our Fathers I would have to say for committing the action I was just thinking about a minute ago. In Church.

1 Minute Before That- I want to smack the lady in the orange top (in the picture) in the face for treating my kid that way.

2 Minutes Before That -The woman in the orange shirt in front of Wyatt and Valera, in the most hag-like, nasty, witchy way, without warning, turns to Wyatt and Valera, who are two and 4 years old, gives them the evil eye and hisses, "SSSSHHHHHushhhhh." louder than the volume in which Wyatt and Valera were talking. She was flat out mean. Nasty. Shocking.

3o Seconds Before That- Wyatt turns to Valera in a surprised voice and says "I just heard it again. Where did that come from?" They giggle.

5 Seconds Before That - The second ringing of the Sanctus Bells.

1 Minute Before That Wyatt hears the ringing of bells and says in a surprised voice "What was that?" He and Valera start discussing where the bell noise came from.

2 Seconds Before That-The first ringing of the Sanctus Bells.

5 Minutes Before That-My sister makes a comment about how good Wyatt and Valera are behaving in church. I make a comment about how pleased I am with Wyatt's behavior.

15 Minutes Before That-Wyatt does not like sitting with me and moves to the pew in front of me where he can sit with Valera and my sister-in-law and her kids.

5 Minutes Before That-Wyatt finishes all of his distraction snacks and juice.

3 Minutes Before That- We watch the procession of the children making their 1st Holy Communion. My God daughter is the prettiest one.

8 Minutes Before That- My sister and her daughter Valera arrive. My sister sits next to me and Valera sits in the pew in front of us with the other children.

2 Minutes Before That- Wyatt is slightly antsy but behaving himself in the crowded church. He has a new book and sits quietly next to me in the pew.

6 Minutes Before That- Wyatt and I sit in a pew directly behind my sister-in-law (my brother Anonymous' wife) her children, her sisters and their kids.

30 Minutes Before That- My sister-in-law gives Wyatt a new book for him to look at when we are in church.

One Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy Six Years(give or take a couple of years) Before That - Matthew and Simon the Zealot get a serious case of the "Last Supper" giggles. No one shushed them.

Some Time Before That -"And they brought young children to Him, that He should touch them and heal them: and his disciples rebuked them."

"But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God."

Dictionary dot com's definition of Rebuke.- Verb-to express sharp, stern disapproval of; reprove; reprimand.

I don't think the the lady-in-orange knows this, but she displeased Jesus. Wyatt and Valera were angels and merely having a conversation about the service which is what I think church should be like for children. I know she was trying to be reverent and all holy roller like by trying to shush kids in church but she was just downright mean and nasty. I wonder if I did smack her if she would have been reverent and holy and turned the other cheek.

Jackson's Story

My wife, over at Gigglepotamus, finally posted her story of Jackson's birth.

She left out the part about how awesome and supportive and handsome and funny her husband was the during the entire event.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Book Reviews

There are two books I have been reading and I think both of them deserve some type of review.

The first book is Morning Drive by Michael Smerconish. Smerconish is a Philly based talk radio personality who, in my opinion, gives the most fair, honest and entertaining views on politics and current events. His new book, with the subtitle "Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Talking", is not only about politics, his positions on certain issues but it is also about how he came to his positions by researching all sides of the issue. The book is also, somewhat of a revealing, insider's take on talk radio and cable news shows.

Smerconish, on his show and in the book, unlike other talking heads, is not afraid to admit that there is more than two sides to every issue (as Michael Scott from Dunder Mifflin would say "I looked at this 100 different ways. Their way, my way and 98 other ways.). Smerconish makes it clear that most talk show hosts and guests will take a (politically speaking) Right/Republican side or Left/Democrat side to an issue on any given show.

I look at politics and political issues the same way I compare colors; it all depends on the light. In one light, gray looks more dark and the exact same gray in a different light looks lighter. For any political issue, news or current event it all depends on who is shedding the light on the topic. Smerconish's Morning Drive does a nice job of shedding the right amount of various lights on each topic and he is honest that the issue is still "gray".

I think what is understated in the book is Michael's drive. From a young age Michael had the drive to get what he wanted. In the book I think he tries to pass off some of his accomplishments as Karma, but I think it was more his determination to be involved, to find the right answers to be the best that he could be that landed him where he is today. His drive to be a lawyer, his drive to be a radio host, his drive to get the right people to talk to. It is understated but it is there.

The second book I have been reading is The Man's Book, The Essential Guide for the Modern Man by Thomas Fink. This book is BRILLIANT. Funny for any man and some woman. The book is a "How to" guide for things like the proper way to tie a tie and how build a tree house and it also has various lists of things that every man should know like the best movies for a man to watch.

The book states that Fink, the author, is a theoretical physicist. The book is full of scientific and mathematical equations on how to determine a woman's beauty or how one should pick a urinal when having to go pee. Fink includes his equations for the geeky/nerdy readers.

The book is broken down in easy to read chapters with sub-sections for each man category which makes the Man's Guide the perfect bathroom book, which in itself, makes sense. I was disappointed that the film Uncommon Valor did not make the 50 essential films for men list but other than that the The Man's Book is an excellent gift for Father's Day or Husband's Day. What? You never heard of Husband's Day...well no one else has either (Husband's Day is not in the book, it my invention) but I think a bunch of wives should get together and organize a day that celebrates husbands.