Monday, January 31, 2011

Eddie Izzard - Comedy At Its Best

     I spent some time in southwest England around 1995. Around the year 2003, my buddy introduced me to the comedy of Eddie Izzard. My world was changed. I was baptized by his 1998 perrmance in San Francisco, "Dressed To Kill". I was born in San Francisco, so his first 10 minutes here on "The City" ab-solutely killed me! I was hooked ever since.
     He is mildly irreverent at times, but I spent several years listening to English street humor, and he's spot on. His one person skits are the best, and I have yet to see anyone who matches them. I recently watched Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story, and loved it. Besides learning a bit more about my favorite comedian, it was a wonderful story about going after your dream, no matter what. He wanted something so badly, that failure, negative feeback and such were not enough to stop him. I got a lot out of his story.
     He's been in a slew of movies, had his own t.v. show and still tours. His IMDB profile is here. I think it's more of an "after the kids are down" thing, but I'd think lesser of myself if I didn't do a post about Eddie.  Some of my favorite Eddie lines:

- "Stonehenge. One of the biggest henges of them all. Nobody knows what the f&@! a henge is."
- “I grew up in Europe, where the history comes from.”
- “I'm an action transvestite really, so it's running, jumping, climbing trees... putting on make-up when you're up there!”
- "We stole countries with the cunning use of flags."
- "Charles Darwin wrote a famous book in 18[gibberish]. And that book was an interesting book, cuz it was called "Monkey-Monkey-Monkey-Monkey-Monkey-Monkey-You."

Check him out and enjoy!


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Super Bowl Requires Super Nachos

     For years, Sunday night football required "super nachos". They were the staple snack that either never lasted past the first quarter, or served as a half-time treat. We never made a batch for less than four adults, and have made a tray for around 6-8 at a time. The simplest version goes:

Ground meat with taco seasoning, done up in a pan.
Spread corn chips over a cookie sheet.
Evenly spread cooked taco meat over chips.
Add salsa, olives, peppers, cheese, etc. to your heart's content.
Place in oven around 300 degrees until cheese it melted.
Add sour cream, mo' salsa, etc. as you see fit.
.....aaaaaaaaaaannnnddd PIG OUT!!! It's every man for himself.

     A great step by step is listed here at Michelle Cooks Everyday. She puts her own twist on a Rachael Ray recipe, and I dig it. There's also a pretty simple version here at Gringo Bandito (photo credit). Enjoy!


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sibling Rivalry

     This weekend, my wife and I headed out for a long awaited "date night". My son knew something was up immediately, and began to show his displeasure minutes after the baby sitter showed up. He was fine just after we left (yes, we text back and forth with the sitter), but just before departure, I paid attention to my daughter. While the boy was crying, she disappeared into his room, and came out with a favorite stuffed animal. She began coaxing him with a soft and upbeat voice, trying to hand him his stuffed buddy. We mentioned to her the need to help, but I left knowing that she does those things by instinct theses days.
     Sure, there are plenty of "mine", "don't touch", and "daaaaaddddyyyy" moments to fill a toy box. However, she wants to push him in his stroller, feed him treats, quiet his crying and so forth. I fully believe that as she welcomed a little brother, WE tried to make the transition easier. We have special times with her alone, I still read books to her before bed, and other things that make her feel special and loved on an individual basis, as well as a sibling. I know that's helped, and will continue to do so.
     I've found some additional articles on Kids Health, Family Circle, and Parenting. The address sibling rivalry/harmony and overall getting along. I hope we can keep on this path. It'll be a fun ride.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Gophers In The Mist

