Posts Tagged ‘evelyn’

Somebody Get This Kid A Camera

So, it’s probably around 12:30am. Evelyn and I are sitting across from each other at the kitchen table. She’s on her phone doing whatever 15 year old girls do. I’m on my computer looking through video clips trying to figure out what to post next on YouTube. Evy sees my camera on the table and starts messing around with it. Being a Canon T5i it’s slightly more complicated than the camera she is used to on her phone. She’s pushing buttons and messing around with the flip screen and then tells me to look up. SNAP! She takes a photo of me. Just one single photo. No setting up or adjusting the light or anything. Just a simple push of the shutter button. After inspecting the monitor she says, “It sort of looks like one of those portraits.” I can only assume she meant it looked like a fancy, or possibly artsy, portrait. One that you might pay a photographer to do. Here it is. Totally unedited. No photoshopping. No filters. Completely spontaneous. Straight from the horses mouth.

I really don’t feel biased because it’s a photo of me or because my 15 year old daughter took it, but I think it’s a pretty good portrait. But who am I? Let’s get mom’s thoughts. After all, she’s the real photographer in the family. Here’s what Coral had to say.

“My first thought was – I love the lighting. I love how warm it is against the contrast of your black hoodie and the dark kitchen behind you. I also think it’s funny that you two are night owls together, and it’s kind of a quick glimpse into your relationship with her. You’re not scolding her to go to bed – or annoyed by her being up at nearly 1am… you’re just letting her mess around with an expensive camera, and do something creative in the middle of the night – because that’s normal for you. I also like how comfortable you look. You can’t get a portrait like that in a professional setting, or with a stranger.”

Naturally, when you’re messing around with a new camera you have to take at least one selfie.

What can I say, this girl has skills. Also, somebody get this kid a camera!

Oh wait, we’re the parents. That’s probably our job.

Thanks for looking!
– Jeff

Sometimes It’s Best To Not Teach Your Kids.

This is an actual conversation I heard the other day between Evy (14) and James (16). So, the situation was James and Evy were downstairs. I was upstairs and could hear that James was singing. I couldn’t tell what song he was singing, but he seemed pretty into it. Also, he wasn’t singing along with music playing. This was straight up a cappella. Evelyn interrupted his singing to ask:
“What dees is that from?”
From upstairs I thought, “What is she talking about it?” while simultaneously fearing that maybe I was too old and uninformed to have heard of some new style of music. Luckily, James asked, “What?”
Evy: What dees is that from?
James, still confused: What do you mean?
Evy again: What dees is that from…you know, like 80’s or 90’s?

And that’s when I almost spit cereal out of my nose and had to rush to my room so they wouldn’t hear me cracking up. This next thing I’m about to tell you is one of those situations where my ability to be a good parent could and probably should be questioned. Naturally, my first instinct is to help and educate by teaching Evy the word “era”. For example, “What era is that song from?” But, I’m also human with a questionable sense of humor, which means I thought it would be more fun to not teach her and hope that she says “dees” for years to come. I especially hope she says it while talking to a boy she’s trying to impress.

Sometimes, as a parent, we need these things to keep our sanity. Now get out there and not teach something to your kids today!

Evelyn’s Grand Jete Over The Last Sunset Of 2014

Evelyn is obsessed with dancing. Here she is leaping over the last sunset of 2014 in Cayucos. She’s our tiny dancer. But she keeps getting bigger. She turned 13 last month. THIRTEEN. Anyway…

It was a beautiful sunset and a great way to end 2014.

Such A Wild Family We Are

Coral cracks me up. I saw this on her Instagram tonight and it made me love her a little bit more.


It’s the simple things, people.

Kaitlyn Really Brings Our Family Together

Evelyn brought Kaitlyn home about four years ago. Like any seven year old girl, Evelyn wanted a baby sister. She found Kaitlyn at Beverly’s in downtown SLO and it was love at first sight. It’s Kaitlyn’s winning smile and overly happy outlook on life that won Evelyn over. Personally, I didn’t see it. What I did see was the possibility of what we could do with Kaitlyn. In other words, how could we, as parents, mess with this new unwanted child? Evelyn is a big proponent of anthropomorphizing, which makes picking on her dolls or stuffed animals especially gratifying because of the emotional attachment she’s developed with these inanimate objects. She honestly thinks her dolls feelings will be hurt or that it will feel the pain of being hit in the face with a yo-yo.

