Ella Being Honest – and Funny!

I truly need to organize the funny things that Ella says (and funny stories in general) and keep them in a book. Here are just a couple examples:

Sam was getting the kids ready for bed this week. She was trying to get them in the bathroom to brush their teeth. The following conversation takes place:

Sam: Ella get in here and brush your teeth.

Ella: I don’t got no sugar bugs I don’t need to brush my teeth.

Sam: Ella everyone has sugar bugs every single day. Get in here and brush your teeth before the sugar bugs eat all your teeth and make them fall out.

Ella: Mommy, I think I want that! Then the tooth fairy comes!


That story ties in with another incident that happened today. Sam showed Ella a picture of herself as a baby. She had a pacifier (She called it a Nini) in her mouth. (Side note: When we took her Nini away, we told her the Nini Fairy comes to all the big kids who no longer need a Nini and takes it to give it to other babies who need them.)

Ella: Is that the baby who got my Nini?

Sam: No, that is you when you were a baby with your Nini

Ella: The Nini Fairy and the Tooth Fairy are the same! They both take your stuff!!


Here is a story that I am not proud of, but I know all parents can relate. I was with the kids at Menards getting supplies for painting. My best friend, Jeff, called and we were shooting the breeze and catching up. While we’re on the phone, Ella is babbling away. Jeff chuckled and said, “You wait so long for them to start talking and then they just keep on talking!!”

This led to talk about how fast kids grow up. He mentioned that his daughter would soon be heading off to college, and he’s not gonna know what to do in the “empty nest.” I don’t remember exactly what he said that made me react this way (maybe it was the cost of room and board at the college, I honestly can’t recall), but I said out loud (and oblivious that I was with my kids), “Son of a bitch!” You can only guess what happened next….

Ella thought that was pretty funny and began to repeat it. At first, I wasn’t sure that I had actually heard what I thought I heard. However, after a couple more times of her saying it, it became even more clear.

Me: Don’t say that, baby, that’s a bad word

Ella: (Says it again)

Me: Ella, don’t say that honey, that is not a word that you should say.

Ella: You said it, Daddy

Me: (Now feeling really bad) I know, but Daddy shouldn’t have said it either.

Ella: Why not?

Me: Because it is a bad word

Ella: Really?

Me: Yes

Ella: (Repeats it again as we are standing in the check out line)

Never a dull moment!!


Ella is playing with fake veggies. Sam and I tell her we are going to put in a garden this year. So she starts talking about the veggies we should plant:

Ella: “We can plant cucumbers, lettuce, peppers, zucchini, bananas, hot dogs, and mac and cheese…..”

Anyone know how to harvest mac and cheese??

The above was taken at the Father Daughter Dance earlier this month

Steak, Paint & Bunnies

Our wedding anniversary was this past Sunday. Five years! Sam had to work Sunday, and we had both taken a day off to celebrate. She took Monday off and I took yesterday. Originally, the plan was to take a little overnight trip somewhere. However, after much talk, we decided that there were things we could do around the house that we have put off for a long time. Having the kids and Nana and Papa’s was going to make it a lot easier!

When I first moved in with Sam, she had a couple racks on the wall where she hung her clothes. There is no closet in the bedroom. As I recall, we were sleeping one night and one rack pulled out of the wall and fell to the floor. We pulled the other rack off, too, and it left a few holes in the wall. I patched them – years ago – with the intention of sanding and repainting. That never happened – until this week.

On Monday afternoon, Sam dropped the kids off and I pulled all the furniture out of the bedroom. Our intention was to paint it with a color we had intended for the kitchen (and never used), but Sam and I decided it might be a bit too dark. So when she got back, we went to dinner and then ran to Menard’s for paint.

We decided on dinner at our favorite steak house. Both of us ordered Filet Mignon and enjoyed actually having some face time together. It was so nice to have kid free conversation with each other. It felt like forever since we have been out to eat together.

Menard’s is right down the road from Lucky’s, so we stopped there and looked at paint swatches. The bedroom was a bright yellow color and we debated painting with the tan we had planned for the kitchen. We both knew that we wanted to stay with a light color because the room is already small. Sam found a yellow that is almost a cream color that we both liked. We bought the paint and went home.

