Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Wyatt has graduated to a size 4 diaper (yeah, he is huge). No matter what brand of diaper you buy, when you get the next size, you get a new character, Mickey, Tigger, Simba etc., on the front and back of the diaper. Whenever I change diapers I always use the character as the center point. I line it up, so it is front and center to make sure all the kid’s parts are covered the right way.

Last night I was changing Wyatt's diaper before bedtime and I was using the new diapers. Wyatt would not stop squirming and he was making it difficult for me to align the sticky/velcro tabs the right way. At first the left tab (his right) was too far away from the center. I knew this because the right tab (his left) was clearly two thirds of the way across the character Winnie the Pooh's head and the left tab (his right) was not even close to it.

I pulled the tabs off and started again. Wyatt was squirming away and I could not keep him still. I fastened the tabs and looked at him and the same thing happened. The diaper was off center and did not appear to be fitting him the right way. I pulled the tabs off and tried again. I realigned the diaper so it was center on his butt and held Wyatt down with my elbow. No luck. Now the right tab (his left) was totally crossing to the other side of Pooh's head and the left tab (his right) wasn't even near the center of the diaper.

I tried again but with Wyatt moving so much I could not get the diaper or the tabs centered across the front of the diaper. And everyone knows that if the diaper is not on the baby properly, there is going to be leaks.

I tried and tried and really started to get frustrated. I was cursing Wyatt, under my breath, for moving so much. I pulled and pulled on the tabs and applied them and then pulled them off the front of the diaper so many times that the sticky/velcro was losing its sticky/velcro-y-ness.

I was about to give up and ask Lauren for help when I lifted the diaper up to inspect it. The diaper's character was not centered on the front of the diaper. Pooh's head was made to look like he was peering in from the right (Wyatt's left). So his head was not centered on the diaper. That was the problem.

I felt better. I realized I was not an idiot. But then I started to get a little miffed. Why in the hell would the makers of this diaper NOT put the character center on the diaper? Don't they realize that there are fathers out there that use that character as the center point when they are changing diapers? I looked at the diaper again, and I realized something else; the way Pooh is peering out, it's as if he is slipping out from the right side of the diaper by Wyatt's left leg.

Just what I need more pooh slipping out of diapers.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Nerves are genetic

Bill: Max, do you want mustard or ketchup with your hotdog?

Max: Ketchup.

Bill: I can't believe this kid puts ketchup on his hotdogs.

Lauren: You know he gets that from me. He has my personality.

Bill: Oh, well than that explains his ability to get on my nerves sometimes.

Lauren: No, having my personality explains why you can't help but love him so much. The getting on the nerves thing is from you.

Monday, February 26, 2007


Maxfield woke up this morning at 4:30 am. He was having a bad dream and he was screaming and crying. I went into his room to try and calm him down but I couldn't.

"Shhhh. It's okay I am here."

"I wantagoout..." I heard him start but then the rest of the sentance became a garbled mess.

"Shhh Max. We don't want to wake up Wyatt." I stroked his forehead. "I'm here. It's okay."

He started to scream louder and again I could not understand what he was saying. His eyes were closed the entire time.

"Maxfield? what's wrong? Take deep breaths and calm down."

He yelled even louder, "I No wanna calm down. I wanna go to pl...." His snot and tears and the partial sleep state, his and mine, made it imposssible for me to figure out what he was saying. I didn't want his cries to wake Wyatt so I picked Max up and headed down the stairs. Once he was in my arms I could feel him calm down.

I rubbed his back and I asked again, "Max? You had a bad dream. It's okay. Tell me what's wrong?"

Through the small whimpers he said, "I want to go to the playground with Jason and Cora." Jason and Cora are Max's friends that live down the street.

"It was just a dream Max. I'm sure you can play with them later." I said. And at the moment I said it I could feel Max's body tense up for another scream.

He calmly pulled his head off of my shoulder, looked me in the eye, and then screamed at the top of his lungs like he was possessed by the devil, "I want to go to the playground with Jason and Cora."

I actually got a little scared.

We sat on the couch and it took me a few minutes to convince him he was having bad dream and that everything was okay. He finally snapped out of dream like state and asked for some milk.

He just now fell back asleep on the couch, which is a good thing, because I was seriously considering going down the street and waking Jason and Cora.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Para Normal

I am pretty sound sleeper. I also have pretty interesting dreams and, at times, I talk about these dreams when I am asleep. My siblings used to entertain themselves by talking to me when I slept and I would talk back, discussing the all the details of my adventures in dreamland. I would dream of ghosts and UFO’s, secret agents and superheroes and about being chased. I still do.

