September 13, 2013

Sippy Cup Salad

Here are two random facts:

  1. Sippy Cup and Mr. Cufflinks are fans of hip hop. 
  2. Sippy Cup and Mr. Cufflinks are fans of food. 

When I first heard that 2 Chainz was including a 28-page cookbook with his new album B.O.A.T.S. 2 #Metime, I was confused but nevertheless excited at the prospects of "Mr. Tru" himself giving his fans instructions on how to cook. I am happy to say, he has not let me down.

In recognition of this amazing moment, I present to you the first Sippy Cup Recipe:

Sippy Cup Salad

1. Take head of lettuce.
2. Throw it in the garbage.
3. Do a celebratory dance.
4. Eat a bag of Haribo Gummy Bears.
5. Do another celebratory dance.

Disclaimer: The M.O.M. is not a fan of these recipes and believes that all children (including those of the 32-year-old variety) should eat a nutritious diet full of vitamins, vegetables and other things which taste terrible.

September 12, 2013

What I Should Have Said (2)

M.O.M.: "Can you change the baby's diaper please? I have to unload the dryer."

What I Should Have Said: 

What I Did Say:
"Naaaaah. I don't feel like getting up."

Disclaimer: I was clearly joking. For some reason, the M.O.M. did not find it funny.

September 10, 2013

Car Service Chivalry

Me (opening the driver-side, rear door of the cab): "After you m'lady."

M.O.M. (getting in and sliding over in the rear seat): "Gee thanks."

Me (getting in, telling the driver our destination, and then turning to her): "What? What did I do wrong?"

M.O.M.: "I had to slide all the way over to this side. If you wanted to be a gentlemen, you would have opened the door, closed it, and walked around to the other side and gotten in."

Me (after a few seconds of silence): "But I didn't want to do all of that. That seems like a lot of work."

M.O.M. (sighing): "How nice."

August 29, 2013

What I Should Have Said (1)

What I Should Have Said:

"Hey love, light of my life, you are the most amazing woman and your tireless efforts to maintain our household and raise our children are appreciated beyond comprehension."

What I Did Say:

"Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn baby! You look TIRED!"

August 27, 2013

More Than Mommy's Iced Tea

Me (tucking Sippy Cup into bed): "Alright little dude. Have a good night."

Sippy Cup (fluffing his pillow): "Thanks. You too."

Me (leaning over the side rail of his loft bed to kiss his forehead): "I love you champ."

Sippy Cup (smiling): "I love you too Daddy."

Me (tilting my head to the side): "Really?"

Sippy Cup: "Yeah!"

Me (leaning against his loft bed): "How much?"

Sippy Cup (thinking for a few seconds): "I love you a lot Daddy. More than Iced Tea."

Me (laughing): "More than Snapple Iced Tea? Or the really good iced tea that Mommy makes from scratch?"

Sippy Cup (whispering): "More than Mommy's Iced Tea."

Me (leaning over to give him a hug and another kiss): "Good. Because I love you more than Mommy's iced tea too. Good night buddy."

Sippy Cup (snuggling into his pillow): "Good night Daddy."

August 26, 2013

Justin vs. Justin

(Sippy Cup and the M.O.M. are watching Justin Timberlake's performance 

Sippy Cup (pointing at the screen): "Who is that?"

M.O.M. (in shock): "What?! You don't know who that is? That's Justin Timberlake!"

Sippy Cup: "Oh. Ok. Is Justin Bieber going to sing too?"

M.O.M. (gasping): "Why would you want him to sing? Listen to JT! Do you hear that? He is amazing!"

Sippy Cup: "Right. But is Justin Bieber going to be there?"

M.O.M.: "I don't know. And I don't care. Listen to that man! Do you hear that? That is the voice of an angel! You see that statue they're giving him? That's the best award you can possibly get! And he's getting it! Do you know where Justin Bieber is right now? Not there. That's where he is."

Sippy Cup (after a few seconds of silence): "I don't care about all of those words you're saying. I just want to hear Justin Bieber sing. He's cool."

Me (from the kitchen): "Ha! Suck it JT!"

August 23, 2013

5 Things Princess Teacup Is Afraid Of

As it turns out, my daughter is not a fearless warrior princess.

I have discovered 5 specific things that terrify her.

As expected, they are completely ludicrous.

  1. My Black & Decker Power Drill 
  2. The Exhaust Fan on our Range Hood
  3. Screwdrivers
  4. Vacuum Cleaners
  5. Johnny Depp's Tonto from "The Lone Ranger"

August 19, 2013

Field Station: Dinosaurs

Did you know that you can visit Jurassic Park in New Jersey? I sure didn't. But the M.O.M. (with her uncanny ability to find amazing things to do with the goblins on the weekends) definitely did.

This past Saturday, we visited Field Station: Dinosaurs. The Field Station is located in Secaucus, New Jersey and is home to over thirty life-sized animatronic dinosaurs. It is over twenty acres total and built at the base of a 150 million year-old rock formation. But these details are insignificant when you realize that you are walking along paths next to life-sized animatronic dinosaurs. The six-year-old boy inside of me had a heart attack. And the six-year-old boy walking next to me had a heart attack as well.

Editor's Note: We thought it best to leave Princess Teacup with Grandma Nina since we wanted to spend some time alone with our little homie. And because I didn't want her to try and wrestle a Velociraptor.

Please follow the jump for more amazing photos from our "Mommy and Daddy Date with Sippy Cup".


