December 23, 2010

A Letter to Future Sippy Cup (9)

Hey kid,

I read this earlier today and thought of you.

"The only things that life denies you are the things that you are willing to let pass by.
Fight for the things you love.  And love the things that are worth fighting for."

I hope I raise you with enough courage to follow this advice. 

You will be a better man than I am if you do.


December 15, 2010

Lil Super Hero

Sippy Cup: "Dad, did you bake a cake?"

Me: "Why yes, my good man, I did."

Sippy Cup: "So is this a test?"

Me: "Pardon me?"

Sippy Cup: "You know, a 9-1-1 test?"

Me: "I am both confused and a little scared."

Sippy Cup: "Do you want to see if I know how to call the firemen?"

Me: "Uhm...nooooo..."

Sippy Cup: "Then why is the oven on?"

Me (running into the kitchen to turn off the oven): "Ahh....yes...a test!  Good job!  You passed!"

Sippy Cup: "Yay!"

In all the ways I could have thought of celebrating our 250th post, not blowing up the house never even crossed my mind.

December 11, 2010

Lost Time

In an almost direct response to yesterday's post, I walked into the living room earlier this afternoon to find Lil Sippy Cup sitting on the couch, wearing his Reebok Pump Hightops, one grey mitten and nothing else.

For obvious reasons, photographic evidence of this sartorial accomplishment cannot be posted.

December 10, 2010

A Moment of Honesty

It's no secret that the posting schedule has been delayed as of late.

I hadn't really commented on it simply because I didn't think anyone really visited the site often enough to notice.

It has been both humbling and encouraging to receive messages to the contrary.

When I first started writing on this site, I made a promise to myself that I would keep all stories true and brutally honest, regardless of how they may paint my abilities (or lack thereof) as a father.

You see, it is incredibly easy and dangerously tempting to make up stories about the things a 3 year-old does and says.  I spend the entire day alone with him.  Who could possibly prove the truth?  Sippy Cup?  He still has a hard time feeding himself.

Nevertheless, I felt that I would not only be betraying my integrity by inventing stories but, ultimately, the entire point of this site as well. I want this to be a chronicle for Sippy Cup to look back on when he's much older.  A diary of sorts, detailing the time he spent at home driving his dad insane.

With that said, Sippy Cup has turned into a "WB Frog" of sorts lately and refuses to perform on command.

On most days (especially during the brutally cold days we've been experiencing in NYC), me and the little dude just lounge around the house, reading books, playing pretend and watching cartoons.  To me, this isn't anything really worth writing about.

Regardless, I have started to feel rather guilty about not writing or posting so, until the stories start happening, I will just post pictures that I am particularly fond of and the random comic strip here and there.

I will do this partly to assuage my guilt.

But, mostly, to keep you guys happy.

After all the love and support you have shown, it is the very least I can do.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

November 29, 2010

The Nibbler

Like everything else he does, Lil Sippy Cup has his own, personal way of eating a donut.

November 28, 2010

Bad Moon Rising

One of the unheralded aspects of parenthood is having strange and random conversations with your 3 year-old son about his bathroom habits.

Me: "Lil dude, do you have to go use the potty?"

Sippy Cup: "No."

Me: "Are you sure, you're making a bunch of weird faces."

Sippy Cup: "No! I don't have to!"

Me: "Ok, ok, ok.  I'm just asking because I don't want you to have an accident."

Sippy Cup: "I don't have to!"

Me: "Make sure please."

Sippy Cup (turning around and mooning me): "You see?  I don't have to!"

November 25, 2010

Sippy Measuring Cups (2)

How do we celebrate Thanksgiving in our house?  By baking a cake and covering it with fondant, obviously.

Lil Sippy Cup is anxiously waiting to open his "present" after dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

November 21, 2010

Sippy Measuring Cups

Me and the little dude spent the past 2 days making these bite-sized, chocolate-covered red velvet cakes.

It was a messy experience but, considering their popularity, I would say it was a successful one as well.

November 17, 2010

Wardrobe Malfunction

Me: "Why are you wearing a hooded sweatshirt and gloves inside the house?"

Sippy Cup: "It's really windy outside.  I'm cold."

Me: "Do you think the fact that you're not wearing any pants or anything else for that matter has anything to do with it?"

Sippy Cup: "Nah.  I don't think so."

Me: "Of course not."

November 16, 2010

Things I Never Thought I'd Have To Say (7)

"Why are you hiding under the table?  Better yet, why are you naked and hiding under the table?"

November 14, 2010

The Tony Stark Cooking Show

Lil Sippy Cup recently told me that he wanted to watch the "Tony Stark Cooking Show".

For obvious reasons, I thought he meant "Iron Chef: America".

I was wrong.

After a heated debate and several hours of watching the Food Network together, I finally figured it out.

He meant "Chefs vs. City".  Which stars Aaron Sanchez.

I can understand his confusion.

November 13, 2010

Take-Out Menus

As is the case with most apartments in NYC, we often receive numerous take-out menus slipped through the front door.

Lil Sippy Cup is a HUGE fan of take-out menus.

Most especially when he is able to witness them being slipped through the front door.

And even more so when he is able to race to the door and snatch it violently before the delivery guy has a chance to finish inserting it properly.

He usually celebrates his victory by screaming out "Ha ha! I WIN!"

I have already admitted that I hide the minute I hear feet rustling outside the apartment.

Nevertheless, I would love to see the look on the delivery guy's face whenever Sippy Cup rips the menu out of his hand.

November 11, 2010

Respect & Honor

To those who have served and to those who will: we are forever in your debt.

Happy Veteran's Day.

November 10, 2010

Children 2 to 5

Lil Sippy Cup has been fighting off his first cold of the season. 

