Archive for September, 2012


On Tuesdays, I play basketball and I take Nariah with me until Toya picks her up. Now that we’ve switched to school from daycare, the pickup arrangements have changed. The school is right by the house so it actually just makes sense to pick her up and then go home and change and then head to basketball instead of coming with all my clothes like I used to.

The first time trying this new method, Nariah asked me to get her hula hoop and jump rope. Nothing wrong there, but I failed to mention I was changing my clothes. Nariah wanted to stay in the outside while I went outside to “get her stuff”. When I came back outside : “What happened to your clothes? Why did you change
Oh I changed so I wouldn’t have to change at the gym, this would be faster
Ooooooh…… OK……

Fast forward a week to yesterday. I pick Nariah up from school and as we walk back to the car, I remind her that its basketball day. She’s a little excited and she asks are we going home first.
Daddy, are you going to change clothes again?
Not this time baby, We’re running a little behind today
OK good!
Why do you say that?!?
You took FOREVER last time. I thought you had died or something!

Now I know death isn’t funny. But I couldn’t help but laughing at this one. The innocence of kids these days.

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I’m cleaning out my voicemail on my cell phone and I come to this one from Nariah that has me cracking up.

Hi daddy! Its Nariah! Um… I’m calling because I left my elmo purse in your car. I need it. Can you bring it inside when you come home? It has my money in it. I really need my elmo purse.

Toya chimes in from the background.
We called to say we love you!
No I didn’t…. I want my purse!  Bye daddy!

Hahahahahahaahah. I guess she knows what she wants.


Last night’s conversation let me know I’m due for a long and expensive parenthood…

Its bedtime and the girls call me into Nariah’s bedroom for prayers. Toryn is getting over a cold and is on the last leg of his meds. I walk into the room and before I can get all they way in, Nariah stops me with a question.

Daddy, can you go down stairs and get Toryn’s medicine for Mommy? Its in the fridge.
Oh ok, in the fridge huh?
Yep, in the door. Thanks Daddy!

Now this is the conversation that takes place while I’m downstairs looking for the medicine :

Thanks for asking Daddy for me Nariah, I was going to go get it, but thanks!
You’re welcome, Daddy’s nice.
You really like asking Daddy to do things for you don’t you?
Yep! He always says yes to me!
Oh he does? You sure?
Yep! Oooooh, I know! When he comes back upstairs, I’m going to ask him can we go to Disney this year!
Disney Nariah? We just went this summer baby.
Hmmm, you’re right… I guess we should wait til Toryn’s a little bit older… How about….. when he’s 4? Then I’ll be 8… yeah!
Hahahah if you say so Nariah.
Yep, he’s gonna take us!

I return back upstairs with the medicine and walk into the room.
OK, here you go, everybody ready for prayers?
Yeah Daddy. I have a quick question tho……


Thursday morning Sept 6th, I’m awakened out of my sleep by Nariah tapping on me.
Daddy, Daddy…. Did the Cowboys win last night? Did they beat the Giants?
**YAWN** “Huh? What? Oh… Yeah baby, they did! They won!
YES!” (Accompanied by a Tiger Woods fist pump) (<– yes, click on that link for a visual effect)
So… does this mean I can wear my Cowboys Jersey to school today?
Ha ha, yes baby, you can
YES!” (Accompanied by yet another Tiger Woods fist pump) (<– yes, click on that link too for a different visual effect)

***Fast forward to after school care pick up***

I picked up Nariah from school and decided to take her to the Amish Market because I saw a sign on the way to school saying “Pig Roast”. I thought this would be a pretty good spur of the moment adventure. So we mosey on up the street to the shopping center where its located and to our dismay, it closed at 6 on Thursdays. It was already 6:45. So while we’re standing there deciding what to do, Carol, a co-worker of mine drives up. We talk for a bit, and then out of the blue, I remember that Carol is a Giants fan.

Oh yeah, Nariah, Ms Carol is a Giants fan! Can you believe that?
Nariah scrounges up her face.
Nariah, don’t tell me, you’re a cowboys fan?
Yes
Ryan, what did you do to this child?
Nothing! She has her own free will in our house, I can’t help if she chooses to likes daddy’s team. Go ahead baby, show Ms Carol what you have on.

Nariah smiles shyly and then walks up to the passenger door, tiptoes up, and pulls up her jersey by the top of the numbers (You know how the pros do when they make a good play and draw attention to themselves). Now I honestly didn’t expect all this so naturally Carol and I are laughing. Nariah turns around to walk away from the car, takes 2 steps, pauses, backs up one step, and then lifts up the back of her jersey by the shoulders so that Carol can see the name “Witten” on the back. Wow! Totally not ready for that one!

That’s ok Nariah, we’re gonna get the next one!
No you’re not, we’re going to win the Superbowl!
Well you know we just won the Superbowl
Yeah… and you guys have 4 trophies!” Nariah actually says this with awe and amazement and I was actually proud that she was giving credit to the opponents.
That’s right, we do! We have 4 trophies!
But you know what??? We have….. 5!!!!!

