Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Bedtime... NOW!

I usually read to the kids at night but tonight Sara took the helm. Dash starts first grade in one week so we are trying to transition to an earlier bedtime. In the summer we basically let them stay up until they drop. During school we want the drop to be around 9pm.

I went out for a run and when I got back they were all three asleep.

More of today's pictures: HERE

Friday, August 25, 2006

Joie de Vivre

This picture is Magali taken through a little prism kaleidoscope that she bought at our favorite store in Cambridge- Joie de Vivre. It is an amazing little shop full of things you can't live without like tin robots, spinning tops, round dice, miniature rubber chickens and ninjas...

It reminds me a little of the Johnson Smith Catalog. My father would give us a limit like, say, ten dollars. My brothers and I would then go through the catalog and dog-ear pages of joy buzzers, potato guns, and mouth harps until we had reached our monetary wall. Then we had to wait WEEKS for the loot to arrive.

But today I get all the glow in the dark bugs I need instantly when I whip out the cash- and I can spend just about as much as I want. I often do.

Today at Joie de Vivre we got some cool stickers of eyes and mouths that you use to transmogrify ordinary cell phones and cameras into twisted creatures bent on evil. Here's a shot of some of my desk things after Dash and Magali eyemouthed 'em.

We can't stop buying toys for them. We are bad parents that way. I had an apartment full of toys BEFORE I had kids. I got the kids to justify my spending habits already in place. Did I buy a little tin alligator clicker before I had children? Yes. Did I buy an electric froggy "ribbit" simulator to carry in my bag at all times two years before Dash was born? Yes.

I had Nerf guns and Star Wars action figure vehicles. I had tiny race cars and cap guns. But now that we have kids that's normal. As I mentioned, we make up for our normalcy, however, with QUANTITY. Our apartment floor is a sea of brightly colored plastic detritus from childhood.

Also half eaten Pop Tarts and the occasional Superman cape.

More of today's pictures: HERE

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Your Menu Choices

These kids faces just go twisting by so fast you don't even register how expressive they are until you see them later on (digital) film. He's hearing his dinner options and reacting the way he reacts to anything remotely unfamiliar.

We've decided not to pick the battle of "eat what you are given."

Dinner was pretty strict when I grew up. We had to eat everything on our plate and make no comments about it. Now I look back with memories of dinner being a difficult, unpleasant trial rather than an enjoyable family event. I've decided we're all going to enjoy dinner.

Plus my wife is living proof that you can grow big (she's 6 feet and 1 inch tall) and strong (and bear healthy children) without eating your vegetables. I thought I was a picky eater until I met Sara. She grew up on hot dogs, Pop Tarts, and Cap'n Crunch. And these days she eats hot dogs, Pop Tarts, and Cap'n Crunch. She tried to buy a cucumber at the grocery store the other day and accidentally bought a zucchini.

So we are pretty lenient when it comes to dinner...

Thank goodness they fortify Cap'n Crunch.

More of today's pictures: HERE

Friday, August 18, 2006

My Two Girlies Being Girly

Magali is a little girl and she's into girly things. You don't teach it. It's hard wired. In toy stores she gravitates towards pink and Barbie and babies. She's fascinated with real babies in a way that Dash just isn't.

Dash wants things to fly and zoom and blow up. Magali wants things to sleep and eat and giggle.

Sara used to play with her brother's matchbox cars. But she would play with them by having one drive up to another and say, "Hi, do you want to go shopping with me?" and the other car would say, "Oh, yes. Let's do." and they would drive off together.

Sara's sister's children were not allowed to play with guns so the boys just picked up Barbie dolls by the legs, bent the waist and aimed the head at each other, "BANG!"

Seriously, you can't fight it... Well, I suppose you can fight it. But you can't win it.

Magali is wearing a pink dress getting her hair done while Dash is in his underpants blowing up Imperial Stormtroopers on his computer game.

We're cool with it.

More of today's pictures: HERE

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Purple Pants

I'm not exactly sure what happened. She was wearing denim shorts with a pink shirt. Then she was naked. Then she wanted to wear purple pants with the pink shirt. But Mama doesn't want to clean ten outfits a day- she's a nine outfit per day type Mama. And that's the story of how Magali ended up in a crying heap on the bathroom floor. We know. We've all done it. We've all wanted to wear the purple pants.