Since the FDA has re-called nearly all children's medicine, we have turned to all-natural cough remedies to help the little dude out.  These are usually made up of odd combinations of lemon and honey.

However, Lil Sippy Cup is not a fan of honey.

Me: "Ok, time to drink your medicine."

Lil Sippy Cup (stifling a cough): "No thanks."

Me: "Seriously, this isn't up for debate.  You were up all night coughing."

Lil Sippy Cup: " thanks."

Me: "Here.  Drink it like a big boy."

Lil Sippy Cup (grimaces while drinking a sip)

Me: "Drink it all."

Lil Sippy Cup (running away): "No!"

Five minutes later.

Me: "Ok, I'm not chasing you anymore.  Look at that, you drank only a little bit and
you're already coughing a lot less!"

Lil Sippy Cup: "If I'm not coughing anymore then why do I have to drink the rest?!"

Me: "...damn it..."

November 8, 2010


It may just be a coincidence, but I have noticed that the level of anti-Daddy violence has increased exponentially since Lil Sippy Cup started watching old episodes of Tom and Jerry.

November 3, 2010

Geography Lesson

Me: "Lil dude, just out of curiosity, do you know what country we live in?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Yes."

Me: "Really?  Where do we live?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "In my house."

Me: "No, the country we live in.  We live in the United States of America.  Or America, for short."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Ok."

Me: "So if I ask you 'What country do you live in?' your answer is going to be...?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Captain America and the Super Hero Squad!"

Me: "Fantastic."

November 2, 2010

To Infinity

There are several things I would like to point out about this picture:

1. This picture was taken today.

2. Today is not Halloween.

3. Toy Story 3 was released today.

4. Buzz Lightyear is kind of a big deal in our house.

October 30, 2010

Career Day

Lil Sippy Cup: "Dad, I want a job."

Me: "Nice! I think I like where this is going."

Lil Sippy Cup: "I want to work at the bank."

Me: "Oh, wow, awesome.  What are you going to do at the bank?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Take the money."

Me: "Wait a second...."

Lil Sippy Cup: "And then I can buy toys!"

Me: "Let's slow it down for a second.  What are you going to do to earn the money?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Work at the bank."

Me: "Right.  But what are you going to do at the bank?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Take the money.  The cash.  The coinees.  The cash money!"

Me: "I really hope you mean you want to be a teller."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Caaaaash moneeeey!"

October 29, 2010

Antonee Estark

On days when I have errands to run, errands which would be impossible with Lil Sippy Cup in tow (i.e. getting a hair cut), my mother (a.k.a. "Nina") gladly babysits the little dude.

Every single time she watches him, without fail, I get a phone call.

* Editor's Note - my parents are from the Caribbean.  I have done my best to re-create the conversation as phonetically accurate as possible. *

Me: "Yes, mother?"

Nina: "Oye, who is Antonee Estark?"

Me: "Antonee Estark?  I have no idea."

Lil Sippy Cup shouts something unintelligible in the background.

Nina: "Oh, oh, wait...TONEE Estark!"

Me: "Still no clue.  Sorry."

Nina: "Are ju sure?  Tonee Estark?  Nada?"

Me: "Positive.  I have no idea who you are talking about.  Why?"

Nina: "Your son has been telling me all day that his name is TONEE ESTARK."

Sippy Cup (in the background): "Pew! Pew! Pew!"

Me: "Ohhh...wait....Mom, is he saying that he is 'Tony Stark'?"

Nina: "There you go!"

Me: "He's a superhero Mom.  He's Iron Man.  He's telling you he's Iron Man."

Lil Sippy Cup (shouting in the background): "I'M TONY STARK! I CAN FLY!"

Me: "Mom, please keep him away from the windows.  Thanks."

Nina (as she hangs up): "Hey! Get down from there!"

October 28, 2010

Stranger Danger

I am not ashamed to admit that I hide whenever the doorbell rings unexpectedly.

It's not so much that I am not a friendly neighbor; it's much more that I don't want to have a conversation with the local Jehovah's Witnesses at 9:30 in the morning.

However, hiding takes on a new degree of difficulty when your accomplice is a 3 year-old.

Door bell rings.

Lil Sippy Cup (yelling): "Oooh!  Oooh!  Daddy, who is it?"

Me (whispering): "Lil dude, come over here."

Lil Sippy Cup (smiling): "Why?"

Me: "Ssshhh! Just come over here!"

Lil Sippy Cup: "But someone's at the door Dad!"

Me: "Sweet Lord, just come over here!  Please!"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Is it Grandma?  She's buying me presents!"

Me: "It's not Grandma!"

Lil Sippy Cup (pressing his ear to the door): "How do you know?"

Me: "I just do."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Why are you hiding Daddy?  Are we playing a game?  I want to play!"

Me: "No, we aren't playing a gam...yes!  We're playing a game!  We're playing the quiet game!"

Lil Sippy Cup (whispering at the door): "Grandma?  Is that you?  I'm playing the quiet game!"

October 27, 2010

Fashion Statements

As is our custom, Lil Sippy Cup and I got into a small argument this morning as I was trying to help him get dressed.

Me: "Ok, pick out a tee shirt."

Lil Sippy Cup (grabs a tee shirt): "Got it."

Me: "Ok, pick out some boxers."

Lil Sippy Cup (grabs a pair of basketball shorts): "Got it."

Me: "Close.  I said boxers."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Nah, these are fine."

Me: "Lil dude, I don't want to fight.  You can put those on as well.  Just make sure you put on a pair of underwear please."

Lil Sippy Cup (sighing): "Fine."

I walked away feeling very proud of myself for having handled the situation so quickly and with minimal protest.

A few minutes later, Lil Sippy Cup walked out of the room, smiling broadly and wearing his boxer shorts on top of his basketball shorts.

