Monday, January 31, 2005

Mowgli Lives Here!

The Princess has decided to re-engineer her crawling methods. This weekend, while she was wearing a dress that slowed her down drastically, she decided that there must be a better way...

Now, we are getting to witness The Mowgli Crawl. Legs straight, feet and hands flat on the floor, butt high in the air. After two days, she is as fast as ever.

Dang. A long dress was the last, best way to slow the girl down.

But, wait... There are those new shoes that she hates. Maybe those will buy me a few minutes of non-mobile infant in the morning!

Friday, January 28, 2005

New Toys Rule!

This afternoon The Talker got a new toy for days, like yesterday, when we are stuck inside the house all day because of bad weather. Yeah, I know, his birthday was 2 weeks ago, and Christmas was only a month ago. Sue me.

A few days ago, while cruising Amazon, looking for books for a birthday present, I saw the Musini on sale.

I remember when this toy first came out. I was sad that I did not have a three year-old to use as an excuse to buy one. But five years ago it was a $40 toy, so no dice.

But I get the last laugh. 'Cause NOW I HAVE a 3 year-old and the company that made the Musini, Neurosmith, has gone out of business. I have not seen one for a long time in a store, but online retailers must be sitting on a ton of these things. After we paid for shipping, we got it for only $15.

The Talker likes it. He danced with it for half an hour. Like his other toys, he would play with it for a few minutes and then wander off to find something better. And AtHomeDaddy? A few more sessions with this thing and I might be able to quit cruising the classifieds for a treadmill. But The Princess REALLY loves it. She sat on top of the Musini and danced for an hour straight. Hopefully she will be worn out enough to sleep all night.

If not... The Musini is going to be in her bed! Seriously. If she wakes up and wants to play at from 2 am until 4:30 am, like usual, then she can! But only because this toy also has a VOLUME KNOB! Maybe the baby will dance herself back to sleep before I wake up to go fishing in the morning.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

AtHomeDaddy - i snot that Lame

How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb, by U2 is finally in the CD player. No excuses. I truly am that lame and boring. It took me like two months to finally break down and buy it.

To make the story even more sad, I would not have even noticed it at the store, except that it was on sale for $10. I just can't resist the little yellow 'SALE' signs on the front of the CD racks.

If it helps me seems less lame, I WAS looking for a new copy of The Trinity Session by Cowboy Junkies. It is not like I was shopping for carpet steam cleaners and I made a wrong turn into the CD section.

On my first evening away from the kids. In two months.

NOW THAT would be really lame. And sad.

And if you think I am lying, just try and prove it. But, if you happen to have access to the in-store surveillance tapes, please let me know. We can deal.

Cause I am not REALLY that lame. Dear Gawdamighty, please tell me I am not that lame. Or boring. Or sad.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

But He is Trying

The Talker received a couple of late birthday presents yesterday. One was the LOUDEST toy I have ever heard. I quickly disassembled that monster truck and "fixed" the volume. Now it only cranks out 83 decibels.

The other is a Fire Truck that has lots of lights, sounds, music AND working windshield wipers. And a sunroof?!? Best of all, at the end of the sound effects, it says "Let's move... This is not a drill!"

So what did The Talker do? He ran to his workbench to get his toy drill. Now the fire truck has a battery powered drill sticking out of the sunroof. And The Talker is annoyed, because the stupid fire truck keeps saying "this is not a drill!", but the boy knows better.

The fire truck is now getting crushed by the monster truck. Of course. What else could happen when there is a monster truck and a dumb fire truck in the same room?

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Talker Doesn't Have it All Figured Out, Yet

The boy was telling me the following while he was sitting next to The Princess in the double jogging stroller, on our afternoon walk:

"She is my sister. She is my husband. Aww, I love my husband. What a nice husband."

I interrupted him. "No, she is your sister. And don't get any ideas boy. We are not in Alabama..."

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Because I Love My Wife...

