Max and Miles who, to Me, Will Always be Secretly Named "Gus"

The blog about Max and his little brother, Miles. Stunningly cute boys and future leaders of the rebel forces.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jimmy B is in Da Houuuuuussssse!!!

18 Years Later . . . .

"Hi, Scootchie."

"Yo, Wuz-Wuz."

"Yo, Scootch, did I ever tell you about Jimmy B?"

"You mean, Jimmy B, the Jimmy B that ruled Chicago's West Side like a slightly-crazed benevolent dictator made from velvet and a hammer? Like he was a velvet hammer? A result of the deadly combination of fiery Irish blood co-mingled with the stoic genetic code of the mighty Slavs. The Jimmy B who, at the tender age of six, would shake down half the fifth grade, and take the loot back to his classmates, shouting, "Push-Ups on the hiz-ouse!!"? Jimmy B who would walk into an olde-timey screening of Stars Wars with his Dad and all the geek-dads and geek-kids would stand to wait until Jimmy B had picked his favorite seat? That Jimmy B?"

"Wait, Wuz, when you say "ruled the West Side", by "West Side", do you mean "a couple of blocks between his house and the Costco over there"? And by "ruled", do you mean "sort of bossy when amped up on chocolate milk"?

"Uhhh, yeah. Yeah, that's pretty much what I mean."

"Jimmy B."

"Jimmy B!"

Max, Miles, Katie and I would like to welcome new cousin, James William B____, to the universe! Congratulations to my sister and my brother-in-law!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Tiny Bubbles in the Ocean

I don't really remember a time when I couldn't hold my breath under water. I have some weird memory of dipping underwater, face-to-face with my mom, practicing exaggerated, puff-cheeked breath-holds. I'm pretty sure, though, that that's me remembering seeing my mom do it with my sisters. Certainly, if you dug deeply enough, there's a brother there, disdainfully snorting: "For the love of pete! You don't know how to do that either?!"

Maybe we had more access to a pool; maybe our family made underwater breath-holding a priority. All I know is, Katie and I -- on the already long list of our parental failures -- feel negligent in the swimming/things-are-ok-underwater front.

Which leads us to this:

Bathtime, USA. Max and Miles are almost-floating in a very full tub of water and bubbles. You have to fill the tub waaay up with hot water during these cold snaps: the bath is on an exterior wall and it takes more water to heat up and keep the tub itself warm. The suds are courtesy of a couple of pumps of "bubble juice" (aka shampoo) and a giant, beer-fueled, dad-shaped water agitating machine.

The boys are going through their normal bathtime motions: fighting over this toy and that, thinking about splashing each other, finding ways to get water out of the tub and onto the floor. Towards the end of the bath, Max realizes the the water depth is almost swimmable. Before long, the wee skinny-dippers have turned the tub into a tiny natatorium, the two of them basically scooting through the bubbles, alternating ends of their non-olympic-sized pool.

Seizing a moment to calmly talk about swimming, I start to tell Max about when I lived near the ocean and would go swimming every night after walking down to the beach. (I left out the part about being on the lam from the federales and the endless, endless 3am dancing to the cheesiest disco ever. Un-ironic dancing!)

"You can even put your head underwater, if you want."

"Really? Yeah!" And, to my surprise, Max dips his face right into the bubbles. Unfortunately, we hadn't gotten to the "nose-plugging" stage of the whole deal and on his way to the water, he breathed in a whole bunch of bubble foam.

"Oh, oh, oh!," exclaimed Max as he pawed at his face, trying to get the bubbles out of his nasal cavity. "Hey! That doesn't feel very good, daddy!" As I wiped the suds off his face and calculated how much therapy it was going to take before he'd ever swim, Max snuffled and snorted bubbles out of his nose.

The whole time this was going on, Miles gleefully continued sloshing from end to end in the tub, giggling insanely. Max got back into the tub and Miles, inspired by his brother but unaware of the results, slapped his face into the water. All Max and I could do was watch. Miles sat up, the foam sliding down his shocked/angry/confused face. He was trying to draw in a breath to cry, but his nose and mouth were full of foam. This pissed him off even more.

Max, pouting, calmly watched this unfold and then with a hearty sigh, filled with resignation, understanding and consolation, muttered, "Yeahhhhh, that doesn't really work." As that sentence tailed off, Miles finally got his wits about him enough to start screaming.

Bathtime, USA!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I will NOT be Out-Sissified! or Happy Birthday, Honey PleaseDon'tHitMe

You know, when this guy writes a post that makes me cry, it's time for some payback! So, while I feel very sentimental about my children and all that, I'm going to do it the old fashioned way: I'm going to explain why my wife is better than his wife (and by extension, how she's better than almost all of you).

If you climb into your way-back machine, you'll remember that Katie likes to obsessively sew. Every so often, it's like she eats a just-bit-too-old taco and, instead of food poisoning, what comes out is really cute, sewn stuff. So, right before Halloween last year, she found a taco in the back of the fridge and this happened:

Yes, those are little, individually sewn, monster/scary things heads.

Then, just days later, for Miles' second birthday party, since Miles has been into the dinosaurs, Katie made a dinosaur-themed cupcake mosaic. This photo was taken even before she added the red lava/frosting "erupting" from the cupcake volcanoes!

I kind of went back and forth on this over the last few months: do I post these things and make you all feel crappy(er) before the holidays or do I wait and just straight-up ruin your whole year? Go big or go home is what we say around here.

So, to my amazing, magical wife, the goddess of all that is good and true and beautiful in the world, I say Happy Birthday! Thank you for tolerating me! Thank you for being the dopest, super-hip, mega-mom to these incredible boys. You literally save us everyday; bring home the bacon; and fry it up in the pan! If, years ago, someone had told the dorky, high-school me -- wait, the grade-school me. . . wait, the kindergarten me -- that, fear not, fat kid! The coolest, smartest, funniest, hottest most-angelic woman you ever met is going to love you and offset all your genetic and emotional shortcomings in the guise of two, brain-meltingly cute kids! Well, I would've laughed you right out of my naptime.

So even though I made you all feel kinda inadequate, I'll thank you for not waking me out of whatever crazy, giggling/screaming/whining-kids-everywhere dream I'm having right now.

Happy Birthday, Mamacita!

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