Send Out the Clowns.

I took Vincent to our township's Touch A Truck this past weekend. It was really cool. All manner of large vehicles - firetrucks, ambulances, bulldozers, school buses and the like are parked in a large parking lot for kids to climb on and sit in. Horns honk, sirens wail, photos snap and all is well.

About forty minutes in, Vincent sees a kid wearing a balloon animal hat and asks me for one. I scan the lot and notice a stand where said hats are being fashioned. I also notice a stout, orange-coiffured clown making them. Crap. Vincent hates clowns. Always has. Seems to be an instinctual thing. So I carefully say, "Vincent. You can absolutely have one of those hats but there's a clown making them over there. Do you want to go with Daddy to go get one?"

Response? "I want to go home now."

My question is this: WHY ARE THERE FRIGGIN' CLOWNS EVERYWHERE? It seems like any place that's remotely related to kids calls in the clown patrol thinking all kids like people with crazy makeup, ridiculously long ties, and giant plastic shoes. Farmer's market? Barbecue? Community Day? Car Wash? Church? Call in Flozo, Crozo, and Dozo. We gotta keep the kids entertained.

Wikipedia states, "Clowns spread in cultures of any time and place, because they meet some deeply rooted needs in humanity: violation of taboos, the mockery of sacred and profane authorities and symbols, reversal of language and action, and an ubiquitous obscenity." I can understand all that but how did they become so widespread in the world of child entertainment? I mean - plenty of people make a nice secondary living out of "clowning." I have no problem with a family ordering one for a kid's birthday. The clown's presence was requested. My problem is with what I call, clownkrieg. This is when a clown appears unexpectedly to completely destroy all semblance of a child's fun time. We parents have to spend the rest of the day explaining that the clown wasn't real, will not come home with us and will of course wash its makeup off in the shower when it gets home.

I have no personal issue with clowns. I'm cool with you guys and gals. It's just that my son is scared of you. I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't be around when we go to touch some trucks.

Thank you. Ed. Note: Don't feel bad, Uncle Kevin. We know you only dressed up for your nephew's birthday because your sister asked you to. Vincent doesn't hold it against you. I think.


Food & Flatulence

Peter officially started on solid foods this weekend. The oatmeal (pictured) wasn't a huge hit but when we mixed it with pears it was a homerun. Remembering back to when Vincent first started on solids, his face had the same "What the..." that Peter's did. Like, "This ain't boob, pal. " Pardon the blur in the photo. He kept moving to try to get his hand in his mouth immediately after each bite. We think he thought the food was coming from his hands and he couldn't get it in fast enough.
Needless to say, the kid's a natural.
Another great moment this weekend occured when Peter and I proved that at any age, farts (and fart noises) are funny. Kudos to Blogger for adding video capability!


1 lb., 4 oz.

We've got official weight gain, folks. 1 lb., 4 oz. over the past month. We have one more month to prove Vincent can keep it on and we're all done with this. Aside from what we've been trying to feed him, it seems like a switch just turned on and that he stopped eating like a toddler and started eating like a kid. Through a spokesperson, Vincent was quoted as saying, "I'm glad we're almost done with this poking and prodding. Just let me have my freakin' berries."

Meanwhile, Peter, through his publicist, was quoted as saying, "20 oz.?! Big deal. I gained that yesterday."


Weight Check

For those of you still waiting feverishly by your computers for an update on Vincent's weight, your wait is almost over. His checkup is this Tuesday. Judging by our $5.00 scale (not pictured), he's gained at least 1 lb. and more likely 1 1/2 lbs. This appears to put us in the black.

To hold you over until then, I've included an update on the a sampling of foodstuffs we purchased for Vincent to shovel in and pass with flying lardons.

Extra virgin olive oil (Used liberally. Wherever, whenever.)
Gorgonzola Gnocchi (Not a huge fan. Preferred standard pasta.)

Macadamia Nuts (I was so excited about these b/c of the fat content. Rose snuck them into his trail mix one day while we were driving only to have Vincent make an odd "khhheeekkkccchhh" noise from the backseat when he happened upon one. Needless to say, he didn't like them.)
Blueberry ice cream (Jackpot. He actually prefers chocolate, though. Ice cream has been a savior for us. What's that Vincent? You don't like your dinner? How about some ice cream!!?)
1 pint, heavy cream (We were mixing it with just about everything but he began to revolt. Just too damned heavy. Half & half has done the trick, though.)