I want to make sure everyone has a current link to the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Race Schedule. The Boss Lady would not want you to be ill prepared for the upcoming season.

She really looked super-duper-happy when I reminded her that there are only 28 days until the Daytona 500. I think I even saw a tear in her eye.

Elsewhere in AtHomeFamily Land, nothing exciting lately. The garage clean-out is officially underway. The Boss Lady thought it was because of the cold weather and my search for another playspace for the kids.

Uh, nope.

It is really so that I can hide and watch NASCAR. 28 days might be just enough time to get the garage squared away. I already have the satellite hook-up out there, so all I need is a Dr Pepper machine and I will be in business.

But now, it is me who is crying. When I spell checked this entry, Blogger suggested that I correct NASCAR to MASCARA.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Please Don't Shoot the Armadillos

The Talker usually wakes up raring to go and ready to tackle the day. This morning, his first word were pretty usual:

"I'm a cowboy. And this is my Doodie Gun. It shoots fire." He says while wearing his cowboy hat and holding the vacuum hose.

About Big White Dog, "He is a cow. Aww, Your a good cow..." And the leastest blogged about things in the house, the cats, got in on the act too. "Look, at the armadillos. I'm gonna shoot an armadillo!"

I had to jump in. "Please don't shoot her, she is a good armadillo." Now, if he had gone after the OTHER 'dillo that lives here, it might be open season...

AtHomeDaddy is a lucky guy. No other dad on the block, or in the entire world, got to talk with a cowboy about blasting armadillos with a doodie gun, this morning.

Yessireee, looks like it's going to be a great day to hunt some armadillos. You seen any?

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Sleep. See The Complete Lack Thereof

The Princess has decided that sleep is highly over-rated. Therefore, The Boss Lady has not gotten any sleep in three days. Somehow, she can function without. AtHomeDaddy is much like a toddler in this way. I needs me 8 or 11 hours of quality rack time so that I can perform the usual wonderment and magic around here.

None of that this week.

I did just get the dishwasher loaded. For the first time all week. Yuck! And managed to eat breakfast this morning. For the first time all week. Shrek cereal and caffeine-free Dr Pepper, Double Yuck! Now that The Princess is snoozing in her high chair, I ought to go take a quick nap.

But now I gots the sugar buzz going. Plus, I am babysitting a neighbor for a couple of hours today and The Boss Lady is working 14 hours! Honestly, I think she is really just going to nap at her desk, but at least I'll be able to hit the sack when she gets home.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Here We Go Again

We thought The Princess had ANOTHER ear infection. This would have been the 3rd in a month and a half. So, The Boss Lady and The Princess spent the first half of the day sitting at the pediatrician's office. The good thing was that The Boss Lady was off and the appointment was already scheduled, so that The Princess could get her already-once-delayed-because-of-an-ear-infection nine month shots.

And after finding out her ears are in tip-top shape, the day went down hill quickly. For the last 48 hours, she has been running a fever at night. Since the ears are fine, our best guess was that it was caused by her new teeth. Turns out not to be teething pain, either.

Don't you feel the suspense?

Being such great parents, and excellent medical diagnosticians, it is hard to believe that we were, in fact, so far off. Her teething pain/ear infection? Urinary Tract Infection.

New antibiotics, another Dr's visit in ten days, and possible abdominal sonogram in the near future. What a nice bonding time for mommy and baby. Yeah, right. And the nine month shots? They will have to wait at least another couple of weeks.

Too bad The Talker and I were at the indoor playscape at the mall throughout the entire ordeal. But don't worry, we were not just wasting our time. We ate cookies and cruised The Disney Store , too.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

The Talker's Party Re-Cap

A nice sunny day with 60 degree temps and a light breeze

Fifteen kids under 7 years old

New playscape with 3 swings, 2 steering wheels and one wicked fast slide

Inside playspace with trains and workbench in the living room

Lotsa cupcakes with helicopters on top

And Rocket Balloons!