August 15, 2013

Princess Teacup: Lost In Translation (16-20)

I already have provided our readers with fifteen basic words and phrases to keep them as safe as possible just in case they should ever find themselves alone with my daughter for some absurd reason.

Here are 5 more words and/or phrases to help you survive your time. Do not be fooled by her cuteness. She is a warrior. Tread carefully

"I.T." - Iced Tea; although it may be confusing, she is not asking for technical support for her server or computer network. She is actually asking for a glass of home-made iced tea. This will never be used in a full sentence; it will just be requested, completely at random, and most especially when you are not home. I.E. (while on the train) "Daddy? I.T.?"

"Flip-Flip" - Netflixcontrary to what your instincts may tell you, she is not asking to be flipped in the air. She actually wants to watch a cartoon program on Netflix. Please note: if you mistakenly flip her in the air, be prepared to spend the rest of your day flipping her in the air. I.E. "I want flip-flip Daddy! Flip-flip!"

"Pa-Nino" Padrino a.k.a. Godfather; Princess Teacup loves her Godfather; mostly because he loves her and spoils her but primarily because he takes her to Shake Shack. She loves Shake Shack. I.E. "Where's Pa-Nino? I want Pa-Nino!"

"My Choos!" - My Shoes; she is actually requesting her beloved Crocs. If you have the audacity to bring her another pair of shoes (which are more to her father's sartorial preference), she will attempt to throw said shoes at your face.  Please note: if she is requesting her "choos", she is also requesting to be taken outside. She will not care if it is raining gallons of water or if it is roughly 343 degrees outside. I.E. "I want my choos! I want Pa-Nino!"

"Sanwish" - Unknown; I'm including this one because I have no idea what it means. I think she's saying "Sandwich" but, if you give her a sandwich when she says "Sanwish", she'll just stare at you like you're an idiot. At times, she will come up to me and whisper "Sanwish" into my ear. She'll shake her head while saying it. As I said, I have no idea what it means or how it started. It is frightening. I'm including it in this list in the hopes that you'll help me divine her meaning. I.E. "Sanwish!" (whispering in my ear while I'm trying to take a nap).

August 13, 2013

Remember His Name

Editor's Note: This post, admittedly, has nothing to do with raising children. But it has everything to do with supporting my amazing cousin and his art. Click here to have your eyeballs body-slammed 
by Jonathan Mejia's creativity.

August 8, 2013

The Blues

Me (singing Elton John's classic "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues" in my best Elton John impression): "And I guess that's why they call it the blues!"

M.O.M. (getting changed into her pajamas): "Please stop."

Me (standing behind her, singing into her ear): "Time on my hands could be time spent with you!"

M.O.M. (walking away): "Seriously?"

Me (cutting in front of her and dropping my voice to a romantic whisper): "Laughing like children..."

M.O.M. (hanging her head in shame and sighing)

Me (gently lifting her chin so that I can stare lovingly into her eyes): " like lovers..."

M.O.M. (chewing on her upper lip so that she won't laugh or punch me in the face)

Me (dropping to my knees): "...rooooooooooolling like thunder, under the cooooovvveerrrrs!"

M.O.M. (stepping past me to close the windows): "You're an idiot."

Me (jumping to my feet for the grand finale): "AND I GUESS THAT'S WHY THEY CALL IT THE BLUES!!!!!"

M.O.M. (turning to face me): "Oh my God! Shutup!"

Me (bowing and then giving myself a high-five): "You really have no idea just how lucky you are that you get to live with all this awesome."

August 6, 2013

August 5, 2013

Cardio Eating

I recently read a great article on The Good Men Project called "5 Things We Can Learn About How to Eat By Watching Kids".

The advice was sound, logical and simple and you should follow the link to the read the article (but only after you have finished reading mine, duh).

Thinking of this article, I watched Princess Teacup the other day and realized that her preferred method of eating is also a great way of controlling your appetite and managing your weight.

I call it Cardio Eating.

"Cardio Eating" is pretty simple: as you are eating your snack (i.e. apple, banana, Bounty Paper Towel, etc.) you take small bites and then run around the house like a maniac.  When you are done running, you return to your snack and take another few quick bites before resuming your high-intensity running. If while you are running your father (thinking you have finished your snack and just want to play) throws it away, you grab the nearest toy (i.e. Duplo block, rubber pirate sword, die-cast metal Hot Wheels race car, etc.) and promptly threaten him with it.  

It is a surprisingly effective approach to eating.  However, I would advise that you get professional medical clearance before attempting "Cardio Eating".  I tried it once and promptly passed out with cookie crumbs all over my shirt.  The M.O.M. was not amused.

August 2, 2013

Conversations With My Daughter (2)

My daughter is 2 years-old. Sometimes we talk. It never makes any sense.

Me (calling out from the bathroom): "Baby. Where did you put the hair brush?"

Princess Teacup (walking into the bathroom): "The brush?"

Me: "Yes. I saw you playing with it."

Princess Teacup (quickly looking over her shoulder and then back at me): "The brush flew away Daddy."

Me (crossing my arms): "The brush flew away? Really? How did the brush fly away?"

Princess Teacup (pointing to the sky, spinning in circles, and making fart noises with her tongue)

Me (sighing): "Ok. I guess I won't comb your hair today."

Princess Teacup (running away, laughing): "Super Grover!"

August 1, 2013

Good Luck

Sippy Cup (changing into his pajamas): "Mom, why is purple your favorite color?"

