Buttcheek: is there a funnier word?

Let me tell you about a milestone as significant as I can recall in our daughter’s young life. In the animated classic movie Moana, one of the century’s great cinematic characters, Maui, as portrayed by our fine nation’s current highest pimg_5522aid actor (can’t wait to read this line in 30 years), esteemed thespian, Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, remarked in a pinnacle scene: “Really? Blow dart in my buttcheek.” This seemingly irreverent and inconsequential line actually may have singlehandedly ignited an irrepressible and relatively highly developed sense of humor in 4 year old Hannah Pickett.

I’m not exaggerating. Ok, well, maybe just a tad bit of hyperbole. But ever since that monumental moment in our daughter’s life, the word buttcheek has now been forever immortalized. And from it a beautiful, unbreakable, unmistakable bond has been forged between father and daughter. Hannah and I, regardless of the circumstance, no matter how grave, will always and forever will be able to crack each other up with one single movie line.

I’ve indicated before in this blog that Hannah has an awesome sense of humor, and I’m guessing most dads think the same thing of their kids. Even though I’ve been warned that her fits and tantrums and random acts of emotional meltdown are child’s play compared to what’s to come when the unmistakable, unforgiving hormones of puberty strike, I’m quite certain that this shared love for immature, crude humor is going to see us through waters choppy enough to chatter Moana’s canoe, but not her destiny.

How do I know this? Here’s a story or two.

img_5294Not long ago we watched Home Alone. It was a little over Hannah’s head at times, but she stuck with it and the payoff in the last 20 minutes was unbelievably fantastic. She laughed so hard I can’t believe she didn’t pee her pants. Well, she was on my lap and in a nightgown, so I guess I’m lucky she didn’t pee on me. And as soon as it was over, even though it was bedtime and she was exhausted, she HAD to set “traps” for Sam and I. We played along and the traps worked remarkably – we had ourselves a little Kevin McAlister. And so we did it again for the next several nights: fast forward to the last 20 minutes, then reenact some of the scenes. And she laughed hysterically each time. There may not be a sound in the world I love more than Hannah cracking up.

Not convinced she’s a future queen of comedy?

As I write this I’m wondering if maybe she’s a budding delinquent who is going to be playing over the line pranks on people when she gets older. That. Would. Be. Awesome. At least until she seriously injures someone and/or goes to jail. Then it’s not so funny I guess.

Back to buttcheeks. Of course it’s slightly embarrassing when she says borderline inappropriate things in front of her great-grandparents, but you have to take the good with the bad. And at least she’s not picking up serious vulgarity, at least yet. Sam and I are pretty good at watching our mouths. Well, Sam is, my filter is pretty loose.

Other updates, since I haven’t written anything since last summer, include:

-Hannah is starting to spell and sound out some words (the first word she spelled besides her name was “hat” and that was a pretty cool moment) and she really wants to learn to read. Sam does an amazing job with her when they’re home a couple of days a week developing so many skills.

-She still loves art, crafts, and “projecks.” Her drawings seem to improve almost daily, especially the tattoos she draws on me with markers, which is one of my favorite activities. I will not be mad one bit if she becomes a badass tattoo artist when she gets older.

She loves gymnastics and seems to be doing pretty well at that, improving every week.

-She starts t-ball this summer, playing on a team with her friends/neighbors Noah, Olivia, and Riley, and I hope she loves it.

-The girl can sing. I know we all think our kids are the best singers, artists, etc. but I swear she can carry/match a tune beautifully. I’m excited to see if she develops that. Nothing would make me a prouder papa than to see her singing a solo on a stage one day.

-She loves nature, especially bugs. Except spiders. We’ve had a freakishly mild winter with some 60-70 degree days in February, so we were able to take a hike a couple of weeks ago in the woods and her favorite thing was turning over every rock and log to look for bugs. She just reaches right down and picks up potato (rolly-polly) bugs, worms, centipedes, whatever. Except spiders. Wonder where she got that?

She loves her baby brother Logan and is and will continue to be an awesome big sis. She helps him learn words, eat his food, and consoles him when he’s crying.

-She couldn’t admire anyone more than her big cousins Monica and Mariah. She emulates them when they’re together and asks if they’re going to be at every family gathering.

-She has a vibrant fashion style. She has to wear a skirt every day, unless it’s warm enough to wear a dress. Her pants must be tight, not wiggly. And everything is super colorful.

-Drama, drama, drama. Hannah will throw a meltdown fit in an instant, but come back to reality just as quickly. I’m told we ain’t seen nothing yet. God help us.