Add all ingredients in large backyard and mix for 2 hours for a successful 3 year old birthday party and very tired parents afterwards.

Saturday, January 15, 2005


The Talker's birthday party looks like it will go off in a few hours without any major hitches. It is cold, but sunny, so all of the neighborhood kids are going to have a blast OUTSIDE.

Actually, just in case it is too cool for anyone, we have rearranged the living room so that they can have play space inside. They can play trains and cars inside or on the 'scape. But, The Big Big Big Loader is getting put away. It is too cool to keep the four year olds away from and it is too new to get broken.

I still have bad memories of one of my birthday presents getting broken DURING a birthday party. That broken toy gun caused me to run away from my own birthday party. It is true, ask The Queen Mother. Sadly, I don't think anyone noticed I had left for several hours. Or days.

So our goals for today:

Give The Talker a good time with his buddies

Have the guests play outside as much as possible

And hopefully, no one will need years of psycho-therapy afterwards

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Gotta Love New Toys

If you are looking for instructions for a Tomy Big Big Big Loader, follow this link to a pdf file.
Thanks, Tim for setting up the site.

If you need replacement marbles, email me. I'll send you an order form that I got from Tomy. They still sell the marbles as part of a Thomas the train set

AtHomeDaddy is really having a blast with The Talker's new toys. Yeah, I know, the kid is three years old. But he got really cool toys for his birthday.

The Big Big Big Loader was a huge hit. I was worried that he might not GET it, because it is a pretty passive toy. It is all motorized and the truck runs itself around the track, while it causes all of the machinery to operate. But there is not a lot of hands on interaction.

The boy worked hard trying to figure out this toy. He had me slide it around on the dining table and he pulled the dining chairs all over the room so that he could watch from different angles. I had fun watching him. He played with the Loader for about thirty minutes at first and then he would come back to it for about fifteen minutes at a time throughout the day.

Pretty good for a toy that we bought as a Christmas present and then forgot about after we hid it in our closet.

After his birthday dinner, we hit Target and he made out with a new set of miniature motorcycles on a 1/2 price after Christmas toy clearance.

Me? Just a few fishing lures. Looks like they are shuttering the fishing section and everything was 1/2 off. I could not resist.

And the women? Who knows. Girl toys are boring. I think they got bedspreads or soap or something.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Shhh, Don't Tell Him

This toy, The Big Big Big Loader by Tomy is waiting on the dining room table for The Talker to wake up tommorrow morning.

I hope he likes it, cause I had a lot of fun playing with it tonight, after he went to bed.

It Wasn't So Bad

Terrible Twos, my butt.

The Talker is a great two-year old. His vocabulary is probably better than average, and he knows a few words that he should not, but in every other way, he is the prototype for a great two-year old.

I am going to sleep tonight a little sad. My boy will not be two-years old when we wake up. Not that anything will change overnight. But during the past year, a lot of little things that he used to do and say have disappeared. And a lot of the things that he is doing now just crack me up. I will be sad to see him stop these.

It'll really hit me hard when he tells someone he is three, and holds up three fingers. Unlike today, when he told everyone at the grocery store "I'm two! I'm a pirate. Ahoy, me hearties!" All the while wearing his best pirate hat and holding three fingers up proudly!

That's my boy. A lot better looking than me, and a little better at math, to boot.

But in the end, I only have to wait 14 months and The Princess will be two. Come back and see me then. Maybe my story will have changed. But probably not.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Right Now

I can think of at least five reasons to never let an almost three year-old pick you clothes for you.

Can you? Here is a picture if you need help.

This started when The Talker wanted me to "wear the pineapple shirt". Then he picked the hat. The sombrero Bro gave me at Christmas. He also picked a pair of his mother's pants, but I pointed him towards my pajama shelf. Thus, the red plaid PJs pants.

And of course he picked the Birkenstocks. If I could wear them to church, the boy would not know I had any other shoes.

3 days, 4 1/2 Hours To Go, A Punch List Update

In a previous post I told about the thing I had to get done before The Talker's Birthday.

