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Sunday, July 19, 2009

This blog has moved.

I am now fully moved over to

Please come by, update your bookmarks, etc.

Thank you.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Southern California Road Trip: Part One

We arrived at our Orange County hotel at three in the morning on Tuesday, just six hours after we’d left the San Francisco Peninsula on our dead-of-night escape.

Tuesday (part two, because part one was spent driving and then sleeping) was a family visit. Emily’s uncle’s family lives in Yorba Linda, and despite his house being damaged in the last round of fires and flooded when a toilet overflowed (forcing the family to live in a hotel for 45 days in a row), it was beautifully restored and it was relaxing just to hang out there. But Erin, the tiny princess of Finding Things That Will Hurt, kind of miserabled herself by falling down stairs and whacking her head on things. She liked the dog, though.DSC02375

This is Lucky. He’s a service dog for Emily’s cousin J, the flower girl at our wedding who is old enough to drink now but never would. J doesn’t move very quickly, hear or see very well, hence the dog, but she loves Erin and Erin loves her so much she can hardly contain herself.

Wednesday we visited a cousin at work, in a new parent store with a play area for the kids. Erin superheroed it up when she found the costume bin.DSC02324

Then we went to the uncle’s beach house in Newport Beach and strolled along the boardwalk at Erin’s pace. She was easily distracted by sand. DSC02342

She spent a lot of time riding on J’s lap in her wheelchair. There was ice cream to be dribbled down her chin, birds to be chased, and boys who had frisbees. DSC02354

Thursday was Disneyland Part One. It was Adrian’s First Visit, Erin’s Fifth Visit, and my birthday. Happy birthday to me. I love going to Disneyland and I’ll never stop loving it. I don’t care that Disney wants my money and my soul. They can have it. Star Tours rules.


We took Adrian on his first ride, and stank up the submarines with his first on-ride Crapola Diaper. It was intense. And where do you go when you’re on a fucking submarine? Nowhere. You’re welcome, Korean Disney Fans who were on the ride next to us. Greetings from America.

Want to see a picture of Erin pretending to be tired?


I say “pretending”, because that kid burned with vibrant, ridiculous energy right up until we got back to the hotel after closing the park down at midnight. She was unbelievable. She could not see enough or do enough. Adrian, on the other hand, pretty much slept the entire time we were at the park, with the exception of the Jungle Cruise ride. The puns pissed him off and he cried most of the trip. But he liked his ears.


Grandma grandma grandma. What would we do without grandma? She came to the park with us and watched the kids so Emily and I could go on rides on our own. She took Erin on the Buzz Lightyear ride so that someone could ride by himself and look cool while kicking ass with the lasergun.

Shawn on BuzzlightyearFriday morning we went to breakfast and then began our drive to San Diego for Southern California Road Trip: Part Two. But first we stopped so that Erin could play at a park and burn some energy off before her destined nap in the car. So she ran around the park until she saw the tire swing, then she exploded into a version of the Sesame Street Theme that, we’ve come to realize, asks “Can you tell me how to get, how to get some friends in the street?” I’ve no idea what mayhem she plans for those friends, but they’d best guard themselves. This kid plots evil.


More road trip stories and pictures to come. I will bore you in four parts. But the four include the prelude that most of you read and decided was a clear indication that I should keep my day job: My “forsooths” and “inasmuches” fell on unimpressed eyes. Verily.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Worst News

It seems as though the moms who became friends through the Day One playgroup two years ago are steadily proceeding into round two of baby-making. Emily wasn't the first, nor will she be the last, as it looks like our group has booked the hospitals solid through November.

One of our friends, C, was checked in to the hospital with a high blood pressure problem at around 36 weeks. It's the kind of problem the worsening of which requires the immediate delivery of the baby. Her little boy is at home with dad and the grandparents, prepping the baby's room and watching the boy grow up, ever so slowly, in the weeks mom has been in a bed away from home.

It's a stressful time. And we've been waiting, just like everyone has been waiting, for news that the new baby has arrived and both mom and the baby are doing well.

We're worried. We're away from home and there's nothing we can do to help, or to prevent disasters. We're powerless, and the world is going to do what it wills and we're none us strong enough for what it will throw at us.

Emily's phone chimed with an incoming text message from C, and we knew the news was bad. Emily read the message slowly, and then emitted the despairing gasp I'd dreaded, and then a soft "Oh no."

"What is it, lady? What happened? What's wrong?"

"It's gone...the Chili's by our house is gone."

How do you ever recover from a loss like that?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I should write a parenting book

"I don't know what it is," I began as I grabbed a pillow and began twirling it by the bunched opening of the case, "but I just had this overwhelming urge to hide behind the door until Erin came through and then BAM! Nail her with the pillow."

"Well, you get what you pay for." Emily sardonicized at me.

"What does that mean?"

"I mean this fatherhood gig you signed up for that doesn't pay you."

"What? I think that would be an awesome fatherhood moment."

The Super Ninja Secret Ambush With Pillow lesson: Fatherhood Year Three.

Friday, July 10, 2009

While you’re waiting…

While you’re waiting to find out the answers to questions like:

Did our favourite dad blogger make it to Disneyland without getting sucked into the vortex of doom swirling around Michael Jackson’s memorial at Staples?

Did the Burns’ get to take yet another photo with Mickey Mouse and does the mirror in the hotel make Shawn look fat or is he actually fat?

