Who taught you this?

Maggie is now 2-1/2 years old and always sharing new things she learns, sometimes without even knowing it. She will just start talking and surprise us with new topics. When she learns about something new, she always wants to know more and asks, “Can we talk about it?” We also learned that if we don’t teach her, she will find a way to learn.

One of her favorite shows to watch is Peppa Pig. She’s learned new phrases and sometimes even speaks with a British accent. II don’t know whether to correct her or not when we play and she says, “The toe-mah-toes cost five pounds. After we can put on our swimming costumes and sun cream and go to the pool. Ready, steady, go!”

You Can’t Put a Price on Imagination

Maggie’s imagination amazes me. She can go on a bus to the beach to play in the sand and build sand castles. Then she’ll ride her bike home. She blows bubbles and jumps up to pop them, and then goes to the store to get fruits for me. All while sitting in our family room!

Yesterday I was cleaning up after dinner and she asked me to play with her in the family room.

Maggie: Come on, Daddy. Drive to the beach!
Me:
 As soon as I am done with the dishes I will come play with you. Play with Mommy right now. You can pretend I’m playing with you.
Maggie: Okay. Look, Mommy! Daddy is driving!

I’m never buying toys or taking her anywhere again! I hope the imaginary dad is a better dad than me.

Daddy is a Boy

There’s not a real good reason I never let Maggie see me naked. At first it was just because I stuck to the general convention that you don’t let people see your privates. Then it became a thing because it was thing, like saying “I love you” or meeting someone’s parents. The longer you don’t do it, the more difficult it is to just do it. (Yup. I just compared seeing my genitals to those important life moments.)

More recently it’s become a hassle. I’ll shower with her in my “shower shorts” and when using the toilet, I have to sit. I’ll pull my pants down and up very quickly after shouting, “Look over there!” After talking to Michelle about it, we decided it was no big deal. Plus we thought it would be better for her to know now when she isn’t going talk about it to all her friends at school and before the age where she recalls memories.

Nothing left to do but hop in the shower.

At first she didn’t notice. *Confidence lowered.* Then she pointed and laughed. *Confidence obliterated. It’s like high school all over again.* Then she started singing “Pop Goes the Weasel.” *Huh?* Eventually she stared at me and refused to get into the shower until Michelle had to shower with her. *Little bit offended.*

So she’s not yet comfortable with the fact that daddy is different than her, but she understands now that boys and girls are different. I guess it’s a start.

Uncle m@’s Backyard of Fun!

No, this website isn’t completely dead. Instagram has given a much simpler publishing platform to snapshot Maggie’s life, and I’ve been pretty busy singing “The Wheels on the Bus” 3 bazillion times in a row.

Recently I’ve been thinking about redoing our backyard, and of course I’d want it to be a place Maggie can play. My  first thought went to a sandbox and jungle gym, but we have a park 100 yards away from our house with two playgrounds. So I started racking my brain to see what would be good and came up with this.

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Click on the image to see it in its full glory.

As you can see from my expertly drafted blueprints, I intend for all equipment to be structural secure so big kids (me) can play too. Now comes an important question. Does anyone know how to build these things?

Just Like Her Dad

Maggie’s learning more every day, becoming less like a baby and more like a little kid. I’m not even sure where she learns some things or how she learns them. Michelle took Maggie to her 18-month checkup recently and told the doctor Maggie knows ever 100 words. When she told me that I told her, “No way. That seems like a lot.”

I went ahead and started counting them, and there are 175+ words I came up with pretty quickly. They might not all sound the way you or I might say them, but she definitely knows these words.

I’m pretty excited that my baby is a word learning machine, but I’ll probably regret it when she won’t stop talking.

The Craft Beer Pedistal

I believe there’s a problem with the craft beer audience, which is affecting the craft beer industry. People are more enamored with the idea of craft beer than the actual beer itself. Consumers are blindly and hungrily devouring anything craft without paying enough attention to the actual beer.

The general consensus of the public is that craft beer is the polar opposite of the American Lite Lager. Breweries have been pushing bigger beers, because that is seemingly what the market wants. People are seeking out super hoppy, barrel aged, and beers with the oddest adjuncts, because they are seemingly more craft.

The shelves in any craft beer section speak to this. Green Flash’s Palate Wrecker. Rogue’s Voodoo Doughnut. Ballast Point’s Indra Kunindra. Wynkoop’s Rock Mountain Oyster Stout. Just recently they announced a Walking Dead beer, brewed roasted goat brains.