     I was out back today with my kids and heard a rustle in the flowers up on the little hillside in our backyard. We kept seeing the flower bed move, and then a flower would disappear. The entire root, stem, and flower would just vanish into the ground. I called my daughter over, who stood on the retaining wall next to me. We grabbed a stick and moved some of the undergrowth away from the hole. Seconds later, a little gopher head poked out. We stood quietly while he went about his business.
     It gave us a chance to talk about wild animals, and why we don't just go up and pet the ground rodent on the head. She seemed unconvinced at first that he wouldn't invite us down the hole for a cup of tea. She was sure that there were other creatures at the bottom of the hole that would not only talk, but have some sort of whimsical song to sing to us once we got down there. Of course it was the topic throughout the day, and the plot line of our bedtime story.
     For both the real world and the fantasy, it was a unique experience between me and my little gal. I hope we have many more like it.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blast From The Past

     I've been wanting to pass this link on for ages. Check out Retro Junk. These guys have clips from commercials and TV programs from our childhood in the 70's, 80's, and 90's. Some of the stuff I forgot I ever even watched! It's worth a few minutes, maybe after the kids have gone to sleep.

     My favorite will always be Knight Rider. Enjoy!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Crazy Ronaldinho Skills

     Me and my brothers played soccer most of our young life. As I've watched the World Cup over the years, I've seen more and more clips everywhere of Ronaldinho's CRAZY footy skills. This guy is amazing. His full bio at Wikipedia here. Awesome YouTube clips here, here and here. Top 10 goals here.

Enjoy. I just get jealous.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

We Care A Lot

    "(We care a lot) about you people yeah you bet we care a lot" ~ Faith No More

     We've passed a year on owning guppies. We've added a frog, a small catfish, and a shrimp recently. Today, I got a call on the way home that the frog, apparently, had eaten the shrimp. Now, we had an incident several months back where the ammonia levels spiked and we lost all 18 of our baby guppies, the adults guppies, and our frog (pictured). We never named them, only had them for a short while, and let's face it, they're fish. Yet we put a lot of time and effort into them and felt sadness, especially for the frog, since he got used to being hand fed.
     So today's news was unwelcome, until later in the evening, when the little ghost shrimp came out of the castle cave, and proceeded to clean the bottom of the tank. We looked it up here, and they shed or molt as they grow. The "parts" we saw out the side of our new frog's mouth were just old clothes.
     This, somehow, translated to how much I love and care for my children. Every bump, bruise and scrape hurts us as parents too. I think it's good to notice those things, so that we know just what they mean to us. I'm not saying I want to find my son's discarded skin laying around the house to think I've lost him, but you get the picture. It's these little things that seem to remind me to love and appreciate the little one's I have.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Hamster Dance Song

     Dunno why, but my kids LOVE the Hamster Dance song. The above is the only decent version to embed. There's better animation synced to the song out there, so just poke around a bit and you'll find it. I have it bookmarked on my iPhone so they can watch it anytime in the car. It grabs their attention, calms and quiets them down anytime. It's almost as addictive as the Gummy Bear song.
     Enjoy the madness.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Kids Grow Up Fast

     Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.   ~ Proverbs 22:6

     We were putting a few remaining holiday things away today, and my five year old wanted to help. I was on the floor putting things into boxes. I looked up at her and was amazed at how tall she seemed to me. I went through an array of emotions in a short amount of time. "Look how big she is!", "Wasn't it just yesterday that...", and so on. I was having flashbacks and flashforwards like crazy. I'm sure that every daddy there knows what I mean in some way.
     I know I can't press that pause button. The only constant thing in life is change. So I try to stay current on two major things. Pictures/Video and Journal/Diary. My oldest is only five, and I can go to a photo or journal entry from her early days and realize I've forgotten a TON of stuff. Now, the pictures and videos aren't that hard. You just have to do it. has some great ideas for journal keeping here. It's not the "dear diary" stuff you'd think. It can be more easy than you'd ever thought.
     So before they're off to college or get married, think about it, and get on it!


Friday, January 21, 2011

Star Wars

Photo by Microkosmic

     "These aren't the kids you're looking for."