You know how kids sit around joking on each other back and forth? Then one kid gets a really good one in and everybody goes “Oooooooooooooooooh” and starts laughing? Well that’s what this felt like. I almost felt bad for Carol but I also felt like I had to follow up Nariah with a delayed, deep bass induced “YEAH“. So… after I stopped laughing, that’s what I did. I thought I was done before, but this one took the cake. Poor Ms. Carol. All she could do was acknowledge that Nariah was indeed my clone, say her goodbyes, and then leave (still laughing of course). I don’t blame her, I don’t know what more Nariah may have said and I might not have been able to stop laughing at that point.


It’s Labor Day weekend. Looking for something to grill, I solicited suggestions on Facebook. One of the suggestions, leg of lamb, peaked my interest as I’ve never really ventured into that area of food much. I’ve done lamb chops once, but that’s it. For our 10th anniversary, we sampled some leg of lamb at this Brazilian steakhouse Chima, and goodness, it was the bomb, amazing, incredible, off the chain!

I decided to try to recreate that sensation as my wife and I traveled through our memory banks to remember what the waiter told us was in their marinade and then also adding our own flair. And by adding our own flair, I do mean these measurements are ad-lib as I was playing it by ear eye.

The broccolini came about as I was in the store and saw it next to the asparagus. I love broccoli, but despise asparagus. Easy decision, get the asparagus for the Mrs, and get the broccolini for me, assuming that it tastes similar to broccoli (it does, kinda tastes better in my opinion).

Leg of Lamb
Leg of lamb butterflied (I had the butcher do it for me, and since it was just for our household, I cut that butterflied portion up into 4 slabs, freezing the other 3.
2-3 tablespoons minced garlic
3-4 tablespoons minced ginger
1/3 package of fajita seasoning mix
2-3 tablespoons sugar
Juice of 1 lime, freshly squeezed with pulp
hand full of fresh cilantro, chopped
5 tablespoons of olive oil
1 spring onion, chopped
Pink Himalayan salt

Broccolini & Asparagus
Stalks of broccolini
Stalks of asparagus
olive oil
Jane’s Krazy Mixed up Salt

In a bowl, mix up all ingredients for the lamb except for the pink salt. Pour onto both sides of the lamb, mashing it into the meat prior to turning. Refrigerate for at least an hour minimum.

In zip-lock bag, place broccolini and asparagus along with enough olive oil to coat all of the stalks. Refrigerate. (Note, these veggies will only take about 5 mins

Prep grill for direct grilling for the lamb and leave a section charcoal free for indirect grilling of the broccolini and asparagus. Place Lamb on grill and add some of the pink sea salt prior to covering. I want to say I cooked this for about 15 minutes or so for my medium doneness, turning about every 5 minutes and adding pink salt after the turn. Toya likes her meat well done so I cut off half and cooked it for about 7 more minutes.

On the last 5 minutes of grilling, add your veggies to the “indirect” side of the grill, lightly sprinkle with Jane’s Krazy salt, and cover. Veggies are done as soon as they start turning brown. You don’t want to cook these too long as they will burn and turn flimsy.

Let the lamb sit at least 5 minutes before cutting. Hmmm, maybe we should cook the veggies here at this point next time as they tasted a whole lot better fresh off the grill than when they started to cool off. Enjoy!

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It was a nice spur of the moment Saturday. We decided to go down to DC to see the MLK Jr memorial since we haven’t seen it yet. I thought it would be cool if we took Nariah’s new bike down and learned to ride on the waterfront afterwards. So we saw the memorial and rode the bike. Nice fun time. As we’re winding down, Toya is changing Toryn’s diaper at the car. Nariah and I walk to the waters edge to see the airplanes landing at Reagan airport. Now over the past month or so, Nariah has claimed that she’s speedy fast. So fast, that she is in fact, faster than everyone in the family, especially me. Sooooo, she decides to challenge me right here and now.

Daddy, lets race now, and I’ll show you I’m faster than you!
Oh boy… Nariah, now? We’ve been walking all day, and you’ve been riding your bike, and my neck is still sore from that diving incident.
Awww man, we’re never gonna race.
But Nariah, you can’t beat me. I am Daddy!” Yes, I said this in the ominous booming voice full of deep bass.
Yes I can, you don’t understand, I’m speedy fast, my legs go like this…” and she proceeds to run in place and then displays the Usain Bolt victory pose.

So now I’ve been punked… again by my daughter. Its on now!
Ok, you asked for it! Just know this, I’m not your friend right now, this is war! What tree are we going to?

We agree on the tree and… on your mark… get set… go!

Like I’m sure all parents do, I toyed with her for a little bit before winning by a good measure. I got to the tree first and did a maniacal laugh for extra fun, “Muah ha ha hahahahah, I am… DADDY!!!!!!

(A little backdrop for what happens next. I play basketball with a bunch of coworkers every Tuesday and Nariah comes with me until Toya picks her up on her way home from work. Most of us are older guys, but there are a few younger whippersnappers in there who run up and down the court like little jackalopes that drank three 5hour energy drinks and a red bull.)

Ok, this wasn’t right! Daddy, we’re racing back to the other tree, and this time, run like you run at basketball.
At basketball? I thought you said I look good out there?
You do daddy, but you’re slow, you run like this…
Nariah proceeds to sloppily jog in place like a slow zombie with her head flip flopping from side to side.
That’s how I know I can beat you!

I was dying laughing in between realizing my feelings were hurt. I guess I have to get in shape and keep up with the young whippersnappers when she’s looking.