We Hope You Enjoy Parenting. Don't Fail At It.

There are only a few things that can compete with a ball for something simple, versatile, and open to unlimited possibilities for play. Wood blocks offer some stiff competition to the classic ball though. There is something pure, visceral, and peaceful about stacking, building, arranging, and yes, knocking down a collection of blocks. And, it's an activity that you can concentrate on with kids, but also simultaneously have great conversations with them. Magdelana and I have had some of our best conversations while creating massively-ambitious wood structures, and Johannes loves to jabber his three-cents in while he's building his Gehry-inspired Towers of Babel.

dec 03 | wood blocks

So, the sun was out, the air chilly. Just for something crazy, I had a hot cuppa Joe in the early morning. There are people who drink their coffee black, which I respect, and hope to maybe be one of those people someday. But December is just too fun a month to do that.

Drew another Block City as a birthday gift for a really swell one-year old lad, Koen. As noted in previous posts, I use paint markers for these. I spend so much time in front of a computer, editing this, undoing that, living in the digital world. It feels wonderful to live on the edge and paint something that can't be undone with a click.

My friend Joel Henriques introduced me to Elmer's non-toxic paint markers via his blog, and they rapidly became one of my very favourite tools ever. I'm sure everybody uses them differently, but my approach is to just start with a few simple lines for outlining some buildings, and then just wing it from there. No pencil, no pre-planning, just living on that dangerous ledge of no-return. Or, no-erase :) It is addictive. And it is so fun painting on wood. (Makes a big difference to do a good job sanding beforehand).

Buddies by Joseph Ivan Long & MDL .

Magdelana and Becca closed out the day's events by going to a baby shower my sister Leanna threw for our friends Jodi and Kit, who have their firstborn due in January. I cannot imagine being married to someone more crazy, and fun, than my wife, though I forget her name at the moment. Oh yes...it's Becca. We make a good team - she is a person who outlines things in pencil beforehand, and gives me brutally honest feedback on what's working and what's not. She is a funnel for many of my ideas, and she serves a vital role, as one of my creative partners, in determining which ideas:

A. Deserve to be shared with the public, and
B. Need more work before being shared with the public, or
C. Should never, ever be shared with the public.

Our senses of humor are different, but overlapping. She is one of the funniest people I have known, and there are select people who will vigorously endorse that fact. We have fun writing out greeting card messages together, like the card we included with the baby gift last night:

We hope you enjoy parenting, and don't fail at it.

Okay, maybe it's not that funny. But guess what: the two of us guffawed heartily about it in the automobile, and our children looked at us strangely, as they will likely do frequently over the course of our lives. We are a team, and we have fun together. So it will be a pleasant memory for us.

Angels We Have Heard On High / Sufjan Stevens

Singing Jingle Bells very, very loud in the automobile.
Eating not just delicious pumpkin pie, but also warm gooey apple pie baked by our friend Liesl.
Watching the first 45-minutes of Crazy, Stupid, Love with Becca on the couch before falling asleep, unbelievably, before midnight, and thinking that my abs do not closely resemble Ryan Gosling's at the moment.

If you like these, here are some related posts!
Block Party 01.
More Block Rockin'.
Even More Block Rockin'.


  1. So glad you enjoyed the pie, and chose the Apple. I finally tried my Pumpkin on Sunday night and couldn't finish it--it was that bad.

    Those blocks are fantastic. We LOVE them! And so does Koen, which I guess is the most important part. Beyond the fantastic art, they also make a very pleasing sound when knocked together, which is perfect for the little guy right now.

  2. Thanks Brian! Love to hear that! And sorry I didn't see your comment until now...

    I want some pie now.


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