M.O.M. (changing Princess Teacup's diaper): "I don't know. I just like it."

Sippy Cup (dancing in front of the mirror): "But why?"

M.O.M.: "I don't know. I don't have a reason. Why is red your favorite color?"

Sippy Cup (suddenly very serious): "Because it's the color of strawberries.  And I love strawberries."

M.O.M. (a little surprised): "Wow. I wasn't expecting an actual answer."

Sippy Cup (going back to his dance routine): "It's also the color of good luck in China."

Me (looking at the M.O.M.): "I've just given up understanding how he knows the things he knows."

July 31, 2013

Favorites (Age 6)

A List of Sippy Cup's Favorite Things (Age 6)

Favorite Movie - Despicable Me 2

Favorite Book - The Mighty Avengers: An Origin Story

Favorite Toy - Skylanders Giants (Video Game)

Favorite Color - Red

Favorite Baseball Team - Atlanta Braves

July 30, 2013

Stand-Up Routine

Sippy Cup: "Hey Dad. Why can't the giraffe ride in the car?"

Me: "Wait. Is this a joke? I'm confused."

Sippy Cup (giggling): "Yeah. So why can't the giraffe ride in the car?"

Me: "I don't know."

Sippy Cup (jumping up and down): "Because his neck is too long!"

Me (scrunching my forehead in confusion): "Uhm, I don't think you know how jokes work."

Sippy Cup: "Yes I do. Why can't the giant sit in your house?"

Me: "Okay. I'm game. Let's try this again. I don't know. Why can't the giant sit in my house?"

Sippy Cup (giggling maniacally): "Because he's too big and fat!"

Me: "You, my good sir, are silly."

Sippy Cup (laughing): "I'm so hilarious!"

July 29, 2013

Conversations With My Daughter (1)

My daughter is 2 years-old. Sometimes we talk. It never makes any sense.

Princess Teacup: "Daddy.  Where Mommy go?"

Me: "To the supermarket baby."

Princess Teacup (confused): "The supermarcus?"

Me: "Close.  The supermarket."

Princess Teacup: "Why?"

Me: "She went to do the food shopping."

Princess Teacup: "Oh my God."

Me: "What happened?"

Princess Teacup (pointing to the floor): "Look Daddy!"

Me (looking down): "I don't see what you're pointing to..."

Princess Teacup: "I want pickle."

Me: "I don't think you should be eating a pickle at 9:30 in the morning."

Princess Teacup: "I want pickle."

Me: "Fine. Let's go to the kitchen."

Princess Teacup (laughing): "You silly Daddy!"

Me: "This is confusing."

Princess Teacup (in a sing-song lilt): "I'm gonna eat bananas!"

July 25, 2013

My 5 New Jobs Since I Became a Dad

When you become a father, you have a vague understanding of the responsibilities that lay ahead of you: diaper changing, late-night feedings, anything and everything your wife tells you to do since (admittedly) she worked a lot harder throughout the pregnancy, etc.

What I was not prepared for, however, were the additional responsibilities that you unexpectedly inherit once you become a Dad.  However, while you may not be prepared for these new roles that you assume as a Dad, you eventually learn how to get them done (or you learn how to find the YouTube videos which will teach you the proper way to get them done).

With that in mind, here is my list of the 5 new jobs I've inherited since I became a Dad.

1. Exterminator - I'm not a fan of bugs. Never have been, never will be. Do you know those little boys that like to dig up worms and catch fireflies and start fires?  I was not one of those little boys. Do you want to know who cares about my serious aversion to insects? Not a single individual in my household. Whenever there is the slightest hint of the presence of any insect (i.e. a ladybug, a mosquito, a lazer-powered water bug, etc.), it is expected that I will hunt down said beast and slay it whilst armed with one broom handle and two house slippers. One time, after a particularly rainy evening, I awoke to find a water bug in the hallway. I already knew what was expected of me and calmly told my wife to keep the kids in the room. She locked the door and I went to war. 12 minutes later, I emerged victorious. I may have knocked over a few photo frames onto my head (my memory, for some reason, is a bit hazy) but the fact remains that I accomplished my task. Was it a task I was prepared for? No. But someone had to do it.

2. Ghost Hunter - Sometimes, late at night, my children will hear a strange sound coming from the living room. At this point, it is expected that I will get up to investigate. Before returning to the comfort of my bed, I must debrief them as to the exact location of the strange sound, the precise cause of the strange sound and the list of measures that I have taken to prevent the strange sound from happening again. Thankfully, I have not discovered the presence of any ghosts in my house.  What I have discovered, coincidentally, is that the M.O.M. does not find it funny when I purposely take longer than I should and try to sneak back into the room and whisper "Boo!". As it turns out, hiding and scaring your wife (a native [read: violent] New Yorker) is a terrible idea.

3. Security Specialist & Personal Bodyguard - somewhat related to #2 except that this job is assigned to me whenever we leave the house.  I have to be aware of our surroundings at all times, know the exact location of all safety exits and be mindful of any roaming lions or alligators or zombies.  In addition to this, I should be able to "...tell you the license plate numbers of all six cars outside. I can tell you that our waitress is left-handed and the guy sitting up at the counter weighs two hundred fifteen pounds and knows how to handle himself. I know the best place to look for a gun is the cab of the gray truck outside and, at this altitude, I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking..." Or maybe that's Jason Bourne.  Either way, same difference.

