Sunday, April 20, 2008

Did I really give my students an end of the semester push speech that ended with me telling them to, “Show me the money?”

Yes, yes, I did.'s been a long semester

Friday, April 18, 2008

Dad's Pancakes

Now that Emily has revealed my secret of “Dad Pancakes” I am obligated to follow Securities and Exchange Commission Regulation FD which reads:

“Regulation FD (Fair Disclosure) is the regulation that provides that when an organization, or person acting on behalf of the organization, discloses material nonpublic information to certain enumerated persons (in general, other sleep deprived desperate parents, securities market professionals and stockholders who may well change their behavior based on the information), the organization must make instant (or as close to instant as possible) public disclosure of that information.”

Failure to make full disclosure regarding “Dad’s Pancakes” could result in trading sanctions, decreased time allotments for watching the NBA Playoffs, and increased penalties in the form of additional home repairs, and “Girls’ Night Out” assistance.

The following step-by-step guide will result in immediate and guaranteed satisfied breakfast for children between the ages of 1 and 3. It is possible that the age range for breakfast satisfaction could extend beyond 3 years of age, but the research and development division of the Curtis Family is still in clinical trials for the older age group. Results are pending.

The primary problem that Dad’s face when attempting to implement the “Dad Pancake” strategy is that bread with syrup on it really does not taste very good. However, bread with syrup on it does look remarkably like traditional pancakes with syrup.

1. On a Saturday morning wake up with the kids, give your wife a gentle kiss on the cheek and tell her you will take the kids for a while so she can sleep in. This will immediately set off at least a half dozen alarms and warnings in Wife’s head, but if you move quickly out of the room, the alarms will not overcome Wife’s natural sleep deprivation. She will be back to sleep within minutes.

If Wife does voice concern about your unusual behavior, simply hum a lullaby until she returns to sleep. If the lullaby does not work, abort the mission, bring the kids into the bedroom, turn the TV on loud and begin wrestling with the kids in bed. This strategy will increase the likelihood that Wife will not question your behavior the next time you attempt to complete the “Dad’s Pancakes” strategy.

2. Once the Wife factor has been nullified, gather the children and ask them if they want pancakes for breakfast. Once everyone is excited about the pancake prospect, seat them around the kitchen table and retrieve a skillet (usually located in a lower cabinet near the large front-loading appliance that Wife uses to make dinner, also known as an oven)

3. Place the skillet on the oven as if you are cooking traditional pancakes. It is important at this point to distract the children with songs and comedic actions so they do not realize that you are not actually putting anything into the skillet.

4. Retrieve two slices of wheat bread for each child. Wheat bread is necessary because it is the same color as traditional pancakes. Using a knife, remove the crusts from the bread and cut each slice into a round shape.

5. Place the bread on a microwave safe plate and nuke for 20 seconds, this softens and warms the bread to further mimic traditional pancakes.

6. Now is time for the crucial presentation step. This will make or break the “Dad Pancake” strategy, and it is a one-time deal. If you screw this up, you will never enjoy the benefits of the most simple happy breakfast meal ever created.

Take the plate containing the bread in your left hand and the syrup container in your right hand (invert for left-handed fathers). Place the plate in front of the oldest child first using an over-the-head placement trajectory so that the child only has a few moments to inspect the bread that is masquerading as pancakes. Quickly follow with a steady stream of syrup starting close to the bread then raise the syrup container higher with a quick upwards motion and a loud “Uuuuup”. This will further distract the children from the round piece of bread that is now covered in syrup (note: you must use cool or cold syrup for the long-pour portion of the strategy, using heated syrup will result in messy splashing. Syrup stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit has sufficient viscosity to be poured from 6 feet without splashing).

7. Using a knife and/or fork quickly cut the bread into bite-size pieces for the oldest child. By this time you will know whether or not the “Dad Pancake” strategy was successful. Once the oldest begins eating the syrup soaked bread then the other children will not question the validity or acceptability of “Dad’s Pancakes” no matter how funny they taste.

8. After successful execution of the “Dad Pancake” strategy, any time a meal is needed, simply tear bread into small pieces and pour syrup on top in a location where the children cannot readily see your activities.

