Tuesday, December 09, 2008

As Christmas Day approaches...

... I see more and more commercials for video games [ie, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty] and at the end of each advertisement a voiceover says: "Rated M for Mature" despite the target audience being anything but. I think the games should be: "Rated PB for Lives in Parents' Basement".

Here's a pic of our T-giving spread. The food turned out to be pretty tasty, no complaints. The nice thing about not having any friends is that we didn't have to share dinner with anyone. I guess the bad thing about no friends is having to buy your own power tools.

Let's shove something up this Turkey's butt... let's shove some wet bread up its butt...

Before snapping this picture I said, "Brooklyn, say cheese!" She pulled Brittiny's hair up into a top knot and said, "Say pineapple!"

Mom and Braden

The other night Brookers pitched a fit, got timed out for a while in her room. She showed us who's the boss, though, as she defaced her headboard.

These little bouncy seat thingies always make me think of riding my bike over to McDonald's with Kevster to buy a Big Mac.

Friday, November 28, 2008

"So, um, Dad...

... did you know that there are some of birds that don't fly?"

I reply, "Really, Brooklyn, what birds would those be?" wondering if she can name any flightless fowl.

"Dead ones."

"I suppose you're right, Brookers."

Touche to the two year-old.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Buncha new pics...

Braden's shoes... not sure why he has shoes.

The kids chillin'... Brady looks pretty gangsta.

...and here chomping his fingers...

Brookers glamming in a dress her Nonny made ~ she wore this number to church. The pigtails lasted all of 15mins.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

"Heavenly Father...

please bless the cheetos that I will be eating, 'cause they are so good, and dat I can poop and pee in da potty and not in my pants cause I am a big girl and bless Nonny and Papa that he can feel well and Nina that she can be a dog... Jesus Christ, Amen." Brooklyn's prayers are getting better.

She recently celebrated her 3rd Birthday in style - at Chuck E Cheese. Buncha pics below:

So what can I say about Chuck E Cheese birthday parties?

The Bad: pizza is so bland it needs ketchup and mayo, Chuck E Cheese looks like a hydrocephalic gerbil, your kid will catch a cold from exposure to dozens of other grimy booger-eating toddlers spreading germs, and the $35 "special Birthday Surprise" is a stale doughnut pilfered from the dumpster behind the neighboring Starbucks.

The Good: the kids all leave you alone most of the evening, someone else gets paid to clean up the mess which includes any toddler pee on the floor ["Oh my gosh I can't believe it's really Chuck E Cheese and I can't have Dad take me to the potty because I might miss him!"] and spew in the carpet ["Daddy, I fink da pizza is dross and I fink I don't feel well and I fink I'm gonna puke-up... BRRRAAAAAAPPPPP!"]

Yeah, Chuck E Cheese is pretty awesome.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"I am da mommy and you are...

...da kid," Brooklyn told me this afternoon. "Okay, I'll be the kid".

Brooklyn then proceeded to speak with me only in character, meaning that she was "Mommy" married to "Hockey Prince Charming" with at least one kid: me.

I asked her, "Where is Hockey Prince Charming?"

"He is busy working, Kid."

"What does he do for work?"

"He sits right there (pointing to my brown office chair in front of my work PC) and makes e-mails all day long and talks on the phone." I thought that was pretty funny.

Anyway, Braden has grown quite a bit over the last couple of weeks, drinking lots of milk and filling his diapers with a seemingly endless supply of grey poupon.

I'm too lazy to re-import this picture right-side up, but Braden loves his bath time.

Little bit of a smile, little bit of a faux-hawk. Braden is a truly happy kid; yet unaware that life sucks, people are mostly tools and the government taxes you even after death.

A close up of our Brady-bear. So the dude looks more Albrightesque than Eppersonic, I think. Here's my take:

  • Eyes: Torgersen/Thomas
  • Mouth: Epperson
  • Nose: Albright
  • Ears: Albright/Thomas
  • Eyebrows: Charles Bronson
A couple of weeks ago we moved from our Yuma Foothills home onto the Marine Corps Air Station in town. We're happy with our new place and the nice community. We did the move ourselves, which was kind of nice in that we got a chance to sort of inventory our stuff.

Brittiny once told me, after she watched me help a neighbor move a washing machine out of an apartment basement: "I would so much rather have babies than life heavy furniture."

Having witnessed 2 pregnancies there is no way lifting a bunch of boxes can compare. For one, helping someone move doesn't make you irrational or gassy. Secondly, at the end of a pregnancy you have a cute little kid, instead of damaged furniture and a lot of marital tension. I did split my $9 TJ Maxx cargo's bending down to hoist a box of books.