4. Butler - this one is pretty obvious. My children make late night demands and I do their bidding. One time, I tried to ignore Princess Teacup's requests.  This was the same night that I learned that she had taught herself how to climb out of her crib.  This was also the night that I learned that she could move swiftly and silently in the cover of darkness and sneak up next to me. She might be Talia al Ghul but I could be wrong.

5. Handy Man & General Contractor - I'm a writer.  Almost by definition, this means "power tools" are a mystery to me similar to "muscle cars" and "rugby" and "tents". Since becoming a father, however, I have taught myself how to fix a toilet, re-wire electrical outlets, and build every single piece of IKEA furniture ever made. Even more impressive is the fact that I have managed to accomplish all of these tasks without requiring a trip to the emergency room.

Well, there you have it.  The Top 5 New Jobs I've taken on since I became a Dad.  

I'm sure this list will continue to grow. And I'll be sure to come back and update you as soon as it happens.

July 24, 2013

With Her Eyes

The M.O.M. and I were watching a movie the other night.

In one particular scene, the couple attends a cocktail party and one of them (in a moment of unabashed jealousy) shoots the other a very specific "look".

Me (sitting up): "Whoa.  That was uncanny. I recognize that look."

M.O.M. (reclined with her head on my lap): "Yep. You should."

Me: "No. Seriously. That was unbelievable. That's the same look you give me all the time. I know that look."

M.O.M. (nodding and looking up at me): "Yes. It's me, punching you in the face.  With my eyes."

July 22, 2013

The Difference

When I explain to people that I write on this site, I often go to great lengths to try and explain why this site is "different".

The obvious answer is that this is a personal site, one that is dedicated to my experiences as a husband and a father to the three most important people in my life.

Nevertheless, as this site continues to grow, I have begun to find it necessary to specify how we are different from other "daddy blogs".  This is especially important when describing the site to new readers who have no idea who we are and what we are about.

Why are we different?  There are a variety of reasons and it seems that I find a new one every day.

My approach to parenting is not novel or ground-breaking or new.  It isn't solely a "top-down" view of parenting, wherein my wife and I lay down the rules and demand respect; to us, parenting is a collaborative experience, one in which their opinion and preferences and desires are just as important as ours.

To me, parenting is a mutual learning experience.  My children and I are getting to know one another as we all grow up and mature and evolve as human beings.  While I know that I want to show my kids all of the different things I enjoy, I also want to make sure that I take the time to enjoy all the different things that they love.  

However, while I do know that I want this experience to be a collaborative effort, I also understand that I am responsible for laying down a framework of rules and expectations so that they learn to be mature and respectful adults.  Once again, even in this regard, my approach is not novel or ground-breaking of new: I show my children the respect they have earned and deserve so that they, in turn, can show me the same level of respect.  

On this site, I embrace the many different versions of "daddy" that I have become. Some versions are better than others.  And that is okay.  Because, while this site is a memory book for my children to enjoy when they are older, it is also a reminder to all parents (current and potential) that you have to find your own answer to the question: just how in the hell am I going to raise these kids?

Why are we different?  Because we recognize that we make plenty of mistakes; because we are aware that our children are little human beings with their own view of their world; and because we are willing to admit that what we do is not novel or ground-breaking or new.  

July 19, 2013

The Creative Block

Some of you may have noticed that we have an amazing new banner image (see above right) on the site.

And (if you are long-time fans) you will recognize that it was drawn by our resident creative genius, Jonathan Mejia.

Since he is my cousin, I am sure you will make the logical assumption that my opinion of his talent is slightly biased; however, you would be wrong.  My opinion of Jonathan is based on fact.  His talent is other-worldly.

People often tell me that my writing is "...amazing..." and "...impressive..." and " funny I laughed until my stomach hurt! Why don't you have a book deal?!" (When you tell yourself these things, while doing a Stuart Smalley-style daily affirmation, it still counts...right?)  However, Jon's artistic talent is truly mind-blowing.

I just put words together and, sometimes, they're funny or poignant or delicious.  By comparison, this man actually creates things, completely out of thin air!  He takes a blank sheet of paper, thinks of something and then--BOOM--it's on the page.  I don't create words; I mean, I could, but then it wouldn't make any kind of sensification.  See what I mean?

Anyway, Jon has a new website: The Creative Block.

Click the link and visit his personal site so that you too can view his work, recognize his inherent skill and hire him for all of your drawing, cartooning and graphic design needs.

I am so incredibly proud of him; click on The Creative Block and you'll see why.

It will be the most bodastical thingnizzle you do today.

July 16, 2013

A Better Place

I have debated writing this post since Saturday night.  Partly because I wanted to make sure I gave myself enough time to let the initial feelings of outrage subside and partly because I was not sure I had anything of merit to add to the conversation.

I do not overestimate my position in the world.  I am a father who, out of boredom and opportunity, created a site for his children to enjoy in their future years.  Nevertheless, not speaking about the shooting of Trayvon Martin began to feel strangely disrespectful.  

What bothers me about the verdict of the case is the legal precedent it establishes, the fact that future defense attorneys can refer to this moment as an example when the jury supported their argument. What concerns me is the message it sends to the citizens in "Stand Your Ground" states that you have the right to take it upon yourself to ignore the instructions of trained professionals, to aggressively stalk someone, to initiate a confrontation and then murder them because you feel threatened by the situation you helped to manifest.