Even when I think I've won, I still lose.

October 26, 2010

Friendly Neighborhood Sippy Cup

Lil Sippy Cup woke up this morning and decided he was Spider-Man.

There was no magical transformation (I asked), no bite from a radioactive spider (I checked), and no super-human powers (I tested).

He just woke up and decided that he was Spider-Man and that he would only respond to being called "Spider-Man" for the entire day.

Me: "Hey, little buddy."

Lil Sippy Cup: "I'm Spider-Man!"

Me: "Oh, that's odd.  I thought you were my little dude."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Nope.  Call me Spider-Man."

Me: "Sure, whatever you say.  So what do you want for breakfast?"

Lil Sippy Cup (blank stare)

Me: "Pancakes?  Eggs?"

Lil Sippy Cup (blank stare)

Me: "Seriously?"

Lil Sippy Cup (blank stare)

Me (sighing): "What would you like for breakfast, Spider-Man?"

Spider-Man: "Oh, daddy, I didn't hear you.  I would like cereal.  Thank you."

October 25, 2010

Patiently Waiting

Patiently waiting for anything is an incredibly difficult thing for a 3 year-old to do.

The concept of delayed gratification (as we explored here) is foreign and incomprehensible to them.

Nevertheless, they are capable of it on rare occasions.

Like, for example, this morning, when Lil Sippy Cup, inspired by the Halloween episode of "Max and Ruby", patiently hid in the kitchen for 10 minutes with the lights off so that he could jump out and yell "BOO!" at his father at the precise moment said father was walking in front of the kitchen door.

My heart and my head still hurt.

Lil Sippy Cup, on the other hand, still thinks it is the funniest thing he has ever done.

October 21, 2010

Deft Deafness

Me: "Lil dude, do you want a slice of bread?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "No, I didn't pee on my bed!"

Me: "What? I asked if you wanted a slice of bread?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "You hit your head?! Are you ok?"

Me: "I'm fine! I wanted to know if you wanted a slice of bread?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Ha ha! I do like the color red!"

Me: "I give up."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Yes."

Me: "Yes what?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Bread. I want a slice of bread."

October 20, 2010

A Letter to Future Sippy Cup (8)

Hey kid,

Right now, it's 11:45pm and I just checked in on you sleeping.

The room felt cold and you were huddled in a fetal position so I went into the linen closet and got you a warmer comforter.

You are 3 and a half years old which means I have been your father for 3 and a half years.

I have never felt more like a daddy than I do right now.

I love you more than you will ever know or understand.


October 19, 2010

A Nutritious Breakfast?

Me: "How many brownies have you eaten?"

Lil Sippy Cup (mouth full, smiling, and holding up 1 finger)

Me: "How many brown-"

Lil Sippy Cup (mouth full, smiling and holding up 2 fingers)

Me: "2!?  You just woke up! How di-"

Lil Sippy Cup (mouth full, smiling and holding up 3 fingers)

Me: "3? Really? How did you eat 3 brownies already?"

Lil Sippy Cup (swallows, smiles with a mouth full of chocolatey teeth) : "Yum."

October 18, 2010

It Finally Happened

My son tried to kill me today.

I'm not sure if he was intentionally trying to ninja leg sweep me as I stepped over him in the hallway this morning or if he had a moment of artistic inspiration and decided to bust out in an amazing impromptu break dance but, regardless, the end result was the same: our feet got tangled together and I went stumbling into a wall.

The fact that he's still laughing about it makes me think it was the former as opposed to the latter.

October 16, 2010

Accessory After the Fact

Lil Sippy Cup and the M.O.M. got into a little disagreement this morning.  I forget the specifics but suffice it to say that Lil Sippy Cup was being way too loud.

M.O.M.: "You'd better stop it."

Lil Sippy Cup: "No!"

M.O.M.: "I'm serious.  Now hush!"

Lil Sippy Cup: "No!  I'm the man!"

While I believe his proclamation was more a statement of power and achievement (i.e. "I just beat you in this verbal game! I'm the man!") as opposed to any declaration of chauvinist opinion (i.e. "I don't need to listen to you because I'm the man!"), Lil Sippy Cup is currently serving time in the Quiet Corner.

And so am I.

October 14, 2010

Destination Truth

As a parent, you sometimes resort to somewhat underhanded tactics to ensure that the rule of law and order is maintained in your household.

Unfortunately, these tactics don't always work.

Me: “Seriously, stop jumping on the bed."

Lil Sippy Cup (jumping enthusiastically): “Nope!  This is fun!”

Me: “If you don’t stop, you are going to fall and bump your head.”

Lil Sippy Cup (still jumping): “No I won’t!  I’m good at jumping!”

Me: “Ok, fine.  If you don’t stop, the monster is going to come out and bite you.”

Lil Sippy Cup (no longer jumping): “What monster?”

Me: “The monster that lives under the bed.”

Lil Sippy Cup (jumping again): “Ha ha! No he won’t.  I’ll be friends with him and tell him to jump on the bed with me!"

Me: “What if he doesn’t want to be your friend?  What if he’s mean and scary?”

Lil Sippy Cup: “Then I’ll punch him in the face!”

Me: “Fantastic. You really shouldn’t punch people in the face.”

Lil Sippy Cup: “He’s not a people.  He’s a monster.”

October 11, 2010

Pediatric Podiatry

Lil Sippy Cup: "Owwww!"

Me: "Ok, what happened now?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "My foot!  Ow!  My foot!"

Me: "That doesn't really clarify things."

Lil Sippy Cup: "I have foot-itis!"

Me: "One more time?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "My foot! It has itis!  I have foot-itis!"

Me: "That's not even real!"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Yes it is!  It is real!"