     We've all been impacted by Star Wars. We all know how to imitate Darth Vader. We've all dreamed about owning a fully functional light saber. We've all waved our hands in front of a store's automatic door wishing that it truly was "the force" that opened it.
     Now, my daughter is up for any kind of play. She does prefer it to be of a princess persuasion (and NOT Princess Leia). However, my son is displaying typical boy attributes and I'm getting excited about the possibilities. I'm not saying that I'm a super Star Wars geek, though I nearly cried when my Boba Fett helmet was stolen from my work desk years ago (...sniff). Still, I'm excited to share the galaxy far, far away with my own offspring. I hope that we can replay the "your not my father!" scenes with feeling.
     I'm a fan of family, history, genealogy, roots, tradition and so on. Landmark movies like Star Wars (Indiana Jones, Back To The Future, etc.) will be a part of our family's traditions. It was fun for me and my father. I hope it's as much for me and my son. ( your father......)



Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Visit To The Doctor

     A apple a day, keeps the doctor awa....OUCH! Time for shots I guess.

     We had a recent trip to the pediatrician that was pretty typical. We got in quick, but sat in the room until both kids we're pulling open all the cupboard and messing up all the "clean" paper on the exam bench. My boy was fine with all the exam stuff. In fact he was quite curious about what was going on. The three shots weren't welcome, but again, the crying was over in seconds (granted, he was up in the night, and limping the next day). It made me think of my three tips for a successful trip to the Doc.

     1. Make sure it's no big thing - I've noticed that if I'm not phased, the kids usually aren't phased. I've seen parents prep their kids for scary things, like Disneyland rides. "Okay, Jr.! Now it's going to get VEEEERY dark, and PREEEETY scary, and somethings going to jump out, and you're gonna want to scream your head off a little bit...." Don't do it. You're setting up the fear. If you must, be honest, brief, and show 'em it ain't no big deal.

     2. Diversion techniques - Mostly used for the nasty stuff, like shots, I have a variety of treats, electronic gizmos, and keywords that will divert my 1 AND 5 year olds' attention away from anything. Even if for a small moment, it's helped us get past shots, scary ear lighting equipment, etc. It works for us, so give 'er a try.

     3. Loose Clothing! - We learned this one early on. With all the poking around the doctor does, loose and comfy work better. ALSO,.... after those shots, you're child will thank you if you can slide on some loose and comfy sweats. It makes things that much easier and happier.

     I found some additional tips for making a trip successful for first time baby visits here, by Teresa Shaw. Also some good tips from a RN (student NP) here. Good luck!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Daddy Painting Nails - Not So Girly After All!

"Daddy, can you paint my nails?"

     The questions once seemed like such an odd one. Yet, a few years back, it all changed. I knew things would be different after my daughter was born. I just didn't know HOW much. I'm one of four boys. We did all things G.I. Joe, pirate, hot lava, etc. Yet we all have girls now. It was a few years back, when I saw a member of our family with HIS toes painted a sparkley silver. I asked him about it and he said it was a way for him to spend more time with his two girls. He would paint theirs, and then they would paint his. It became a tradition. I tried it once in Hawaii with my niece, in order to get her to try it for the first time. It was a great experience.
     So it trickled down to our little tradition. Only so often, we break out the kit and get to trimming, cleaning and painting. TRUST me, I've had to ask for help and direction from my wife. It's totally worth it though. Practice makes perfect, and on a child's feet, the canvas is wiped clean often. I've recently looked into stencils to add some flavor to the end result. Places like OC Nail Art are a great place to get started. I make more mistakes than clean jobs, so take it from a semi-pro, it's more about the time with you daughter.
     Now chat with the wife, break out the colors this weekend, and give it a try. You'll be glad you did.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Blogs, Blogging and Their Inherent Issues

     If at first you don't succeed,....