Using the “Dad Pancake” strategy will allow you to get credit from Wife for preparing a nice breakfast for the kids, and bonus points for cleaning up after making a nice breakfast for the kids.

The kids will now associate the taste of “Dad Pancakes” with one of their favorite foods and will always be happy to receive little more than bread with syrup on it.

Disclaimer: reaction of Wife when she realizes what “Dad Pancakes” are can vary.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm so ready for the semester to be over...

Nate sent this to me saying it was Asher and Luke in 15 years. I think it's too early to tell who will be who; Nate thinks Asher is the uptight one, and Luke is the short one.

This video shows the quintessential struggle between the oldest child and the youngest. I think these birth order personalities can be so ingrained, which is why it is also an eerily familiar depiction of me trying to get Nate to do something he doesn't want to do.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


This morning, we ran out of leftover plain pancakes. I had a "trouty" (as my mom likes to call them) banana, so I made a batch of banana pancakes. I wasn't quick enough, and both boys were getting anxious, so I showed them the banana pancakes cooking.

Asher saw them and said, "NO MOM! I don't want banana pancakes. I want DAD PANCAKES!"

Yes, instead of fresh banana pancakes, Asher wanted me to take a piece of bread, tear it up, and pour syrup over it.

Those are the pancakes Nate makes for Asher when he's in charge of breakfast.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A helpful resource

I know, I know. Two posts in less than a week about my Mormon feminist group, but what can I say? I love this group...

This week, Exponent II came out with its latest issue (which is now free!) about an important subject, pornography addiction. For those who aren't LDS, the Church has been talking a lot about the accesibility of porn on the Internet and how that has led to problems with members of the Church becoming addicted to porn. My friend, Heather (an EXII associate editor and one of the best writers I know) spent years putting together this issue, getting experts, working with people who deal with this.

I was going to email this issue out to friends and family, but then, I thought, "Oooh, I don't want people to think I'm sending this to them because I think they have a problem with porn." You know, that would be a little tacky.

I read it cover-to-cover in a night. Whether you're LDS or not, addicted to porn or not, this compilation is eye-opening and heartbreaking.

Monday, April 7, 2008

We're in "training"

Frequent blog readers may know about Asher's obsession with trains. Recently, Asher got some fancy bridge pieces from Grammy and lots of trains from thoughtful friends. Then, Nate and I felt that we needed more track to accomodate the bridge pieces and the new trains, so we doubled our IKEA train tracks (by far, the most cost-effective wooden train tracks), borrowed some splitters from Grammy, and inherited even more tracks, again, almost doubling our train tracks, from Rachel's friend, Deborah.

I don't know how I can every repay Deborah. So, Deborah, if you ever need a kidney, give me a call...

Above is a typical train that Nate or I build for Asher. Below is a really special track that Aunt Rachel built (it's even more impressive when you see her building with a pregnant belly!).

Lest one thinks all is peaceful and idyllic in Train Land (formerly known as our dining room), we have our problems. They mostly stem from Lukezilla. He loves to wreak havoc in Train Land no matter how Asher and I try to dissuade him (crayons, cookies, even his own sacrificial Train Land, see below).

Really, I think Lukezilla wants to be part of the fun because he keeps taking tracks or trains out of someone's (usually his brother's) hand and then, gives it immediately back.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

a bumper sticker for Nate

I posted an Exponent II classic on my Mormon feminist blog on Monday about the perfect Mormon woman, Patti Perfect.

One of our commentors mentioned that Patti still has many of the same responsibilities, but today's Paul Perfect helps out a lot more with those responsibilities. I don't think this just applies to Mormon men. I think the men of my generation are, for the most part, rather amazing at taking on their share of the housework and kiddo duties.

Now, I don't like to brag, but my husband does these things particularly well. And, while there are still some men who aren't as enlightened (Nate went to grad school with a guy who bragged about never having changed a diaper...not really something to brag about, buddy), I think they are few and far between.

Sometimes, I don't acknowledge Nate and his efforts enough. So, I thought, "How can I put off grading?" And, then, I thought, "What better way to thank Nate for all his accomodations than to come up with a really swell bumper sticker?"

Tah Dah...
Don't like the F-word? No problem...