How many hours of sleep can a toddler go without a nap before degenerating into an insane rambler and singer of “Row Row Row Your Boat (alt. lyrics)”?

Can you have too many onion rings with raspberry sauce?

How long does it take to get to check in to a hotel in San Diego?

You can check out something I wrote for Blogs.Com about some of the dad blogs I read. You should read them too. Go here now.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


"So, Shawn. You've made it through another year of grad school, the birth of another child, the beginning of the terrible twos, more delays in your house remodel, and the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression. What are you going to do now?

I'm going to Disneyland.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Southern California Road Trip: Prelude

We plotted to leave very early Tuesday morn for Parts Unknown and corners where there be dragons.

One final night of rest in my bed before embarking on a Quest for Mickey Mouse would have pleased me.


'Tis 9pm and the kids are snuggled up warm in their car seats. Visions of cartoons flicker across Erin's face from the soul-draining glow of the portable DVD player we purchased this week.

Their night, and mine, has been sent careening from the predictable mile upon which it was given to travel. Innocence has been stolen, and by who else than that Pan of Lost Boys, perpetual child and thief of glittery pirate hands:


Realizing all of the sudden that we had timed our crossing of the City of Angels to coincide with the Jaxon's family's attempt to send their most damaged boy to join the Choir by dazzling the dazed denizens, we recalculated:

"'Sooth, goodwife, we are doomed. We shall ne'er free ourselves from the Vortex the Jaxons have called forth from the bowels of the earth to ensnare unwary travelers such as we, offering up our children in the mad ceremony that calls the godhead down upon their Son."

"Nay, tremble not, mine husband. Must needs we brave the dark, the lonely moonlit paths, til we arrive at our awaiting Castle 'fore dawn. Yea, before e'en our enemies ha' bestirred their bones to be about their bloody business."

"You are a wise and beautiful woman, wife. For you alone would I risk certain crankiness and foul midnight diaper changes in the Caves of Denny or the House of Fruit."

"And you are a handsome, brave, and amusing man, husband. Cleave to me and every wish you have will come true. Except for that one. Meantimes, let us make out, and then after much embracing we shall depart."

"Agreed. Let us proceed with alacrity."

And that, my friends, is how we found ourselves winding through the mountains and across the plains. Our enemy, the Jaxon, shall be foiled, for true love and decent mileage (for an SUV) are on our side.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Corn on the Cob

Erin and I  scythed through the grocery store, intent on our goals, when we were abrupted in our progress by the Stereotypical College Guy.

Stereotypical College Guy had been thinking about his workout all day long. He began thinking about it early in the morning while he was still sleeping off the whiskey sours and tequila shots from the night before. He continued to think about it while he dressed himself from the “Not quite Sentient” pile of clothes in the corner of his room. He sorted through the white t-shirts and ridiculously long shorts on the floor until he found some that could take another workout, then he selected one set from his four pairs of high top running shoes and bolted out the door, ready to hit the gym for squats and chest presses, it being Friday, and Friday being Legs & Chest day.

He realized as he was leaving that he was out of groceries. He’d been eating in more often as the summer progressed and the on-campus eateries lost their bustle and luster. Eating alone was easier at home than at the cafeteria in the middle of the summer, when the odds of being approached at table by people he’d never acknowledge except to mock with his friends increased exponentially. Rather than face the press of lonely nerds, he would cook for himself, as far as he was able.

So instead of heading straight to the gym he reluctantly approached the grocery store to stock up on supplies. It was his misfortune, and mine, that he happened to be in the produce section at the exact moment Erin and I approached with our cart. We were after some ears of corn, because I was going to make a roasted corn and black-eyed pea salsa for a 4th of July barbecue the next day. I searched out the closest bag dispenser to the corn and found it situated adjacent to Stereotypical College Guy. He was unrolling the roll, and muttering to himself as he did so.

“…so that’s four, and what the hell? Where am I…hmmm….”

He sensed me standing next to him with my cart and my kid and my corn, and he spent some more time rolling, and unrolling bags.

Then he stopped, unstooped himself (the dispenser being located in the body of a bin rather than on a hook above) and walked away with his head held high and shoulders back, with someplace very important and deliberate to go and no time to waste on boring things like corn.

I watched him march away to the other side of the corn bin where he stood, staring at a wall lined with flowers for sale. Ah, a floraphile who’s just realized that hibiscus were in season, no doubt.

I reached down, tore off one of the many bags he had rolled away from the dispenser and dumped my husks inside. Then Erin and I continued through the produce section (mushrooms, an onion, some bananas, and a red bell pepper were all on my list, though not all for the salsa) while I kept a suspicious eye trained on Stereotypical College Guy.

He confirmed my suspicions and my disappointment in humanity when he returned to the bag dispenser soon after I’d left it to tear off a single bag at the now-obvious seam, open the bag, and place an ear of corn inside.

But what earthly reason could he have for thinking that he could cook corn if he couldn’t even figure out how the bag dispenser worked, cuffing away at it like a Neanderthal at a vacuum cleaner?

“Erin,” I said as I pushed my cart with head shaking ruefully, “that is why you aren’t allowed to date boys until you are thirty.”

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I’m kind of a big deal on the Internet

Label Daddy

The lovely folks over at Label Daddy have inexplicably chosen me as their Dad Blogger of the Year. I think this means you all have to bow down before my awesomeness.



Thanks Label Daddy.