     With the birth of a new blog, comes all the digi-crap that comes with any new life form. So it is with The Cheeky Daddy. The specific portion of the blog I had issue with is irrelevant. The price came at nearly two hours of searching for an answer. The solution came in the form of abandonment of all hope of fixing, and simply replacing.
     The lesson learned is perhaps to not spend so much time trying to fix a problem that has no immediate answer. I found the answer in the list of Gadgets that Blogger had to offer. I simply replaced old functionality, with new. Point is, don't give up. As frustrated as I was at the end of it (...and since I couldn't actually set fire to the blog), I'm satisfied with the outcome. Now I can move on, older and wiser. Well,...let's not get carried away.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Gift Ideas - "It's Poo!"

You can't have everything. Where would you put it? ~ Steven Wright

     As Christmas and birthdays have just passed, my wife and I came across this video clip. It's classic kid, meets classic lame present. It reminded me of the scene in A Christmas Story, when Ralphy and Randy get socks as a gift.
     We attempted to attach the appropriate amount of cheer behind each gift, but how do you dress up the gift of pants? Just try to balance the order in which the gifts are opened, so that the last three presents aren't books, pants, then socks.
     Nothing killed my June pool birthday party more than my last present being a sweater vest for church. Good luck!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Days At The Park

“If people don't want to come out to the ball park, nobody's gonna stop 'em.” ~ Yogi Berra

     We've been heading to the park a lot these days. These trips bring all sorts of fun and different games to play. Like playing pirate with my daughter. Or enjoying a challenging game of "Guess What's In My Mouth?" with my son. As the weather got nicer, the trips to the park were inevitable. The above quote says it all. Nobody is going to stop you from staying home and doing nothing.
     I've noticed that, like previously posted, bringing the right things along is crucial. Today we forgot the sand toys. Yesterday we forgot the snacks and extra juice. So keep that in mind. Also, we're new to the area and have yet to find all the parks. There's a new iPhone app called Park Finder that might be able to help. Looking up your town usually produces a city website that shows all the local parks as well.
     So take the time. You'll come home tired and happy you did (as I write this, I'm dosing off with a football game on in the background).


Friday, January 14, 2011

Cool Dads, Cool Guys

Doesn't every guy deserve to be looked at like this?

...and not just by your dog, but your wife, kids, girlfriend, co-workers,....whomever.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Root Beer - My Happy Place

     "Okay, he either said, "move to the back of the throat," or he "wants a root beer float".” ~ Dory, Finding Nemo

     I have loved root beer since I was a kid. I've had the cheap no-name stuff, hand crafted my own, and every other kind in between. My current every day favorite is Mug Root Beer (check 'em out, they've got some good recipes). When I can get my hands on it, a treat to myself is Dad's Root Beer (I actually have a Dad's pocket watch!). Some restaurants and stores carry IBC Root Beer, which fills the void when my other favorites are not available. I actually DID make my own root beer briefly. That all ended when I added too much yeast one day and they began to explode in our cupboards. One almost killed my wife as she began to pull 'em out off the shelf. That put an end to my brief career as a home brewer. Maybe one day I'll start it up again.
     My daughter and I have found a local root beer shop, specializing in all types of labels from all over the country. They have their own label brewed for them, which they use for their root beer floats. We share one every time we're in old town, though she's a bit of an ice cream hog. It's been a great tradition to start.
     Oh, and if you're a root beer nut like me, head over to Root Beer World. They've got over 2500 brands cataloged, recipes, links and such. Drink up!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pillow Pet Is The Way To Go

     A man's best friend, evidently, is a Pillow Pet. 