Once we arrived at home, we donned our “paint” clothes and got to work. We both agreed before starting that we hate taping the room! What a tedious task! We also both stated our concerns about the color. You know how you see a swatch and think, “Oh, I like that” and then hate it when you see it on the wall?! The good news is, it looks good and we both like it!

Our hope was that we’d only need one coat of paint. It really dried quickly and only one wall needed a second coat. The only reason it did was that I had marked off some things on the wall to hang pictures and it bled through the paint. Once I put the second coat on, it looked great.

We had pulled the mattress off the bed and dragged it into the living room, which is where we slept. We left it out there and when the kids came home they thought it was a hoot to have the bed on the floor. We spent a lot of Tuesday all curled up on our bed watching TV and being silly. PRICELESS family time!

Sharing a Room

One big change for all of us was that we moved Andrew’s crib out of our room. He and Ella are now sharing a room. This could be a good thing or a bad thing. We’re working through this right now. Andrew will get up off and on through the night, and there is the fear that he will wake up Ella if he cries. Believe me, the last thing we need is both of them up in the middle of the night. Fingers crossed.

We’re already pretty sure that Andrew is a genius. Earlier today, I walked to their room and couldn’t believe what I saw. Andrew had pushed Ella’s bed close to his crib and was actually standing on the railing and was trying to climb into his crib. How he knew to do that, I just don’t know. The incident is one that assures us that there will be more ER visits in the near future.


We took the kids to get Spring pictures done on Friday. We got the pictures back on Monday and they came out SO good. Kudo’s again to Beth at Enjoy the View Photography for capturing precious moments with our kids.

The photo above is probably my favorite one of the two of them. Perfect smiles and I love that Ella is holding Andrew’s arm. They were both excited to take pictures with real bunnies!

They did so well with them. The bunnies were a bit skittish when they were taken out of the basket, but we still got some good shots. I love that Andrew loves to hug animals. He does it with our cat all the time. Beth caught him hugging the bunny –

What a wonderful picture! I just love how Ella is looking at Andrew here!

The past few days have been filled with plenty of amazing moments. I am so glad to have been able to share them with my beautiful wife and my kids.

Trying to Unblock Writer’s Block

I’ve been struggling to write. I’m sure it is because I have had a lot of things on my mind over the past couple weeks. The things on my mind are not necessarily things I want to write about. It’s hard to be in this place. I’m still struggling to get through it, and pray that everything will be ok. That being said, I decided to sit and write about some happy things from the past few days.

“Raising Gamers?”

I usually only play on the X-box when the kids are asleep. Recently, I was in the middle of a game and Andrew woke up from his nap. I paused the game, went and got him, and spent two minutes finishing the silly car race. He loves the controllers of the game. Another time, Ella was done with her nap and came in to the bedroom where she saw me playing “the car game.”

Now, Andrew will grab a controller and point to the bedroom. He wants to play the game. Ella does, too. So I pulled the batteries out of two controllers and they hold them while I drive around. They, of course, think they are playing! It’s fun to watch them.

Too Many Tonies?

Remember a while back I mentioned the Tonie that the kid’s Aunt Margaret sent? We have ordered a few more to play on it. I guess we didn’t realize how many we had until we lined them up on the mantle.

Many of them have songs, some have stories, and some have both. It has been so nice and has helped keep the TV time down to a minimum. If you have little ones, it is worth every penny!

Too Many Ninis and the Genius of Andrew

From my wife’s Facebook:

Andrew is only suppose to have his pacifiers at bedtime. All of a sudden we were missing a TON of his pacifiers. There was none left in the diaper bag or his crib… yet all day long he would show up with one and we are constantly taking them from him.

Tonight while cleaning I found out that my brilliant child at 1 years old has hidden his pacifiers throughout the house. I have found 6 of his hiding places. I’m not even mad, I am truly impressed!

I swear, he is a genius. He plants them everywhere and knows exactly where to get one when we take one away!


Our photographer friend, Beth (From Enjoy the View Photography), had Spring “Mini” sessions this week. We booked a session for just the kids. Originally, we were going to have them dress up like in Easter attire. Sam decided that she was going to have Ella in the outfit she was in for her birthday, and match Andrew up with her in some overalls. They looked so cute together!