October 8, 2010

The Carving Board

So what do you do when you go pumpkin picking and bring home a 16 pound pumpkin?

You carve it of course.

Step 1. Scrape out the pumpkin guts.


Step 2. Tell ghost stories.

Step 3. Transfer the stencil onto the pumpkin by punching tiny holes through the lines of the stencil paper. 
Spread flour onto the holes to make the pattern easier to see.

Step 4. Carefully carve the pumpkin and then step back and ponder your own awesomeness.

October 6, 2010

The 7th Food Group

The M.O.M. and Lil Sippy Cup were making brownies earlier this evening.

As expected, Lil Sippy Cup had some thoughts to share.

Lil Sippy Cup: "Yummy!"

M.O.M.: "Why are you eating the brownie mix?!"

Lil Sippy Cup: "I love brownies!"

M.O.M.: "But we have to bake them first."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Brownies are my favorite fruit!"

M.O.M.: "Brownies aren't fruit sweetie."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Ok.  Brownies are my favorite dinner!" 

October 5, 2010

B.A. Baracups

Last night, right before his bedtime, Lil Sippy Cup taught me that it is virtually impossible to properly discipline a child when he can literally make you laugh out loud.

Me: "Ok lil dude, time for bed."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Nah, I'm okay."

Me: "I'm going to turn off the television."

Lil Sippy Cup: "I'm going to turn you off, sucka!"

I'm still not quite sure where a 3 year-old boy learns the word "sucka".  But I'm not complaining. 

Well, at least not until he starts using it in school.

October 4, 2010


As if his request for ice cream pizza wasn't amazing enough, Lil Sippy Cup just asked for a Marshmallow Taco as an afternoon snack.

At this moment, the word "proud" fails to properly express how I am feeling.

Regardless, Taco Bell fairy, if you're reading this, please make our dream come true.  Thank you.

October 3, 2010

Fall Fair

On Saturday, Roosevelt Island hosted its 5th Annual Fall for Arts festival.  Roosevelt Island is located between Manhattan and Queens and, more importantly, its just 10 minutes from the house.

There were a ton of activities set-up for the kids, ranging from face painting, mask making, tye-dying and puppet shows.  Lil Sippy Cup loved it.

The best part though?  It was all free.  So I loved it as well.

As always, more pictures after the jump.  Enjoy.

October 2, 2010

The Marshmallow Test

I recently came across the following article by Jonah Lehrer entitled "Don't!: The Secret of Self-Control" (the link takes you directly to the New Yorker's Science section where you will be able to read it in its entirety).

The article discusses the concept of delayed gratification and the mental processes that occur which will either allow someone to delay their gratification for a few minutes or impulsively react to their desires immediately.

The reason I found the article particularly interesting was because of the psychological experiment that was crafted to observe the theories.

The experiment was this: a child (roughly 4-6 years of age) was brought into a small room which had a simple table and a chair.  The child was asked to sit on the chair and then offered a marshmallow.  They were told that they were free to eat the marshmallow whenever they wanted to but, if they were able to wait a few minutes, they would be given a second marshmallow to eat. All they would need to do was simply wait to eat the treat when the researcher returned to the room and then they would be given a second marshmallow.  Sounds simple enough, right?

Apparently, waiting to eat a marshmallow (a.k.a. delaying their gratification) is equivalent to torture for most children.  Don't believe me?  Here is a video documenting the experiment. 

As it turns out, I happened to have marshmallows in the house when I read the article.  I was curious to see how Lil Sippy Cup would do with the test.  I explained the rules to him, offered him a marshmallow, and turned my back to walk away.  Before I took a step, I realized that I should probably re-iterate the rules, just to be sure that he understood them.  So I turned back around.

In the two seconds that it took me to turn around and then change my mind about walking away, Lil Sippy Cup placed the entire jumbo-sized marshmallow in his mouth and happily ate it.

Me: "Dude! Did you understand the rules?"

Lil Sippy Cup (smiling widely and nodding)

Me: "So why didn't you wait?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Uh difnt wont toos"

Me: "Your mouth is full.  Wait until you finish eating the marshmallow to answer."

Lil Sippy Cup (swallows): "I said I didn't want to."

Me: "You didn't want two marshmallows?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Yes I wanted two.  But I didn't want to wait.  So I put it in my face and ate it."

Me: "Fantastic."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Can we do it again?"

I am sure there is a lesson to be learned in all of this. 

But I still don't know what it is.

September 30, 2010

A Letter to Future Sippy Cup (7)

Hey kid,

Abraham Lincoln once said "Honor is better than honors."

Make sure you live a life that reflects those words.

I promise you, I will do the same.


September 29, 2010

Big Boy

Earlier this afternoon, Lil Sippy Cup protested the fact that I was attempting to help him get dressed.

The basis for his argument was that, without a doubt, he was a "...big boy now" and didn't need my help to accomplish the task.

I was impressed with his resolve and with the new level of maturity and development he had reached.  I told him that I agreed with him and just sat back to make sure he selected weather-appropriate clothing.

As he was changing into his clothes, Lil Sippy Cup got lost inside of his tee-shirt.  For 3 straight minutes, he fumbled around inside the shirt, grumbling various bad words of his own invention. He eventually found a way to pull his head through one of the arm sleeves and seemed content and impressed with his accomplishment.

In life, when faced with an obstacle, most children will ask for help.  Other children, however, will just pull their heads through tight arm sleeves and turn the problem into a creative fashion statement.

I am not surprised that my son falls into the latter category.

September 28, 2010

What I Learned Today (17)

Today I learned that, what I had originally assumed was an isolated incident is, in fact, part of a disturbing pattern.

Every night, at the same time, Lil Sippy Cup just absolutely loses his mind and will start running up and down the hallways for no discernible reason.

The time?  11:30pm.

