Friday, February 27, 2009

Mr. Mischief

Because he got sick of his mommy studying for the bar exam, Joseph decided to get into all sorts of mischief during the days leading up to the bar exam.

For Joseph, the bar exam week's (non-exhaustive) mischief list included:
  • examining and removing the contents of trash cans
  • disabling the lids to trash cans
  • unrolling toilet paper
  • flushing the toilet, repeatedly
  • fishing around in the toilet
  • climbing on tables
  • stacking cups and glasses (found on the table)
  • climbing on the shelves of the fridge
  • eating whatever he can get his hands on in the fridge
  • breaking the lid of the sugar jar (haven't told mommy about that one yet)
  • opening the filing cabinet to file various papers and other nearby objects
  • opening the front door (which is rarely used and basically never unlocked, but was for a few minutes) and making a break for it
  • trying to throw balls off the balcony
  • running to the door of the room where mommy is studying and waiting until dad comes around the corner to see him before throwing open the door
  • tipping chairs
  • pulling on potted plants
Here's Joseph using a screwriver to fix the Valentine playset (don't worry the Valentine playset is getting its own post soon)

You'll also notice that the electric outlet has plastic safety plugs. Although these prevent Joseph from putting things (like screwdrivers) into the sockets, I think I've caught him trying to pop the safety plugs off with the screwdriver.

Here's Joseph trying to help mommy study for the bar

Fortunately for all of us--and especially for mommy--the bar exam is officially over!

Here's Joseph congratulating Erin on her completion of the bar exam.

Notice that Joseph is not looking at the camera in any of these pictures. Joseph is looking for mischief.

The best part of the bar exam for both Joseph and Erin (besides the performance exams; Joseph liked the performance exams) was probably the part at the end where you get to chase ducks before getting into your car.

After the exam, we went out to dinner together as a family where Erin explained why the funds she used to buy clothes between sessions of the bar exam were not subject to California community property laws, and the Toddster wondered why the bar exam had to be administered next door to a mall.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Getting Funnier

Joseph is getting funnier.

Joseph has always enjoyed making people laugh. One of my all-time favorite memories of Joseph's first year came when he was about 10-months old. We were in Target, and he wanted to hold on to a clear plastic storage container that we were buying. I handed it to him, and he promptly stuck it on his head and began making noises so that people would look at him as we walked by. He kept searching for more people to look at him, and his eyes would twinkle each time he made eye contact with someone new.

This game of sticking things on his head has remained a funny joke to him for over a year. For example, in November it was a colander:

Somewhere along the way, as seen in the following short videos, he also added covering his eyes and then intentionally trying to walk into things:

Currently, he now likes to do this thing where he looks straight up in the air, raises his shoulders, sticks his arms out to the side, and runs around while making a distinct moan/yell. Hopefully, we'll get that on video at some point.

Poking, tickling, and quickly shutting doors have also become things he does to get a laugh out of people.

He's also added repeated, frequent tackling to his list of things he thinks are funny. Often, in what appears to be an attempt to catch you off guard, he hesitates for a second or two before charging at you. Another staple of his routine is to stick two pacifiers in his mouth at the same time and run around--most of his recent humor involves running or yelling.

Here he is trying to make getting ready for bed into something funny:

I like this photo because it shows the look he gets in his eyes when he's making people laugh (mommy is apparently still thinking about the bar in this picture).

It's just fun to observe him, because he does these things and then watches to see how people react. If he gets laughs, he laughs too. He then does it again, getting himself more and more excited and wound up each time.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Home Improvement

Erin and I now think we may be homeowners (it's complicated). Because I'm fired up about this new phase of life, I've started making semi-weekly pilgrimages to Home Depot and Lowe's.

Joseph also likes these outings because at some point in the trip I end up putting him down to let him run wild through the store.

Back in December, Joseph made the goal to touch every single item in the store--this is fitting because I have the goal to one day buy every item in the store.

While playing this game, he wouldn't pull anything down, he just tapped each item and then ran on to touch the next one.

From this game, I learned that we should take baths after (as opposed to before) we go to home improvement stores. These pictures are from an outing in early December:

Sadly, Joseph has since moved beyond that game. He now tries to re-arrange the shelves or add new items to our cart. Because pulling things off shelves is disruptive rather than cute, Joseph now spends more time observing the store while strapped in the cart.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Some of you may know that Joseph, like many children his age, is obsessed with the movie "Finding Nemo." We consider it a pretty grand success if we survive a day without Nemo (whom we refer to as "Voldemort" whenever in Joseph's presence, to avoid reminding Joseph about Nemo). Once Joseph gets it into his head that he wants Nemo, he'll go and start messing with the DVD player, knowing that this will get our attention.

We try other distractions -- we got "The Little Mermaid," hoping to trick him with fish, and we also try Planet Earth and other nature shows about fish -- but usually when we turn something else on, he continues to demand Nemo.

So, today, he started getting uppity and pushing buttons on the DVD player. Todd asked him, "What do you want," knowing that the answer was going to be "Nemo" but trying to at least get Joseph to verbalize his desires. Imagine our surprise when the response was a resounding: "Golf club!!!"

Todd was happy to oblige and he and Joseph sat together watching Phil win this last weekend's tournament. Later they worked on their swings on the balcony.

Todd said he could die happy today. And I wonder, if Todd died today, would I still take the Bar exam tomorrow?


Joseph is now in to amusement park rides:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ho Ho Ho

Right before Christmas, Joseph mastered the game where we would ask "What does Santa say?" and he'd reply "Ho Ho Ho."

This was great for all three of Joseph's Christmases of 2008, but we figured it wouldn't be of much use beyond then.