As a bonus, Beth had real live bunnies for the session. Ella was so excited when she heard about them. We didn’t really know what to expect, but I think we were able to get some good pictures. We’ll know soon. I snapped just one that has a funny story to go with it.

Beth had a bag of carrots to feed the bunnies. The carrot that is in Andrew’s mouth, was just in the bunny’s mouth about two seconds before I snapped this. Well, at least it is a healthy snack!

Fab Four Week

I took part in a feature hosted by Max at the PowerPop Blog about the Beatles. The feature continues for the next few days. His idea was to write about your favorite Beatles song – or anything Beatles related. My write up gives a nod to one of the boys. Which one? Watch for the post in the next day or two.

My Guest Ideas

Last week I mentioned that I was thinking about hosting something similar to what Max is doing and what Dave does with Turntable Talk. I am still trying to think about whether I want to do something music, movie or TV related. Stay tuned…..

Friday Photo Flashback

It has been a few weeks since I’ve done one of these. I’m not sure why it has been so long. Anyway, with this being a holiday, I found one that I wanted to re-share.

Today, I was going through Facebook Memories and I saw this photo from last year:

We snapped this on Andrew’s first St. Patrick’s Day. It’s really amazing to see how much these two have grown. They are almost the same weight and size now!

There really isn’t much more to say about the picture. It is one of my favorites of the two of them.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Baby Proofed?

We never really had to baby proof for Ella. I think the only thing we had to do was put plugs over the power outlets. This was more of a precaution than anything. She never seemed to want to do anything dangerous. She never went in cupboards, she never pulled out drawers, and she never really messed with stuff like Andrew.

If I had hair – I would be grey … VERY grey! Andrew is into EVERYTHING!!!! Not too long ago, we bought those things for cupboards. You pull then out, then you have to push down on the plastic thing in order to open them. Yeah, he figured that out. So we literally had to add another lock on the front of the cupboards to keep him out.

Our closet in the bathroom has handles on the door that don’t need to be turned. All you have to do is pull on them and they open. Sam’s curling iron, hair dryer, my shaving stuff, the plunger, and many other things are in there. So, now we have a lock on that, too.

He knows how to open the bedroom doors, so have to lock them or put one of those plastic covers on the door knobs so he can’t get in.

He is really a brilliant kid. All he has to so is see something and he can mimic it. He knows the order of things. He knows where the dishwasher detergent goes – and he knows how to start (and stop) it. Thank goodness we figured out how to lock it when it is in a cycle. He knows how to start and stop the washer/dryer. Our water bill jumped a few bucks because he knows how to flush the toilet. He is so curious!

It really is true what they say. Ella was so well behaved that as parents you think you can tackle anything. Then that second child comes along and proves that you are in for a bumpy ride.

Never a dull moment at our place…..

No Shake For You!

After I took Ella for bloodwork recently, we drove thru the McDonald’s.. I had promised her a Happy Meal for lunch.

Now, I rarely eat at McDonald’s. If I do, I might get a Fish sandwich. I’m just not a big fan. However, I’m a sucker for a Shamrock Shake!

After ordering her lunch, I asked for a Shamrock Shake. It was 11:45am. Lunch time for the most part, right?

The lady on the speaker replies, “I’m sorry, sir, but we are unable to make shakes at this time as we are cleaning the shake machine.”

It’s at this point that all the jokes about the shake machine at McDonald’s come to mind. The Shamrock Shake IS your big promotion right now. All the TV and radio commercials sing the praises of the “minty goodness” that is the Shamrock Shake! Can someone explain why they choose the lunch rush to clean the machine? I mean, the place is open 24 hours. Why isn’t someone cleaning it at 2am?!

Sigh. Maybe next time.

Silly (and Spooky) Kid Stuff

If you are a parent, you know that your children are always a good source of stories to share. Here are a few of mine from the past few days:

Tea Party Gone Bad

While Andrew took a nap recently, Ella and I were in the living room playing with her Disney Princess Barbie dolls. She brought me the Mulan Barbie and she had her Moana Barbie. She sat them both across from each other and then grabbed a tea pot and tea cups. She set them in front of each doll. She then brought over this mushroom/muffin looking toy (she obviously thought they looked more like muffins). This is when things went awry!