The next morning we awoke in our new place. The fact that we were up until midnight moving boxes didn't phase Brookers-boo. She quickly made a friend, Leslyn, and marshalled a robust tea party, hosting in her Vera Wang fairy costume.

Leslyn's dad is a Gunnery Sgt with the Marines. When the girls started pouring the "tea" he blurted: PINKIES OUT, MAGGOTS!

A few days after settling into our new place we decided to try out the base pool. It's across the street and really quite nice. In the below pic Brooklyn is trying to maintain her cool despite being told she would be swimming 20 mins earlier.

Note her cute pose - she's managed to stay relevant despite her scene-stealing little brother.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Kids are stupid...

...but probably only because they spend most of their time trying to act like adults. I mean, have you seen Flavor of Love? We adults are setting the bar pretty fetching low.

Today Brooklyn threw a sweet fit. She was actually upset over a timeout levied earlier in the evening but launched into a vocal and violent protest vs. Brittiny such that I had to start her on an additional timeout.

Why time her out again, you may ask? Often enough the first timeout doesn't "take" and must be repeated in both frequency and severity. It's like going to a chiropractor for "adjustments". It's not uncommon for a healthy 2 year old to require a baker's dozen of "adjustments" before lunch.

So at this point I'm pretty sorry for the kid, since she's visited the well-worn timeout corner a few times already that day. Walking her down the hall I feel like the a-hole prison Warden, Drumgoole (Donald Sutherland) from Lock Up introducing Frank Leone (Stallone) to his cell. I kneel beside her and say, "Brookers, you need 3 minutes of timeout to cool your jets and think about how mean you were to Mommy." Judging by her reaction she clearly hears Warden Drumgoole's voice sneering out: "This is hell, and I'm going to give you the guided tour!"

Anyway, so 3 or 20 minutes pass - I wasn't keeping a close eye on the time - and I go back into Brooker's room for the post-timeout routine.

"Why are you in timeout?"
"Because I was hitting Mom like this (punching the air) and kicking her."
"Thank you for telling me what you did. Now please go tell Mom you're sorry and promise her you won't hit her again."
"No. I no want to."
"Brooklyn Margo you will march right up to your Mother and tell her you're sorry for hitting her or you will stay in timeout all night long."

At this Brooklyn hops down off her bed and marches, arms gesticulating wildly in the air with each step, knees kicking high off the tile floor - she's actually marching, the same way she does to her stupid Barney video where a bunch of annoying High School the Musical rejects march and prance around and pretend to give a crap about a dog named BINGO - all the way down the hall. Mom is sitting on the couch, so Brooklyn leans in and says, quite unctuously:

"I'n sorry Mommy fo' hitting you."
"Thank you, Brooklyn. I forgive you."

Brooklyn pauses for a moment, standing in front of the couch, then turns and runs full speed back to her room crying all the way. Those present to witness the apology are left to ponder its significance: Had we witnessed tears of joy from the soul-cleansing catharsis that comes only from true repentance? Was Brooklyn contemplating the far-reaching love of a selfless mother who so easily forgave her trespass? Did the gravitas of the intricate relationship between mercy and justice just bring a two year-old to tears?

If you answered "Yes" to any of the above three hypo's you obviously don't have kids. To look into the eyes of a sly two year old, when, out of necessity she is forced to apologize, is to see a stubborn will tortured by the realization of its own weakness.
Though her lips may ask forgiveness whilst tears flow down her porcelain cheeks, her heart cries out: "You'll never break me, Drumgoole!"

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Heavy is the head that wears the crown...

... but Mom is quick to remind me that in the Epperson line there is no crown, no walloping great wodges of cash to bequest, no "sceptered sway". But, for the record, she spent her first 20 years as a Torgersen and cannot be trusted. ;)

At 07:28 PST on Tuesday, June 17th, Braden Brent Epperson abruptly entered LDRP room 303 at Yuma Regional Medical Center. Brittiny was a champ through her pregnancy and labor, and as I write this, is enjoying a well-deserved nap.

King Darius had Xerxes and JFK his "John-John", now I have Braden Brent.

Here's Baby Braden trying desperately to give me the finger. Who do you think he looks like?

Grammy and Brooklyn came to visit us at the hospital. Brooklyn seemed un-phased by the competition, and was ever-so-sweet to her little brother. We'll see how long that lasts.

When she was asked to hand back Braden, Brooklyn replied, "No, I am Braden's Mommy." It was a cute moment.

The official stats above. I like the stork cartoon in the lower right of the card. I asked our nurse, "If the stork delivered our baby, then what's with the big bill?" Get it?... Maybe that joke would work if the story were about a duck delivering babies instead of a stork... Oh well.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

20,000 leagues in a Chrysler Town & Country...

