Sugar Rush, Nemo and Pirates – How Was Your Weekend?


We returned to Yogurtland with the twins after a night out at one of the most charming, unique and culinary creative restaurants in our area – Chili’s. There’s something about my boys and ice cream that just don’t jive. And I know, it’s not Ice Creamland, but for our 2-year-olds, it’s all the same.

Jax wasn’t much of a sweets kid. To be fair, we didn’t push sugar on him at all, and when he did taste it, he was indifferent. The only time he really cared about candy was just after Halloween when he was 3. Rather than napping he raided his Halloween bucket. When I found him, blue Pixy Stix dust led me to him hiding in the corner of the front room. Paper straws circled him. He was whistling Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.

Similarly, Gray isn’t in to processed sweets. He prefers fruits and Teddy Grahams. Ellie, however, would eat donuts and pancakes for every meal if she could. So when we told her we were going for ice cream, her face lit up.

“Ice CREAM?” She emphasized the cream. We hunkered down with two buckets of yogurt to shovel into our mouths. Meanwhile, Gray’s anti-sugar protest led him to people watch, one of his favorite past times. He turned down multiple offers of whatever menage of flavors I mixed. Can’t blame him. The coconut was a tad off.


The t-ball class ended, mercifully. Ellie came out with her best focus of the “season”. She ran the bases with determination, rarely sat down and never asked to be carried. I mean, that’s a good day even for Hanley Ramirez. Gray, however, asked to be benched. Or car-seated for a 2-year-old.

After his first at-bat I had to restrain him from sitting with his teammates. He ran the bases with my hand clasped around his wrist. I yanked him off the ground a couple of times, too. In the field, he refused to get off his toosh, and instead chose to leave. I walked him to the van, strapped him in his seat and drove closer to the field. I rolled the windows down in the van and watched the rest of the game under a shaded tree about 50 feet from Gray.

Between innings I checked on Gray. Softly, he asked to get up. I explained he could only get up if he was going to play. He agreed. I unbuckled him, he requested his glove and we walked back to the field. He finished the game at first base. He paid attention, only laid down once and didn’t fight when I demanded he get up.

Ellie and her medal

Ellie and her medal

Their coach distributed participatory medals, I snapped some photos and let each of them hit off the tee once more.

We hiked up the hill towards the parking lot. I looked back and Gray waived “Bye, t-ball.” Ellie did the same. The field was now empty. Just us on the hill with the twins waiving good-bye.

Gray, Coach and Ellie

Gray, Coach and Ellie.

My wife worked so the twins and I rocked movie night. Finding Nemo was the feature flick, which they hadn’t seen before. Some highlights:

  • Gray asked what happened to Nemo’s mom. “She died and went to heaven,” I explained. He stared a bit, but the answer sufficed.
  • I kept having to explain the difference between Nemo and his dad. You see, my twins are racists against ichthyoids. They all look the same. (Ichthyoids are fish, save your complaints)
  • We almost watched The Fox And The Hound but my wife thought older Disney movies would be too slow for 2-year-olds. Gray and Ellie hung in there all the way through, but were definitely more restless compared to watching Toy Story. A 6.5 jolt on the Richter Scale doesn’t stand a chance against Buzzy and Woody.
  • Mommy called during the movie to say good night. Before she hung up, frustrated from button smashing and toddlers screaming on speaker phone, I caught a glimpse of 13-year-old Ellie.
Ellie chatting with Mom

Ellie chatting with Mom


Gray is suddenly obsessed with Jake and The Never Land Pirates. Saturday morning he and Ellie complained about watching baseball (again) so I found one of the Pirates of the Caribbean flicks on HBO. I don’t think he took a bite for ten minutes, he was so enthralled. He started yapping about Captain Hook, wanting a pirate boat and a hat. He also wanted to go to Disneyland.

I enjoy feeding my kids’ interests so while my wife napped after a night at work we went on a shopping spree. We need to find a church before summer ends because if this keeps up I’ll be selling the Camry and biking it to work.