I am a sucker for shows on the history channel about UFO’s. I am fascinated by the shows Ghost Hunters and the Physic Detectives and any other paranormal late night television. I usually fall asleep with these shows on the TV and they invade my dreams. Every now and then Lauren will wake me, in the middle of the night for some reason or another and I always wake with a start, fists clenched arms flailing ready to defend myself from the boogieman.

Last night Lauren heard a wail over the monitor that sounded different. “Bill?” she said not knowing I was asleep. “Did you hear that?”

I sprung up, arms extended ready to karate chop the noise. “What?”

“Calm down.” She said. “It’s no big deal. Do you hear that?”

I listened. I heard a faint cry over the monitor. “It doesn’t sound like Wyatt. Nor Maxfield.”
She went upstairs to check the monitor in Wyatt’s room while I tinkered with the one on my nightstand. I switched the channel, from A to B on the receiver to make sure it was in the correct position. I listened to see if I could here Lauren checking on the kids. She returned to our room and said both kids were sound asleep. We discussed the channel and everything seemed okay.

I rested my head back down on the pillow and said, “Maybe we are picking up someone else’s frequency from the neighborhood, because I did not recognize that cry.” I closed my eyes.

“That was weird.” Lauren said, thirty seconds later as she climbed into bed. “The cry almost seemed other worldly.”

I sat right back up.

“What wrong?” Lauren asked.

“When you woke me up you said “It’s no big deal”, other worldly voices in our house is a big deal. You can’t tell a guy who watches ghost and UFO shows that other worldly voices are no big deal.”

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I am not a big fan of real estate agents. I think most of them would sell their own mother for 6 percent commission. I have only been involved in a few real estate transactions in my life and at every one of them; there was always the appearance of some shenanigans going on.

I understand, that 10 or so years ago, a realtor had to do a lot to sell a house. They had to list the house in the newspaper, get the phone calls to other realtors and create flyers and what have you. They also had to meet the other agents to exchange keys as well as open the house for the potential buyers. They had to work for their commission. They had to sell.

But now with modern technology, they have a lot (and I mean a lot) less to do. They list a house on the internet and put an electronic lock box on the door and they can just sit back and wait. The buyer's agent is the one that really ends up showing the house and selling the house.

Selling a house, and especially if you watch all the house selling shows on cable, is basically the art of deception. The listing agent will tell you, to empty your closets so they "look" bigger. The closets are not really bigger. The agents will tell you remove unused furniture to make the rooms "look" bigger. Again they are not bigger they just look bigger. Some agents tell you to remove all personal pictures from the walls, so the house can appeal to the potential buyer. Art of Deception.

When putting our house on the market, we interviewed three potential agents. They were all nice and sweet, but each one of them told us their little deceptive "tricks" and then asked us to trust them with the sale of our home. So they tell us how to lie and be deceptive and then want us to trust them. Strange. Of course I had to call them out on this and getting their responses was entertaining.

The other thing about real estate agents that I find totally shady, is the fact that they can represent the buyers and the sellers. They work both ends. A buying agent knows all the same deceptive tricks that the selling agent knows, so it is very easy for them to inform their clients that the closets only APPEAR bigger, but for the most part they don't tell their clients. They want the sale just as much. Selling agents will also cherry pick houses with the highest commission rates to show their clients first. Even if the house is not what the client is looking for, they hope that they can keep the lower commission rates out of the equation, by inundating the buyer with the other houses.

Buyer agents and selling agents are all in cahoots.

I know some of the people that read this blog will disagree. Some people that read, actually may be real estate agents. I am sure there are some decent ones out there. I am not trying to offend. I am sure some will leave comments defending their real estate agents. But think about it, why is the real estate business, pretty much the only business where the business cards have the picture of the agent on the card. No other business that I know of actually prints headshots on business cards. It is not really a headshot of the agent to make you feel connected to the person.

It is their mug shot from the last time they ripped someone off or from when they sold their mother.

Monday, February 19, 2007


When I food shop, I always buy the cheapest brand of whatever I need. There are a few exceptions, like Dorito's, none of their competitors have been able to even come close to matching their delicious crispy crunchy cheesiness. But for the most part I have learned to quickly break down the cost by unit (oz., piece, lb., slice of beef jerkey per bag, whatever) and I buy the cheapest.