     So listen up, dads. One of our greatest gifts given this season was a Pillow Pet. My daughter had seen them around and knew of another child or two that had them. She singled out the Magical Unicorn specifically and reminded us leading up to Christmas. Someone was listening. 
     She has since used it as both a pillow,......AND a pet. Can you believe it?! Really, it was a great addition to her life. She sleeps on it exclusively, and we can hear her talking to it as she goes to bed each night. A brief history of the Pillow Pet can be found here. They're worth the money in my opinion. She's already smitten by her new friend. Me too, a 'lil bit. Check 'em out.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Short Stories For Short People

     Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. ~Groucho Marx

     We spent an evening at Barnes & Noble, and besides the child wrangling event that it was, we had a good time. My five year old LOVES the Kid's Nook that they have at each store, usually spending ALL of her time there with a stack of books next to her. There is a new app on iTunes for the iPad by Barnes & Noble Kids called Nook for Kids holding one of the largest collections of ebooks for kids.

     Our kids favorites around the 6-18 month range are the Touch and Feel books. They have an excellent blend of engaging images and interesting textures for the kids to mess with. My son (1 year old as of this post) is near impossible to keep still. He's a statue when we pull these books out.
     My 5 year old girl has a number of short story favorites. Below are our top 5 right now:

Olivia (series by Ian Falconer)
Fancy Nancy (series by Jane O'Conner and Robin Preiss Glasser)
Disney Step Into Reading (series 1 mostly by Random House Disney)
Do Princesses... (series by Carmela LaVigna Coyle)
My Little Pony: I Can Read (series 1 by various authors)

     So get on down to the book store, keep an eye on those kids, and pick out some good ones. We've established story time at night with our daughter (son to follow), and she threatens revolution when we don't deliver. I hear that establishing reading habits now with your kids will increase their love of books and reading later. Have fun!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Time For Self

Finding time for yourself seems like a full-time job. 

I posted the below in May of 2007:

"My buddy commented on how hard it is to find time to draw these days with a child around. My little gal best thing about me and I love every minute with her, but the drawing has taken a back seat to the job of playing and taking care of her. I fit this sketch in while the baby was sleeping in the car up in Park City, UT. At 7 minutes and 13 seconds into the sketch, she woke up and wanted out. I intend on finding the time, no matter what, to fit in some stuff for me too. It's just a bigger fight, but one that's worth it."

Whether it's finding time for yourself to feel more stress-free, or to just tackle more of the projects you've been wanting to get to, I feel that it's important to try. I talk to a LOT of people, every day. You'd be very surprised at how many people claim they have no outside interests or hobbies. For shame! The guys over at Not So Boring Life have some good ideas if you can't think of anything to get started in. Get on it!


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Not Your Average Foo Pets

Foo Pets will only give you so much love in return.

     I had a dog growing up. It was meant to be the emotional detour after my parents split up. That lasted about three weeks, and then our Shepard mix, Joey, spent the rest of his thirteen years out back. That's why, when we decided to get a dog, we did nearly three months of research in preparation. We researched the breed, met the mommy and daddy, and spent some time with the litter before we made our final decision.
     Now, we haven't always needed to do that kind of deep research for all our pets. After the recent passing of our Great Dane, Asia, we moved on to a simpler pet. Guppies. Our one year old would definitely harass anything bigger or more accessible, so that's our limit for now. It's begs the question, though, what kind of pet do you want (Best Friends Animal Sanctuary has a good 6 page helper on choosing a pet here), and what kind of research are you willing to do before hand?
   The decision is always a big one. Heck, these guppies keep having babies. Eighteen at a time. So think long and hard and make sure you're making the best decision for your kids, their age bracket, and the time you can put towards them after the acquisition.
   Woof-woof! (Happy searching!)


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hiking With A Five Year Old

What an adventure.

     It all began with a simple trip to the park. At one point, we headed up a hill to see where the frogs sounds were coming from. We looked down below and spotted a trail that followed along a creek. So we HAD to check it out.
     She found the trail head for us, and we were off. We gathered sticks and found footprints of human, dog, and some sort I fix sized animal. We threw rocks in the creek, looked for treasure, and pondered what manner of beast lived in the drainage tube that fed the creek.
     It was a blast to be spontaneous with my little gal. Highly recommended. Check out some cool hiking activities on TLC's website here.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Roots - Everybody's Got 'Em


Where you from?