While I may not know what causes this behavior, I do know that this does not bode well for my sleep.

September 27, 2010

It's the Great Pumpkin, Sippy Cup

In spite of the ridiculously hot September weekend (87 degrees in September?  Really?), Lil Sippy Cup was treated to a trip to Barton Orchards to go pumpkin picking.

I will readily admit that I was not prepared for the amount of manual labor this would actually entail.  I was also not prepared for how much pumpkins actually weigh.  This lack of preparation on my part has resulted in quite the interesting and unexpected back spasms today.

Nevertheless, as always, Lil Sippy Cup had a great time.

Enjoy the pictures.

September 24, 2010

Doughnut Plant

I have often mentioned how incredible New York City can be.  The traffic may be terrible, there are crazy people in the streets late at night and it can sometimes smell but, in spite of all of that, I love this city.

One of the main reasons I am able to ignore all the things that make most sane people move out of New York is the fact that, at any given time, you can Google the phrase "Best (Blank) in NYC" and get at least 10 awesome options.

The other day, the Google search produced the following option for "Best Doughnut in NYC": Doughnut Plant.  Clearly, any business whose name implies that it is an entire factory dedicated to producing doughnuts is a definite "to-do/to-eat" on my list.  Plus, the little dude loves doughnuts, so it was bound to be a win-win.

The name Doughnut Plant is a bit misleading, as the shop itself is a bare-bones, tiny little affair; nevertheless, Google was right: they do make the absolute best doughnuts in NYC.  They have your traditional glazed doughnuts but they also bake more creative varieties: options include Coconut Glaze, Creme Brulee, Carrot Cake and (our favorite) the Peanut Butter and Blackberry Jam. 

There are more pictures after the jump.  I hope you enjoy them.  We certainly enjoyed eating them.  The doughnuts.  Not the pictures.

September 23, 2010

Fall Preview

I have made no secret of my opinion of the dismal state of affordable toddler fashion.

That's why when I am able to put together outfits like this, it makes me especially proud.

September 22, 2010

Simple Wishes

Dear Mommy,

Happy Birthday.  I love you.

Lil Sippy Cup

*Transcription services provided by Mr. Cufflink

September 21, 2010

Commercial Break

After weeks of deliberation, I have decided to offer some of my photographs for sale on

Up until now, my humility has prevented me from pursuing this idea.   However, after constant prodding and poking by friends and family alike (who are of the firm opinion that my photographs are, indeed, worth selling) I have chosen to indulge their fantasies of my grandeur and sell some photos that I am proud of on the following website:

Depending on the response and the popularity of this idea, I plan to add more photographs in the future.

As always, please spread the word.  Your support and words of encouragement have brought me this far. 

Let's see how much further we can go.

September 17, 2010

DIY Night

Tonight, I built a light box (this link provides step-by-step instructions just in case you'd like to build one of your own). 

Professional photographers use light boxes to properly light and photograph products for advertisements and websites.

Amateur photographers, on the other hand, use light boxes to photograph whatever their 3 year-old son wants them to photograph.

Not that it needs to be clarified but here is a picture I took tonight.

I think it's pretty clear which category I belong in.

September 16, 2010

A Letter to Future Sippy Cup (6)

Hey kid,

Earlier today, we found ourselves alone, in a car, in the middle of a devastating thunderstorm.

Even though the thunderclaps were deafening and the lightning streaks were terrifying and it literally looked like the world was ending, you didn't even flinch.

I cannot express to you how proud you made me.


September 15, 2010

Yet Again

Me: "I was planning to start with the fact that it's way past your bed time..."

Lil Sippy Cup: "No it isn't."

Me: "Actually, it is."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Ok."

Me: "But, first, let me just ask...why do you have an umbrella open inside the house?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "So I don't get water on me."

Me: "That's a response that, somehow, manages to answer my question without really answering my question."

Editor's Note: This is our 200th post.  That's pretty awesome.  Thanks for the support.

September 14, 2010

Sweet Second Thoughts

A little known fact about me is that I am an avid amateur baker.  It is a skill I have inherited from my mother and one that I didn't really discover until I had a tiny rugrat tugging at my legs, demanding food and treats.

Tonight, the little dude and I made some sugar cookies and used the Strawberry Preserves we got at Masker Orchards to add some sweet filling to them.

Needless to say, we had fun.

However, I must admit that I am starting to question the intelligence of baking sugar cookies with a 3 year-old at 9 pm.

Whatever happens for the rest of the night, I readily admit that it is my own fault.

September 13, 2010


Me: "Why are you wearing sunglasses?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "So that the sun won't burn my eyes."

Me: "Good point.  I'll revise my question: why are you wearing sunglasses at the dinner table?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "HA!"

Me: "Fair enough."

Lil Sippy Cup (casually scooping ice and putting it into his bowl of rice): "Yum."

Me: "Should I even ask?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Because its yummy."

September 12, 2010

What I Learned Today (16)

Today, I learned that while the "Terrible Twos" may be a parenting myth, the "Tyrannical Threes" are a terrifying reality.

September 11, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoon (2)

(click image for larger version)

* Editor's Note: This was the post that inspired the reclusive artist to come out of hiding.

September 9, 2010

Unaware of our Surroundings

Lil Sippy Cup and I had to go into the city yesterday.

As per the Peace Accord of 2009, Lil Sippy Cup is allowed to bring one or two toys with him whenever we go outside.

Yesterday, he chose to bring 3 small, high-bounce, rubber balls (he always gets them from the vending machine at the supermarket).  They combine three of his favorite things in life: bright colors, high velocity, and extreme possibilities of violence.

While we were standing on a busy street corner in Midtown Manhattan, we had the following conversation:

Lil Sippy Cup: "Hey Dad?"

