Be Silly!


Silliness is probably a good quality to have.

If you embrace the silly, you’re taking a step toward not caring what other people think.

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In general, I’m not a very silly person (except for when my brother and I are working–we’re both pretty silly with each other). As you can see, I’m dressing Gianna up to be a goofball a la Punky Brewster circa 1985. I think her hair lends itself to goofiness, though, so maybe that’s where it started.

I dressed her in these outfits:

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I particularly love what ended up being a wrestler sort of outfit:

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I took this last shot this morning while I went outside to see what the dogs and Gianna would do. As expected, they lined up to see what I was doing outside. Clyde had been sleeping, and since he always gnaws holes his blankets, he created a nice outfit for himself. We didn’t put it over his head–he did it himself!

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He is a true clown.

So today, try to be silly at least once. Of course choose an appropriate time for it. Being silly to your boss might not be the best idea. When you’re doing this silly thing, remember that it doesn’t matter what other people think of you.

Just be happy.

Dogs and Kids: Peas and Carrots

Since Gianna is going to be an only child, I’m glad she’s growing up as a member of a dog pack. She’s around some kids, and she really likes them, but I think it’s good that she has a couple beasts to hang around and play with.

She’s pretty interested in Clyde most of the time.

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And Gretel and Gianna always play tug of war with her toys, socks, books, you name it. They both initiate it.

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Sometimes Gianna gets this funny Frankenstein-like determination as she pursues Gretel. I love it.

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Gianna has been a good addition to the pack, especially for Gretel, since they play together so much.

Peas and Carrots.

Sometimes You Just Need to Be Upside Down

Gianna Crawling down the stairs

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Gianna does this all the time. She loves being upside down, whether I’m holding her up in the air or she’s doing it herself. I love when she bends over like this and watches us through her legs.

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I love how little kids don’t consider what other people think before they do silly stuff. They’re free to do whatever they want until they start learning to be afraid of what other people think. They learn to fear criticism and to worry about how other people see them.

They become adults.

It’s worth trying to remember that it really doesn’t matter if other people think you’re silly, goofy, or funny. In fact, if they do think that about you, you’ve probably won.

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They Grow Up Too Fast! Part 2

Gianna Crawling Toward Gretel

So yesterday I was taking about how kids grow up too fast (They Grow Up Too Fast!). Not long after I posted that, Gianna started saying Mama and Dada on command. For months, she has been able to say Mama and Dada, but rarely would she actually say them (and almost never when we’d ask her to).


This morning she keeps doing it on command. And she managed to flip her bedroom light switch up and down a bunch of times. She couldn’t do that yesterday either.

It happens way too fast.

So what do I take away from this? Get to it. Live your life. Do what you can while you can. Tell your people that you love them. Make the world a better place. Write that story, paint that picture, do something you loveGianna in the Backyard.

Pictures of the Day: Clyde in his Blanket

My Great Dane Clyde always wraps himself in his blankets (which he requires most of the year–he is a big baby after all). He always manages to wrap it around his head like Little Red Riding Hood.

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Video of the Day: Gianna Makes Me Laugh

Gianna's Tongue

Instead of a Picture of the Day, today I present to you a video of Gianna that just makes me laugh. I wish I had been able to capture her right before this, since she spent about twenty second caught between the couch and the chair and started crying. Instead of backing up, she always forges ahead and tries to force her way through. I got the camera up and running just as she managed to pry herself free.

From there, it was just silliness, since she can go from being angry and frustrated to completely happy in about 1.2 seconds. Then she decided she needed a nap.


I love this kid.

Fun With Hemorrhoids

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Today, I’m going to talk about Hemorrhoids.

That’s right. Hemorrhoids.

Luckily, I haven’t had hemorrhoid issues for a couple years (knocking on wood right now). But I have had some terrible trouble with them in the past, let me tell you. It all started about 9 years ago . . .

