Category Archives: The Unit

Aaaaand Done Wrapping

It’s only 20:00 so that’s about 6 hours ahead of my normal Christmas present wrapping schedule.

Now stressing about what time to put out presents and Stock Aitken and Waterman’s. 


Eddie, 9, said he had a teacher at summer school.

“She said her name was Miss. Isis. I asked her if that was like ISIS, the murderists…”

I laughed at “murderists,” then said she’s probably heard that before.

“Kiran asked her first.”

Carrie said later maybe he could make up for that question by finding out about the Goddess Isis.

For instance she was the daughter of Geb and Nut. Nut? Ha ha. Have to love the short names, too. Osiris was her brother.

She was also a member of the Ennead, which also now tasks people with personality types with their Enneagram Test.

Knock Knock Joke From a 2-year-old

Eddie and Jack have been bombarding us with Knock Knock jokes. Blame – Iiiiii mean credit – classmates and “Boys Life” Magazine.

Jasper has caught on to the, um, “hilarity” and offered his own yesterday. Usually, he says Knock Knock and when you say “Who’s there” he repeats “Who’s there,” except “who der?” and way cuter. This time it went like this:

JASPER: Knot knot
ME: Who’s there?
JASPER: Heck yeeeah, Japper.

The New Skylanders Trap Team


Saw this at Target, caught me completely by surprise.

The most important thing to know about the new Skylanders Trap Team is that ALL older Skylanders will work in the new adventure and on the new portal.

It also comes out October 5, and cost about $75, so we’ll have to wait a little. It is available for regular Wii.

That’s cool. And a wildly big improvement over SWAPForce, which I would not buy – or could not justify buying as we were still getting through the Skylanders Giants game. I’ve since got through the entire game (though need to get higher 3-star scores at several levels.)

But Trap Team seems like a winner and I’m excited about it. Eddie and Jack will enjoy it too (even though Jack still needs someone to move around while he shoots).

The Skylanders website is not the best place to get all your questions, answered; that would be too easy. But the Trap Team official website is a good place to get a back story – which oddly , only helps slightly. For instance, I’m not really sure what this means – “Take control of bad guys! Trap bad guys with the power of Traptanium, release them from the crystals and use their awesome powers for good.”

There appears to be actual USB-type keys in a fancy shape that will interact somehow with the game. Taking them out of the game until they can be pulled back in? Not sure.

1 of Wiisdom offers some more Trap Team insight, including some names of characters and a little more explanation of the game. The site names Skylanders Character List, as you might expect has more names and some pictures of the new Trap Team Skylanders characters.

There about 60 new characters. So that would be about another $850 investment. Yeah, it adds up. We haven’t even bought all the Giants characters, yet.

The Tesla Model X

It’s a CVU. Arrives 2015.

Three rows of seats, $54,000. Electric. “Gull-wing” doors, but hinged so they can open in tighter spots (doesn’t sound completely safe – a weak point in a crash?)

More from PC Mag: Tesla to Deliver Model X

Mom and Dad: No Parenting Schism

What bugs me about all the articles saying being a mom is the hardest job in the world is that they invariably don’t even try to mention, hey, being a dad is often just as hard. It’s happening already but if there’s going to be progress on dads doing their part at home, then there needs to be some acknowledgment that this work is being done. Not so much for the acknowledgement but because not to do so gives the strong impression that the dad’s role is being ignored, and to me at least, it seems like moms (in general) ARE always in need of this acknowledgement, which isn’t the case, either.

So, off this post at Jezebel about a job description for a mom/ mum comes the best comment I’ve read in a while along the same lines, especially point A). From Megan Cook:

I am a mom and it is definitely a lot of work. Different work than my 8-5 corporate gig, but certainly work. But this bugs me for a few reasons.

A.) My husband does all of the same parenting things that I do. 50 / 50. We have different work schedules so we both have the kids by ourselves on our two days a week that we have off. Some days he may do more. Some days I may do more. But it is overall about as close to straight down the middle as I think you can get. So really I am not doing anything more spectacular just because I have a vagina thus making me the mom person.

B.) I most definitely do not have a degree in medicine or culinary arts. Me being able to put a bandaid on a scrapped knee or dose out the right amount of children’s Tylenol does not equate to a medical degree which takes years and years and in the end you can save lives. That is why we have a pediatrician that we trust. Because half the time I don’t know if it is measles or a heat rash I am looking at. Me being able to cook a healthy meal for my kids also does not make me a chef. I know a lot of chefs. They work crazy hours, give up holidays, and in many cases are true artists. My Mac n cheese surprise with broccoli bits is not art. The same way that other moms knowing how to use coupons or keep a household budget is not the same as my financial degree that I worked my ass off for and continue to work my ass off for in my demanding as fuck job and continued education.

So pretty much – this is crap.

I have always thought that everyone should be an equal and tried to accomplish that. (Really, it more inbuilt, it’s not like I’m thinking every day, “try to do better”) tried to be an equal. Not just as a parent but as a partner. That doesn’t mean every day will be 50/50, it doesn’t mean I always succeed but it does mean that overall, there is and both people feel they are contributing to the relationship, to parenting.