I started to make Mulan (who she had given to me) drink her tea. I made slurping sounds and then did a loud fake burp. This made her laugh. Then I did it again. More laughter. Then I made really loud slurping sounds and the cup ended up on Mulan’s head. She started to do the same thing to her Moana. I was laughing just as hard as she was, especially when she was making her fake burp sounds.

Pausing Pap

Andrew has been using CPAP for over a week. Here’s the thing, it is supposed to help him sleep better. However, because of his age and the limited masks that he can use, the one he has works – when it stays on. Basically, mom and dad are the ones who aren’t sleeping now. Sam and I find ourselves pulling it back on his head or fighting him to get it back on. It is a struggle.

We e-mailed his doctor about it and we’re gonna take a break for a day or two to see if that helps. The good thing is that his apnea is mild, and we were only anticipating him wearing it for less than a year. The doc told us, if he lets us put it on – use it. If not – don’t.

All in all, whether he is rested or not, he is still giving us plenty of smiles!

Toddler Vocabulary Lesson

Ella did the cutest thing the other day. We had misplaced the TV remote and I asked her to help me find it. She reached he hand up to her eyes like she was looking through binoculars and said:

“Daddy, I can’t find the remote. I will have to use my ‘oculars’ and look for it!”

Hardest Part of Parenting

As a father of four children, I have taken each of them in for shots more times than I can count. There is always that look of, “How could you let them hurt me like that, Daddy?” after they get poked. It kills me every time.

Last week, Ella had her three year old well visit. We noticed that she is bruising very easily. She jumps around a lot and (as most toddlers do) bumps into just about everything. The bruising concerns us a bit, so her primary doc wanted to run some bloodwork to make sure she is ok. Sam was with her at that appointment and she was told she could just go next door to the lab to get the blood draw.

Ella was extremely scared and voiced that numerous times. I guess they poked her a couple times and could not get the draw. They were going to try to do the other arm and Sam said, “No, we’ll do it another day.” Ella had been through enough. So, today, it was my turn to take her to get it done.

I had picked out a short sleeve short for her, but she wanted to wear a dress. There were no sleeves on it and so the tourniquet the wrapped on her arm bothered her a lot. She sat in my lap and said she was scared. I did what I could to keep her calm, but after the first poke, she moved and wound up blowing the vein. The tech decided to try the other arm. In my head, I decided I would let them try one time and if they didn’t get it, we’d leave.

They found a good vein, got the poke and Ella and I took deep breaths and counted to 5 (over and over). That helped a lot! Once they were done and pulled the needle out, she was still crying, but she looked at the techs who did the draw and said, “Thank you.” They offered her a pack of graham crackers, and she was all better.

Hopefully, the test results will be normal.

Heavenly Visitor?

I’ve never been one to believe in supernatural stuff, but today something happened that made the hair on my neck stand up. I’m still scratching my head over it.

When I woke up for work today, Sam asked me what my oldest son called my mom (he is the only one of my kids who knew my mom before she passed away). I told her that he always called her “grandma.” She asked further, “Did he ever call her Grammy?” He didn’t. My ex’s mom was “Grammy,” but my mom was always “Grandma.”

I asked her why she wanted to know. She proceeded to tell me that Ella had said something to her today and when Sam asked her where she heard it (or maybe it was who told her that), she replied, “My Grammie in heaven.” So this peaked my curiosity and I asked her what else she had told her. She said something about princesses, but Sam and I think she was just talking about the princesses that we got for that Tonie.

The longer I sat in the living room drinking my first cup of coffee, the more I wondered about what she said. I have no pictures of my mom hanging in the house. I don’t have photo albums that we can look through. All the physical photos I do have are in a box and the rest are digital. For some reason, this really bugged me. So I took it a step farther.

I grabbed my phone and opened up my Facebook page. I went to the photo albums and found one that contains pictures of my mom. I pulled up one from before she got sick and opened it on my phone. I showed Ella this picture:

It had been a few minutes and I was sure she had already forgotten our mention of my mom. I asked her, “Ella, who is this?” Without missing a beat, she said, “My Grammie in heaven.” I was dumbfounded. I truly don’t know that Ella has seen but one or two pictures of my mom, yet she recognized her immediately.