The problem this causes is that craft beer is moving so far to the extreme that craft beer is losing part of the market. Craft beer should be the full spectrum of the flavor rainbow, but it’s losing the lighter side of things. There is a disconnect between the craft beer available and the palate of a newcomer to the beer scene. The taste of the beer is a turn off to a lot my friends that are having to jump into beer, because there are no small steps to take.

This is not to say these bigger beers should not be made. They are also on the flavor spectrum for craft beer, and people do enjoy these beers. I enjoy some of them myself, but I think the mass of the consumers are drinking craft for craft’s sake, unknowingly shaping the market to one extreme.

There are breweries that do make awesome smaller beers, which I believe are great stepping stones into the beer scene and even great staples once you’re into beer, but they’re not reaching the consumers nearly as much. It’s not just reaching the taps and shelves that count. It’s about getting people to understand that this is also good craft beer It doesn’t make you any less cool to drink a beer that won’t destroy your palate or knock you on your ass after a single pint.

In the end, drink what you like. Cheers!

Whose Baby Is It?

It’s  been about six months since we tried to guess which one of us Maggie looks like. She has stopped looking EXACTLY like Michelle, but I don’t think she really looks very much like me. You decide. Click on the photo for the full size image.

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10 Months

Maggie is becoming a little person with her own personality. She’s pretty bossy and demanding for someone that likes to play with tissue and empty boxes. It’s hard to remember sometimes that she’s just a baby.

She loves to drum. She loves playing peek-a-boo. She likes to dance. She loves to eat. She enjoys throwing her balls around and letting us chase them around.

Her first word “up” she learned about a month ago. She has  since decided she doesn’t need to learn many more words. Instead she has mastered it and abuses it constantly to relay a number of commands. It means everything from, “pick me up,” to “I’m done with dinner,” and “give me that object that is just out of my arm’s reach.”

Maggie still refuses to crawl, but she can slowly scoot around on her butt to where she wants to go. Watching her you’d think she was immobile, but if you leave the room for a minute you’ll find her magically on the other side of the room. It looks like she might skip crawling and go straight to walking. She’s getting better at standing every day and is learning to pull herself up and move her feet under her to support her body.

Time is flying by so fast.

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Don’t grow up too fast, baby!

Still in a Northern California Daze

This week has been rough so far. We went up north for two weddings on consecutive weekends. Coming home Sunday night after ten days with Maggie has been tiring. We’re still trying to catch up on rest. Here’s the quick photo rundown of our trip. Sorry for the poor quality. I almost always only use the iPhone to take photos, and there is no time to post process photos anymore.

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Since we have to stop every two hours for Maggie, we took the 101. There are more places to stop, including Firestone Walker.

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Stop #2 was also Firestone Walker but a different location. Maggie enjoyed learning about barrel aging beers.

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Maggie met her cousin Myla, who played around her rather than with her.

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Maggie also got to meet her cousin Joshua. Basically none of them really acknowledged each other.

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Maggie did get to play with a pool noodle lightsaber.

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My cousin Jessica got married in a beautiful ceremony and reception that I would call ” very similar to ours but nicer.”

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After spending time in the San Jose area, we headed down to Monterey and Carmel for a little bit, stopping by the aquarium.

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Jellyfish are so cool.

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Maggie was happy as a clam.

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The open ocean tank was huge with sea turtles, tuna, and hammerhead sharks.

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We cruised the 17-mile drive and got to see The Lone Cypress.

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Point Lobos State Preserve.

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China Beach.

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After Carmel we raced to SF just to head out again across the new Bay Bridge.

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We got to go to Pixar! Unfortunately there’s a pretty strict “no photo” policy on most of the campus, so pictures are limited to the lobby areas.

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Most displays were for Monsters University since it was their latest release.

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Luigi and Guido from Cars.

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Who could forget these guys? Oooooooooooh!

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Maggie got to play in her first playground.

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She also got to enjoy oysters.

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This guy got married. There was a lot of crying.

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Maggie drove us home after a long trip. Holy crap I look exhausted.

I need a vacation from this vacation.

Tres Años

Minutes before our wedding ceremony the pastor said to me, “You’re the most calm groom I’ve ever seen.”

I looked at him and without hesitation said, “When you’re beat, you’re beat.”

This was three years ago. Happy anniversary to the greatest wife and mom!