We returned with Bucky the pirate ship and a Jake costume. Ellie scored yet another Minnie Mouse doll. This one came with velcro bows to decorate her with.

Gray will pillage your shit.

Gray will pillage your shit.

At night we were to go to my parents for a joint birthday celebration (mine, my wife’s and my sister’s). My nephew, Liam, is also 2 and would be there. After his nap, Gray carried that sword around the house hollering “LET’S GO!” (Jake’s catch phrase is Yo Ho, Let’s Go.) My wife styled his hair before we left and Gray prepped for a confrontation he expected later that evening.

“No, Liam. Stop. No sword. Stop, Liam.” Apparently Gray was a tad anxious Liam would try to plunder his beloved new toy.

We coaxed Gray to leave the sword in the minivan at my parents. During pajama time I caved and delivered the sword to him. He sipped his milk on the couch with my mom when Liam hopped up next to him. Please don’t stab him in the eye, I thought. If he was a cat, Gray would’ve hissed. He had some mumbling words for Liam, the sword clenched in his red-fisted grip. Liam just wanted to sit next to his cousin and watch television. The lad’s swag would be safe this night.

Mother’s Day, Beerarita and Horse Poo – How Was Your Weekend?

Rose Canyon Cantina & Grill in Trabuco Canyon.

Rose Canyon Cantina & Grill in Trabuco Canyon.


I spent half the day in bed sleeping off stomach issues and flu-like body soreness before picking up my sister and her son to go celebrate my mom for Mother’s Day. Meanwhile, my wife helped her grandpa complete the patio project.

We met my parents at Rose Canyon Cantina & Grill, tucked away in Trabuco Canyon seemingly in the middle of nowhere. If you’re familiar with Cook’s Corner – aka a perfect filming spot for Sons of Anarchy – it’s right near there. If you ever wanted to go to Charming, take the drive.

The bar and restaurant filled up quickly with a mix of young and old celebrating the end of a week. Everyone was white, which gives you an idea of the flavor of the food – mild. It definitely needs a zesty boost. The atmosphere, however, is not as bland. Patio tables surround crooked trees dressed with white lights, horses strut up the adjacent dirt road and life seems slower. Simpler. The salsa’s pretty good, so go for drinks, appetizers and deep-fried ice cream and skip the entrée.

Crooked tree in the patio.

Crooked tree in the patio.

After grubbing the three kids played out front on a rock fountain to burn off energy. Two young women on horses stopped by to let the toddlers ohh and ahh over the horsies before clopping away.

After hugs and kisses good-bye the twins and I loaded into our minivan, rolled down the windows and moon roof and cranked up the stereo as we weaved through the canyon on a gorgeous night.

“Hmm,” I thought to myself, about ten minutes into the ride home. “It really smells like horse shit.”

I must have driven by a fresh load. We are in the country after all. Five minutes later I felt my right sandal stick as I lifted my foot from the gas pedal.

Weird. The same thing happened when I stopped applying the brakes and moved my foot back to the gas. I sniffed, bracing myself for a huge dose of crap. Nothing.

Now, my sandal is sticking more and more and I can imagine smushed horse dung smeared all over my shoe, the floor and the pedals. This is disgusting. I wanted to look to make sure but it was too dark and the curvy road was too dangerous to take my eyes from.

I called my wife on the way home. I’d need help bringing the kids inside as I hobbled on one shitless sandal. She was still at her grandpa’s. Crap. Gas station. I’ll go to the gas station and use their paper towels, their soaped up squeegee and their trash can. Brilliant.

We pulled off the freeway. “Gas?” the twins inquired. Yes, you observant little bugs. But we’re not getting gas. I parked the van, turned off the ignition and gently lifted my foot from the brake, fearful of spreading shit on the carpet, door or my leg. The white flourescent lights illuminated my sandal as I twisted my ankle to get a good look at the damage. I wondered if it’d be brown, yellow, green or a mash-up of the three.

