“Say My Name”

CarThe most interesting fight broke out between Garrett and Justin the other day. The fascinating thing was – neither were wrong. The argument was about this one simple question: “What is my name?”

It began while riding in the car (as always) with Justin leaning over and whispering into Garrett’s ear, “Garrett, did you know that daddy’s name is Jason?” Garrett turned to him and gave him a look of absurdity and responded, “No, it’s not.”

“Yes! Daddy’s name is Jason.” Justin announced again, feeling slightly intellectually superior to his younger brother.

“NO…IT’S….NOT!!” yelled Garrett. “IT’S DADDY!”

“Yes, but his REAL name is Jason,” clarified Justin.

“NO….NO….NO….IT’S NOT!!! Daddy’s name is daddy! YOU SHUT UP!” screamed Garrett as he tried to defend my honor.

Justin did not like being told to shut up. Especially, from his younger brother. In an attempt to ‘one-up’ Garrett and deliver more shocking news, Justin continued with, “And, mommy’s name is Audra.”

Garrett, being of limited vocabulary and having had enough of his brother’s bullshit, made the following declaration: “MOMMY IS MOMMY. DADDY IS DADDY. AND NOW I’M GOING TO PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE.”

Justin thought it was funny…until Garrett followed through with his threat. A fist was thrown, contact was made….and “Down goes Frazier!! Down goes Frazier!! Down goes Frazier!!”

There’s nothing quite like dropping off two screaming, crying children at camp carpool as they continue to yell at each about the important issues in life….like, my name.


I Call it “Boy With Kindle”

While this site is currently under re-construction, life goes on and my boys continue to do things that make me laugh (and cringe.) So, here is a short blog:


As we sat at dinner last night, I looked across the table at Justin and tried unsuccessfully to get his attention. I called his name, tapped his hand, and even shot him with the paper-wrapper from a straw. Nothing got his attention.


The more I looked at him, the more I realized that I couldn’t see him. I thought, “This reminds me of something, but I can’t remember what.” It bugged me all throughout dinner.


After putting the kids to bed, I sat on our porch and turned on the TV. I caught the last few minutes of “The Thomas Crown Affair” – and that’s when it dawned on me what Justin looked like! Do you see a similarity?



Today Is Justin’s 8th Birthday!

Baby Justin

“Put me back!!! I’m not ready yet!!”

Eight years ago, I looked down at my newborn son and thought, “Wow. This kid’s ugly.” He was wrinkly, slimy, hairy, and he was missing his teeth! He looked exactly like my Grandpa Eli. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Justin from the moment I saw him. (And, I was very fond of Grandpa Eli, too.) I just wasn’t prepared for the fact that Justin didn’t look like the Gerber Baby immediately after he was delivered. As the nurses cleaned him off, I remembered slipping off one latex glove and putting my bare hand on his chest. I knew I had to be the first person to touch this child…and I was. We have been inseparable ever since. Today may be Justin’s 8th birthday, but to me it’s a reminder that the last 8 years have been the best time of my life.

Dear Justin – What an unbelievable year you have had. I don’t even know where to begin. You have grown so much physically and emotionally. You have excelled in school, made lots of new friends, and you’ve been a wonderful (and helpful) brother to Garrett. You have made us laugh with your goofy puns, you’ve amazed us with your incredible reading and storytelling, and (begrudgingly) I will admit that you have become a better “Gamer” than I will ever be. Although – I still blame you for burning down my Minecraft house!

Together, we’ve played video games, built Lego projects, read books (you love “Harry Potter”), done massive homework projects, cooked, fished, (and then cooked the fish…which you refused to eat), thrown the baseball around, gone swimming, taken vacations, and so much more. I love sitting next to you while watching “America’s Funniest Home Videos” because your laughter is infectious. And, I love taking you out to play golf. Like any true golfer, you complain all the way to the golf course. But, once you’re there, you play better than me and then complain when we have to leave.

Watching you grow up this year has been incredible and I can’t wait to see how great “8” will be!!

Love you,


PS. – You weren’t that ugly when you were born. You were more like a gooey, screaming, albino raisin!


Happy Birthday, Justin!!