Me: "Yeah?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Can I take my balls out of my pocket?"

Me: "No, not now.  If you take them out now you're going to lose them."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Please?  They're stuck in my pocket.  I want to take the balls out."

Me: "I said no.  If you take them out you will end up losing one and I don't feel like chasing after it."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Pleeeease?  I'll hold onto them really tight.  I promise.  I'll hold my balls really tight so that I don't lose them."

It was only at this point that I realized all the other pedestrians were paying attention to our conversation.

And it was also at this point that I really wished Lil Sippy Cup had brought along another, less suggestive, toy.

September 8, 2010

Sippy Appleseed

This past weekend, Lil Sippy Cup was treated to a thoroughly unexpected and entirely unplanned trip to go apple picking at Masker Orchards.

While, admittedly, this will probably not help him kick his apple juice addiction, he did have a blast.  Plus, he got to ride a pony.  Miles and miles of apples and a pony ride; he had no complaints.

This was also my first time apple picking and while I was initially skeptical of how manual labor could possibly translate into a good time, the cider apple donuts and apple pie slices eventually convinced me.

There are more pictures after the jump.  Enjoy.

September 7, 2010

Louder than Words

Sometimes, I ask Lil Sippy Cup to pose for a picture.

Often, he obliges.

More often than not, however, he does not.

His message in the following example is rather clear.

September 6, 2010

Shiver His Timbers

This past Saturday, Lil Sippy Cup was invited to one of the Bottle Cap's birthday parties. 

As expected, it was an amazing backyard affair, full of pirates, hidden treasures, face-painting and motorcycle gangs (you'll see).

I've said it before and I will say it again: surrounding yourself with awesome parents and their amazing kids is a sure-fire way to make sure you are an awesome parent of an amazing kid yourself.

Please follow the jump for more pictures.  Enjoy.

September 5, 2010

Lost in Translation (1-5)

As most people who are around young children will tell you, they often speak their own language.

In recognition of this fact, I have decided to catalogue some of Lil Sippy Cup's favorite words/phrases and will provide their English language translations. 

It will also prove useful if I should ever knock myself unconscious and he calls 911 asking for Triangle Chips.

1. Heart Cereal = Cheerios

2. Triangle Chips = Doritos

3. Yellow Chips = Lays Potato Chips

4. Red Juice = Hawaiian Punch

5. Chicken = Chicken, beef, fish...any protein based food item really

September 4, 2010

Robo Cup

Lil Sippy Cup: "OWWWWWWWWWW!"

Me: "What did you do?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "My hand! OWWW!"

Me: "Come here, let me see it."

Lil Sippy Cup (walking over): "OW! OW! OW!"

Me: "What hurts?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "My hand!"

Me: "Obviously.  What part?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Everything!  All of it!"

Me: "That's not too specific.  I don't see any cuts or bruises.  What do you want me to do? 
Do you want me to kiss it?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "No! I want you to buy me a new hand!"

September 3, 2010

Growth and Development

Lil Sippy Cup and I have come to the agreement that we need to incorporate more structured educational activities into his daily schedule.

Since my own exorbitant imagination and ridiculous sense of creativity often leads to tragedy (read this post for an example), we have opted to utilize formal instructional tools instead.

Our first set of activities: this awesome Alphabet Box from the good folks at Lakeshore Learning.

  Image courtesy of Lakeshore Learning

If you aren't a teacher, you have probably never heard of Lakeshore Learning (I know I hadn't).

Lakeshore is a great resource for parents looking for educational and engaging activities for children in all age ranges and educational levels.  I have come to realize that my son learns best when he doesn't even realize he's busy learning phonics or numbers.  The Lakeshore products reinforce good habits and promote the active involvement of parents in their child's educational development. 

While teachers are professionals and have access to specific techniques and instructional theories, I have always believed that education is a team-based activity; the educational success of any child is dependent on their parents/guardians reinforcing the lessons learned while at school.  Without getting into any specific municipal or national politics, I will say that major strides can be taken towards fixing our educational systems if more parents took an active role in their child's education. 

It doesn't mean that we will do a teacher's job for them; it just means we will help teachers do their jobs better.

With all of that said, I am pretty sure Lil Sippy Cup will find a way to turn these activities into violent war games.  I will make sure to keep you posted of his development and of any injuries I may suffer along the way.

September 2, 2010

September 1, 2010

Stand-Up Routine

Lil Sippy Cup has recently discovered his own sense of humor. 

As can be expected, it is rather simple and juvenile, lacking the formal structure and precise timing of true comedy.

Lil Sippy Cup: "Hey dad, knock knock."

Me: "Oh, awesome, I didn't know you knew how to do these.  Ok.  Whose there?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "My."

Me: "My who?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "My who butt!  HA HA!"

Me: "My who butt?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "HA! You said butt!"

Me: "Wait..."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Wait my butt!"

Me: "You obviously know this doesn't make sense."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Your butt doesn't make sense."

August 30, 2010

Humor Is Reason Gone Mad

Lil Sippy Cup was having a hard time listening today.

Consequently, I had to reprimand him and remind him why "listening" is such an important "big boy" skill.

The entire time I was delivering my words of wisdom, Lil Sippy Cup was looking down at the floor, fidgeting with his hands.

I took this to mean that he was listening intently and deeply regretful of his actions.

I should have known better.

When I was done, he looked up at me.  This is what I saw.

He may have a hard time listening... but I love him anyway.

August 29, 2010

The Company You Keep

When your son's best-friends are this awesome, it pretty much guarantees he'll be pretty damn awesome himself.

August 28, 2010

Future Flashback

My hope is that, one day, they'll look back at this picture and smile.

August 27, 2010

August 26, 2010

Afternoon Karaoke

Lil Sippy Cup: "Ooooooh-Oooooh-OOOOOOH!"