I'm not sure why this was the "a-ha" moment for so many people.  Why this case (and its subsequent verdict) received so much attention as compared to the fact that, for the past few years, there has been a war waged in the streets of Chicago. However, I'm slowly beginning to realize that the lack of national outrage at the death of innocent kids in urban centers across America is a separate issue. The issue is thematically related to Tryavon's death, certainly, but they are separate.  And just because the deaths of other innocent children has not received the same level of national media coverage and public outcry does not mean that people are wrong for mobilizing now.

Sippy Cup is light-skinned with hazel eyes and fine, strawberry-blond hair.  The reality is that my son will most likely never have to be subjected to racial profiling.  Nevertheless, I am scared.  I am scared for my friends, for their kids, for my nephew and for my godson, a sweet, loving, supremely intelligent, caramel-skinned young man who lives in Florida.

Tragic moments like these terrify me.  But I cannot let my own fears paralyze me into complacent immobility or, even worse, cynical acceptance.  And so here I am, trying to make sense of this tragedy in the best way I know how.  Trying to find the words to explain to the future version of my children why this happened and why we have to work hard to do whatever is in our power to make sure it never happens again.  My job as their father is to teach my children respect, kindness, compassion and love.  My job is to leave this world a better place than I first found it and I plan to do so by raising two children who will not be afraid of someone simply because of the color of their skin.

I am not a lawyer. I am not a politician. I am not an activist. I am not Trayvon Martin.

I am a father.  And, out of respect to the entire Martin family, I will make sure I do my job.

July 15, 2013

The Good Men Project (2)

In a bit of decidedly unexpected (but exciting) news, I am happy to announce that I am an official Staff Writer for The Good Men Project.

This will afford me the opportunity to submit longer articles about the realities of modern parenthood while saving all of the everyday madness and lunacy of our "life-at-home" stories for the Sippy Cups and Cufflinks site.

Please stay tuned to both sites for more of my awesome Internetz words.

- Mr. Cufflinks

July 12, 2013

Capital U

M.O.M. (reading from a Brain Quest card): "How much is 7 minus 5?"

Sippycup: "Two!"

M.O.M.: "Good job.  Now, which word does NOT belong here: dog, rabbit, gerbil, tiger?"

Sippycup (creasing his forehead in concentration): "That's weird.  Uhm...the tiger!  Because you can't keep it as a pet!"

M.O.M. (smiling proudly): "Nice!  Next question: What is the capital of the United States of America?"

Sippycup (grinning broadly): "The U!"

Me (nodding my head): "Yep."

July 11, 2013

Adult Activities

-Princess Teacup and Sippy Cup are raucously playing in the background-

M.O.M. (prepping dinner in the kitchen): "Oh my God, these kids are driving me crazy today."

Me (anxiously awaiting dinner in the kitchen): "Just today?"

M.O.M. (turning to face me): "Seriously. I need to do an adult activity soon or I'm going to lose my mind."

Sippy Cup (walking into the kitchen): "What's an adult activity?"

M.O.M. (with no hesitation): "Drinking."

July 8, 2013

The Good Men Project

Over the holiday weekend, Sippy Cup and I did a lot of memorable things.

We went to a baseball game, saw a fireworks show, went to the beach, saw Despicable Me 2, went to a birthday party and even had the energy left over on Sunday to update the layout of the site some more.

While I promise there will be photos of the baseball game posted very soon, I do have a bit of exciting news to share: I have had three separate articles published on the Good Men Project.

The Good Men Project is a fantastic site dedicated to advancing the social dialogue concerning modern manhood and fatherhood.  As they write in their About Us section:

"Guys today are neither the mindless, sex-obsessed buffoons nor the stoic automatons our culture so often makes them out to be. Our community is smart, compassionate, curious, and open-minded; they strive to be good fathers and husbands, citizens and friends, to lead by example at home and in the workplace, and to understand their role in a changing world. The Good Men Project is a place where that happens. We’re glad to have you along for the ride."

I have been a fan of the Good Men Project for quite some time and was really humbled when I learned they were interested in running my pieces.  This has been a great opportunity and I hope to submit new work in the future.

Click on the links above to read the pieces and to check out the rest of the site; if you're a fan of my site, then there is a really good chance you'll be a fan of The Good Men Project as well.

And, now, back to our regularly scheduled madness; Princess Teacup is currently climbing onto my lap and trying to shut the laptop screen since it's "Bedtime Daaeee!"

June 17, 2013

Top 5 Reasons Why I Love My Dad

Top 5 Reasons Why I Love My Dad
(by Sippy Cup)

1.  When we can't reach something, you always get it for us.

2. You always give us hugs.

3. You tickle us and make funny jokes.

4. You always help us with our video games.

5. You always let us eat on the balcony.

Editor's Note: I was surprised with a Father's Day photo book from Shutterfly this past weekend and the above list was included on the first page of the book.  Number 1 is my personal favorite; it made me feel tall.

June 11, 2013

Snack Time Alphabets

M.O.M. (in the kitchen, preparing Sippy Cup's lunch)

Me (from the living room): "Do you know what would be amazing right now?  A snack!  Perhaps a mango?  Maybe a plum?"

M.O.M.: "Was that a hint?"

Sippy Cup (from the living room as well): "I want a snack too!"

Me (high-fiving him): "Snack time!"

M.O.M.: "Lovely."

Princess Teacup (running into the kitchen): "Mommy! Mommy! I want pickle!"

M.O.M.: "Really?  All of you want a snack at the exact same time?! The minute I'm in the kitchen, everyone is suddenly hungry!  OMG!"

Princess Teacup (jumping and dancing): "H! I! J! K! L-M-N-O-P!"