My method works, pretty much, perfectly for all of the aisles in the store except one; the Toilet Paper aisle. Man, this is the most confusing aisle in the whole store. First of all, I hear all kinds of talk on the news about people complaining to congress and their senators about the price of oil and gasoline, but has anyone ever stopped to take a look at the price of toilet paper these days? It's unbelievable. Not only is it expensive, it is also difficult to break down the unit price. They have "regular rolls", "giant rolls" and "big rolls" and that is just for the standard Charmin with the red packaging. How am I supposed to break down the unit price for that to comparitive shop?

The other thing I noticed about the toilet paper is that, at least in the Publix I shop at, all the different brands are priced pretty much exactly the same. A 12 pack of Charmin is the same price as a 12 pack of Cottonelle. Is there some type of OPEC like organziation that runs the toilet paper industry where they control prices so there is no free market?

Friday, February 16, 2007

True Love

For Valentine’s Day Lauren and I agreed we would not exchange gifts, we would just do something nice for each other.

Lauren made pork dumpling pot-stickers with an Asian ginger sauce (one of my favorites) pretty much from scratch. She hand wrapped the seasoned ground pork into the dumpling wrappers. She made about 40 of them. She also spent the night before making home made chocolate raspberry truffles and chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered pretzels.

I, for Valentine’s Day, cleaned up my toenail clippings from the nightstand, myself. And I made the bed.

Sometimes I think she does not deserve me.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Kitchen, a Woman's Place

In our house, Lauren does most of the cooking and I handle most of the clean up. I load the dishwasher, handwash the pots, pans and utensils and I try to dry and put most of the stuff away. It is the putting stuff away that always causes me problems.

Every so often my wife will reorganize the cabinets. She will move the plastic storage containers from one cabinet to another. The colander and strainers will find a new home somewhere else. Everything will get stacked nice and neat on shelves. Whenever she does this, it takes me weeks to figure out where everything is supposed to go in their new spot. If she is not in the kitchen when I am trying to figure her new system out, 9 out of 10 times, I put the item away in the old spot. Lauren does not like this.

Lauren, also, will take the largest bowls and put them on a shelf and stack all the smaller bowls inside to create more room for other items. We have a set of three, blue, mixing bowls. They stack neatly inside one another. We use the middle sized one the most often. When Lauren needs to get that bowl she has to take all three out of the cabinet, remove the smaller one from inside the middle one, remove the middle one form the large one and then put the little one back into the largest one and put them back into the cabinet. It is many steps.

When I am cleaning up, I will put away the middle sized bowl on top of the small bowl, like a reverse pyramid, because I know that the middle bowl is the one we use most so it is the easiest to grab. I think it is more efficient. A while ago, Lauren asked me to stack them the correct way. I told her of my reasoning and her response was, “You hate organization, don’t you?”

It is not that I hate organization; it is just that her system for the kitchen cabinets for cooking is totally against my system for the kitchen cabinets for putting stuff away.

Homemade Valentine's Day Cards

Mom, You Light up my life.

Mom, I Chew s you to be my Valentine.

Mom, I love you because you accept me for what I am. Happy Valentine's Day.

Love Maxfield and Wyatt.

Monday, February 12, 2007

House for Sale

Lauren, the kids and I are moving. The housing market is slow. I think there are some people in upstate New York and especially in Oswego County that may be interested in moving to Florida.

Buy our house.


You can kind of tell neither is too thrilled about posing with the other.

Friday, February 09, 2007

100 things

I never bothered to do the whole “100 things about me” that a lot of bloggers do.

This is something that, if I did have that list, would probably be on it.
I hate topiaries. Not the real ones that are the shape of an animal or a boat or something, but the fake ones that are just a ball of green on top of a stick. They are supposed to be decorative. I seriously hate them. What’s the point of a fake topiary?

Since I never did the whole "100 things about me", I am asking for some assistance. Please leave a comment, if you wish, with a little tidbit of information about me. Make it up. The funnier the better. If you know me in real life, feel free to leave something true as long as it is not too embarrassing or revealing. Lauren, Lawnwhisperer, Momo9, and anonymous may all have a field day with this.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A Cold

Sunday morning I woke up with a bit of a cold. It's the kind of cold that starts slowly and is not too bad. Just a little achey with a little bit of sniffles, a slight scratch to the throat. No big deal.

Until Monday and I had that ONE sneeze. The sneeze that hurts your entire body. The sneeze that makes you see stars. And it is that sneeze that transforms a little cold to a huge cold. In the middle of that 2 seconds it takes to sneeze that sneeze, your body goes from sniffles to full on snot maufacturing machine. That one sneeze takes you from being okay and breathing fine to totally clogged up and wheezing. Do you know what I am talking about?