Me: "Uhm..."

Lil Sippy Cup (a little bit louder now): "Ooooooh-Oooooh-OOOOOOH!"

Me: "Are you okay?"

Lil Sippy Cup (nodding and smiling): "Ooooooh-Oooooh-OOOOOOH!"

Me: "What's going on?"

Lil Sippy Cup (nodding, smiling and now dancing): "Ooooooh-Oooooh-OOOOOOH!"

Me: "I'm so confused right now."

Lil Sippy Cup (nodding, smiling, dancing and now clapping his hands): "Ooooooh-Oooooh-OOOOOOH!"

Me: "So...this is a song?  Is that what's happening?  Is this a song?"

Lil Sippy Cup (nodding, smiling, dancing, clapping and now hip-thrusting): ""Ooooooh-Oooooh-OOOOOOH-WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

Me: "And now it's become inappropriate.  Please stop."

Lil Sippy Cup (bowing): "Thank you sir, thank you."

August 25, 2010

Field Report (2) : Dirty Laundry

As previously mentioned, these Field Reports will be insider information from the front lines of battle, the kinds of stories that you have to live through to genuinely believe.  Nevertheless,  my hope is that you are able to live vicariously through my words and learn the lessons I learned as well.  These tales will not always be pretty but, then again, most true stories regarding parenting rarely are.  Consider yourselves warned.

This one recounts my first experience being left completely alone with my newborn son.  It is a rather lengthy story so click the jump for the full post.

August 24, 2010

Things I Never Thought I'd Have To Say (3)

"If you keep doing that, I'm going to get arrested.  Is that what you want? 
Do you want me to go to jail?"

August 23, 2010

Things I Never Thought I'd Have To Say (2)

"Do me a favor, take your hands out of your pants and finish eating your lunch.  Thank you."

August 21, 2010

Birthday Presents?

This afternoon, Lil Sippy Cup will be attending AJ's (of Bottle Caps fame) Birthday BBQ Bonanza.

Yesterday, I asked him what he wanted to buy his little buddy.

This is the list of possible gifts he prepared.

A Television
The real Spider-Man
An Air Conditioner
Some Light Bulbs
A Door
Some Chicken
Some Pasta
A Hat
Toy Story
A Sneaker

August 20, 2010

What I Learned Today (15)

Today, I learned that if your 3 year-old son accidentally drops a raisin on the floor without you noticing that he dropped it, when he picks it up and goes to eat it, you will (with every ounce of your soul, with every fiber of your being) genuinely believe he just took the time out to casually eat an insect.

August 19, 2010

Extreme Makeover

I have grown accustomed to the daily conversations/debates that I have with Lil Sippy Cup.

I have also grown accustomed to the fact that, even at 3 years-old, he has a firm grasp of logic and how to use it to his advantage.

However, I feel it would be wrong to not show the other side of the coin, the conversations that catch me by surprise, the ones where Lil Sippy Cup isn't just being a wise-ass but is, in fact, being a sweetheart.

Me (shouting from the living room): "Little dude, you're way too quiet, what are you doing?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Nothing!"

Me: "Yep, that means something.  Did you break anything?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "I'm taking my money out of my piggy bank!"

Me (walking into his room): "Why are you doing that?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "'Cause I want to buy something."

Me: "What do you want to buy?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "I want to buy you a house."

Me: "..."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Its going to have robots.  And the robots are going to make presents and sing songs and play games and make pasta and we can play with them all day and not do anything else."

Me: "..."

Lil Sippy Cup: "That's what I want to buy."

Me: "I love you."

Lil Sippy Cup: "I love you too Dad."

August 18, 2010

Field Report (1) : Introduction

On this site, I have avoided the temptation to give any parenting advice for various reasons.

The primary one is that this site is, first and foremost, a daily journal for my son to read when he's older, a way for him to re-live memories that he may no longer have access to within the cluttered confines of his brain.

The second reason is the fact that I am no expert on parenting myself and I will readily admit that.  I would feel rather obnoxious to sit here and pontificate on various subjects regarding discipline or what-not while, in the background, my son is busy painting his face with Dry-Erase markers.

However, it did dawn on me the other day that Lil Sippy Cup may have children of his own in the future and that he might come to me seeking professional counsel.  Along with this, I imagine that some people who visit this site may have plans to have children of their own as well and maybe a little friendly advice would not be such a bad thing to dispense.

You see, the entire "parenting industry" is a multi-billion dollar enterprise full of "experts", "experts" who prey on the fear and insecurities of new parents and seasoned parents as well.  However, the reality is that parenting is a learned skill.  It is a skill that requires patience, hard-work and a ton of practice.  The only "experts", in my opinion, are good parents.  I am more likely to listen to my grandmother's advice (who is a mother of 9) than I am to a talk-show guest.  And my grandmother is over 90 years-old and semi-senile.

All of this just serves as a background to a new set of posts which I plan to write titled "Field Reports".  They will be personal experiences that I have had with the little dude and the subsequent lessons I learned.  I will not create a "How-To" Guide for new parents because parenting is a one-to-one, one-of-a-kind experience.  Every parent is different, every child will require a new skill set and there is no universal experience when it comes to parenting.  There are, however, universal emotions: things like paralyzing fear, utter frustration and, most importantly, inexplicable and never-ending love. 

I have experienced each of these emotions in my journey to become the best man and father I can possibly be for Lil Sippy Cup.  Hopefully, you will be able to learn something along the way as well.

August 17, 2010

Apple Hootch

One night, while mindlessly flipping through the 800 cable channels that all manage to simultaneously broadcast absolutely nothing worth watching, I spent 10 minutes watching a show on the National Geographic Channel about the daily lives of prisoners in a federal penitentiary.