It was gum. Just gum. That initial stank wasn’t in the van after all. Best news ever.


You know what doesn’t go well in 90 degree weather? T-ball and toddlers. Neither Gray nor Ellie cried, unlike a few of the other players, but at one point Ellie begged me to carry her around the bases and Gray just refused to even hold the bat in his final plate appearance. Next Saturday is the last “game.” The forecast is 89 degrees. I smell a repeat.

While everyone napped I wrote another post at Bugs & Cranks.

At night we met my wife’s family at Super Mex in Lakewood for a belated birthday celebration for my wife and I. Super Mex is the polar opposite of Rose Canyon Cantina – all flavor, no atmosphere. I enjoyed a “beerarita” which enthralled Ellie.

Ellie wanted a drink. Badly.

Ellie wanted a drink. Badly.

We drove back to my wife’s grandpa’s house for desert and presents and I left with a glorious BeerTender. I felt my liver slightly twinge when the twins ripped open the wrapping paper.

Krups BeerTender

Krups BeerTender. Be very jealous.


Sunday was weird. As mentioned before, our church is closing as a result of financial difficulties. Sunday was the “series finale” as our pastor themed it, and it didn’t disappoint. Old, familiar faces returned for one last reunion, there was laughter, tears and suspense-filled drama. I won’t get into the details as to protect other people’s privacy, but it sure beat the hell out of the Seinfeld finale. My wife alerted me to the fact that I haven’t really given justice to the impact Christian Life Fellowship made on me and what I’m feeling. I suppose at some point in the near future that’s a topic to address. Just not in this space.

And of course, it was Mother’s Day. The first Mother’s Day without Jax for my wife. She could probably fill 2,000 words with her views of Sunday, but she’s all private like and would probably spell Tearz with a “S.” That’s no fun. But it’d be infinitely more heart felt.

It was a subdued celebration. We met her mom, her brother and his girlfriend at Buca di Beppo where my wife said she almost punched out an elderly lady with an arm sling in the parking lot because she couldn’t wait 30 more seconds for my wife to finish packing up Gray and the restaurant supplies before slithering into her car. I love it when my wife gets fired up.

Exhausted from the day’s emotions, we all slept until 7:30 p.m. before doing dinner and showers and finished up with Dennis Rodman creaming his pants on The Apprentice.

Fireworks, Resumes and Shit…How was Your Weekend?


My buddy Sam hit me up with two extra suite tickets for Friday’s Angel game against the Tigers, courtesy of his lovely new bride’s employer. My wife had a rare Friday night off of work so we dumped the twins at my parents, drove through Del Taco and joined 5,000 other cars trying to enter the Angel Stadium parking lot.

Angels Stadium suite

Angels Stadium suite

Did you know there is a parking lot solely for Lexus vehicles? It’s fucking awesome. We rolled right up in their Lexus and parked away from those dirty, classless Ford, Honda and Hyundai’s. Peasant pigs.

Our view from the Angel Stadium suite.

Our view from the Angel Stadium suite.

Torii Hunter returned to Anaheim for the first time since leaving the Angels this past winter as a free agent. Hunter is Jax’s favorite player. My odd brain often wonders how Jax would have handled the news that Hunter left the Angels. I’m confident he wouldn’t have cried. Short of Captain America leaving Marvel to “find himself” in a temple on a South American mountain, Jax wasn’t going to cry about anything. But would he just like Torii on the Tigers now, or pick a new Angels favorite?

Big Bang Fireworks

Big Bang Fireworks

We were still walking to our suite seats when Hunter came to bat. Angel fans gave him a warm standing ovation, Hunter scored the only Tigers run and the Angels won the first of three games against Detroit. And as they do every Friday night for Big Bang Fireworks Night, the Angels organization treated us to a show.


Ellie's coach is a big dude.

Ellie’s coach is a big dude.

