How We Endured The Perfect Storm

This week we experienced a mega storm. Hurricane Sandy combined with a winter storm to form the perfect storm.


Fortunately we did not get a direct hit. Just a lot of rain and wind. By far the worst part (for me) was that school and daycare was closed for 2 days.

Making matters worse, our basement remodeling started this week, meaning we could not go in the basement. Did I mention we were all stuck at home for days?

I realize there are bigger families than ours, living in much smaller spaces. But when you are used to much more space, and lose the ability to separate kids on different floors, and have no noise barrier between you and them, for long periods of time, it sucks.

We watched movies. We carved pumpkins. We read books. It may sound like sweet family fun. It wasn’t really like that. There was bickering, fighting, a lot of screaming, and quite a few “I’m boreds”. The house looks like the hurricane was on the inside. As a result, there were also quite a few glasses of wine.

Record Setting Something

I just saw a guy on the Today Show who is attempting to break the Guinness world record for most pull ups in a 24 hour period. The current record is 4,020 pull ups. That’s a lot of pull ups.

It got me thinking. Maybe there is something that we can do that would be a world record. Here are some ideas. I’m open to other ideas.

The most consecutive nights without a decent night of sleep. I don’t think I’ve slept past 6am in close to 9 years.

The most diapers changed in a lifetime. I’ve changed a lot but no way I can compete with the Duggars.

The most questions of “Why?” answered in a 24 hour period.

Football Tradition

Continuing our yearly tradition, we went to a preseason NFL game for the third year in a row. This year we went back to the Redskins’ FedEx Field, despite my declarations that I’d never return.

Suburban Uncle gave Thing 2 tickets for his birthday. With all the hoopla around here for Robert Griffin III (RG3), it was a big event.

We also kept the streak alive: Three games where it rained.


Another Bumbo Recall

Five years ago, in what was probably the most viewed SuburbanDaddy post of all time, I wrote about a recall by Bumbo, a type child seat that we used with all the Things.

It seems Bumbo is still having recall troubles, with another recall issued today. I happen to think Bumbo is a pretty good product. But, like a lot of children’s products, it requires some extra care, supervision, and common sense.

The President Shops At Costco

Living in a swing state, Virginia, near Washington DC, we’re getting a lot of attention in the media and from the presidential candidates. ? Today, Barack Obama will be in nearby Leesburg. ?The attention sparked a conversation this morning.

Me: ?Barack Obama will be in Leesburg today.

Thing 2: ?He just walks around the streets?

Me: ?No, he’ll be making a speech somewhere with a lot of people.

Thing 1: ?Maybe Costco! ?Costco is pretty big.

(We often go to Costco in Leesburg. ?And last week Robert Griffin III, new quarterback for the Redskins, was reportedly shopping at the same Costco.)

Me: ?I don’t think the president goes to Costco. ?He has people who go shopping for him.

Thing 1: ?Like his wife?

Thing 2: ?No, Mrs. Obama is a doctor

Giving Kids The Wrong Idea

Yesterday was Take Your Child To Work Day. The idea behind it is to expose kids to what their parents do at work. Maybe inspire them to discover a career and lifelong passion.

It does no such thing. At least not where I work. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great event, a day filled with fun activities that kids love because they get to spend the whole day with their parents. And they get to miss a day of school. But the only exposure to real world work is when the kids intrude on the sea of cubicle dwellers while doing the scavenger hunt.

Thing 2: “What are all those people doing just sitting there?”

Me: “They are trying to work.”

Thing 2: “They just sit there all day?”

This video is a sample of what we did all day. They also learned to play Cricket outside, watched a movie, ate ice cream, and made art projects. It was also the first time I brought Thing 3, so the real work was for me, trying to keep him from breaking stuff and wandering away. These kids are in for a big surprise in about 15 years.

Advertising Works. No kidding.

Researchers recently found out that kids prefer the taste of food that comes in a package with cartoon characters. Really? I had no idea. Oh, is this the reason they put all the Sponge Bob mac & cheese boxes at knee level where Thing 3 can grab it as he is running down the aisles at the supermarket?

My kids are already well conditioned by brands and advertising. By the age of 3 they all knew Starbucks, McDonalds, and Target and ask for them by name. Except, of course, Thing 3 who defies any kind of conditioning and marches to his own beat. He absolutely loves Lucky Charms, at least we call them Lucky Charms, but in fact he will only eat the store brand “marshmallow oat cereal”. And trust me, he can tell the difference just by looking at the cereal in the bowl.