Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I know that I said this blog will be bagpipe-centric and I wouldn't write about my family so much. But what can I say, my family is the most important thing in my life. Besides, I just had to share what happened last night because it was such a touching moment. Plus I know that if I don't write this down now, I'll eventually forget about it until I'm senile. At which point I'll be reminiscing out loud and everyone else will think I'm babbling nonsense (much like it is already). Anyways....do you remember the first time you ever saw the moon?

Neither do I. But last night was Emma's night of discovery. Watching her see the brightly-lit moon for the very first time was amazing. She had a pure sense of awe in her eyes and at the same time seemed emotionally attached to it, if that's possible. It was as if she was an explorer who had no prior knowledge of the Grand Canyon yet stumbled upon it by accident and fell in love at first sight. Watching her experience this discovery was absolutely incredible.

It all started a couple of days ago when I was reading her "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak. Which should be in every kid's bookshelf in my opinion. But anyways, I digress. On one page, Max is sailing away by the light of the moon. For months now, Emma would point to Max's little sailboat and say, "Boat! Boat!". I never thought to point out the moon until now, which I did. She repeated after me and said, "Moon...Mooon...Moon".

Fast forward to yesterday afernoon, not quite dusk, when I take Emma for a ride across town to pick up dinner. We're cruising along when she yells from the back seat, "MOON!!!" Sure enough there it was, not too high in the sky and about half full. She was so happy, she kept calling out "Moon! Moon! Moon!". That is until it disappeared behind the trees to soft lamentations, "Bye Moon...Bye Moon". That is until it reappeared, "Moon! Moon! Moon!" and disappeared again, "Bye Moon...Bye Moon". This cycle went on for the rest of the car ride with the only interruptions being "Airplane! Airplane!" and "Bird! Bird!".

But the very best part of the story happened later that night, when the sun had finally set and the moon hung there in the sky. In fact, we could look out the living room window from the comfort of our sofa and see it through the trees. Even though it was her bedtime, I wrapped her up in a blanket and carried her outside for a better look. She was completely enraptured. She simply stared and whispered, "Hi Moon". Then she saw some stars and pointed them out to me, "More Moon...More Moon". Sorry, Honey, those are stars, "Stars Stars". She already knew that word from one of her favorite lullabies, but now she knows what the lullaby is about. Anyways, back to the moon.

I called my wife over to the window so she could witness this pure and untainted discovery firsthand. We just watched her watching the moon and couldn't be more thrilled. When I said, "time to go night-night" she replied, "Bye Moon". Emma is now in love with the moon.

Although I don't remember the first time I discovered it, watching my first daughter discover the moon herself is way more meaningful. Hopefully, I can share in Ava's discovery too. And now that I've written this down, perhaps I stand a chance to remember this moment and we can talk about it together when she grows up.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Latent Side Effect

I've just realized one thing that I didn't expect when I set out to learn how to play the bagpipes. When anyone learns what I'm doing, the typical response is a light-hearted joke about wearing a kilt. I suppose that if I want to be a piper, I will one day wear a kilt. It would be terrifically sentimental if I could wear the family tartan (to be explained in a future post). But what I hadn't thought of until now, is that nothing's worse than a piper with pasty white scrawny calves. So now I have to add some sets of calf raises every time I practice the chanter. Maybe I could just get some calf implants...that would sure save a lot of time. But that's risky too, cause once you open that kimono where would it stop....botox, lipo, hair plugs, back wax? The list could go on and on and on.....

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Hey SYTYCP Fans, what...did you think I forgot about you?

So, yesterday was a milestone day for our family's financial situation. Nothing big, just a tentative milestone worthy of a little celebration. I suggested we all go out to dinner at our favorite local apizza restaurant. (The good ones are called "apizza", not just "pizza".) After all, we haven't been out to a restaurant in a while. It's kind of tough to do so with two in diapers...not including myself. Anyways, we arrived, sat down and ordered our meals: Wifey got the linguini with fresh clam sauce, Thing 1 a small cheese pizza, and I ordered the lobster ravioli special. We were all so hungry that the smell of the place made us salivate.

After the waitress took our order, things started to get wild. Luckily, this place has two beautiful salt-water fish tanks to keep Thing 1 busy. Unluckily, that only used up about 3 minutes. All the while, Thing 2 is starting to fuss in her carrier seat. Normally, Thing 2 is a very happy, laid back, easy going baby. But when she starts to get tired or hungry, she doesn't give much warning until her cries reach DEFCON1. By now, Wifey is comforting Thing 2, while I'm following Thing 1 around the restaurant. (Fortunately, we're the only ones in there at the time.)

It felt like forever until Thing 1's pizza arrived, but what a joyous sight when it did. Maybe now things will settle down and we can all eat. Or maybe not.

Thing 2 was still fussing while Wifey and me ate our salads. Wait…allow me to clarify...Wifey is eating her salad with one hand while holding Thing 2 in the other hand. And I am eating salad with one hand while making sure Thing 1 doesn't launch herself out of the booster seat with the other hand. That's how we ate our salads – one handed, and then the awesome meals arrived.

Oh how delicious our meals looked! And they were delicious….at least only the few bites we managed to scarf down. By now, Thing 2 was at Code Red and poor Wifey took her for what was to be a short ride in the car so she could fall asleep. While Wifey was driving around, Thing 1 puts down her pizza bone (the leftover crust piece), raises her arms as if to signal a field goal, and declares "DONE!"


Unbeknownst to me, while I'm trying to keep a leash on Thing 1 (picture trying to hold down a cat on a veternarian's examination table), Wifey is parking somewhere in order to nurse Thing 2. Fortunately, the waitress was on the ball and gave me some take away containers to fill up while she rang up my bill. You try packing away two Italian dinners and a small cheese pizza while trying to prevent Thing 1 from climbing over the booth, taking off wall decorations, and throwing Exorcist-like fits when you try to control her. Where is Wifey with the car?!?!?

Just as I finish packing up and signing the check, Wifey pulls in the lot. I haul Thing 1 out with one arm while holding a bunch of food in the other. Wifey opens the car door and all I can hear is Thing 2 wailing away. Hurry up and get everyone in the car....ooops I dropped the binky....which Thing 1 reminded me with cries of "BINKY! BINKY! BINKY!"

Finally, we're in the car and on the way home, hungrier than ever so we chowed down on Thing 1's pizza. Thing 2 fell asleep, and Thing 1 sat quietly (how ironic).

The moral of the story is that going out to dinner with two in diapers can be a stressful event where lots of food gets ordered but very little gets eaten. Kids will scream, cry and wreak havoc while Mom and Dad reach their wits end. It may have cost $48.44 for dinner (including generous tip), but we know these kinds of memories are priceless. One day when the kids are grown and we can all sit down to eat like civilized people, we'll reflect upon outings like this and laugh....and cry...because we'll actually long for them.