June 7, 2013

June 6, 2013


Sippy Cup (walking home from Nina's house): "Aww Dad!  Look!  The neighbor's dogs are so cute!"

Me (taking a look and seeing three Lhasa Apsos running around the yard): "Heh. Yeah. They are cute."

Sippy Cup (turning to me): "We should get one of those!"

Me: "Well, my good sir, while I agree that we should get a puppy, I don't think it should be one of those."

Sippy Cup (frowning): "Why not?"

Me: "Because, my good man, Daddy has decided that he wants a bulldog.  French or English. It doesn't matter.  I just want a bulldog.  Like Spike, from Tom and Jerry!"

Sippy Cup (crossing his arms): "No way! I want a little one like that!  And I want to name her 'Cupcake'!"

Me (aghast): "What? Who are you?"

Sippy Cup (turning and walking away): "I'm a kid!"

Me: "Thanks Captain Obvi-"

Sippy Cup (shouting over his shoulder): "And I want a puppy named 'Cupcake'!"

May 31, 2013

Simon Says

Nino (playing Simon Says with the Princess): "Simon Says touch your nose."

Princess Teacup (giggling and touching her nose): "Here it is!"

Nino (laughing): "Good job! Now, Simon Says touch your toes."

Princess Teacup (bending down and grunting with the effort): "Here are toes!"

Nino: "Ha! Good job baby!"

Princess Teacup (laying on the floor, looking under the couch and retrieving a small, shiny dime): "Yay!"

Nino (suddenly worried that she'll try to eat it): "Uhm...Simon Says give Nino the coin."

Princess Teacup (putting her hands behind her back and whispering): "Simon Says I don't want to play anymore."

May 30, 2013

A Letter to Future Sippy Cup (27)

Hey kid,

When I was in grade school, there was a bully who terrorized our school; his name was "Alex" (that wasn't his real name but that doesn't matter).

Alex was not the "sharpest tool in the shed" but he was definitely the strongest and he more than made up for what he lacked in analytic ability with sheer, brute strength.

My parents didn't raise me to be a "fighter" but, at the same time, they didn't raise me to be a fool either and so I had my fair share of random dust-ups growing up.

I knew that my path would eventually cross Alex's and that I would need to prepare for that eventuality.  So I did what seemed so obvious to me, even as a second grader: I hired Alex to be a bodyguard.

For a weekly salary of a single dollar and a pack of gum (one stick dispensed daily), I asked Alex to "help keep our friends safe".  Alex, not realizing that he was the only bully in the school, gladly agreed (he was a big fan of chewing gum).

The moral of the story is this: life will throw challenges your way and, often, the solution will not be obvious to you.  Use the skills that you have to face the challenge head on.  Don't be quick to fight; but don't be a fool either.  Not all strengths are physical and not all victories are earned with black eyes.


PS - if you ever run into a bully and you can't figure out how to deal with them, come and talk to me immediately. I know a few people who'd be happy to help.

May 29, 2013

Silent Postings Remixed (1)

Editor's Note: beginning this week, I will be "remixing" all of our previous Silent Postings.  It will combine my love of these images with the song lyrics they remind me of.  It's random, I know, but I think it'll be fun.  Plus, I think it's a great way for Sippy Cup to learn a little bit more about his Dad and the music he listened to in the car (before Skynet figured out how to beam music directly into our brains which, I presume, is the ironic way we will listen to music in the future whilst fighting the Terminators).

May 28, 2013

Her Tatoe

Princess Teacup (trying to open the laptop while we're eating dinner)

M.O.M.: "No baby.  You can't play with the computer while we're still eating dinner."

Princess Teacup (pouting and crossing her arms): "I want puter!"

Me: "Mommy said 'no'.  And it's pronounced com-puter.  Here, play with your new Mr. Potato Head!"

Princess Teacup (shoving the toy away): "No! I don't want Tatoe!"

Me (grabbing the toy before she pushes it off the table): "Fine. You're in a nasty little mood." 

Princess Teacup: "Stop it Daaeee! Give me Tatoe! I want my Tatoe!"

Me: "You just said you didn't want it!"

Princess Teacup (grabbing her beloved Mr. Potato Head): "Give me my Tatoe!"

Me: "I swear you do this on purpose."

Princess Teacup (hoisting the toy over her head): "Yay! Tatoe!"

May 24, 2013

"Justice Families" by Andry Rajoelina

Sippy Cup and I are both big fans of comic book superheroes and of Batman in particular.

At a very early age, I used comic books to encourage a love of reading in him and promote a wider appreciation of art, color and design.

A few days ago, I came across the "Justice Families" series of illustrations created by Andry Rajoelina and was blown away.  The beauty of these illustrations is not only the level of talent and ability Andry clearly has (if you need further proof, here is the link to his DeviantArt page); what I really loved about these pieces is how they re-imagine the relationship between Superheroes and their Sidekicks as they are depicted walking hand-in-hand on their way to school.  There is a sense of recognizable familiarity and sweet intimacy to each of these scenes, even though their subjects spend most of their time together "fighting crime".

Parenthood often feels like a heroic duty; to misquote Stan Lee, a "great responsibility" that requires an equal amount of "great power".  However, what I often forget is that I have two little sidekicks who are always right next to me, who are willing to "fight the good fight" with me, who are fiercely loyal and devoted to me and who look up to me.

Andry's illustrations reminded me that my journey into fatherhood, literally, could not have happened without my two little sidekicks.  And I know that they will always have my back.