It didn’t take long before James, Coral and I started messing with Kaitlyn. Putting her in high places where Evelyn could find her but would be unable to rescue her, like hanging from one of our exposed pipes. Naturally, Kaitlyn started disappearing. I think in an effort to protect her Evy would hide her from us and then forget about her. Poor Kaitlyn was missing once for about a year and a half. She survived and upon returning James’ response was, “Oh no…Kaitlyn’s back.” Evy, of course, was pretty excited about it.

Kaitlyn was recently discovered after another long disappearance. The other night while walking past Evy’s room I saw Coral in there holding a naked one-legged plastic baby in the air asking where its leg was. Turns out Kaitlyn was discovered by Elliott (our two year old) who welcomed her back into our lives with a traditional homecoming surprise of “pull your leg out of its socket and chew on it like a wad of bubble gum”. Personally, I think it was a territorial thing for Elliott and his way of letting Kaitlyn know that he’s the baby in the family.

Yesterday I found Kaitlyn’s missing limb under a chair and quickly attached it. When I showed Coral I asked her if she had an old shoelace I could borrow.
“You’re not going to hang Kaitlyn,” she told me.
“I won’t hang her by the neck, just by a foot, but I definitely want to make a little noose.”
Sadly, we couldn’t find a shoelace so we used decorative tape and Coral came up with what you see in the above photo.

Here’s the view from the foot of James’ bed. I’m not sure why we chose to hang Kaitlyn in James’ room, but probably because he dislikes her the most out of all of us. Well, I guess Elliott isn’t too fond of her either. After all, he’s the one that dismembered her.

Yes, I totally just wrote all of this about a stupid little doll. This is my life, people.

Conversation With A Parking Meter

parking meter

The other day with Evy, who happens to be 11 years old.

“Evy, check that out. There’s a hobo talking to a parking meter.”
“That’s nice,” she said. “I like when hobo’s have friends to talk to.”

This girl cracks me up.

Kids Love Mangerines And Other Weird Tales

devices at the donut shop.

There is a good chance you know me as an artist. Although I have been known to throw paint around on occasion and there was also that time I owned and operated an art gallery for 8 years, but my real passion is making fun of my kids.

Let’s face it, they are a never ending source of silly circumstance, poor decisions and masters at doing things…well, doing stupid things. That might be the best way to describe it.

kids being cool

Yes, that’s Evelyn wearing Elliott’s sunglasses. Elliott is 1.5 years old and Evy is 11. James is wearing my glasses, which is funny because he thinks he looks cool and what he doesn’t realize is that my glasses are cheap and lame. With a name like “Sunbelt” what would you expect? I wear them because Coral laughs at them and I think she might actually be slightly embarrassed to associate with a dude that wears Sunbelts and if I can do anything to embarrass her I will. That, and Versace stopped sending me free pairs when they found out I was hawking them on ebay at a fraction of the suggested retail price of a gazillion dollars.

There is no doubt I did some stupid things when I was a kid too. Like that time I tried to get a circular saw blade to stick into the bottom of a tree house by throwing it as hard as I could straight up at it. Surprisingly, it didn’t stick and barely missed my head on it’s way down. I’ve even done some stupid things as an adult, but I also do my fair share of responsible things like pay my car registration on time, or a month late, but who’s keeping track, besides the DMV. Like I said, my kids, and probably all kids, create a vast pool of things to ridicule. So much, in fact, that we often dismiss these things because they happen so frequently, but we should really be writing them down because it’s only a matter of time before we forget the good ones, the really stupid/funny ones, and they grow up and start making real mistakes. The kind that cost us, the parents, lots of money, hair loss or our general sense of well being due to the stress of not knowing where your teenage daughter is at 2 o’clock in the morning. The past couple of weeks I’ve taken note of some of the strange, peculiar and just plain weird things my kids have done.

kids are strange
(I wish I knew what that hand gesture meant. It’s either “I’m gonna grab your butt!” or “I’ve got the sunshine in the palm of my hand, so watch out!”)