I know you have been waiting for an update:

Front door, DONE! (outside) - It will get another coat of paint, but not before Saturday afternoon. Inside trim, tonight? Maybe.

Sofa recliner, DONE! - A 15 minute repair, once I got the part in the mail. My ass has been back in MY SPOT for a couple of nights.

Swingset, DONE! - We now have 3 fully functional swings and a completed playscape, to boot!

Kitchen faucet, ignored - Still not leaking, still loose, who cares.

And a few more to get done before Saturday morning -

Front Yard, mowed - Backyard mowing and weedeating/edging will wait until Friday afternoon or Saturday.

Cleaning out the garage - A nightly project from now until Friday. No way am I having Norm and the guys over and my garage looks like a junk pile. Hank Hill would not do it, and neither will I.

You might say "Who cares what the garage looks like, it is a kid's birthday party!" And I would tell you "Mind your own bidness."

Besides, who knows when that kitchen faucet might actually start leaking. We might have to do an emergency repair right in the middle of the party. And I want Norm to be able to find what he needs out there.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Adding to the Crap in Your Car

AtHomeDaddy just loves the stuff that his kids get when they attend a birthday party. You know the stuff. The junk in the little gift bags that the birthday kid gives to his friends. To tell a family secret, My grandmother was Dutch.

Oops, sorry about that, sometimes I can't even keep the flow of crap at bay on this blog! Bonus points if you know where that 'family secret" came from. Double bonus points if you are willing to admit it publicly. Now, back to the story...

To tell a family secret, most of that stuff never even leaves the car. It lives in the car until it gets broken or lost. That way the house is not full of a million plastic cars and whistles.

So now that it is birthday party week, this would be a perfect time to end the crap-bag tradition, right!?! Yeah, right, you think I am gonna be able to handle the sneers and dirty looks from the neighbors if we don't hand over the parting gifts. No way!

With that in mind, The AtHomeTrio headed to Target to hit the Dollar Spot. So each guest under the age of 16 will leave here with a brand new REAL Hot Wheel, an unbreakable water bottle, a glow stick and some candy. And, because of all of the junk we are serving at this party, these kids will be on a three-day sugar buzz. Glad those sugared-up brats aren't mine.

Besides, my car already has enough crap in it, thank you very much.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Six Days and Counting

Sundays are not usually terribly productive around here. Aside from the usual activities like church and napping, we usually act like slugs on Sundays. Today, was not much different. AtHomeDaddy skipped naptime to paint the trim and front door. The door will require at least one more coat, but it is "Good Enough" for the party, if I do not get another coat on it before then. Since I had the paints out, I touched up the back patio door and trim, too.

As long as everyone notices the pretty red door when they come to the birthday party, I will have skipped a nap for a good reason. The rest of the day was spent watchingg sports and hanging out with the wife and 'tater tots in the back yard. No one got broken, so it must not have been too exciting.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

The Frenzy Has Begun

One week until The Talker's birthday party! We are in now in full party-prep mode. The Christmas tree is finally down and the decorations are packed and waiting for a trip to the attic. Hopefully tomorrow the weather will cooperate and I can get the lights off of the house after church.

The kids rooms are rearranged and the boy loves his new bed. But the biggest project of the weekend was trimming out the new front door. I finished too late to get the trim primed, but hopefully that will happen tomorrow afternoon. I want to get the trim painted late in the day Sunday or Monday afternoon. The inside of the door is still in need of trim. I will work on that one night this week after the kids are in bed.

Allergy season is in full effect here. So please forgive me if I cut this short. I am going into the garage to find something to gouge out my own eyes. So that they will stop itching.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Tonight, He am a Man.

The Talker got a new bed today. He is moving out of the toddler bed and into a twin-sized bed as of this evening. He will be getting some new sheets and blankets for his birthday. For now, he is using a set of sheets from when I was in college. I thought I had burned all of them.

