Posted by & filed under discovery.

Gotta be willing to accept a little bit of crazy... like talking to mice.

Gotta be willing to accept a little bit of crazy… like talking to mice.

Amidst a conversation about women with my brother-in-law I found myself saying “You have to be willing to accept a little bit of crazy…” and while I am sure there are ample examples I could have chosen, my mind went to “…just look at Cinderella.”

I expect it had to do with recently reading this  fairy tale, (the Disney-fied version of it) to Kaylee. The key is you have to look at the story from the Prince’s perspective.

He’s pushing back on getting married because he really wants to find the perfect woman that he really connects with. To his own amazement, at the ball (that he’s begrudgingly attends), he meets her – his perfect girl. She is everything he’s looking for, and  despite spending most of the night in private close interaction with her, he doesn’t get her name before she has to take off very hastily as the clock starts to strike twelve. He has no game.

But he’s a Prince, so he can make up for his lack of skill with the ladies by subjecting the entire kingdom to an unwarrented search (and hopefully siezure).  What’s he to do, he’s broken up at this point. This is the one; this is the girl he’d actually marry.

Our Prince goes door-to-door making single ladies try on a shoe. He doesn’t even let his own faculties persuade him, like noticing that the women trying on the slipper look nothing like the girl he was dancing with last night. No, the shoe doesn’t lie (and defies all probability by only fitting one woman).

And this desperate, invasive, poorly-constructed plan works. Huzzah! He finds his perfect girl again and this time actually takes a good hard look at her, and well…  she looks just awful, truly ragged, but technically she is upper-class so this could work. A quick trip to the salon and a boutique or two and she’ll be ready to be presented to the court and kingdom as the one he has decided to marry.

Everything is coming up princely at this point. Sure she comes with the baggage of an dreadful family, but that can be overcome, not everyone loves their in-laws. Our Prince is riding high, he found his true love and , she is perfect, everything is…

Mice? Really? Ewww, that’s a nasty pet, they are vermon, they should be… oh, wait, what? She talks to the mice too. Well, sure, she has a lonely upbringing, I suppose… no f’n way, seriously?!? She holds them and sings to them and makes them little mice clothing to wear? WTF?!?! Who is this crazy lady?

At some point the Prince had to wrestle with the truth that his perfect bride is BFF with rodents. That could be a deal-breaker, maybe you think it should be, but our Prince is willing to concede. He knows that he’s attended a lot of balls already and never met a girl like Cinderella before, and is she crazy?  Yes, it appears so. But he can accept a bit of crazy, because he’s found his perfect girl.

Posted by & filed under baby, discovery.

Here is a video of Ginelle rolling over for one of the very first times after she was able to really do it consistently. This is such a big milestone for a baby and I was so glad we captured it on video.

We never captured this moment for Kaylee, and that is astounding to me because I saw so focused on it at the time. As a new dad with my first child I was frequently working to try to help Kaylee along, figure out how to tuck that other arm in so she could fully turn over. As is probably true for every second child, Ginelle didn’t get such focused attention and coaching, and proved she completely didn’t need it. She figured this out all by herself.

Great job Baby G.

 

Posted by & filed under family, parenting.

Kaylee loves to sing. She sings around the house all the time. Here’s a quick example of two songs she was to sing at her Winter Gala performance at Kindercare:

Isn’t she adorable? I was delighted to be able to see Kaylee’s sing these in her class concert. Unfortunately, I didn’t plan out the evening very well. Many of the other kids were picked up early, taken out to dinner and then came back for the special concert. I didn’t think to do that. I arrived a little before the concert.

Typically, when I show up at Kindercare, we then leave Kindercare, so since I was sticking around and not taking her home, Kaylee started getting anxious. When she told me she wanted a snack and I told her we’ll have dinner after the concert. That’s when she started getting upset. When I consoled her she turned clingy and wanted to be held by Daddy. When she was still holding on to me at the beginning of the concert, and I planting her in the front of the room with the rest of the kids to perform, well, this is what followed:

Poor Kaylee. The worst part for me is that she was really excited about singing in the concert. I ruined this by not pre-setting expectations.

I should have arrived early and taken her to dinner before the concert creating a separation between her full day of day care and the evening performance. Then, perhaps at dinner, I should have explained what was going to happen, with her singing up front, Daddy and Mommy watching her from the audience and capturing on video her singing her little heart out.