Before I get to that I would like to say one more thing. Part of getting the best material out of your kids is not distracting them too much when you see them doing something weird. Sit back and observe and only ask what they’re doing when it looks like they are done. If you ask them what they’re doing in the middle of what they consider to be a “brilliant idea” you might throw them off and ruin everything. Just let them be. Unless, of course, you smell smoke, hear glass breaking or can’t find the baby. Here we go. Enjoy!

James: “What are these called?”
Me: “Mandarin Oranges.”
James: “They are SO good…I love mangerines!”
Me: *stares blankly* (pause) Yes, they are tasty.

* * * * * * * * * *

Evy dropped James’ overpriced headphones in the sink.
And blamed him for it.

I think the logic was that if he hadn’t asked for them back she wouldn’t have taken them off and dropped them.

* * * * * * * * * *

Evelyn is the Queen Of Ridiculous Ailments. Seriously, everyday it is something. You know the story about the boy that cried wolf? That’s Evy, but she cries disease. Stuff like, “I can’t do PE today because I woke up with a sore throat 4 days ago. Can you write me a note?” Her most popular one is getting out of bed after lights out to complain about an upset stomach, a cough, sore throat, hurt knee, etc. The thing is she mentions NOTHING about it in the hours leading up to bedtime. She also does this in the morning in an attempt to stay home from school. A couple of weeks ago she actually threw up (self fulfilling prophecy, perhaps?) and it was totally gross, but it was reason enough to keep her home. She’s generally a pretty sassy little thing, but something about being sick turned her into a real sweetheart. She was polite and loving and a real joy to be around. In a way, I almost wished she was sick more often.

* * * * * * * * * *

kids are strange
(Just another photo of the Biebs putting the moves on my little girl. I think Evy made this with some twisted “I love Biebs” app.)

* * * * * * * * * *

Last weekend at 11:07pm Coral told the kids it was time to brush their teeth and to be in bed by 11:30pm. At 11:15pm James asked if he could watch “Adventures In Babysitting.” I know that he knows movies are longer than 15 minutes. Coral and I just look at each other like, “huh?”

* * * * * * * * * *

I found James in the kitchen buttering a slice of sourdough. As soon as he was done buttering it he tossed it in the toaster oven. I thought this was weird, but maybe some people do this and it’s quite possible that it’s awesome and I’ve been missing out my whole life.

* * * * * * * * * *

I love this one.

Evelyn had a bowl of cereal and I was waiting to see if she was going to pour the leftover milk down the sink, drink it, or do what I do and add more cereal. She set the bowl on the counter and walked away. I paused before telling her to wash the bowl and I’m glad I did because she grabbed this…


and ground some into the leftover milk. My first instinct was to say, “What the shit?”, but I held my tongue and observed. She drank it, looked at me and said, “It sort of tastes like horchata.” and downed the rest of it.

I smiled.


Peace out!

Photo Booth With Evy And Elliott

I was scrolling through apps on my phone and opened up IncrediBooth, which I haven’t used for months, and I found this photo from March.

photo booth

I love the look and feel of photo booth pictures. You’d think that an iPhone app wouldn’t be able to compete with a real photo booth, but I beg to differ. It looks the same to me. And it’s right in your pocket ready to go.

– Jeff

I’ve Got A Wedgie


We were driving somewhere. Just James, Evy, and myself, which is a typical scenario. At some point Evy, who happens to have total disregard for the “too much information” etiquette, announces that she has a wedgie.
“Good to know.” I said.
“But…it’s a front wedgie.” She informed us.
See what I mean, too much information doesn’t exist in this child’s psyche. Of course, I only seem to groom her for such behavior as evidenced by how I responded.
“You mean a…vagegie?” (That’s pronounced “va-je-gee”. If my attempt at spelling it phonetically doesn’t help, just combine the words “vagina” and “wedgie”, which are two words that really should never be used together in a sentence.)
The kids are ten and twelve, they know the proper names for their anatomy (and some improper ones too) at this point and instantly got my joke. When Evy was about five or six she asked Coral if there was another name for her “peepee”. Coral told her it was called a vagina and evy responded with, “that’s a pretty name,” which you should say out loud in your best five year old innocent little girl voice. I have to admit, it was a pretty cute response.