Image Courtesy of Andry Rajoelina

PS - Andry also let me know that he plans to have these limited-edition prints available for sale in the Greek-Art Online Store; do yourself a favor and buy one.

May 23, 2013

Not On Thursdays

Sippy Cup (at the dining room table): "Dad, can you cut my pancakes for me please?"

Me: "Sure thing buddy. Do you want some syrup also?"

Sippy Cup: "No thanks. Not on Thursdays."

Me: "Uhm. What?"

Sippy Cup: "I don't eat my pancakes with syrup on Thursdays."

Me: "How are those two things related?"

Sippy Cup: "Dad! I have art class on Thursdays!"

Me: "OK. That still doesn't help me connect the dots."

Sippy Cup (sighing): "If I eat my pancakes with syrup, my hands get sticky. I can't do my art projects in art class if my hands are sticky!"

Me: "OK. I guess that makes sense."

Sippy Cup: "Duh. That's what I've been trying to tell you."

- 5 minutes later -

Me: "Wait a second...have you been going to school without washing your hands in the morning?!"

May 21, 2013

Potty Training

Princess Teacup (handing the M.O.M. a gift she recently received): "Mommy. Open."

M.O.M. (sitting up on the couch): "OK sweetie.  Oh, this looks like fun!  The little doll comes with a potty!  You can help her go to the bathroom baby."

Princess Teacup (clapping her hands): "Yay! Bathroom!"

M.O.M. (opening the package and handing her the doll): "Here you go love."

Princess Teacup (grabbing the doll and miniature potty): "Thank you Mommy!"

Me (looking down at her): "That's kind of cool.  It might help us with her potty training."

Princess Teacup (setting the miniature toy potty on the floor in front of the couch): "Bathroom!"

M.O.M. (smiling): "Yes baby.  You can help the little girl use the potty!"

Princess Teacup (promptly sitting down on top of the miniature toy potty on the floor in front of the couch): "Potty!"

Me: "Aaaaand, of course, that's precisely what she would do."

May 20, 2013

A Letter to Future Sippy Cup (26)

Hey kid,

Yesterday was a cool, cloudy and rainy day.

For the first time, in a very long time, we got the chance to spend the entire day hanging out at home.

You, your sister, your mother and I all got up early, ate breakfast together, played games together, watched movies together, read books together, took afternoon naps together.  We spent 12 waking hours together and did everything as a family.

These kinds of days are few and far between.  And, since nothing momentous happened, these are the kinds of days that are so easily forgotten.

Nevertheless, I just want you to know that yesterday was perfect.

And I can't wait for the next cool, cloudy and rainy day.


May 17, 2013

Quick Learner

Princess Teacup (dancing in circles): "My butt!"

Me (trying to hide my laughter): "Ok. This needs to stop."

Princess Teacup (laughing maniacally): "My butt! My butt Daaeee!"

Me: "Listen love, you need to stop saying that.  It isn't very nice.  And it's rude."

Princess Teacup: "Rude?"

Me: "Yes baby. I know it's funny.  But you can't keep saying it all the time."

Princess Teacup (walking away): "Ok booty face!"

May 16, 2013

"Hey! Who dat?"

Me (settling down to dinner at my parent's house): "This smells and looks delicious.  Thanks Mom."

Princess Teacup (roughly sliding down into her chair and whispering): "Ouch. My butt."

- Everyone at the table bursts out laughing -

Princess Teacup (eyeing everyone suspiciously): "My butt?"

- Everyone bursts out laughing again -

Princess Teacup (smiling): "My butt!"

Me (sensing danger and turning to the M.O.M.): "Uh-oh. Don't you realize what's happening?"

- Louder and more pronounced laughter drowns out my words -

Princess Teacup (standing up on the chair): "My butt! My butt! My butt!"

Me (shaking my head): "She's discovered punchlines."

Princess Teacup (banging on the table with her spoon): "Hey! Who dat? My butt!"

May 15, 2013

No Matter What

Me (putting on my jacket): "Ok guys, I'm getting ready to leave for work."

Sippy Cup (in a voice which is increasingly deeper each day): "Ok Dad. Bye. I love you."

Me (kissing him on the top of his head): "I love you too. I'll see you later.  Have a good day at school."

Princess Teacup (holding up her hand): "Bye Daaee! Five?"

Me (kneeling down so that I can give her a high-five): "Bye Lady Baby.  I love you."

Princess Teacup (opening her eyes wide with concern): "Coming back Daddy?"

Me (freshly awash in the post-vacation getaway guilt): "Yes love. No matter what. Daddy will always come back."

May 14, 2013

Things I Never Thought I'd Have To Say (12)

"You know, I know we needed a break from the kids, but I really miss them and I kind of wish we had brought them on vacation with us."

May 7, 2013

One Little (Nasty) Bird

Me (singing Bob Marley's Three Little Birds to her while changing her diaper): 
"Don't worry about a thing / 'Cause every little thing gonna be alright."

Princess Teacup (smiling)

Me (smiling back): "Rise up this mornin' / Smiled with the risin' sun"

Princess Teacup (giggling): "Daaeee."

Me: "Three little birds / Pitch by my doorstep"

Princess Teacup (smiling): "Aww Daaeee."

Me: "Singin' sweet songs / Of melodies pure and true / Sayin' 'This is my message to you-ou-ou!'"

- Sudden rude noise from my daughter -

Princess Teacup: "Daaeee! Gas! Hear that? Gas! I gas Daaeee!"