Final story. And this will stick with me forever. We were at the park a couple of weeks ago and an older girl was helping Hannah climb and do other stuff. When they stopped playing together, Hannahimg_4683-2 came to me and said: “She was very nice and helped me a lot. When I get bigger I’m going to help people too!” I couldn’t have been prouder at that moment. I made Hannah stop what she was doing, look me in the eyes, and I told her that’s the best thing she could ever say and that I was very proud of her for thinking that way.

It’s moments like those that I’m thankful for the people who raised me and for my extremely thoughtful and kind-hearted wife.

March 4, 2017. Tags: , , , , . Observations and musings, Updates. Leave a comment.

Look at those beach birds!

It’s hard to believe summer is coming to an end and it feels weird to say it’s September (happy birthday Sam!). We probably all say that every year, but we really do have a pretty short summer compared to, you know, warm states. This was definitely a fun summer, one of many firsts. The biggest highlight was our first family vacation – we went to Silver Beach in July. More about that in a bit. Other firsts include itIMG_3766 (2) was our first summer having two mobile kids instead of one; first Chuck E. Cheese birthday party (Hannah turned 4); Hannah’s first amusement park visit; our first vacation without the kids (technically that was April though); Hannah’s first helicopter ride; I’m sure there are more.

What I was planning to focus on is the first family vacation. First, from Hannah’s perspective. Then I’ll write a post from Logan’s.

Hannah is at an incredibly fun, cute, challenging, and frustrating age. She’s such a beautifulfun-loving, goofy, artistic, energetic ball of fire. But sometimes that turns into a wildfire and the defiant, moody, grumpy Hannah comes out to play. Four out of five times I can find a way to break that mood by getting her to laugh and smile. But there’s often times when I’m either not having it or she’s holding out and is just incredibly irrational. Such is life with a
daughter I’m told (sorry ladies, that’s just what I’m told!).

So vacation from Hannah’s perspective was a blast. There were some moments of frustration, but for the most part she was super well behaved and had the time of her life. She got to swim in a beautiful, clean, giant lake. Play on the biggest beach she’d ever seen. Play in the biggest splash pad she’d ever seen. Ride a carousel a dozen times. Explore a couple of children’s museums. Sleep in her oIMG_3806 (1)wn big hotel bed. Color and draw. And eat lots of ice cream and other treats.

Something we thought was pretty cute and funny was when Hannah saw some seagulls
she said “what are those?” We told her and she said in her cute high pitched voice, “noooo, those are beach birds!” So now anytime she sees as seagull it’s a beach bird.

If you read my last post on here you know Hannah loves art, “projecks,” drawing, crafts, etc. and she still absolutely does. She also has quite the imagination and flair for the dramatic so we’re thinking she might enjoy some kids drama classes. Of course, we love sports and want her to be active in them IMG_3894 (1)too, and her favorite by far is gymnastics. She also has enjoyed soccer and I’m pretty excited to see if she likes tee ball next year.

We did find out this summer that Hannah loves heights, roller coasters, or pretty much any kind of thrill ride. She got to ride in a helicopter at the Sweet Aviation open house, here’s the video. She sang and smiled the entire time. We also went to Paige’s Crossing and we’re sort of doomed now if we go back because we had unlimited rides, which resulted in riding the roller coaster approximately 25 times, and I’m not exaggerating. Here’s a video of that, I believe it was our 3rd run. There were 20+ more and she loved it the final time as much as the first.

That’s pretty much all that’s new with Hannah right now. She still eats like 5 things so that’s a bit problematic at times. We’re probably as much to blame for that as anything because we let it slideIMG_3506, but she is getting better at trying new things at least one or two bites at a time
.

Oh and we got a crazy ass dog. His name is Chance and he is really good most of the time. But I’m sure I’ll share some stories down the road about our adventures with him. He won’t be getting his own blog though.

Check back for an update on Logan’s vacation perspective here: https://adventuresoflojac.wordpress.com/ in a few days. Needless to say going on a trip with a 1 and a half year old is completely different experience. A year ago I was amazed at how laid back he was, how much he slept, how little he cried, etc. Well, things change.

 

September 1, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Observations and musings, Updates. 1 comment.

Let’s do a projeck!

IMG_3008We have ourselves a little artist. And I don’t mean just a painter. A true creative, artistic, dramatic character of a kiddo who loves to paint, draw, sing, tell stories, and throw fits (which is really a very understated term to give them). It’s so cool and cute and frustrating and challenging and rewarding all at once. Which is something I imagine every parent can say about every kid. To call Hannah unique wouldn’t quite cover it. We’re all unique, that’s really just a synonym for being alive if you think about it (don’t think too hard, these posts aren’t supposed to be that deep).