Gray and Ellie played their first t-ball game as Team Black against the dastardly Team Burgundy. Ellie broke out of the statue act from last week and had a good hit in her second at-bat and flashed grit and a gun in the field. Gray, meanwhile, stroked two hard ground balls up the middle and refused to wear a glove while playing first base. He even chased down grandma for a water break in middle of an inning.

Breathe, Seth, breathe.

While the twins “napped” I tweaked resumes and cover letters and applied to three jobs. The Fortune 100 insurance company I work for decided to centralize its operations and our charming Ontario office is closing in August. Dopamine shot through my body from the sense of accomplishment. But that will fade fast when no one calls.


My church is closing within the next three weeks as a result of financial difficulty. My parents left a mega church in the ’80s to follow a friend and pastor who established the church I grew up in. At this church I:

  • Broke out of my shy shell in my early teens
  • Met the girl I kissed for the first time
  • Met some of my best friends
  • Met my wife
  • Had the pastor marry my wife and I
  • Had my children dedicated

Jax’s memorial service was held at this church. It’s the only church he ever knew. It’s the last place I saw his physical body. He was breaking out of his shy shell here, too. This church body has showed so much love and support to my family I know I will never feel again. What breaks my heart the most is not having that same support to surround Gray and Ellie. I’m on the verge of sobbing as a type this. The more I think about it, the more I can’t handle it. I sensed it coming, and I thought I’d be okay with it. But I’m totally not. 

At night, as my wife prepped herself for a night at the hospital, I took Gray and Ellie to my parents for dinner. First we met at a baseball field for some t-ball practice. I had this fantastic idea that letting them run around on a real field with bases and grandma and granpda and no other distractions would increase their short attention span. But that backfired. They had more fun using plastic bats as telescopes in the dugout.

But then something strange happened. Something eye opening. Gray grabbed a small soccer ball some friends gave the twins out of the bag of bats and wiffle balls. He started kicking it around, moving from the first base side out into left field. He dribbled the entire time. And he dribbled like he’s been doing this for a while.

Neither my wife or I like soccer. Neither of us played as a child and we don’t push the sport, so his performance today is completely natural. Which means I’ll probably spend my 40’s driving him to club matches (games or matches? WTF SOCCER!) throughout Southern California every single weekend. Shit.



Jaxson William – The Boy

I wrote the following in February of 2011 for the About section of my previous blog:

The Boy – The 3-year-old first born.

He made it fun and easy enough that we wanted kids. He scammed us. He’s absolutely obsessed with Toy Story and Cars. He loves Moo (stuffed black-and white cow he won at the fair) and Jessie from Toy Story. He’ll either be paying his way through college on a baseball scholarship or in rehab for a heroin addiction by age 14 as a result of his dad’s “encouragement”.


Moo - his best friend

Moo – his best friend

Moo now sits in our bedroom atop a dresser in a white pail with the number 3 on it. Jax’s number for the Corona Little League T-ball Brewers was 3. It’s a very special number for my wife and I.

Jax, Buzz and Woody

Jax, Buzz and Woody

His toys are still scattered throughout his bedroom. The day he died, before we left the house so mom could sleep after two nights of work as a registered nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit, my wife told him he had to clean his room. In addition to Toy Story and Cars, Jax took a massive interest in dinosaurs, 100-piece puzzles and Marvel super heroes.

First t-ball game running in from center field.

First t-ball game running in from center field.

His left-handed baseball glove still rests in our Honda Odyssey below the passenger seat. Jax just finished his first season of t-ball and I couldn’t be more proud of him. He had a sweet lefty swing and was starting to drive the ball with power. With just a few games left in the season, my dad coached him to hit the ball like The Incredible Hulk. The tip worked effectively. Jax wore a grimace to the plate (by now the tee was replaced by coaches pitching) and whipped his hands through the ball quicker and with more force than he’d been doing all season. He was becoming quite the little stud.

I miss him so much.