Happy Halloween from the Mystery Inc. crew!

Why Mama Shouldn’t Leave For Work Early

Exhibit H:  I skipped the normal shower and was getting dressed when I heard multiple crashes followed by crying. I ran out to the living room, my dad bod on full display, and saw Q on the back of the couch, with H nowhere to be found. Then I noticed the lamp was knocked over, along with a picture frame. H was lying on the floor behind the end table, screaming bloody murder. When I found her, she looked at me with eyes that said, “That hurt,” while simultaneously saying, “What the hell just happened?” Continue reading

Murphy’s Law: Scientific Data Collected By A Dad

It’s been awhile since the trials and tribulations of being a dad have elevated to blog post level, but recently my lovely wife went on a work “vacation” to Denver and my Super Dad powers were put to the test again. As the title states, things didn’t go according to plan. Continue reading

Shit Show

Captain’s Log – Day 1,604

We were awoken this morning at 6:32 by a small boy running past our quarters, seemingly in a rush to get to the toilet. Upon getting out of bed to inspect the situation, we heard whining from the kennel in the front room. Surprised that we had actually gotten an uninterrupted night of sleep – one of only a handful of times on this four-year journey – we realized the dog needed to go outside. My co-captain let the puppy out to do his business, and returned him to the kennel. In the meantime, the now naked boy jumped onto my bed, and I helped him find his clothes and sent him to the basement bathroom with the co-captain to finish getting ready for the day. I knew we were all awake for the day now, so I let the dog out of the kennel.

I heard some chatter coming from the little lady’s sleeping quarters, so I went in to help her from her crib. I noticed quite the smell coming from her diaper, so I got her changed and dressed. While on the changing table, the puppy kept coming in the room and whining, but as I had a naked baby on top of the dresser, there was not much I could do at the time.

After finally getting the toddler to sit still long enough to get dressed, we ventured out to the main living quarters. My nostrils were still picking up the scent of waste, but I knew it couldn’t be her – I had just changed her. As I came into the front room, I saw it. Over to the right, near the play tent, there was the unmistakable dark spot on the floor that could be nothing other than a small pile of dog feces. Upon further inspection, and much to my disgust, there were a few spots of poop inside the tent as well. I frantically called for my co-captain’s assistance but he could not be found. He was still in the basement with the boy, taking their sweet time getting dressed.

I set the toddler down to play while I grabbed the dog by his collar to lead him outside. Unfortunately, this made the puppy think it was morning play time. He had no idea he was in trouble, and just bounded right back into the house before the door shut all the way. By now, the co-captain had made it upstairs to see what all the commotion was. As I was assessing the situation, I hear the boy cry behind me “No babes, that’s not for you!”

Assuming this was another day starting off with the two of them fighting over a dump truck (mind you, we have 2 of these dump trucks now – another story for another day), I ignored it for the moment while I tried to gather up floor cleaner, rags and bags. As I kneel down to start the cleaning, the co-captain quickly runs into the room, bee-lining straight for the toddler. To be honest, I’m impressed with the speed of him at this hour of the day. I turn to see what has happened, and a scene from my nightmares slowly unfolds before my eyes. The co-captain swiftly grabs the toddler and lifts her from where she was playing on the floor, heading straight to the bathtub. My eyes pan down to a giant pile of dog shit that I didn’t see before, which clearly has toddler fist-sized gaps missing. I see dark brown smears on her clothes. By some miracle, the co-captain was able to grab her before it got any worse.


Needless to say, the dog got to experience a bitter cold Minnesota morning on the porch, the toddler got a bath, the boy got some quality entertainment, the co-captain got a quick workout, and I got real familiar with carpet cleaner.

But don’t worry. The tent lives another day.

Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween from your favorite Lego Batman crew – Batman, Robin, Alfred, and Harvard for Police alumni Barbara Gordon.

St. Patrick’s Day

As the temperature crept up the thermometer with spring just around the corner, Team Stein decided that a parade was in order. Not just any parade, but a St. Patrick’s Day parade on actual St. Patrick’s Day in St. Paul. Now, our preschooler had recently decided that naps on the weekends were no longer necessary, so that meant we needed to stay distracted to avoid the mini-meltdowns bound to occur in the late afternoon of a no-napper (just ask T…). Plus, we were feeling the brunt of cabin fever and the forecast was sunny and upper 40’s. And, when you’re a little Irish, it would be blasphemous to not celebrate, right? Continue reading

All I Want For Xmas Is A Wife That Doesn’t Break The Car

At what point does the running joke of “Stein Car Problems” become unfunny? Apparently never. Case in point, I receive a phone call from K on my way to work this morning…something slightly out of the norm. I proceed to ask the question, “How’s it going?” and am met with the response, “Not great,” immediately followed by hysterical laughter.

It’s tough to know how to respond to that. So I wait and hear the following confession:

K – “I broke the rear-view mirror.”
Me – (laughing) “How’d you do that?”
K- “I hit the garage.”
Me – (not laughing) “You hit the garage?”
K – “Yeah, we haven’t parked in the garage for so long and there were a lot of things going on. It’s still usable!”
Me – (laughing) “Well, that’s a positive!”

Mind you, this is the day after we just got her car back from the repair shop…and mere months after we had to fix a broken tail light because she backed into a garbage can.

Me – “Well, you have to park in the street from now on.”
K – “I can’t! The snow plows will come and I’ll get stuck!”
Me – “Better add ‘digging out time’ to your morning commute!”

This is why she doesn’t get to drive the leased car.

And you people think I’m the problem.

Happy Halloween!

When your kid wants to be a grape for Halloween, you don’t go for the obvious fruit salad. You go as a Waldorf salad.

(walnut, grape, apple, celery)

Happy Halloween from Team Stein!

Daycare Round 2 – Team Stein vs. The Universe

Last week was a big week in the Team Stein household. As summer came to a close and September rolled in, we were facing the end of an era. K’s final days (ever!) of maternity leave came to a close, and with that came a baby going to daycare for the first time, a toddler becoming a preschooler and making the switch to the big-kid room at school, a mama re-joining the workforce after a short break, and a dad just trying to keep us all from having major meltdowns at any given moment.

Continue reading

The Day The A/C Died

Summertime in Minnesota.  The living’s easy.  Unless your air conditioner breaks during a stretch of 85º, humid weather…with a toddler…and a newborn…and a wife.  Granted, we were operating on borrowed time with this classic 1972 model, built from actual Viking steel, but psychologically I wasn’t ready to bury the ol’ girl.

Air conditioner 1972

I will say that we handled the news fairly well, laughing about how enjoyable it is to buy appliances and discussing whose kidney we got to sell; but the real fun came when we learned no matter what, we were going to have to spend at least four days without cool air coursing through the veins of our house.  Here’s how that went down. Continue reading