That Easter Chill

Holidays bring happy times and cold quick rashes of fear. These are almost always brought on by surprises coming at your knees. Or at least knee level in the form of – and this is what makes it piercingly painful and progressively poignant – words said in the most sweetest, excited happy way possible.

Words like “Happy Easter, Daddy” shouted behind you. OK to be honest they weren’t said any louder than any other time but the bunny ears I had on at the time magnified the sound.

Rebel Without Ability to Read

Do you need an explanation for cuteness? alright, today was Crazy Hair Day today at the pre-school. My idea of just cutting random bits of hair off was vetoed (but really if I saw that, that person crazy). I gelled it up with two different brands – something and Bed Head for the jeans and a white t-shirt, mod / Bowery boy / 50s style look. IMG_3042




Jack Sings – You Are So Beautiful To Me

Last night at dinner Jack broke into song, looking a little at me but mostly at Carrie:
Imagine the sweetest little boy voice ever, slowly singing, accompanied with a shy smile, ending with self-applause (and applause from parents a beat later).

“You are so beautiful I see.
You’re everything I see.
You are everything to see.
You are so wonderful I see.

I had no idea who sang it originally, or how he got that song in his head. I was a little too stunned to remember to ask. I found out it was Joe Cocker and the actual words are below. I have now bought the song to put on my iPhone.

You are so beautiful
To me
You are so beautiful
To me
Can’t you see
You’re everything I hoped for
You’re everything I need
You are so beautiful
To me

You are so wonderful
To me
You are so wonderful
To me
Can’t you see
You’re everything I hoped for
You’re everything I need
You are so wonderful
To me

You are so beautiful
To me
You are so beautiful
To me
Can’t you see
You’re everything I hoped for
You’re everything I need
You are so beautiful
To me

Jasper Stark – 11 months old today

Almost a year old. Yep, that time flies fast.

These photos are Jasper this morning. He sits up. He kneels and stands up all over the place now. He does not walk, yet, though when he pulls himself up on a chair, on an ottoman, he will stand for 30 mins or so.

He waves now if you wave to him; he claps his hands, he claps his feet. He has a sly smile. He laughs a lot. He sleeps less. A lot less, so much so yesterday the daycare remarked on. “He seems to .. not sleep.” He has big eyes, big feet. Lightning quick grabbing glasses. Likes his crawling freedom. Over the weekend we took a picture of him looking an awful lot like his great grand dad J.R. Anderson.

Jasper J.C. Stark, 11 months old today. :D We’re celebrating with a BBQ in your honor in February.



Cub Scout Trip, Shame About the Pictures

Bug had his first Cub Scout camping trip over the weekend. Dad had his first camping trip in … oh, quite a while. I can’t quite remember the last time but it might have been the firefighters camp out in Omak.

But, since I keep on forgetting my camera, all i have are these four from my cellphone. They are in chronological order: 1) The borrowed tent, just after being put up 2) Bug reading in said tent a few hours later 3) The dawn the first morning. 4) How bug ended up sleeping, the second morning.

We never checked if there were missing parts to the tent we borrowed from someone at Vertical Measures (hi, Jenn). We got it up in record time in the beam of the headlights.

We never checked if there were missing parts to the tent we borrowed from someone at Vertical Measures (hi, Jenn). We got it up in record time in the beam of the headlights.

For some reason it was about 11:00 and Bug wanted to read a book by flashlight inside the tent. He did for a coupe of minutes then said he was tired.

For some reason it was about 23:15 and Bug wanted to read a book by flashlight inside the tent. He did for a couple of minutes then said he was tired.

On the first morning of Cub Scouts Camp. I took a lot of photos because I woke up at 6:10.

On the first morning of Cub Scouts Camp. I took a lot of photos because I woke up at 6:10.

Bug moved around at night, though into quite sure how he did this. He should've been cold, he did not complain.

Bug moved around at night, though I’m not quite sure how he did it to this extent. He should’ve been cold, he did not complain.

Jasper Stark at 6 Months

197I could put a slew of photos here but I’m organizing those, still (of course).

Today Jasper Stark turned 6 months old .He celebrated by trying carrots for the first time and made his usually range of cute-tastic faces – ad kept going. He has no food dislikes, yet. He ate with brothers Eddie and Jack who have lovely, expressive faces as well.

Jasper is amazingly cute. It is a complete honor to watch him grow up and I am cherishing every second because I know in a blink of an eye he’ll be 1, 3, 5 , 10 ….








Everywhere We Go – The Unit

Ah, I’ve been humming and starting to sing this for a few months now and then I stop because I don’t know all the words. Then I resolve to look up the lyrics and then I forget. But I remembered less than a minute ago:

(Leader sings a line and all repeat)

Everywhere we go-o
Pe-ople want to know-o
Who we a-are
And where we come from
So we tell them
We’re from [name of town]
Mighty, mighty [town]
And if they can’t hear us
We sing a little louder

(Repeat, get louder each time until you reach your limit)

And if they can’t hear us
They must be DEAF!!!!