     I was born in San Francisco on the Pacific side. Above, I'm standing in front of the terraced house I spent the first five years of my life in. I have a smattering of memories from that place. All of them vivid, and most of them probably skewed.
     I remember the babysitter playing "Another One Bites The Dust" for the first time. I remember dodging the waves coming up on the beach (same beach pictured). I remember my first kiss with Kami in the shoe closet at my 4th birthday party. I remember digging up the "weeds on either side of the front doorway, only to find out they were pine trees (which I then quickly discarded round the block). I remember my dad coming home late from work or playing volleyball with the church guys. I remember being taught that squirrels have rabies. It's where my younger brother walked in front of my older brother on the swing (ouch!). It's where I fell forward onto the pointy ended comb in my mouth (ouch!).
     All good times. I have SOME pics. I'll share a few here. Enjoy. You got any good first memories?


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Question About Dad

Saw this list of questions for your kids to answer about you as a dad over at Planning With Kids. I loved the questions and the honest answers the dad got in return. I had to ask my daughter the same questions. Here they are below.  

1. What makes dad happy?

O: Playing with me.
Me: Inspiration - of any kind.

2. How does your dad make you laugh?

O: He tickles me.
Me: I scare her.

3. What does your dad do when you’re not around?

O: He works, a lot.
Me: Relax, and enjoy the quiet.

4. What is your dad really good at?

O: Drawing.
Me: Drawing.

5. What is your dad not very good at?

O: Playing princess.
Me: I.

6. What does your dad do for a job?

O: He visits doctors.
Me: She's good!

7. If your dad were a cartoon character, who would he be?

O: Iron Man.
Me: Yosemite Sam.

8. How are you and your dad the same?

O: Both like to draw.
Me: Both emotional creatures.

9. How are you and your dad different?

O: He doesn't like to play princesses.
Me: Inherited her mother's stubborn nature.

10. How do you know your dad loves you?

O: He plays with me.
Me: It's all about her.
The Bonus Question
11. What does your dad like most about your mum?
O: Her kisses. 
Me: Yep, them kisses.

Take the test, ask the questions, repost and let me know too. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Proud To Be A Dad

For all the laps I've run, for all the dumbells curled. 
For all the nails I've hammered, for all the wood I've chopped. 
For all the touchdowns made, for all the goals I've scored. 
For all the miles I've driven, for all the tires I've changed. 
For all the times I've shaved, for all the shoes I've shined. 

I never felt more like a man, than when I became a dad. 


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mega Millions - What Would You Do With It?

     Mega Millions, as of this evening, has reached over $350 million U.S. dollars. Assuming that you won the entire pot 'yerself, you'd have around $225 million after taxes. Hmmm, what to do, what to do.
     There are the typical vacations, toys and such that are the obvious answers. My question is what comes after. A brother of mine wants to open a cat rescue facility. I've always wanted to start my own graphic design firm, and pursue my passion for children's books. On top of that, I LOVE hanging out with my family. It's all just a ticket away,....and then there's the 175,000,000:1 odds.

Good Luck!


The Pee-Pee Teepee

     Okay, so I laughed right out loud when I got a set of these as a gift after the birth of my son. At first, I had no clue as to what they were. Then I read the title of the product. The "Pee-pee Teepee", by Beba Bean. They come in an array of styles to choose from, allowing you to express yourself, while your son expresses himself. I kept them in the packaging until my first incident. Implementation followed shortly after. Give 'em a try and you won't experience the following: 