However, Joseph now says "Ho Ho Ho!" whenever he sees anyone with a beard or a strange red hat (e.g., snow men, garden gnomes). His most recent Santa sighting came while watching the evening news:

Supreme Leader of Iran, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

From this picture you can imagine the Ayatollah moonlighting at a local mall during the holidays, but you'll just have to take my word for it when I say that the image displayed on the news really didn't look anything at all like Santa.

After my online search for images of Khamenei, I'm thinking that just to be on the safe side (and off the naughty list), maybe the U.S. should reconsider its policies toward Iran.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Visit, a Valentine, and a Sugar High

The other night, my mom and sister were in town and we all went out for pizza. In order to keep Joseph happy in his high chair at the restaurant, I got him some lemonade. We try not to give Joseph juice too often, to avoid spoiling his taste for water; even when we do give him juice, we water it down. Needless to say, he delighted in his pure, unadulterated lemonade, and the wild-child in our ordinarily-mellow little guy came out to play in a sugar-induced high. This the tail end of some wild dancing. It's not quite as wild because he got distracted by the camera, but it gives you an idea starting at ten seconds:

Of course, this was eventually followed by a grouchy crash. But overall, he had a happy time.

And between visitors and Valentine's Day, Joseph has added several new words to his vocabulary -- including crepes, cookie, and cake -- and has been a pill about eating normal food: he keeps demanding more sweets. It's a bad sign when tonight I was finally able to get him to eat some pizza for dinner and considered that a "healthy" meal (at least compared to the piece of chocolate he ate with breakfast -- it was the only way I could get him to eat oatmeal).

Here's Joseph decorating a Valentine's Day cookie (and a shot of Kiersten showing her powers of seduction at the end):

His wasn't quite as cool as his cousin Jonah's, though:

He had a great time with Grandma White, his aunts Lindsey and Kiersten, and his cousins.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Joseph takes on the PGA Tour

Last week, the PGA Tour was in town for the Buick Invitational. Joseph wanted to study up on the competition and the course setup, so last Monday afternoon we took a quick trip to Torrey Pines to watch some of the pros during their practice rounds.

Joseph loved being out there, and we ended up spending several hours exploring the course.

One of the highlights of the day came when Joseph befriended a caddy somewhere along the 10th fairway. Although Joseph's vocabulary is limited, and often impractical, it paid off this particular instance when Joseph--in an attempt to describe what he had just seen in his immediate surroundings--told the caddy, "Golf ball!"

The caddy was so amused with him that he opened up the bag and gave Joseph not one, but two golf balls. Joseph's eyes lit up. He clutched the balls to his chest and kept repeating "Golf ball! Golf ball!" Throughout the day, he stayed protective of his new treasures.

I think Joseph also tried to get a club or two, but I caused him to retreat before he got too demanding.

Needless to say, Joseph and I are now on the Casey Wittenberg bandwagon. We were pretty bummed when he missed the cut, but we'll be pulling for him (and his caddy) in future tournaments.

While wandering around Torrey Pines, we also found some other interesting sights at the course including:

After seeing some impressive shots from the pros, Joseph felt inspired to demonstrate some of his skills as well with some "woods" he found lying around the course.

Unfortunately, Joseph got a little overzealous with one of his swings and snapped his first club in half. He tried to work some kind of repair, but there was no undoing that one.

Undeterred, Joseph kept on playing:

Ultimately, we found a replacement for his broken club, and Joseph continued to happily swing away at his new golf ball.

Now, at this point I need to make a disclaimer. I am NOT (nor will I ever be) one of those dads. You know the kind I mean: the ones who try to re-live their dreams through their children and take all the fun out of childhood by forcing their kids to pursue a sport obsessively.

For example, this week I saw a parent watching her roughly five-year-old son receive a formal golf lesson. Later, I overheard a father carrying Snoopy golf clubs ask a golf shop if they could cut the clubs--the Snoopy golf clubs--to a custom length for his one-year-and-three-month-old son (who was, quote, "very good").

Joseph likes to chase golf balls around, and he likes running around on grass, so the way I see it I'm just living up to that "I've got the World's Greatest Dad" t-shirt I bought for Joseph last year.

Now, maybe you think that taking your one-and-a-half-year-old to a PGA practice round is just step one down that slippery slope, but seriously, if I liked hiking (which I do, incidentally) and I had taken Joseph to wander around a forest or a national park for the afternoon would we really be having this conversation?

Bottom line: I like golf, but that doesn't mean I'm going to try to mold my child into becoming the next Tiger Woods. (As an aside, people also often ask me and Erin if we think our kids will all grow up to be lawyers. Answer: I don't like being a lawyer, so I hope not).

With that out of the way, I can't even begin to describe to you how much I love watching these videos:

This one makes me laugh, because you can see him imitate what he's seen other golfers do:

Did I happen to mention that Casey Wittenberg's caddy is also his father?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Back-dating posts

Because I didn't get around to posting everything about Joseph's trio of Christmases back in December, and I like trying to keep things in chronological order, I back-dated some recently-completed posts about Christmas 2008.

Erin claims this practice of back-dating is "illegal." Erin needs to stop studying for the bar.

While you're reading about the Christmas posts you can also look for my New Year's Day post where I happened to predict that the University of Utah will walk all over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl starting with the opening drive.

Also, tomorrow, you can check back for my uncannily correct prediction of the Super Bowl score dated earlier this morning.

In the future, look for posts where I predict, accurately, trends in the stock market, the outcome of "Lost," and the weight and length of Aunt Lindsey's baby.

Also, in an attempt to avoid further backdating of posts, here's a picture of Joseph from this week on his trip to the airplane museum: