Friday, August 26, 2011

Big Wheel Keep on Turnin

Happy Friday Readers.  Indeed it's happy here because Mrs. LIAYF, Lukas, and I will again be on vacation next week.

Since it's August, and this is the beautiful Pacific Northwest, we are staying local and enjoying the gorgeous weather Mother Nature bequeaths to us each Summer.  We will spend a few days north of Seattle "Camping" (quote marks used to signify that we are staying in a small cabin - with a bathroom), but other than that we will use the time to enjoy our fair city.

That means my posts here will be pretty sporadic for the next couple of weeks.  In other words, don't expect to notice much change.

Though I haven't made much fanfare of it, after a fairly long hiatus from working out - to have a child and raise him to the age of 4 - I am back in the saddle, so to speak.  I have been getting up before the birds for the last month or so, with varying degrees of success, to re-introduce myself to my old friend the treadmill.  Now I am not going to say that I have seen any dramatic results from these efforts, but I do feel like cardiovascularly at least my health is improving.

Along with working out in the mornings, with Mrs. LIAYF and Lukas (who long ago mastered his two wheeler without training wheels) I have been riding my bike a lot more this summer.  This has been a lot of fun, and actually inspired what I decided to attempt today. Or, I should alternatively say complete. 

This picture should give you a clue to what I am talking about:

That would be my bicycle parked in my office.  Yes, I biked to work Friday.  True, It was only about 15 miles round trip, but for those of you not from Seattle there are a lot of fairly significant hills here to navigate so for me this was a pretty big deal.

In fact, by the time I finished this is what my legs felt like:


Not that I didn't expect as much, but I'm pretty sure I will be sore for a few days afterwords.  Wish me luck with that.

Anyway, I have been really needing to get into better shape recently, especially with Lukas each and every day becoming more active and hard to keep up with.  I want to be able to be active with him as he grows, and keeping myself in shape is a necessity so this has been a big step in the right direction for me.

How about you readers?  As a parent do you find it hard to get your workouts in?  Did it become easier as your children got older?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Five Leeetle Rabbits

We got some good news yesterday. Mrs. LIAYF received a call from one of her sisters letting us know that we would be aunt and uncle LIAYF! 


Yep, we do currently occupy that role many times over.  In fact, this will be little hombre numero cinco for their family. (No, they are not of Latino heritage, but nearly as pasty white as we are. That one just popped into my head, so I decided to roll with it.)

Anyhoo, we are super excited for them.  Especially since this was a planned pregnancy.  Yes, I said planned. But hearing about it really got us thinking.  We are planning on a second child of our own - more on that in a later post - and we can kinda sorta imagine what it would be like managing a third child.   But five?  That's Cave Osborne territory right there.  All in!  Or alternatively known as "The Crazy Train".   Okay, just kidding JCO.

There is no way we, or anyone living close by us here in Seattle that we know for that matter, could pull off raising five kids.  Because It's too darn expensive here.

In fact, we know a lot of couples with kids.  A LOT.  And we tried to think of everyone we knew who had more than just two kids.  We literally sat there stumped for a few seconds.  Finally, we did come up with one or two local families with a third child including neighbors down the block with a stay at home dad.  But the vast majority of our peers had rounded out their families with just the second child.

I was actually amazed at how few people we knew had three or more kids.  I had heard an NPR story once a couple of years ago about how the average family size in the US has been shrinking in recent  years, necessitating immigration to keep the economy running.  I just looked it up and shockingly in 2010 it was 2.59.  Meaning on average families average less than one child now. Yes, there are a lot of families without kids who bring that number down, but by comparison the average family size was 3.7 in the late 1950's.

As I said, we are planning to add to the LIAYF family in the near future.  But chances are pretty small that at our age we will consider adding a third child to the mix, much less a fourth or even fifth.  The laundry alone would reduce me to a shell of  my former self. 

We will undoubtedly be delighted, come December, to get our first glance at Lukas' eighth cousin, a boy who will add to the abundance of love already in his household.  But, we'll also probably imagine the cost and workload involved in raising that child, and secretly be relieved that those are not our responsibilities. 

How about you reader?  How many kids can your psyche, and budget handle?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Dad Foodie

Remember, the ears must be perfectly shaped!

I was talking to a co-worker today who was celebrating her birthday. Apparently her husband was taking her to quite the fancy new restaurant here in Seattle to celebrate.

It sounded like an impressive place. Very hip and hard to get a reservation at.  I tried to remember if Mrs. LIAYF and I ever dined somewhere similar, but I was drawing a blank as it's been a while since we dined out without Lukas.  My co-worker then went on to tell me about how her husband is quite a foodie, and how they watch The Food Network quite a bit.

I have two other co-workers who also label themselves as "Foodies".  Each has explained to me at length on more than one occasion about the length of time taken to prepare some of their elaborate and well thought out meals.  For example, one told me about the sauce for a side dish she made once that alone took 4-5 hours to prepare, including trips to the store to pick up missing ingredients.

You might have guessed that none of these co-workers have children.  Definitely not young children.

While their exploits are certainly impressive, I have a few exploits of my own, but generally keep those to myself.  Nope, I didn't let on to any of them that I am a foodie of sorts myself.  A Dad Foodie that is.
Along with Mrs. LIAYF, I too will spend quite of bit of time doing research on particular restaurants before we decide to pull up our chairs and lay down our hard earned dollars there.   That's because, for a true Dad Foodie there are specific questions which beg to be answered before just any establishment will get our business.

Questions such as:

1. What is the noise level?  (The noisier the better)
2. Do they offer Peanut Butter and Jam?
3. How about milk, fruit cups, chicken strips, sandwiches, or hot dogs?
4. Are any of the items in #2 or #3 organic?
5. What about activities for the little ones? Do they offer crayons, coloring sheets, and/or mazes?

And, most importantly

6. Is the Happy Hour kid friendly, with decent food choices for the happiest among us?

Additionally, while preparing our meals at home, Dad Foodies such as myself will take great care with the presentation of said meal.  The temperature of soups must be a perfect luke-warm.  The meal also must include several options, including finger foods.  These options will always be well balanced between protein, starch, and of course fruit.  There must be milk and water available at all times, and by all means the fruit and vegetables must be organically produced.

Plus, as a Dad Foodie I will spend a large amount of time, and great care cutting Lukas' meals into bite size portions as well as giving foods interesting shapes - such as putting mouse ears on pancakes; or often cutting the crusts off of the bread of those aforementioned Peanut Butter sandwiches.

It's probably a good thing we don't have television in the LIAYF household.  That's because with the endless variety of programming available on cable TV, it's only a matter of time before someone catches onto the notion of Dad Foodies or Mom Foodies, and develops a Parents Food Network. I can only imagine the valuable time I would spend glued to, and mesmerized by, such a station.

Tell me readers, what kind of foodie are you?

That's all for now.  I've got the perfect PB&J to plan for.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tweetcycling V

Happy Monday Readers.  It's been months since I did my last Tweetcycling post, and since I'm suffering through a small bout of apapthy writers block, I thought this might be a easy way get some content out there way to kick start my creative energy.

For those of you new to LIAYF since last November, This is the series where I give some of my little used humor tweets a second chance at life. You can read the first four installments here I, II, III, IV.

Sure, if you look down my right margin at my Twitter Bites widget you may have read many of these already, but come on, who really does that?  Alright. Besides retired people, who really does that?

Anyway, you will find these tweets barely used and in decent condition.
4yo "Daddy's a big fan of Booze" My wife: "What!?" 4yo "Yeah, I jump out and scare him, and he laughs, laughs, laughs".
I wonder if Soylent Green Tea is full of auntieoxidents.
I am working on a sunless tanning method which would require nothing other than a rather large vat of Cheetos.
My wife just asked me if I knew what bunting was. Apparently she wasn't talking about baseball. Like I was supposed to know that.
My other cup of tea is a pint of ale.
Unfortunately, the two attractive beers I placed together in my fridge failed to reproduce. Maybe they were the same sex.
3yo: "Daddy, when I say 'to infinity' it means I have to go peepee. And when I also say 'and beyond' it means I have to go poop too"
My wife said she was looking for something mindless. "Where's the cat?" I asked.
Set down book Getting things Done to check twitter. Obviously I have a ways to go.
Got up from the dinner table earlier and did The Crane. Wife said 'What is wrong with you?"
Me in a parallel universe has a beer right now. Thinking of opening a door to there and stealing it.
For the next portrait I have painted of me, I'm going to wear a button up shirt so I can stick my hand in it. It's the cool thing to do.
He broke out the bin of dinosaurs tonight. I'm one giant strawberry from it being The Land of the Lost in my kitchen.
Installed flux capacitor on my Twitter. Oh no, here come the Libyans! Once I hit 88 char

Monday, August 8, 2011

Another Hardy Laugh

Mrs. LIAYF, Lukas, and I were having dinner at one of our favorite burger joints the other evening.  We like this particular Seattle restaurant because it is like an authentic 50's diner, complete with vintage decor (such as a collection of retro hanging lunch boxes), a Jukebox loaded with oldies, and a several kid-centered vending machines.