After my ingenious invention of the pun “vagegie” the kids took the idea and ran with it like a couple of Indians chasing down a herd of buffalo. I’ve since forgotten all the variations of puns they came up with for “vagina wedgie”, but one of them was so good it has been seared into my memory. James blurted out “Leonardo da Vegie”, which of course, is a reference to the Italian Renaissance painter and the best pun I’ve heard since Evy referred to Regina Spektor as “Vagina Inspector”.

Are these kids geniuses or what? If not, then it can not be argued that they are certainly prodigies of puns.

Gene Simmons And Miley Cyrus Together At Last

Normally, I don’t want to hear about other people’s dreams. You know, unless I’m in them. That’s normal, right? And it’s not that I don’t love dreams. I think dreams are amazing. They’re strange and bizarre and often make no sense whatsoever, but they are basically an inside joke that only one person is in on. That’s why hearing other people’s dreams is so boring. However, there are some exceptions. One such exception was a dream Evelyn (10 yr old) told me the other day.

“You know that band with the guys that wear all the black and white make up?”
“Yes, that’s it!”
To be certain we did a google image search and she pointed out that Gene Simmons was the one from her dream.

Evelyn’s dream went something like this.

She was at Trader Joe’s and saw Gene Simmons and Miley Cyrus. The two stars were sharing a cart and pushing it around the store together. Evelyn was so excited to see Miley that she called her best friend Maya and told her what was happening. Maya high tailed it down to TJ’s where the four of them all bought yogurt together.

gene simmons, miley cyrus and trader joe's yogurt

Evelyn says it is the best dream she has ever had.

First Day Of School For 2012

Lots of “first day of school” photos popping up on the ole’ internets. So, I figured I’d jump on the bandwagon with that. Here are James and Evy getting a sugar high before being dropped off at school where the only thing they will learn today is what all their friends did during summer.

Evy Does Not Cover Her Tracks Well

Photo of Evelyn found in my camera roll after letting her borrow my phone. My guess is she’s thinking, “I saw someone on the cover of Bop doing this, so I’m doing it too.”

Evelyn loves iDevices. Who, doesn’t though? It’s very typical that she’ll ask to borrow an iPhone or iPad to “check her Instagram”. I love Instagram and encourage the kids to use it as a means of “creative expression.” Of all the apps I’ve tried out I think Instagram is the fastest and easiest way to make something creative. It never fails that her “checking Instagram” can turn into an hour long endeavor. What this means is that she is doing a lot more than simply checking her Instagram. She gets sucked in…starts watching Tayler Swift videos, scouring google images in search of Justin Bieber photos and I don’t even want to know what else. She is basically doing everything but checking her Instagram. I might get mad, but what parent isn’t happy to have a kid occupied and out of their hair for an hour. This was exactly my scenario two nights ago. When I got my phone back there were some gems on there that I had to share.

If you follow me on Facebook you might have seen this the other day.

I’m calling it my “Embarrass The Kids So I Don’t Have To Kill Them” campaign, and I highly encourage all parents to do the same. I’ve noticed that my patience when dealing with a couple of smart ass kids has greatly increased knowing that I will just make fun of them online. It’s the whole “don’t get mad, get even” philosophy.

With that said, here are the other photos I found on my phone after letting Evy check her Instagram.

Finger mustache. It looks like she wasn’t pleased with the first version, so she added to it. The addition makes the mustache look more like a fat upper lip. Or possibly the outcome of a peanut allergy. You decide.

I’ll just take a stab here at guessing her inner dialogue.
Top photo: “Oh man…my aim sucks. This is not how throwing peace sign pics for Bop look. I better try that again.”
Middle photo: “Oh yes! You know what would look good? I’m going to make my lips look like Angelina Jolie! Sweet!”
Bottom photo: “Sideways peace sign with Angelina lips…yes!”

I find myself at a loss of words trying to figure out what her goals were when shooting this one. Showing off straps to the training bra that I don’t need. Perhaps.

Unfortunately, I taught Evelyn how to take a screenshot. Although, I guess now it’s a fortunate thing since launching my “Embarrass The Kids So I Don’t Have To Kill Them” campaign. It’s just fuel to add to the fire. Anyway, she’s always saving pics of this lady on my phone.

My guess is she uses photos of her as source material for make-up tips.

For a deeper insight into our little darling, check out Evelyn’s blog, EVYMONSTER.