Anyway, I knew I was in for a long night Monday. I couldn't breath through my nose so I knew I would get a serious dry throat while I slept, so I put a cup of water on the night stand. I knew I would probably get chills so I wore sweatpants and a sweatshirt to bed. I knew I would have to wake up several times throughout the night to blow my nose, so I put a roll of toilet paper on the nightstand. It was going to be along night and nothing is worse than actually having to get out of bed when you need your sleep.

I woke up several times with the dry throat and I sipped my water and went back to sleep. I woke up other times to rip a piece of TP off the roll, blow my nose,throw the used "tissue" on the floor (to be picked up the next morning) and go back to sleep. I woke up several times to cough, apologize to Lauren for waking her up and then I would go back to sleep. I would say I was up every half an hour.

At one point, around 4 AM, I woke up with a serious dry throat. I reached over and grabbed my cup of water. I took a sip but only a very little bit of water slid down my throat and barely quenched the dryness. I could have sworn I had more water in the cup. I was only taking sips all night so I would not have to get out of bed to fill it back up. I sat up and looked closer at the cup.

Sure enough, stuck in the bottom and the inside of the cup was one of my used "tissues". It sopped up all the water. I gagged.

I just drank some snot. Then I thought about it some more. What if the tissue was in the cup all night? I could have been drinking snot all night.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Holy Train

Max loves trains. Part of his love for trains comes from Thomas and also from Uncle Fred, a train enthusiast, who has sent him a bunch of videos of trains. There are two types of trains in Max's world. There are "trains", like the old fashion steam locomotive engines and there are "Bus Trains" which are the more modern trains that somewhat resemble a bus.

My dad buys every grandson an electric train set for their first Christmas. The set he got Maxfield was sitting in the box unused for the past three years. This past Christmas Wyatt received his set from Pa (that's what they call their grandfather). Now that Max is old enough to enjoy the trains, this past Christmas, I finally set them up in our garage on a half sheet of plywood.

After Max played with them every day for a few weeks I decided to take them down. We needed the room in the garage. He was not happy. He kept asking for the trains. He loved those trains and was truly saddened by the fact that they were gone. He looked at me like I broke his heart. I couldn't take it any longer and so I took a tip from the Lawnwhisperer's parenting handbook and I lied to him. I told him I had to send the trains to Pa so Pa could play with them and take care of them. Max seemed okay with this. I called my dad to tell him I used him as an excuse and that if Max ever asked my dad about the trains my dad would cover for me. He was on board (no pun intended).

A couple of weeks went by without Max mentioning the trains and I no longer felt guilty about taking his beloved trains away. Then, one night, as I was putting him to bed, we were saying our prayers and I got to the part where we ask God to bless our family members.

"God bless MomMom and PopPop (Lauren's parents) MaMa and Pa (my parents) and..."

Max, who is usually silent and fiddling with his balnkets or something, interupped me. "And God Bless Pa who has my trains. And God Bless my bus trains, and Wyatt's trains which are black and yellow, and bless the tracks and the table and the tunnel."

I couldn't help but laugh and repeat what he said. Now, every night, either saying grace before dinner or at night time prayers we bless his trains.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Up until I got Married...I never knew you should scrub potatoes before you cook and serve them.

I would like to apologize to any and all past roomates, friends, family members for possibly serving them dirt.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Standing in Line

You know how when you stand in line at the bank, or grocery store or some other type of line standing place, the moment the first person in line moves, there is that two step shuffle everyone else in line does to fill the space?

The bank teller will say "Next". The first person in line walks to the counter and then the other 20 people, standing between the stanchion ropes in line, all shuffle up just to wait for the next teller.

I don't do that.

I know the people behind me get all miffed. I can feel their stares on the back of my head and I can hear their mumbles and I can read their thoughts of "Why isn't this guy moving? There is a whole two feet in front of him. Oh my god! Fill the space dude. You are going to make me late."

It's not like I am letting people cut into line. I am merely expanding on my own personal space in front of me. I also look at it as an opportunity to make the people behind feel better about their wait. If I let the 5 people in front of me go to the teller and I don't fill their space in line right away, when I actually do move up in line I am moving 10 feet or so at one time, instead of 2 feet 5 times over. And when I do this, the people that are behind me all get to move 10 feet as well, and then they think to themselves, "Wow this line is moving pretty fast."

So I think of it as a public service.

Thursday, February 01, 2007