Hannah is a lot like most 3-going-on-14 year old girls – loves princesses, ponies, fairies, and dolls. She’s not totally a girly girl, she loves bugs and doesn’t hesitate to pick up a worm or ant or random unidentified beetle. We’ve always had “boy” toys for her too, and she likes playing with them to an extent, but she has an above-average attention span when it comes to the stuff I mentioned before. However, if you really want to get her excited and having fun, give her a “projeck” (that’s how she pronounces it). Arts and crafts, painting, drawing, gluing, stamping, stickering, sewing, cutting, singing, it doesn’t matter. Last rainy weekend we had a fun time drawing on each other with washable markers – we did that for almost 2 hours I think, so we may have to get her a little toddler tattoo kit!

She’s not really one to sit and listen to you read a book to her, which is something we’ve been doing sincIMG_2999e she was just days old. She’d rather take the book from you and make up the words herself.

One of the best memories I’ll ever have of her is the first time she told me a story off the top of her head. Not borrowing from a book she heard or a story I made up for her, but her own little parable with a beginning, a plot, and a happy ending. I don’t remember the exact specifics, but it was about two animals who weren’t friends at first, were doing an activity and didn’t like each other, but then ended up being friends. This was a couple months ago and lately she’s been more into making up songs about current situations. She isn’t always comfortable singing in front of people, but when she does you can tell she is paying attention to the sound and at the same time understanding the words.

You always want to think about what they’re going to get into when they get older, and Hannah could end up doing a wide range of things, but I thinkIMG_3106 we may have a performer on our hands if we can continue to build her self-confidence.

Hannah is a big sister now and the jealousy seems to be waning a bit. Sure there are moments when “baby brudder” has a toy that she wants or has one of “her” toys, and we’re teaching her not to snatch them away and to be nice and caring and sharing. And I think she gets it. The sweetest moments are when they’re playing together nicely and she says “here you go buddy” in her high pitched voice. Very rarely is he “Logan” around our house. He’s Logey, Rogey, Yogi, baby brudder, buddy, or the boy.

I haven’t written in a few months, so there’s probably so much more to tell that I can’t wait to share with her when she’s older, but for now this is what jumps out at me. Sam is doing an amazing job with Hannah and Logan when she’s home with them 2 days a week, and it’s nice that they have a mix of a few days of socializing and a couple days home with momma. Crazy to think that she’ll be in Kindergarten before we know it!

May 7, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Observations and musings, Updates. 1 comment.

Hugs for everyone!

 

There are so many things I love about my daughter, some are obvious, typical 2-3 year old traits, some not so much. For instance, the way she says certain words, like calling her friend across the street Briley when her name is Riley, or how she rarely calls Logan by his name and just says “Baby B10333455_10152762065615940_1632903796570632761_orother.”

There are a million others that I can’t think of, and oftentimes I have her repeat silly or unusual phrases just to hear how she’ll interpret and repeat them. And I can watch her talk to and play with her stuffed animals, princesses, barbies, etc. for hours while they act out random scenarios.

I think these are fairly common, but she is extremely particular about the most random things, wanting to do it by herself, her way, in a certain order. And she’s a super picky eater, which leads to some interesting and taxing mealtimes.

Some of the cute and silly things she does are more subtle and unique to her, like her adorably infectious laugh or when she sings a song normal then fast then raps it then whispers it, all within 30 seconds.

Speaking of songs, I’ve been at Sweetwater for just a few weeks now and I’m one of like 5 out of the 900 employees that doesn’t have an ounce of musical talent. The best I can do is make up lyrics to the tune of random songs, usually to something Hannah’s been singing recently.

HoweIMG_3745ver, I think and hope Hannah will get into music. She loves to sing, most toddlers do I imagine, and when she’s a little older I think we plan to have her start taking piano and/or other music lessons. I can’t imagine anything that will make me prouder than to one day see her on a stage playing a piano or guitar while singing a song, and call me a softy, but I already know I’ll be in tears.

What made me think of this topic is we were at the softball park tonight and she spotted a handful of 2-4 year olds playing together and she excitedly says “there’s my friends! Come on Daddy, let’s go see my friends.” She didn’t know them, but you wouldn’t guess   that. This happens every time we’re at the park or any playground. Everyone is her friend.

I know there are some potential drawbacks to this. First and foremost is “stranger danger” – she’ll just go up and hug any mom she sees, or adult women in general really. We go get a donut every Sunday morning and she always hugs the girls working there before we leave.

She’s a little more wary of men, thank goodness, but still, at some point she’ll have to learn people have boundaries. Until then I just shrug my shoulders and smile, hoping the people aren’t offended or lepers. Another sad thing to think about is she’s going to get her feelings hurt easily when she gets a little older and not every kid wants to play with her. That will crush us to see, but that’s life.