Monday, January 3, 2011

Rainy Day Activities

     So, it's raining in our neck of the woods. One of the first things that my daughter requests for our rainy day activity is our "Gutter Races". They started when she was a little girl and I would carry her in my arms during the races. Nowadays, she can hold her own.
     Granted, it looks a bit like the Redneck Games, chasing odd items down the gutter until they disappear into the abyss of the sewer system. The fact remains, we have fun doing it. I've learned that as fall approaches and you have several colored leaved to choose from, color does matter. Green is the slowest, red is faster, and yellow is the fastest. I think it has something to do with the amount of moisture in each leaf as they begin to die.
    So next time it rains, throw on 'yer jacket, grab the nearest and lightest leaf, and get to racing!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Troy Polamalu is Superman

Troy Polamalu can fly,....why, oh, why can't I? 
     In today's game, Steelers vs Browns, Troy Polamalu flew across the line of scrimmage in a perfectly timed leap of faith. Check it out on Yahoo! Sports hereSeriously. He also did it back in September. Check that one out below: 

     In the first link, Yahoo! Sports writer, Chris Chase quoted his colleague/pal Scott Pianowski as saying, "Troy Polamalu is the rare example of a ridiculously-hyped player who lives up to it. He's just as good as the [mainstream media] says he is." Oh, and it's ALL kind of true. His playing takes me back to my high school days and makes me want to suit up and go in for a few plays. Granted, I'd dissipate into dust upon impact with the shape I'm in. But, a guy can still dream. Right, fellas? 


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hey, Ho, Let's Go! To San Diego

     Took a trip down to San Diego this weekend. We hit Seaport Village, which is always a good time. The crowd was surprisingly small for the New Year's weekend, which made it nice and quiet. It was a beautiful day, so it was cool in the shade, but MMMmmm warm in the sun. Aside from a scene right out of Alfred Hitcock's "The Birds", and a son that was trying to dive through the fencing to gain pond access, it was a great time.
     On the topic of my boy, I did get tired of hunching over after awhile. Sure, it's cute to watch him eat bark and attempt to become the first Pigeon Whisperer, but my back can only take so much. We've been using an Ergo Baby Carrier since my daughter was born. It's been a blessing ever since. My wife uses it a lot, but I've logged my own time with this bad boy. I've had kids in the front, and used it with 'em on the back. Both are great and my little guy fell asleep on my back during this most recent trip. Look into it!
     Oh, and if you do get to visit Seaport Village, swing by Kite Flite to pick up your first (or newest?) aerial acquisition. It's right across from the Embarcadero Marina Park, so you can grab a kite and head on over to the "downs", where the ocean breeze makes for great flying. In fact, that's where the above picture came from. I have the best time with my daughter there. She loves to try to catch the kite as it dips down to the ground, only to have it shoot back up into the sky. 

Good times! 


Taking Your Kids To The Zoo

     Not all the animals at the zoo are in cages.
     Thus is was at our first trip to the San Diego Zoo yesterday. To start off with, we were approached by a gentleman on our way in. He was on his way out and had four adult day passes that he did not use. We paid for my daughter and got away with $24 ticket for four adults and two children! Ahhh, miracles.
     While I'm all for courtesy toward others, remember that plenty of others are on some sort of time crunch or personal agenda. We had three grown men literally shoved my daughter out of the way to get a better look at the koala bears. Another gentleman was going to let his kid skip the line to get on the helicopter replica (until loud coughs and "excuses me?" were blurted out by many).
     On the topic of preparedness, I put together a short list of things to remember. As we packed everything but the kitchen sink, we've gotten pretty good at packing all that is needed. At the park we had a MAJOR diaper leak and stood in a decent line for the panda bear, so some of the list below became critical.

A list for your consideration: 

wetwipes (antibacterial?)
water/juice/water bottle (w/extra)
snacks (biscuits, cereal, sandwiches, juice.....and plenty for the way home, too)
extra set of clothes/diapers
moleskin patch (small first aid kit, for that matter)

Especially For Baby

sun hat
baby sunglasses
sippy cup with water
water for mommy
a couple of small toys

* stroller ($10-15 to rent, if needed)

* Blanket(s) (if it gonna be chilly)
* swim suit/towel (if in season)

Best of luck!