It was on one of these machines that Lukas was primarily focused.  This particular one was a two-sided vending machine which dispensed stickers on one of the sides.  As I just posted, Lukas loves his stickers.  As a bonus, for a mere 50 cents you could get one of 12 Superhero stickers in this machine.

Each time he came back from the vending machine, he was visibly excited by his haul.

"Daddy, daddy!  I got The Hulk" he would exclaim.

Then it was "Mommy, Mommy!  I got Wolverine."

Only to be followed by an excited "I got Captain America!!"

But when the time came for him to get another sticker from the machine, he called over to tell us that he was going to get something from the other side. 

"Okay Buddy" I called back to him as I worked on my hash browns and conversed with Mrs. LIAYF.

"I got this one for Daddy" he let us know, as he approached after the transaction. 

"Cool" I exclaimed  "Thanks so much Buddy. I love Superheros!  Which one is it?"

"Here you go." he smiled, as he handed the sticker to me.

A "Gee....thanks" was all I could muster, as Mrs. LIAYF and I both burst into laughter, followed soon after by Lukas.

I realized that this was not a sticker after all.  It was a tattoo.  An Ed Hardy tattoo at that.  'Worn by Celebrities Everywhere' it declared on the back. 

Who are these celebrities?

Amused, I wondered which celebrity was sporting this particular design.  Still, I wasn't convinced that it was all that cool.

I have a feeling Lukas felt the same way.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Art of Racing Down the Road

Happy Thursday readers.  Team LIAYF is back home and recovering nicely from our 4 day trip to the Oregon Coast this past weekend.  We loaded up our bikes and left last Friday.  After getting a late start, caught behind two accidents, and getting two desperate calls from my work amidst choppy cell coverage while on the drive, things were finally going better as we approached Astoria, Oregon. 
It was at that point I thought it would be a good idea to pull over and pick up a nice shiny sticker for Lukas.  Yes It was a bit on the expensive side at $113 but nothing is too good for my son, and it did have the Washington State Patrol logo on it.  Plus the sticker also came with a personal visit and informational talk from a very friendly officer.  You just can't beat that....which, subsequently is why I will most likely just mail in the payment for it soon enough.

I'm going to call it a Learning Sticker.  Especially since not 10 minutes before we picked it up we were pointing out to Lukas what happens to people who drive to fast, as we passed a  couple of unfortunate souls stopped on the side of the winding highway.

I think I actually said, "They have to spend their money on a ticket now, rather than toys".  Hey, at least I got my son a cool sticker.   And, of course, a chance to show him that daddy can gracefully accept the consequences when he breaks the rules.

In other news, the LIAYF family participated in the 28th annual 'National Night Out Against Crime' on Tuesday, otherwise known as our Block Party.  As usual, it was a lot of fun and a great chance to hang out and drink beer talk with our neighbors about local collaboration on crime prevention. 

Mrs. LIAYF and I gave up our title as block watch captains last year because we assumed we were not doing enough and another, less distracted, family would do a better job of organizing the event for our block.  Yeah.....apparently we weren't doing such a bad job after all.  That being said, no matter how organized our block could have been, we still would have been shown up by the next block over who actually had a band play for the 2nd year in a row.  Those show-offs are our blocks Newman

During the event, the streets were closed off to through traffic, which allowed all the kids (including Lukas and all the boys from the Yard of the Flies) to ride up and down the block on their bikes for most of the evening.   At one point, after zipping by several time on his bike mentioning something about Lightning McQueen, Lukas laid it down in the middle of the street and sat there.  When I approached to see if he was okay, he said "I'm tired of being a famous race car."

By the end of the night, due to all the run-ins with all the other kids, our little guy was sporting several scrapes and bruises, but he had yet to come running to us upset or crying.  That all changed as it started to get dark out though.  We heard him yelling and whining, and as we looked up he was running down the street towards us, arms in the air.  As I reached him, I asked what had happened. 

"I saw something terrible!" he exclaimed.  "What was it Buddy?" I responded, concerned.  "I saw a kitty without a collar back there!"  Was his frantic reply.

I couldn't help but let out a big laugh.  "I think it'll be ok" Mrs. LIAYF assured him with a smile.

And with that we all decided to call it a night.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011