You know what else she’s obsessed with right now? Bugs. Potato bugs. Spiders. Flies. And especially worms and ants. She loves nothing more than to walk around the mulch beds or anywhere there’s dirt and dig for worms. She hugs them. She talks to them. Then she puts them in the yard “in their home” when she’s done.

11088229_10152630437680940_7476979560827857102_nUnfortunately for the ants, they don’t get off so easy. The only way she knows how to pick them up is to basically squash them with her finger, and then she’s holds it up and says “look, I pick him up!” We try to tell her it hurts the ants, but she just doesn’t get it. So, sorry all you ant lovers out there, don’t call PETA on us. We trying to teach her respect for living things, but her attention span and memory are as fleeting as the butterflies she chases.

So that’s what Hannah’s up to as she approaches her 3rd birthday. She’s tolerating her baby brother more and more, but definitely doesn’t like it when he’s got both Sam and my attention at the same time. I think as she gets a little older she’ll be more helpful, she’s got such a loving heart there’s no doubt she’s going to be a great big sister.

 

June 6, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Observations and musings, Updates. 1 comment.

It’s the end of the world as we know it.

And the start of a whole new one. This just occurred to me. With Logan Jacob due any day now do I rename this blog, or start a new one for him? Feels like maybe he’s getting a raw deal. But considering the last time I had the combination of time, energy, and wits to write a post was last November, I don’t know how I’m going to keepIMG_2932 up with two blogs. Then again, that’s sort of symbolic, isn’t it, considering we’re soon going to be trying to keep up with two kids? Maybe that’s a little too deep for 12:30am on a school night.

So what’s happening with Hannah you ask? Well, when I last wrote she was on the cusp of mastering potty training. Or so we thought. Now it’s 3.5 months later and while she very rarely has a potty accident, her pooping, or lack thereof, has become the most talked about subject in our household. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say I never thought I’d be so desensitized to human shit than I am right now.

We did have a bit of a scare a few weeks back, and we’re still not 100% sure what the hell was going on. Many of you know this, but she was having a really hard time using her hands for a couple of weeks. At first we thought she just had pins and needles from sleeping on them. Then we realized she was only using her pointer and thumb, first on one hand, then on both. Straightening her other fingers out caused immense pain, which as a parent is such a horrific feeling. This went on for a couple of weeks, we saw the family doctor, saw a neurologist, and finally it went away after a 10 day stretch of steroid prescription. It hasn’t come back so far, so that’s a good sign, but it was pretty scary and freaky for awhile here. That, combined with her being constantly sick all winter, and the fact that she’s back to waking up 2-3 times a night to insist Sam or I squeeze into her little twin bed, has made for an interesting 2015.

You hear people say all the time – “oh she’s at such a fun age” – and she truly is. Hannah is so quick to laugh at my dumb faces and noises, maybe she’s just humoring me, but I don’t care. I love it. It just tickles my soul that she cracks up at my flatulence, every single time. Cheap laughs be damned, I don’t care! She has a great sense of humor already, it’s amazing. Speaking of amazing, she’s become really good pals with a girl in her day care class named Amazing. I’m not kidding. It’s pretty damn cute watching those two dance, spin, and talk jibberish to each other.

It’s not all smiles and giggles though, as anyone with a toddler knows. Hannah will throw herself into a whining or wailing tantrum over the seemingly dumbest things – I dare anyone to give her a broken granola bar or piece of cheese, or God forbid you IMG_2637don’t peel her banana right. We have to pick our battles and we’re doing our best to not let her get her way when she throws a fit over something we deem minor and petty – but in her world it’s a travesty and she’s going to let you hear it for a minute or two. It’s fascinating to watch her mood flip 5 times in 15 seconds.

Like the title says, with a baby boy joining us soon life is going to turnIMG_2628 upside down. It’s such different feeling compared to when we were getting ready to have Hannah. That was a mix of nervousness and excitement, we read every book we could get our hands on, were completely prepared months in advance, and couldn’t wait for her birth day to arrive. This time around, I think because we know what it’s like having a newborn at home and at the same time know what kind of havoc Hannah is capable of unleashing on us at any time, I’d say that mix of nervousness and excitement are still there, but it’s like they’ve been thrown in a blender and it’s impossible to tell which we’re feeling at any given time.

I couldn’t love my daughter any more than I do, and I can’t wait to have a son, it’s a dream come true. But I know we have our work cut out for us. Luckily I’m married to an amazing woman and we are surrounded by a wonderful, loving support system, so bring it on. Just don’t hold it against me if these posts get reduced to bi-annual nonsense. Like Aladdin said, it’s a whole new world.

March 5, 2015. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Observations and musings, Updates. Leave a comment.

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