Speaking of burning, we had a fire in the White-trash fire pit tonight but the neighbor kids and The Talker were acting like morons outside. For the first time I was worried that one of them would get burned because they kept running by the fire. No one got hurt, because The Boss Lady moved all of the kids inside while I watched the fire burn out. Is this the end of the White-trash fire pit? Stay tuned.

While the kids were inside, The Boss Lady was able to get both kids' rooms rearranged. The Princess' room is back to normal, now that the twin bed is in The Talker's room.

And guests? Well, you can sleep on the air mattress in the living room floor, in Fort Walden, in the playscape or at the motel down the road. They take Visa or Mastercard. We accept Dr Pepper or toys. But you won't have to rock The Princess back to sleep at 4am if you stay at the motel.

I, am NOT a Monster

The Talker just had one of his earth shattering revelations. He is watching Monster's Inc. instead of napping. And his observation, fueled by a combination of too little napping and a lot of juice, came out as quick as his mouth would move:

That's Mike. Mike is my daddy. Not the Mike with one eye. The one with two eyes and legs. That's my daddy, Mike. Not the green one. The big one with the hat.

No one else was in the room with him while this monolouge was running. I guess he was providing his own director's commentary.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

AtHomeDaddy Repair Service at Yer Call

AtHomeDaddy has been trying to get lots of loose ends tied up around the house before the neighbors and family invade for The Talker's 3rd birthday party.

A couple of nights ago, I started adding another swing attachment to the swingset, but one of the bolts sheared off, so that will have to wait for the weekend. The front door install is still awaiting trim, inside and out. Hopefully that will get installed and painted on Friday.

And then the list just never ends. Last night, even though I had already decided not to tackle any new projects for the evening, I found out that the kitchen faucet handle is loose and after 30 minutes, I decided that there is no easy way to tighten it up, and it is not leaking, so it is "Good enough."

Finally, as I sat down on the reclining couch, to watch The Simpson's, I pulled the recliner latch and NOTHING happened. Except a loud pop from inside the bowels of the sofa. That can't be good.

After a half hour trying to find the source of the problem and thirty minutes tracking down a source to order the cable and handle assembly, I was back on the couch.

I could have moved to the other end of the couch to rest, but it was much more comforting to pout, with my butt in its usual spot. Without any recliner action.

The good news, the manufacturer is sending the part out today, for free. Seems they understand the importance of AtHomeDaddy's TV watching spot.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

At This Moment

The Talker and The Princess are both happily playing in the living room. AND both are playing with actual toys, NOT miniblinds, vacuum attachments, broken glass or dog food.

Am I good, or what?

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Hanging Out 24/7

The AtHomeTrio had big plans to play in the playscape all morning. A light rain until 11am forced us to find alternative entertainment. We raced hot wheels on the front porch and did a little shopping. After that adventure, we have been waiting for one nap to end, another to begin and for the playscape to dry off, so we can get outside.

Beautiful blue skies now, so look out back if you need us.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Tuesday Night Fights

Well Norm Abram, SuperHandyman Al Carrell and Handy Ma'am would be proud. Actually, they would probably be laughing at me, but I took on the new front door again. But they have their own home improvement TV shows, so they should know what they are doing. If I had my own home-improvement show, it would have to be on Comedy Central and it would have to run late at night or have a lot of #$)@ing bleeping.

Thanks to Rick, I got inspired when The fam and I ran to Lowes for more playscape goodies.

By the way, The Talker will soon have another swing and TWO steering wheels on his 'scape. One upstairs, one downstairs. Why? Because it is what The Boss Lady wants, DUH!

Back to the battle with the front door,

Tonight, I WON! That makes the score Door 1, Mike 1, with the tie-breaker going to the dead-bolt that took me an hour to get installed properly. SO, the final score of The Great Front Door Install (Also known as The Squabble in the Front Hall)

Ladies and gentlemen, in a split decision, tonight's winner and reigning champions, the front-door, dead-bolt tag-team defeats AtHomeDaddy and his 23oz framing hammer.

