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!!


The Sex Evite


Don’t think of this blog post as “edgy” or “controversial.” It is meant as a marital aide and should be considered a public service. If you have young children, any libido left after dealing with young children, and you and your spouse can’t find the time or energy to “git ‘er done,” then I am here to help! (At least, that is what I keep telling myself!)

My wife will read this and laugh on the inside while “evil-eying” me on the outside. I also expect MOGWE to privately send me an email suggesting that I might be over-sharing. My friend “Sherlock” (who has nothing BUT sex stories) will stop reading…right…about… Single people don’t want to hear about their married friends having sex. To them, it’s like hearing about their parents doing it.

But, this isn’t about “having sex.” This is about “attempting to have sex.” Let’s be honest, we’re all adults here. I have two kids, so I’ve had sex twice in my lifetime. My wife, on the other hand, is still a virgin and as pure as the driven snow!

Like most married couples, we’re exhausted at the end of the day. Between long hours at the office and even longer evenings juggling the kids’ homework, dinner, bath times, changing diapers, taking out the trash, last minute laundry and dishes, and reading just one more chapter of “Captain Underpants” – the last thing either of us wants to do is a little “wink, wink, nudge, nudge.”

A few weeks ago, I came up with a brilliant idea – “The Sex Evite.” After receiving the 700th Evite to a kindergartener’s birthday party, it dawned on me that this could be put to much better use! I went onto Evite to see what my options were for “Romantic Interlude.” Evite had nothing even remotely risqué. I perused every single template and it just didn’t seem right to send an X-Rated Evite that was covered in duckies, bunnies, or Elmo. I finally settled on the disco ball themed invite because nothing says “Hot Sex in 2013” like a disco ball from 1978!

I added the “who,” “when,” and “where” to the invite and finally titled it “Time for a Pants Party (Or, a Party in our Pants.)” Feeling pleased with myself, I hit send. In less than five minutes, GWE responded that she would be in attendance. (However, she later confessed that she had not read the Evite carefully and she thought that the “Pants Party” was actually referring to a clothing “sample sale.”) Once I clarified what she had rsvp’d for – she (luckily) did not change her response.

I’m pleased to say that The Sex Evite worked. With an Wi-Fi connection, a little planning, and a locked and fortified bedroom door, we were able to find the time to “Dance the Matrimonial Polka.”

I wonder what else I can Evite my wife to do! Hmmm……..

It Just Takes One Moment…

photoAt 9:15am this morning, Justin and all of his school friends began to perform in their holiday show. He first appeared with his 4th grade mentors in a song about the holidays and friendship. He then appeared with his kindergarten class in a performance of a funny song and dance about dreidels. Justin happily sang, danced, and took his bows after a number of songs throughout the morning.

At the end of each “set,” the parents enthusiastically praised their kids. Hoots, hollers, and shouts of “That’s my kid!” came from the giddy parents. Even though it was freezing outside, the atmosphere was filled with warmth and love. Here we were – proud parents cheering on our kindergarten through 5 grade students!

I was expecting a call from CBS this morning because I needed to handle an issue with a client. Normally, I would have put my phone in my pocket and enjoyed the morning, but the call was time sensitive and even if I couldn’t take the call, I knew I could respond with an email. My phone was in my hand for the whole performance.

My phone buzzed once and I saw the first alert from CNN. There was a school shooting. No further information was available. I hoped for the best, turned my phone over, and returned to watch the kids gleefully singing and dancing.

A few moments later, another alert from CNN appeared on my phone – Breaking News: Official: 27 dead at Conn. school, including 18 children. I stared at my phone for a moment and re-read the announcement twice. I remember sitting between my father and my wife and having the blood drain out of my face. This was very, very bad. I thought about leaning over and showing the alert to GWE, but decided against it. She (and every other parent) would soon find out what I had learned and there was no reason to ruin the last few minutes of her enjoyment of the show.

I sat there quietly and smiled while my son performed. Once or twice I looked around in an effort to observe my surroundings. There were happy parents everywhere watching the show, waving with pride to their children, and video-taping this event…all the while basking in the holiday cheer. It was very odd to know something that no one around me knew and the irony of the moment was not lost on me. Here I was watching happy students performing for their adoring parents and across the country another group of Kindergarten through 4th grade parents where anxiously waiting to hear if their sons and daughters were still alive. At that moment, many of them were being told the worst thing any parent could ever hear.

This blog has never been about standing on a soapbox while telling the readers what to think or do. It has been about telling you true (and mostly funny) stories about our boys. And, while this tragedy will spark debate over gun control, mental health, and personal security…I would like to focus on one thing – the innocence of children.

We are all GenXDads, GenXMoms, GenXAunts, GenXUncles, GenXCousins, and even GenXGrandparents. We are all one degree away from a young and innocent child. When you get home, grab a child (preferably yours), give them a huge hug and kiss….and then do it again for those who can’t this evening.




Garrett is an affectionate toddler. He loves to hug and play and be held. However, he has yet to master the art of “kissing.” His attempts at kissing (as a sign of affection) typically end in bite marks. He is like a Zombie Baby from “The Walking Dead.”