More of today's pictures: HERE

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Magali Got a Fat Lip

...from rough-housing on the bed with Dash and Ryan. Kids are screaming all the time but parents know the difference when it's something real. There is a slight shift in timbre that tells you she's really hurt. It's relieving when it's only a banged lip.

I read somewhere that having a child is like having your heart running around outside of your body. This is true in so many ways, not the least of which is that you don't want it hurt. I remember the first time I saw Dash's blood outside his body... I don't care for that.

More of today's pictures: HERE

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Drama of Sleep

Sometimes I forget to take a Daily DashDex picture. Even though it's something I've done every day for six and a half years I get distracted. Or, sometimes, I just don't see a shot all day. Sometimes an entire day goes by and the kids don't do a single cute thing :)

This is when you will see a SLEEP picture. I realize I don't have a good picture so I grab my camera, turn on the light, CLICK.

And, sometimes, these are the very best pictures I could ever take.

More of today's pictures: HERE

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Short Story of the Caterpillar's Transformation

It turned into a butterfly after one day in our care. We opened the cage to set it free and it didn't want to leave. The second picture shows a little of the kids' frustration about the butterfly's hesitation to leave the cage. It finally did. More shots : HERE

Saturday, August 12, 2006

We Adopted a Caterpillar

...from our neighbors while they went on a trip. Too bad they are going to miss it turning into a butterfly. In fact, it looks like that might happen tomorrow... I'm posting daily pictures : HERE

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bread Frames

Today we went to California Pizza Kitchen for dinner. They brought out sliced bread with butter. Both Dash and Magali love sliced bread but not sliced bread crust. So they ate the middle of all the breads and put the crusts back in the basket. I hate to waste so here's Dash, Sara and Magali framed with bread crusts. Dash, on top, tried different positions for his cup before settling on the above composition.

More of today's pictures: HERE

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

She Can't Hide

She does this thing now where if she sees the camera she tries to sabotage the shot somehow, be that with a quick hand clamp over the eyes, a big open mouth full of partially chewed food, a sudden about-face, etc. Today when she saw the camera she ducked under my shirt. Being the ever enthusiastic paparazzi I just pulled the neck of my T-Shirt out and aimed the camera down and shot. I'm not quite as manly as the blurred chest hair would have you believe... When I'm in focus, I'm pretty scrawny.

More of today's pictures: HERE

Monday, August 07, 2006

Available Food, Available Light

Today is my birthday so I'm reflecting a bit... Dash is six years old and when he gets hungry he just goes to the fridge and gets something. Then he half eats it and leaves the remains and the dishes all over the place. But the point is, he doesn't need me to feed him right now.

I try to make a big deal out of each milestone. I remember one time Dash and Magali got out of the bath and pulled the towels off the rack by themselves. They used to ask me to get them a towel. So I pretended to be very upset and crying, "You don't NEED me to get your towel anymore because you are growing up too fast. Please LET me get your towel and tie your shoes and get your food! SLOW DOWN with the growing up thing!"

Now when they get out of the tub they call out to me, "Papa, we need you to help us get our towels!" I go into the bathroom and they are holding their towels in their hands laughing at me, "We got 'em ourselves!"

Dash doesn't need me to help him open the refrigerator door anymore.

I don't think I like that.

More of today's pictures: HERE

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Oranges, Flying Kids, and Tilty Angles

Man, sometimes you just have to use color. Like when your daughter is peeling an orange in an orange bathing suit decorated with slices of oranges.

Dash is jumping off the couch trying to catch a balloon on the ceiling. It ends with a terrific crash as he lands on the floor. He's always a willing participant in picture taking if it involves huge bodily risk. I didn't quite get it that time, Dash... Let's try again.

Dash gave a presentation in Kindergarten last year where he stated he wanted to be a "photography" when he grows up. I don't know if the cool angle is artistic interpretation or that he had trouble lifting the freakin' huge D2H to his head. But I love the composition of this shot of Magali and me by Dash.

More Daily DashDex: HERE

Friday, August 04, 2006

Magali Wouldn't Keep Her Mouth Shut

My birthday is coming up and we were in a bookstore today. Sara, evidently, got me something and asked the kids to stay with me while she went and paid for it. Magali ran up to me and shouted, "Papa! I know what you're getting for your birthday! It's-" Then Dash smacked his hands around her mouth and kept them there until Sara returned. Here's the shot <---

More shots from today: HERE