Damn. And we put up a good fight, too. I should have bit his top hinge off.

But who can stay mad at a door that sparkly and shiny? It is so pretty, standing there all nice and plumb and square.

Feel free to come on over and admire the new door. But be ready, cause that dead-bolt will attack without warning!

Spring Semester, Day 1

The Boss Lady went back to work this morning. So The AtHomeTrio rides again!

Of course, we rode this morning to a playdate that got rained out twenty minutes after AtHomeDaddy dried off all of the slides in the park! Other than that, not much exciting going on here. Just the normal stuff. A toddler watching Sponge Bob and a crawler that won't eat or nap worth a darn. She finally got hungry enough to eat her lunch, at 3:30pm.

And AtHomeDaddy? I got about 10 square feet swept this afternoon and finally sat down to eat lunch at 3:45. Brownies and Dr Pepper counts as lunch, right?

Shiny Happy Front Door

The Boss Lady and I have looked for a new front door since we bought our house. Until today, it had the builder's grade windowless steel door with 8 raised panels, just like every other house built in 1982.

Last week, while we were shopping for the last of the lumber for the playscape, Bob found a great deal. The exact door that we most liked was on clearance. He bought one for his house, we bought one for ours.

So this afternoon I maxed out my carpentry skills and installed the new front door. A neighbor came by to ask if I knew what I was doing. He also asked if it was smart to start on this project at 4:30 on a Sunday evening.

"Sure, I've seen it done on TV a hundred times and I looked up instructions on the net. I bet I'll be done by dinnertime." I laughed back!

Basically it was a success. It closes, it locks and I did not break the leaded glass window while installing it.

I still have to make some adjustments before replacing the trim. Actually, I have to start over. Somehow I managed to get it dead on plumb and level. But then I managed to knock it out of plumb while nailing it in. I did not discover this until I installed the knob and deadbolt. And they would not latch.

Crap on a keyring!

After another hour of messing with the door, I got it to latch and lock. Then I messed with it for another hour without making it any better. Or worse. At 10:30 I decided it was "good enough".

The worst part of all, now I have to wait until Friday to tackle it again, since The Boss Lady goes back to work in about 5 hours and 25 minutes. I am planning on using that time to get some GOOD advice (and maybe some help) for the next time I tackle the front door.

But the new front door sure is pretty and the window is really sparkly. And some day I am sure I will feel really good about saving the $250 installation fee. But not until after next Friday.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

A Flashback to the Alma Mater

Watching all of this college football has given us a lot of opportunity to reminisce. A few examples to share:

We are reliving our college years by buying new plastic cups today. Not because we really need more cups, but because we are out of dishwashing soap and we had no clean glasses in the entire house. Even the Rudolph mug was used (at least twice...) today. Don't lie, you've been there, too. At least I was not using the Rudolph mug in July. That would just be sad.

The Talker and I celebrated the Texas Longhorns win at the Rose Bowl by lighting some fire crackers that we found when helping clean out my grandmother's house a month ago. Goodness knows how old those things were. It is OK though, the boy was wearing his helmet!

And why was our son is running through the house wearing a bicycle helmet and lighting fire crackers on the patio with daddy? That is simple. He was playing hockey while wearing one fuzzy red sock. And his hockey stick doubles as the "Doodie Gun". You really don't want that thing to go off in your face, thus the need for a helmet. And maybe a face mask.

Just ask KRB, I am pretty sure all of this happened to me once, maybe twice, back in Crumley Hall.

39 hours and 34 minutes

Until The Boss Lady goes back to work. AtHomeDaddy has a lot of projects to get finished in the next two days AND it is a great college football weekend. I guess I'll be watching the TV in the garage, while I finish cleaning up after building the new playscape.

Hopefully sometime this weekend a neighbor will be stopping by to take the plastic Little Tikes climber, repaired slide and all. If not, it will be the next item to be free-cycled.