I always hate when I have to learn a parenting lesson the hard way because that typically means it’s coming at the cost of the event and these girls are growing up so fast, there won’t always be another chance. Fortunately, Gala concerts at the Kindercare are fairly routine, so I’ll get another chance to do this right the next time.

Posted by & filed under discovery, holiday, home.

I sometimes forget that dogs are not people too. I know at times I can put high expectations on my dog’s Sookie and have to be reminded that she’s a shih-tzu, not a human, she can’t understand or do everything we can.

But then Christmas comes around and we say “Sookie open your present” and this is what happens (and I am so glad we knew to capture it on video) and I realize she may not have all the comprehension or capabilities of a human, but she’s still a pretty impressive little dog.

Posted by & filed under home.

IMG_2558

Some of you may be wondering, what is the deal with a big photo of a disheveled drawer. But, if you are a long-time reader of this blog you may remember that at the very onset, when Selena and I moved in together, we had to learn to compromise regarding small idiosyncrasies, but that didn’t stop us from blogging about them.

One I gave in on was the Silverware drawer. Selena wanted it facing with the miscellaneous tray in the front, I conceded, and even worked it into my wedding vows. Five years later, I just wanted to give an visual update on how it’s going.

There is a hotly debated criminological theory called “Broken Windows” that goes that if you clean up the small vandalism like broken windows on your block, you will set a higher norm for your neighborhood and result in less more heinous crimes.

I believe a parallel to this is why you don’t put the miscellaneous tray at the front. When you open the drawer to a collection of mismatched pieces and odds and ends that don’t stack or fit, you are less inclined to make sure the longer columns of knives, forks, spoons and chopsticks all line up neatly.

It’s probably too late for our silverware drawer, this is how it is in the Robleto household. But if I can save one of you out there from falling in to the same traps we have, I know all the years of using this drawer in this state will have brought about some good.

 

Posted by & filed under baby, food.

Since Thanksgiving is a holiday all about eating, it seemed a very appropriate time to try moving Ginelle from beyond just bottles to start eating solid foods. It took a few tries; she was not a fan of just rice cereal. Once we started mixing the Gerber flavored foods in with rice cereal, she was all for trying something beyond milk. Above is a video from the first week in December and one of her very first meals of solid foods.

Since this promising beginning, Ginelle has flourished. Within a few weeks we broke from the Gerber foods and started just blending whatever we were eating for dinner into food for her too. By Christmastime she was eating foods un-mashed directly off our plates including mashed potatoes and has just recently added tofu as well.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

My favorite cookbook that I reference all the time is a spiral bound notebook with hand copied recipes, magazine clippings, cards from friends and printouts taped into it. I think most people have some version of this. When I first met Greg, he thought putting together a book like this for himself might be a way to be more culinary.

Last Thanksgiving, when part of Greg’s family and extended family were in town, we found his cookbook. In 12 years, this book consisted of only three recipes he deemed worthy to have for all eternity. One mysterious recipe caught our eye. It was read out loud, and his family and I ended up laughing so hard we were crying because this recipe was such an enigma. We all sure had a lot of questions and comments.

Take a look:
Greg's recipe

 

Some questions/comments that came up (in chronological order):

  • “So is this a recipe for 5 Minute Bread?”
  • “5 minutes. 5 MINUTES!”
  • “What are we boiling?” “I don’t know, but apparently it’s for 5-7 minutes or until tender.” “I thought we were making bread?”
  • “What cooking apparatus are we using that you can adjust to level 2.5 or 3?”
  • “Interesting…this bread recipe has rice in it.”
  • “I thought we set something to 375 in the beginning?”
  • “What does that say?” (Before “keep on 6”. Guesses welcome on this one, folks.)
  • “Wait, I thought we were at 2.5 or 3 on our cooking apparatus? When did we move to 6?”
  • “ADD LEFTOVERS TO MOISTEN????? That is the grossest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.” (This line is probably our favorite)
  • “What leftovers? Can you pull out a pizza and throw it in?” “Is it anything you have in your fridge? Soup?”
  • “Eww! ‘To moisten’!”
  • “’White inside, niiiiiiiiice outside.” (Okay, really, we just repeated this line over and over again with different inflictions on the word “nice”)
  • “WHAT? Plot twist! There’s pineapple and chicken in this bread!”
  • “Pineapple ‘drain fluid’??? Ew. Sounds like a medical procedure.”
  • “Wait, you’re just supposed to put the pineapple on top of the rice and the chicken? What happened to the bread? And where did the chicken come from?”