Funny True Story:

One summer, my cousin was working for us, helping scrape the paint off an old farm house down in Corvallis, Montana. It belonged to an 89-year-old lady who had been born in the house and lived there ever since. She had a dog named Dish Rags (he looked like a little pile of dish rags).

So we were scraping away, and my cousin started talking about his hemorrhoid issues. He had been moving sort of gingerly all morning, like something was wrong, but I hadn’t thought too much about it. He’s 5 years younger than me (in his early twenties thenHemorrhoid Image Not Available), and I was pretty surprised to hear him admit something like that (I was even more surprised that he had hemorrhoids in the first place since I knew nothing about them and thought they only affected unlucky old people).

Unfortunately, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

We talked about his hemorrhoids for a little while (he’s very candid), and I remember basically thinking “Jesus, that’s terrible–glad I’ll never have that problem!”


Literally, a few minutes later, I went into the house, used the toilet, and whamo! Youch. What the hell was that? Why is my anus suddenly burning like crazy? Did I rupture something? I probed down there and could feel some kind of swollen worm-like thing that terrified the hell out of me. Holy %$#@!

I never in a million years considered that I had just spontaneously developed a nasty little hemorrhoid.

I pulled myself together and went back outside, wondering what the hell was wrong with me. Since we were working about 40 miles out of town, I couldn’t very well go home and lie down, and I had to get back to scraping paint. And of course in those days I couldn’t just whip out a smartphone and Google “I just pooped and now my butt is burning,” (which is exactly what I would do now).

As the day went on, the burning got worse, the little bastard got bigger, and it started to itch. In my very lucky life, I’ve never had a broken bone, never really been especially sick at all. I wasn’t used to having something wrong with me–this whole burning, itchy butt thing sucked.

I took this as a lesson in the mysterious ways of Karma–don’t be smug about someone else’s misfortune, cause you’re next, numbskull.

It was also a lesson about proper pooping techniques: it’s not a good idea to just let her rip and push like hell. Sometimes you end up with hemorrhoids. Even in your twenties.

But above everything, do you know what absolutely blew me away? LOTS of people have hemorrhoids.

That’s right. Lots of people have them, but NOBODY talks about it.

I learned this because, as I do with everything in my life, I went around discussing my hemorrhoid dilemma with pretty much everybody I knew.

That’s right.

I bitched and whined and complained about it. I wasn’t shy about heading off to the bathroom to apply Preparation H to my nether region. I described it to everybody (in more detail than I have here, if you can believe that).

I read all about hemorrhoids online and learned that many women get them after giving birth–sometimes they last for decades. Seriously. Decades. Since I was so open about it, other people started piping up about their secret hemorrhoid issues. I was shocked to learn that almost every adult I knew admitted to having them at some point. Almost everybody.

I mentioned this to some of my older relatives and found out that one still suffers from hemorrhoids from having kids in the early 1950s. Yes, the Fifties.

Usually hemorrhoids show up for a week or so, then fade away. Maybe they pay you a visit off and on throughout your life, then for the most part they go away. But 50 years?

Oh my god.

Really? I mean, come on, really? It put it into perspective for me.

Hemorrhoids are not for old people or weaklings or invalids. They’re a human thing that almost everybody gets at some point, especially when you least expect it. So if your butt starts burning one day(if it hasn’t already), don’t be embarrassed. You’re not the only one and welcome to the friggin’ club.

I’m curious to see if any of you respond with your own hemorrhoid misadventures . . . come on, I dare you!

Gianna and the Lord of the Rings

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Years later, in an effort to expose Gianna to the mysterious and fantastic, I decided to keep the poster right where it was.

Thing is, it’s on the back of the door in a room we don’t hang out in, especially with the door closed. Time passed, and I totally forgot about the poster.

Recently, when I went in to get Gianna from her nap, she kept pointing at the door and grunting. It took me a second to realize that she must have been looking at the poster every day during her naps, and wanted to look at the poster up close. Ever since, I pick her up and let her point at the characters.