Since I had already made up my mind a while ago that I did not want to ever go to jail, I planned to change the channel quickly.  However, at this point, a "lifer" (n. prisoner serving a life sentence) explained to the television crew how he made a batch of "prison hootch".

I won't go into the specifics.  Suffice it to say that making "hard prison hootch" involved fermenting apples in a plastic jug for a good period of time while subsequently hiding this entire process from the correctional staff.  Also worth noting is the fact that really strong prison hootch can make you go blind.  I'm not kidding.

Why do I mention any of this?

You see, Lil Sippy Cup loves apple juice.  I'm pretty sure that at his next blood test, his pediatrician will draw sap instead of blood cells.  He drinks it out of his favorite red sippy cup (how meta, I know). 

He drinks so much of it as a matter of fact, that this afternoon when I was doing the dishes, I opened the sippy cup container and got assaulted by the sharp smell of alcohol. 

Ladies and gentlemen, Lil Sippy Cup has found a way to create his own apple hootch.

There is a good possibility that, for the past few months when I have been documenting the madness my son exhibits, the poor child has simply been inebriated. 

Hopefully, he has learned his lesson.  I know I have.  An apple a day may keep the doctor away but it may also get you wasted.

(Disclaimer: My son has never, intentionally or accidentally, created real prison hootch or drank any of it.  Nevertheless, the lessons learned remain the same: apple juice is dangerous and I still don't ever want to go to jail.)

August 16, 2010

A Letter to Future Sippy Cup (5)

Hey kid,

There is a strong possibility that, by the time you read this, we have moved on in our mutual maturing processes and have reached that stage in our relationship where our conversations revolve around sports and the weather.

Nevertheless, I want you to know that today, as I sat here typing this, you turned to me and asked "Dad, can you play with me?"

I don't know how often I will get to hear them when you are older but I still want you to know that I will cherish those six words, now and always.


August 15, 2010

Master of Disguise

Lil Sippy Cup is a big fan of the costumed alter egos of his own invention.

I have mentioned "Naked Boy" who is his favorite and also the easiest to transform into since it involves no clothing whatsoever.

There is also "Cool Guy" who is the daredevil he turns into whenever he dons his bicycle helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, and sunglasses.

Today, I'd like to introduce you to "General Tool Fixer", the tough little old man responsible for fixing all broken appliances and toys in the house.

August 14, 2010

Fight the Power

Yesterday, I mentioned how Lil Sippy Cup refuses to pose for pictures.

Today, while digging through the digital vaults, I discovered this photo from 2 years ago.

I quickly realized that his photographic protests have been staged for quite a while now.

Clearly, he is dedicated to his cause.

August 13, 2010

Posing Is Futile

I asked Lil Sippy Cup to pose for a nice picture today.

This is what I got.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

August 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Princess

You've met this lovely little lady before ( here ).

She is the Beauty to Lil Sippy Cup's Beast and (just as important) she is my niece.

Today is her birthday.

This is our way of telling her that we love her and that we hope she has an amazing day and evening full of building "ninja princess ballerinas" at Build-A-Bear, eating ice cream cake super late at night, and keeping her parents up until the wee hours of the morning because, damn it, it's her birthday and she can do it if she wants to.

Have a great day sweetie.  We love you.

August 11, 2010

Sippycup Shogun

Lil Sippy Cup takes a daily afternoon nap.

On almost every occasion he wakes up from said nap yelling out a list of demands; for example, "Dad!  I want some apple juice!" or "Dad!  Turn off the AC!".  Since he generally naps for 45 minutes to an hour, I am often prepared for his boisterous announcements.

This afternoon, however, he decided to play it a little different.

Whether it was a spur of the moment decision or a premeditated move, I am not sure, but this afternoon Lil Sippy Cup woke up without making a single sound and quietly crept into the living room where I was sitting on the couch watching TV and flipping through a magazine.  I didn't notice he was there until I felt a tiny presence to my left and happened to glance out the corner of my eye.

Now, I am almost certain I suffered a mild heart attack as a result of this surprise.  My left arm still has the "pins and needles" feeling most often associated with cardiovascular attacks.  Then again, the "pins and needles" could be a result of the mild injury I suffered when I jumped up in surprise and subsequently banged my forearm on the coffee table.

At this moment, I am seriously considering tying a small bell to his ankle to prevent any future surprises.  However, Google has informed me that I may or may not be breaking several state and federal laws if I do this.  So I don't think the bell is a viable option. 

Nevertheless I know that my afternoons of quietly watching television and reading while Lil Sippy Cup takes a nap are, without a doubt, over.

August 10, 2010

DVD Policies

Lately, Lil Sippy Cup and I have been having a disagreement over the proper way he should store his DVD collection.

I think he should take out only the one movie he plans to watch and then neatly return it to its case once he has finished watching it.

He, on the other hand, feels it is much easier and more practical to take out every single DVD in his collection and then leave the entire messy pile on the floor for an underling to rearrange at a later time.

Me: "Ok, remember what I said, one movie at a time."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Sure."

Me: "And, remember, you return it to the case and then return the case to your bookshelf when you're done."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Yep."

Me: "Just like a library."

Lil Sippy Cup: "Just like a library."

Ten minutes later, Lil Sippy Cup enters the living room carrying at least two-thirds of his DVD collection.

Me: "Uhm, didn't we agree on one DVD at a time?"

Lil Sippy Cup: "You said it was like the library."

Me: "Exactly!"

Lil Sippy Cup: "Well, we take out more than one book when we go to the library!"

August 9, 2010

We All Scream

How do you make a 3 year-old happy on a really hot summer evening?

It's simple really.

You take him here...

...and then help him turn this...

...into this.

Yep.  I'm awesome.