May 6, 2013

Apples to Nanas

Me (in the kitchen, preparing my lunch)

Princess Teacup: "Daaee. I want apple."

Me: "Sure thing love."

Princess Teacup: "Yay! Apple!"

Me (handing her an apple from the fruit basket)

Princess Teacup (shaking her head): "No. Apple."

Me (looking from the apple to her): "But this is an apple."

Princess Teacup (shouting): "No! I want apple!"

Me: "Well, first of all, stop yelling and be nice."

Princess Teacup: "Ok Daaee."

Me: "Thank you. Now, tell me what you want."

Princess Teacup: "Apple."

Sippy Cup (quietly walks into the kitchen, grabs 2 bananas, peels them and gives one to his sister before walking back out to the living room)

Princess Teacup: "Yay! Nana!"

Me: "Do you two plan these things late at night?!"

May 3, 2013

Morning Routine

My children have a very precise bedtime routine (you can read about the importance of following the specific steps of this routine here).

However, they have an extremely erratic morning routine; since they wake up whenever they see a crack of sunlight streaming through their bedroom window, I can only assume they are following some sort of ancient, pagan, sun-worshiping ritual to start their day.

As an example, here is how I started my day this past Wednesday.

- 6:14 am -

Princess Teacup (from the living room): "Daaeee! Come! Come quick!"

Me (from the comfort of my bed, my voice muffled by the pillow I have used to block my face from the sunlight): "No!"

Princess Teacup (raising her voice): "Daaeee! Peas!  I want T! I want Elmo! Peas?"

Me (my voice rising with each word): "Why don't you children evER SLEEP?!"

- Rapid patter of little feet followed by the boom of the master bedroom door being thrown open and slamming into the wall - 

Princess Teacup (whispered voice full of promised violence, like the rumble of thunder): "Daaeee. T. Now."

Me (rolling away from her voice): "No."

Princess Teacup (running over and promptly slamming the remote on my exposed neck): "Elmo!"

Me (sitting up, rubbing my neck): "What is wrong with you?!"

Princess Teacup (both fists in the air): "Yay! Daaeee up! Up Daaeee! Come! Come! Elmo! Yay!"

April 29, 2013

What I Learned Today (24)

Today I learned that, once your baby daughter learns how to climb out of her bed, you will find her quietly sitting in her stroller at 6 in the morning and it will scare you half to death.

April 26, 2013

A Letter to Future Sippy Cup (25)

Hey kid,

My grandfathers passed away when I was very little.  I never had the good fortune to meet them, to get to know them, to play with them the way only little boys and grandfathers know how to do.

Thankfully, I can't say the same for you.

Today is Grandpa Nino's birthday.  And I want you to know that you two have been "partners-in-crime" since the day you were born.

They say a man learns to appreciate his father so much more once he has had children of his own.

Now I know why.


April 23, 2013

April 19, 2013

Party Training

Me (calling out from the bedroom): "Hey little girl!"

Princess Teacup (calling out from the living room): "Daee! What want?"

Me: "I want you to come here so that I can change your diaper."

Princess Teacup (running into the bedroom) :"Kaaay! Hi Daee!"

Me: "Hi baby.  Come here."

Princess Teacup (pointing to her diaper): "I pee! I pee Daee!"

Me (picking her up so that I can lay her down on the bed): "Yes, I know.  And it sounds like you're ready for potty training!"

Princess Teacup (both arms in the air): "Yay!"

Me (smiling): "Aww! That's so cute! You're excited abo-"

Princess Teacup (pumping both fists): "Party! Party! Party!"

Me: "No love, I said 'potty'! Not par-"

Sippy Cup (running into the room): "Did someone say 'Party'?"

Princess Teacup (jumping on the bed): "Party! Party! Party!"

Sippy Cup (dancing next to the bed): "Party! Party! Party!"

April 18, 2013

A Letter to Future Sippy Cup (24)

Hey kid,

Last night, I read an article about parenthood and aging by the British author Simon Kuper.

In the article, Kuper writes "You are only a family for a relatively short time -- usually about 20 years. In that time, much of what the family is trying to do is lay down memories. The aim is to leave all family members, but especially the kids, with snapshots of happiness for them to look back on after everyone goes their own way."

If you ever wonder why I worked so hard on this site, there's your answer.


April 17, 2013

Recycling Masks

Me: "Hey little dude.  How was school today?"

Sippy Cup: "It was fine.  We learned about recycling."

Me: "That's cool.  So, tell me, what's recycling?"

Sippy Cup: "Uhm, well, recycling is when you take something that you were going to throw away and turn it into something new."

Me: "That sounds about right."

Sippy Cup (grabs a marker and starts drawing on the back of his empty juice box): "Like, see this juice box?  It's empty.  But it's not garbage anymore."

Me: "Oh really? What is it now?"

Sippy Cup (turns it around so I can see the smiley face he drew on it): "Now it's a mask!"

Me: "Uhm. I'm not sure you understand how recycling works."

Sippy Cup: "And I'm not sure you understand how masks work."

April 16, 2013

Happy Birthday Sippy Cup

Roughly six years ago, I came home with this...

...and, while I was admittedly biased, I thought he was awesome right from the start.

Time passed and he grew older...

...and hungrier...

...and naked-er.

He discovered best-friends...

...and his own sense of style...

...and, after 6 years together, I still don't have the words to explain just how much I love him.

Happy Birthday Little Dude.  Here's to another amazing year full of love and laughter.