Just to reiterate, this was one of THREE recipes that made it into Greg’s ultimate recipes.

Posted by & filed under baby, tivo.

breakingbad

A few weeks ago, we were all at the beach for a wedding on Greg’s side of the family. We discover that Greg’s aunt and her family are also huge fans of Breaking Bad. Come Sunday night, we all want to watch the latest episode. For the first time in what seems like ages, we are actually rushing back to catch a show in real time. We speed back to our hotel with Greg’s aunt and cousins. I run in with a sleeping infant and try to transfer her without waking her and tell Greg to just take care of setting everyone else up in our room for the show, already in progress.

After finally getting the baby back to sleep, I walk back into the main room of our hotel suite, and see everyone glued to the TV, including Kaylee, snuggled up, sucking her thumb, holding her blanket and totally engrossed.

I asked the room, “Um…are you guys all watching Breaking Bad with a two-year old?” Half of the room didn’t respond and Greg said, “You think she understands what’s happening?” “Well gee, since she’s missed the past four seasons, maybe we can catch her up.” (That’s what I should have said!) I should also point out that another cousin of Greg’s wasn’t allowed to come over and watch because, at 11 years old, he was “too young.” Boy, won’t he call injustice.

I put Kaylee to bed shortly thereafter. I don’t think she caught anything that would be traumatizing, but we’ll see when she’s a teenager if we notice any suspicious RVs parked around outside.

Posted by & filed under sports.

Enjoying the rare treat of seeing the Philles play at home this summer

Enjoying the rare treat of seeing the Philles play at home this summer

A co-worker of mine told me this formula just before Ginelle was due:

“When you have a child you lose about 90% of the time you considered your own. When you have a second child, you lose 90% of what you had left”

So that leaves just 1% of my time as my own. That’s not very much. So I’ve been thinking when I get my opportunities to use that 1% me-time, I best make it count. That’s my rational for over the past six weeks going to two home Phillies games.

Posted by & filed under oddball.

George Clooney and Brad Pitt

George Clooney and Brad Pitt

Back in my mid-twenties, I belonged to a gym near home that, in a last ditch effort to stay afloat, offered a free strip tease aerobics class to its members (And a free Saturday morning breakfast bar). For the heck of it, I decided to try it out. On a side note, I revisited stripper aerobics by taking pole dance lessons at my sister-in-law’s bachelorette party where numerous times, I got stuck on the pole, picked up off the floor, and had to be walked around the pole (a la Tina Fey in Date Night) by the instructor. If age, two kids, and mom jeans weren’t already sealing the deal enough, it’s safe to say this is not going to be a potential career path.

Back to the story, as I mentioned, the place was on its last legs (and possibly run by the mafia), so it was always empty and the ladies in this class were all awkward, uncomfortable ladies like me, a lot of them older housewives, with the exception of one young female gym rat who kept faking modesty with lots of giggles and “Oh my gosh, I’m SOOO embarrassed, I can’t believe I’m doing this”’s but then would thrash around once the music started as if she was the next Nomi Malone. Planted outside was the very Italian-looking manager in a leisure suit pretending to lift weights, always with one eye checking out what was going on in the studio.

At each hour long class we learned a full routine. One day, our instructor had prepared a routine that was split into three parts. We would perform part of the routine to an imaginary crowd on the right, part to the left, and part to centerstage. “So imagine,” she says, “You’ve got George Clooney sitting over here, Brad Pitt sitting over here, and…well…um…who else…” She pauses, waiting for us to supply another name. For a few seconds, everyone is racking their brain, and most of the ladies are so painfully shy, no one wants to speak up. Finally, one woman says, “Um, did you already say George Clooney and Brad Pitt?” The instructor replies, “Yes.” “Oh. Well, then…I don’t know.”

Yep, that was where that conversation ended. (I think we needed our friend JLo to choreograph a class) I relayed this story back to Greg and that apparently, aside from George Clooney and Brad Pitt, there are no other attractive men in all of Hollywood. The legacy lives on between us. It surprises us how often we say, “Well, did you already say George Clooney and Brad Pitt?” That sometimes we forget it all started in a strip tease aerobics class at a sketchy gym, which finally did close shortly thereafter, despite breakfast bar.