When we found out that we were going to have a baby, my wife bought a special onesie that brought me to tears.

Who am I to question whether or not mom and Ella still talk?

Morning Miscellaneous

The anecdotes in the blog today are a hodge podge of things that really wouldn’t work as a complete blog, so I thought I would just throw them together here in one. Please forgive the randomness …

Missed Milestone

Somewhere over the last couple weeks, I neglected to mark a milestone. I would have never guessed that I would post over 900 blogs when I started this site, but I have! Many of you have been here from the start and I thank you for reading. Thank you for reading about everything from diaper changes to my favorite movies and music. Thank you for listening to my many rants. Thank you for supporting the many changes my life has gone through and for your wonderful encouragement.

Maybe I have enough written to compile that book I have been meaning to write?

No More High Chair

Andrew has officially outgrown the high chair. I admit, it was nice to be able to put him in there and know that he would stay in one spot while he ate, however, it was time. So Sam and I brought out Ella’s table and now they can eat together. The above picture is in the middle of the living room temporarily while we rearranged the room.

We Got a Tonie

A funny thing happened this week. My wife was telling me, “I think I wanna get one of those Tonie Boxes.” I had no idea what she was talking about. She told me that it was like an Alexa for kids. You place this “Tonie” on the top and it reads books or plays stories. I had no idea what it looked like, but I pictured a small speaker with like a flash drive on it or something.

That same day – not 2 hours later – a box was out on the porch. My friend Margaret had sent the kids a birthday/Christmas present. I opened the box and I saw what looked like a package you might find a set of books in. Nope, it was a Tonie! My wife and I looked at each other in disbelief.

When I called Margaret so the kids could say thank you, I told her the story of our conversation and the arrival of her box. She couldn’t believe it. She told me that she saw it while walking through Meijer. She had no idea if the kids would even like it, and made sure to include the gift receipt in case we wanted to take it back. She included a few extra Tonie characters in the box and they kids love it!!

There are many Tonie characters you can get that tell stories and play music. You can even create your own content. If you have a little one, it is worth it!

Family Comedian

My daughter, Ella, is a constant source of laughter. Many times that comes at my expense. The following conversation took place this week:

Ella (with a hairbrush): Daddy, can I brush your hair?

Me: Baby, I don’t have any hair to brush

Ella: Yes you do!

I posted this picture on my Facebook and a friend commented, “Throw that brush away! She doesn’t want to catch the BALD!”

Parental Funny

I saw this posted on one of the Instagram pages I follow and got a good chuckle. ALL parents can relate to this!

Have a great weekend!

Proud Papa of a Papper

My son, Andrew, has had a hard time sleeping since he was born. We took him to an ENT and they found that he had laryngomalacia. A sleep study was ordered and it showed that the laryngomalacia was leading to sleep apnea (That’s what the photo above is). This led to a minor surgery to try to correct it. I blogged about that here:

A few months after the surgery, Andrew was back in my sleep lab to see if the surgery had indeed corrected the sleep apnea. This time around, our pediatric neurologist wanted to check for seizure activity and muscle movements as well. The study results showed that the apnea got better, but hadn’t gone away completely.

My wife and I knew exactly what that meant – CPAP. We both have run many sleep studies on children and many CPAP titrations as well. They are not always an easy thing. I will be honest, I was not looking forward to running his CPAP study, anticipating that he was going to fight us all night long. However, to our surprise, he actually did quite well and slept most of the night.

Sam went and picked up his CPAP machine today. Before going on, I will tell you that the past week has been very difficult for us (more for her). They terrible twos are kicking in BIG time with Ella. Both kids have been a handful and hard to deal with. That being said, knowing that Sam was going to be the one to be with him for his first night at home with CPAP had me praying that all went well.

Sam said he cried for a little bit, so she put on Elmo. He calmed down and when she told him it was bed time, he laid down and went to sleep! She sent me this picture:

I couldn’t be more proud of my little C-Papper! What a champ! I know that this is going to really help him in the future. Hopefully, he will only need to wear it a few months.

Way to go, Kiddo!!!