Here is his move: If you are holding him, he will first put his head on your shoulder. He’ll actually do that a couple of times without incident. Then, when you are least expecting it, he will put his head on your shoulder one last time…and then sink his teeth in as hard as he can!! His other “plan of attack” is to play with your fingers and he’ll wait for you to look away. The moment you look away, he’ll yank your hand into his mouth and chomp down.

I took him and his brother out to dinner the other night. After feeding Garrett a FULL dinner which included fruit, chicken, veggies, pasta, “crunchies,” milk, more fruit, and most of what was on my plate, Garrett should have been full (and if not “full,” at least he should have been tired of chewing!) Sure enough, we were playing “Finger Attack” for a few moments while Justin finished his meal. As I turned my head to talk to Justin, Garrett took advantage and LITERALLY bit the hand that just fed him!!!

As a word of warning, if you see Garrett and he is happy to see you AND his mouth is open – RUN!!

How many bite marks can you find?

I May Have Lost a Sister, But I’ve Gained Two Bergmans!

This past weekend, we flew to Atlanta to celebrate my sister’s wedding. Shayna and her new husband, Jesse, had a beautiful, heartfelt, and joyous ceremony. At the reception, the music was fantastic, food was delicious, and the alcohol flowed….into my glass! It was truly an incredible evening.

As the older brother, it’s my sole job to make her life miserable and I had to get in one final shot before she morphed from “Priluck” to “Bergman” (much like when Dr. Jekyl turns into Mr.Hyde.) My speech is below:

November 3, 2012

Shayna and Jesse – Congratulations on such a wonderful event!

I know that Justin and Garrett would have liked to have been here this evening, but the truth is – our children are being held hostage back in the hotel room to ensure that I say nothing embarrassing about you or Jesse. But as I see it, you’re only getting married once and I can make more children – so let’s get to the good stuff!!

Here is what I’ve learned about Jesse and Shayna as this wedding and celebration have come together. I’ve learned that Jesse is so faithful to Shayna, that even during his bachelor party – there were no encounters with potentially naked women. None! However, I did see one pair of breasts. They were large and fake….and behind two feet of glass in a “Tribal” exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. We spent 45 minutes in the Butterfly enclosure and all I wanted was five minutes in the Champagne Room!!

And, Shayna (a vegetarian) is so dedicated to Jesse that she may allow him to eat meat (just once) in their apartment this year.   

Shayna and Jesse – we all see that you clearly love each other deeply and passionately. We knew it was only a matter of time for “Uncle Jesse” officially become “Uncle Jesse.” We knew that “Uncle Jesse” was going to become “Uncle Jesse” before “Uncle Jesse” knew he was going to become “Uncle Jesse.” 

Audra and I want you to remember every detail of this night. Spend time with your family and friends. Dance and drink and eat and enjoy this celebration….because marriage does not get better than this. No really, this moment is the best it will ever get. (Look at Watch) And….now that moment has passed. You will share wonderful moments and milestones together, but it will never be as good as tonight.

You may be asking yourself, “What about our anniversary? We’ll celebrate our anniversary each year.” Shayna….Jesse – every married couple in this room will agree with us when we tell you that your anniversary is not a celebration of your marriage, but rather – a thank you to your partner for not smothering you to death in the middle of the night with your own pillow. You will be giving each other gifts like the “I Apologize for Snoring this Year” bracelet of 2008 and the “I’m Sorry for Getting You Pregnant Again” earrings of 2011.

All joking aside, Audra and I love the both of you and know that you two belong together. Our hearts and our home are always open to you….and the “Auntie Shayna Bed” (now renamed the “Auntie Shayna/Uncle Jesse Bed”) is ready for whenever you visit. May you have a long, beautiful life together.

Oedipus Priluck-a-Kiss

Please take a moment a look at the picture to the left. If you look closely, you can see Justin kissing my wife while at the same time glaring at me with a “this one’s mine, get your own” look!

Justin understands the basics – we are “mommy” and “daddy”, we are “married,” and we are affectionate towards one another. Over the past couple of weeks, whenever I’ve reached over to kiss GWE, my affection is met with an “EEEEWWWWWW!!! THAT’S GROSS!!” from my five year old son. And, there have been a few times when GWE and I have laughed this off and purposely kissed in front of him to rub it in his face. (I remember once kissing GWE in the driveway while Justin was buckled into my car. Even with all four windows and doors shut we heard a muted “EEEEEWWWWWW.”)

Justin doesn’t realize the depth of affection it took to make him! From what I remember, there was more than just kissing involved! All he knows is that daddy is kissing some lady that happens to be his mommy!

So, for the past few weeks, Justin has decided to stake his claim on “mommy.” When he kisses her goodnight, he goes out of his way to make sure I see it. He puts his hands on her face, tilts his head, makes sure to make eye-contact with me, and then he goes in for the kill!!

If I wake up one morning to find him standing over me with a dagger, we’ll all know that this was foretold. I can only hope that Little Garrett will avenge me!!