Garrett’s was 12 inches, but Justin’s was 13!! (First Fishing Trip)

Fish 1Several weeks ago, Justin asked me if I had gone fishing when I was a little boy. I told him that I had been many times and that I loved it. But……….I may have embellished my experiences a little. For his benefit, I made the stories sound “homespun,” like they came from the pages of “Huckleberry Finn.” To him, it probably sounded like I had wistful afternoons, lazily sitting on a dock in my overalls, with a fishing pole in one hand and a piece of straw hanging out of my mouth.

The reality was far different. I remember standing on the edge of the main lake at Camp Barney Medintz (about 100 yards away from Poo Pond – it is what you think it is) every year and sweating from the Summer humidity in rural Georgia. I spent more time trying not to pass out from dehydration, avoiding getting stung by bees, and/or hooking myself in the ear with my own fishing hook like my Cousin Scott – than fishing! I remember catching nothing – ever, and being pissed about it. Maybe it was a good thing I never caught anything. Once again, Poo Pond was close by. With my luck, the only thing I would have caught was dysentery!

I guess I made it sound good because Justin liked what he heard and asked if I would take him. I agreed to take him when we had a free day. Yesterday was that day.

Justin, Garrett, and GWE jumped into the car and we drove to a small fishing hole 18 minutes away from the house. Buried in the Santa Monica mountains, we located Troutdale. For $7 a person, we were given parking, bamboo poles with a hooks, a bucket, and corn for bait. (Yes, corn. Justin looked at the corn and astutely asked, “Are we fishing for chicken?”)

The four of us located our “spot” and immediately put our lines in the water. It only took about 15 seconds for Garrett to get antsy. We encouraged him to stick with it for a few more minutes. Just as he began to give up, he handed me his pole…which started to tug back! Garrett caught the first fish. Here is the video:

Determined to do better than his brother, Justin found a new spot and patiently waited for the fish to bite. Nothing happened. 5 minutes passed. 10 minutes passed. Finally, he felt a nibble. As he pulled his hook up to check the bait – it was gone. Fish 1, Justin 0.

Justin must have gotten lonely because he came back and sat next to me. Just as he put his head on my shoulder, there was another nibble. He pulled his hook up once again and the bait was gone again. Fish 2, Justin 0.

Having been outwitted by the trout and feeling frustrated that his three year old brother had accomplished what he could not, Justin began to give up. He was about to hand me his pole when all of a sudden he felt a hard tug. At last, Justin would have his revenge!! Here is that video:

Together, Justin and Garrett took their bounty to the main shack so they could watch their fish be measured, weighed, and filleted. With the excitement and glee that only boys exude when watching something “gross,” they were giddy while watching her fish get dismembered. Justin (in what I hope was scientific curiously and not signs of a “future serial killer”) asked to see the heart. His wish was granted.


Last night, we grilled and ate the fish. I think yesterday was a great learning experience and a success for all those involved…except for the fish. Their day sucked.

Fish 2Fish 3



Sent from my iPad

Dear Brother…

As I walked into the kitchen, I discovered Garrett standing on a stool while half-perched on the counter. In one hand, he held a pen. The other hand was used to keep a yellow pad of paper from sliding away. His brow was furrowed and he was passionately scribbling something.


“Garrett?” I asked. “What are you doing?”


He turned to me and announced “Blaggle, Flaggle, Blaggle.” (Ok, I’ve read too much “Knuffle Bunny.”)


And then, as clearly as I’d ever heard him say anything, I heard him say, “I writing Justin a note a come home a sleepover!!”


At first I was surprised to hear all those words coming out of his mouth. Then, I realized what he said. I had to make sure that I heard what I thought  I heard.


“Are you writing your brother a note to tell him to come home from his sleepover???”


“Yea,” he replied, as if to say “Are you deaf? That’s what I just said!” Afterwards, he turned his head and resumed his heartfelt plea for Justin to return home.


Here is the note:

note to justin

It’s A Boy Dance Party

photo.jpegMaybe Garrett was happy to see GWE leave for a few days. Or, maybe it was the realization that Justin wasn’t in the house to defend his room at that moment. I don’t know if it was a spontaneous act of excitement or if Garrett had been planning this for weeks. Last Friday morning, Garrett knew that there was no one to stop him. He knew that if he didn’t act quickly, his opportunity would be gone.

As soon he heard the click of the door being locked, Garrett turned and ran down the hallway. He flung opened the door to Justin’s room and began (what Saturday Night Live dubbed) the “Boy Dance Party.”

In case you’re unaware of what the “Boy Dance Party” is – enjoy!