...well, so long as those leagues translate into roughly 3,400 miles. We 3 B's drove to Utah a week ago, then with Nonny & Poppa continued on to Portland Oregon for some R&R. The trip was fun and devoid of drama.

Two weeks earlier I flew to CT for work and Brittiny + Brookers spent the weekend there with me. It was fun to drive up to New Haven on the weekend to see so many friends from New Hay Hay and the Woodbridge Ward. Good times.

Now the pics...

Here Brooklyn tends to our scant Yuma garden. She prefers a spray bottle over the more traditional watering can.

We died Easter eggs this year.

Here Brooklyn finds an Easter egg on the back porch. With each egg she found she was equal parts of elation and surprise. Maybe I'm just cynical, but at some point I expected the novelty of finding plastic eggs around the house and backyard to fade. Nope.

Here are Mom and Brookers being all chic in NYC. If you can't tell from the pictures, Brittiny is about a month away from giving birth. Brooklyn insisted on keeping her new shades on all day long, even when the sun wasn't shining or we were in the car.
Brooklyn asked us every 10 minutes, "Do you like my new sunglasses? Are they beautiful?"

In NYC there is a huge Toys R Us. The place is pretty cool, with a large ferris wheel in the middle of the 6 stories of toys. The store gets old when you realize that it's just a big toy store, same as in your local mall, and your wife and daughter are both asking you for your wallet.

This is Brooklyn's reaction to the Toys R Us ferris wheel. Man, were the rest of us bored on this thing! Whoever invented the ferris wheel, I'm guessing Ferris Buehler, had quite the racket going. It's like riding an escalator, except you get off in the same place you got on - a zero sum endeavor. What crap. At least with State Fair ferris wheel's there's the excitement of wondering, "Hey, I might get injured on this thing."

Here Brooklyn swings in Central Park. She loved the newly renovated kids part in the SW corner. It was pretty cool.

Even with all the excitement the City has to offer, 2 year-olds bore easily (yawn)!

Nonny and Poppa in front of the Columbia River Gorge, just outside of Portland, OR. This view was fantastic.

Here's Brittiny and me in front of the same backdrop.

Upper Multinomah Falls, pretty darn cool. Definitely worth checking out if your in Portland.

Here we are cheesing for the camera. In front of lower Multinomah falls.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"I'n to watch da Bee Mobie, Daddy..."

That's pretty much all Brooker-Boo says these days. Kudos to Jerry Seinfeld for making such a great kids show. It's way better than Finding Nemo and the characters far less objectionable.

Last week we had a nice visit from the Nonny. What is a Nonny, you might ask? She's like a nanny who works for free and bakes cookies 6 dozen at a time.

We took her to Sea World, which was pretty cool. Proud to be an American as I peeled off the Benjamins to pay for 14 dollar bags of popcorn slurpees in commemorative Shamu mugs. The mugs are made from non-biodegradable plastic, so they'll stay with you about as long as the crippling debt you incur to see a bunch of fish.

Here's Brittiny peeking out from under her rain slicker. The rain slicker is to protect her in case Shamu spews anchovies into the crowd.

Here's Shamu VII jumping out of her spacious 64 cu ft seawater tank. I'm amazed that people can train a Killer Whale to corkscrew, splash the crowd on command and dance the "Macarena", but I can't get a 2 year-old to use the freaking toilet. I bet the trainers could write a mad potty-training book.

Here Brooklyn is touching her first Sea Star -- Nonny helping her out. She said the star felt like "boogers".

Nonny, Brookers and me leaving Sea World.

After SeaWorld we stopped at the San Diego temple. It's a beautiful temple, but crawling with Mormons.

We traveled to Utah a few weeks ago for baby Hailey's blessing, staying the first night West of Ogden in Plain City. Here Brooklyn played on Granpa's swingset. Even though it was 15 degrees outside and she was sans coat, we couldn't get her off the swing. She had a great time visiting her cousins and Gpa's.

Here is Brooklyn mid-swing.

Driving back to Utah, somewhere around Mesquite, Brookers fell asleep. I asked Brittiny to put her sunglasses on her as the sun was in her eyes. Brittiny did so, then asked me if I wanted to watch, Weekend at Bernie's. Weird, I was just thinking the same thing.

Brooklyn helped me wash the cars last Saturday. She obediently rinsed the front of the car for about 3 seconds and then turned the hose on me, laughing so hard the whole time she could barely hold onto the hose. She would then attempt to coax me back within hosing range, smiling, "Daddy, come a oba here so I'n to do it washa car!" I would slowly approach the car and before I was even in range she would be smiling and laughing at the thought of soaking me with the hose. When I got close enough, she would swing the nozzle toward me and start convulsing in laughter shaking the nozzle all around, getting herself very wet in the process. Kids are so cute.

Well, that's it for now. More pics to come at a later date.