Cool mint chip & chocolate brownie kids clif bars (Nope.)
chocolate peanut butter cups (Yeah but he prefers the processed Reese's version.)
Hash browns, frozen (Nah.)
Hawaiian BBQ Potato chips (Yes but not only about 5 at a time. The problem is, by the time I get done with them there are only 5 left.)

Boursin w/ garlic & herbs (I don't know if we even tried this one. Too many cheeses, too little time.)
Hummus (Hell yeah. He eats it by itself with a spoon.)
In general, his appetite seems to have grown. He actually asks what we're having for dinner. It's good because we don't have to hold back the fruit he loves. We just have to wait until he's done with his fat before he can have it.

"Eat your lard, honey. Then you can have your peach."

We'll keep you updated.


Ahhh Bribery.

Who knew bribery would come so easy to us as parents?

As we've been trying to complete potty training before Vincent starts preschool next month, our tactic has been, "If you do poopies in the potty all week, we'll get some new Disney guys this weekend." Result - poop in potty.

Even last night, when Vincent was having some trouble going to sleep (read: "DAAADDEEE! COME. UP. HERE!"), out of desperation, I said "Vincent - remember. If we start to sleep like a big boy again in our room, we'll get your new Disney guys this weekend." That's right - I used the same dangling carrot for two separate bribes. It didn't work for sleep, though. He caught on.

It just feels wrong. Still, it's not like we're buying him a car or letting him have a shopping spree. It's Disney figures - his favorite thing ever and it's for doing something important - pooping.

Can you tell I'm wrestling with this?
P.S.: All but one set of figures in this photo were purchased by either Mom-Mom or Aunt Maria.



The editors of Chachi Milk are proud to bring you Post 1 in our series, Vacation Photo Essays. This week's episode - Ocean City.

Something about the waves and din of the beach kept Peter asleep about 60% of the time. Can you blame him?

Occasionally he would wake up with an expression we could only interpret as, "ARE WE STILL HERE? IT'S HOT!"

But then after his beach boob, he'd exude an air of, "Ok, I'm good. This is cool. I'm in my tent. Now if only...I could get...Daddy's....fingers....into my mouth....D'OH! SAND!"

Vincent on the other hand spent his time rebelling against the authority that had been keeping him down for 2 3/4 years. First he got not one, but TWO tattoos.

After which he fed some seagulls potato chips (not very healthy for them), then proceeded to taunt them by running away once all the chips had been consumed.

Shorthly thereafter, while playing his first game of mini-golf, he stopped after 8 holes as if to say, "If you guys keep being spoilsports and don't let me push all of your fancy, colored golf balls into the cups, I'm quitting." We caved. Our combined score after 8 holes - 562.

It was all forgiven a bit later with a sweet dance lesson from Auntie Kate.
I hope that gives you all a feel for our time in OCNJ. Not pictured: "Daddy's Roof Rack Failure," "Sand Eating = Not So Bad," "Shooting the Neighbor's Car With the Foot Hose," and "Aunt Maria & Uncle Joe are 4 Blocks Away - Let's Run There!"
Stay tuned for our next Post - Vermont!


Whirlwind Vacation Tour

As I had mentioned, we spent last week in Ocean City with my parents and sisters along with many aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and house elves (Sorry - still reading Harry Potter). Good times were had by all. Vincent is still a little small for rides but he did go in the water - all the way! And he played mini golf! 8 holes! And Peter slept and smiled! After a short day's rest, we hopped back in the car for a family drive to Vermont where some of Rose's family just bought a house.

We left at about 7:15pm, stayed over (all in one very comfortable king bed)at the Fairfield Inn in Malta, NY and arrived at about 1 pm the next day. Vermont was very cool for us having never been there and a nice break from the oppressive humidity of the Philadelphia area.

I had to work this week so I drove home solo-style last night (7 hrs., 20 min. - God save podcasts) for my bachelor week as Rose and the boys stayed behind. My next post could very well be gibberish since I'll spend most of my time drinking ripple, eating wings and watching stag flicks. (Translation: beer, peanut butter and Harry Potter). And since there's no cell service where my family is, maybe we can use this blog as our main source of communication. I BET YOU ALL WOULD LOVE THAT.

At any rate - it's been a cool couple of weeks. If you're worried about me being alone for 4 days, drop on by! Vincent - if you're reading this, don't forget to drink your milk (with heavy cream in it). Peter - if you're reading this, keep on smiling, pal.

Photo note: The camera is in VT, so you'll have to wait for beach/mountain photos. For now, you get Vincent's shot of Daddy. He calls it "Brown Shirt."