Lego Exchange – Ways to Recycle, Reuse and Recreate

Re. Create.

So LEGOs are expensive – yup. They also don’t go in for much recycling at all of plastic, paper or anything. Which is surprising really, if true.

But that article links to and talks about PleyGo, a Play-As-You-Go monthly service that allows kids and parents to trade and rent out LEGOs. That’s pretty cool.

A second link at the same site talks about ReBrickable, a service doing much the same thing, though down to the single LEGO, if I’m reading it right. There’s also LEGOexchange, which isn’t a live site yet but I have to imagine is going to do something similar.


This is the last thing Eddie created out of LEGOS earlier this week.                                                               He called it the R-17 Scorpion “because of its sting.”



Expressions of a Three-Month-Old Baby Boy

One of the big things I noticed about Jasper, today he is three months old, is the huge range of expressions on that tiny face. He wiggles, he dances, he leaps and jumps. And that’s just his cheeks. His smile is huge, he can giggle and push out his lips and squint and everything is always moving and always fleeting.

Early on a Sunday

I’m awake. It’s 6:15. On a Sunday. This is slightly unprecedented. And by slightly I mean completely, when not involving an airplane. For Jack it’s a regular but I got up before him today. It wasn’t long before I heard something. It sounded like one of the cats was shutting the open dryer door. Instead, I walked around and saw Jack sitting cross-legged on two plastic storage boxes, Iron Man sunglasses and red Cars walkie talkie in hand. I so wanted a photo – but decided that would be one of those pictures that just stays inside.

“Good morning daddy.”  He thought I might be upset that he was on there. “Good morning, Jack. How are you?” “Great.” Kisses. “Keep going.”

My first instinct was to work a little, low-brain, time-intensive stuff. But then I realized I’ve been trying to write a few blog posts all week. It’s now 7:08 and Jackie has been in and out talking and playing. Jasper started wailing though I left the room with both mom and Jasper sleeping. I went in and saw the second sweet boy smile of the day. I’m still waiting for the third, but he’s not up, yet.

“Daddy … What?” (Sounding more gentle then it looks on the screen.) … I love you 61 times. Noo, 31 times. 61 has become his favorite number, he walks around telling people he will give them. 61 bucks. Yesterday he started correcting it to 31; I like to think he’s being more careful with his money .. but then he just said, “I love you 81 times.”

I actually woke up at 5:40. Went to the bathroom, got dressed and was headed out to wake up the kids ready for a work day when something clicked that it wasn’t a work day.

It’s 7:25 and Jack has now been sent to his room by mom – it easily could have been me – for complaining, loudly and poutily no one reads to him, continuing to flick a book’s pages even when being asked and then told to stop. He hit Jasper’s bouncy chair after making a special effort to walk around the table to do so.

I’m now watching the 1st episode of the 6th season of West Wing on my phone as I type. Mom and Jasper are now outside, enjoying the early morning coolness. The day has begun.


Daddy’s Gonna Make Up a Lullaby

This morning was a slow start. I heard the alarm, didn’t associate it with anything like, say, getting up. Finally woke up around 6ish and Carrie asks if I want to snuggle with the baby. Sure do, got things to do, though. Get the other kids up for a start. Carrie said she’d take care of that, then said, oh and he hasn’t been changed since last night.

It was not too ugly in there, just piddles and I changed him and put some take-on-the-day
clothes on him. This double whammy agitation always gets him to cry even if I wasn’t inept at is as I was this morning. So I settled back down with him in my arms and started singing to him. I had about six verses, some of which fell apart as I sang, but these were the three best I sang. And I’m pleased to note, he went off to sleep.

Hush little baby
Don’t you cry
Daddy’s gonna make up a lullaby

There’s a funny squirrel sitting in a tree
He has a nut shouting “look at me.”
Everybody looks to see the sound
Silly squirrel gets shy and faints to the ground.

Hush little baby
Don’t you cry
Daddy’s gonna make up a lullaby

We’re sitting here, comfortable in bed
We have a lot of things to do instead
But we’re going to watch the world go by
That will happen whether you laugh or cry.

Hush little baby
Don’t you cry
Daddy’s gonna make up a lullaby

We’re up in space hanging around
Everyone’s telling us not to look down
We do anyway and what do we see
The entire world at your fee-fee-feee…t

Hush little baby
Don’t you cry
Daddy’s gonna make up a lullaby


Egg Boogaloo

Today Jasper left his enclosed world for good and is on his way to a world of daycare. It’s a shame that has to happen but who’s independently wealthy these days. And those who are, well they tend to be to busy and ignore their kids.

But it’s not a competition. It’s funny that everyone wants to say “he looks like you Carrie” or he “he looks like his daddy.” Truly truly truly he’s healthy, he’s smiling now and it doesn’t matter. He is lovely. He is going to be lovely, like his brothers.