Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Who wears the panties in this family?

Last week The Princess' pre-school class was studying the letter U. Each Friday we are supposed to help the child select a Show-and-Tell item that starts with the letter of the week.

But The Princess had her heart set on taking a puppy toy. Nothing I would say convinced her to take her pink Umbrella.

When it was time for Show-and-Tell, The Princess' puppy passed without much discussion. I wasn't in the room, but the real trouble for me started when one of the boys brought a spare pair of his Underwear out for Show-and-Tell. Pretty brave for a 4 year old boy, don'tcha think?

One of the girls in the class blurted out "My Mommy wears my dad's Underwear to bed." After some giggling, the teacher's got everything back on track. That is, Until my daughter trumped 'em all. with "MY DADDY wears my mommy's Underwear to work!"

Just for the record, I did not drop my jeans and prove my daughter a liar. But mine are Hanes boxer briefs. I won't discuss the wife's undergarments here. Maybe next week, when the class studies the letter G!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Yeah? Well, so am I!

My Best Investments started off the month with a post about Fast Food signage. So I guess I'll finish up the month in the same vein.

This afternoon The Princess and I went over to Wendy's for lunch. It was a compromise reached after hours of negotiation. No playground, but they still have chicken nuggets.

While I was sitting there, eating my Spicy Chix sandwich, no mayo, no tomato, thank you very much, I noticed the table tent, advertising their new strawberry chocolate and vanilla shakes. They have gone a long way to keep from admitting that there is nothing like ice cream in there.

Don't believe me? Take a look. I stole that sucker just so I could snap a picture of it!

Yep. made from REAL ingredients. Of course, since it is in there ANYTHING counts as both real AND an ingredient. So what could possibly be included in that statement? I bet if I called Wendy's it would go something like this.

What's in those delicious strawberry shakes? Dirt? Check!
Rat left overs? Check!
Dextromalathylizone? You betcha!
Strawberries? Huh?
Milk? This interview is over!
Ice Cream? NO MORE Questions!!!!

No matter, really. We didn't buy one of their milk-less/ice cream-less fake shakes anyways. But at least I got a new trophy for the computer desk!

At least my dog appreciates me!

So it is "Teacher Appreciation Week" at The Princess' pre-school. The parents are shelling out a few more bucks a piece to buy the teachers some lunches, snacks and little goodies throughout the week. Being both a parent and a teacher, I am in the position to both pay for the treats AND to get to share in the goodness of snack time at work.

One of the classes brought me a gift of homemade chocolate chip oatmeal cookies on Monday. I ate one on the way home, even though I told The Princess that she couldn't have one in the car since I didn't want melted chocolate on my tan seats.

Anyways it is a good thing I snacked in the car. After school I gave the kids a few each. And they might have enjoyed a few more after dinner. But I wasn't there to say for sure.

I WAS there when The Big White Dog decided to make a midnight snack out of the leftovers, though. ButtHeadDog only left two or 3 slobbery cookies as he ran through the kitchen and devoured MY cookies.

Yep, chocolate is bad for dogs.
Luckily he didn't eat much and he is a big dog. So it would take a lot to make him sick. But if he eats my cookies again I might put a hurtin' on him!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Must be springtime!

The Boss Lady just spent the morning cleaning and de-cluttering the kid's bedrooms.

They will say that spring cleaning never killed anyone but I didn't want to risk it. So I spent the morning hiding out in the garage, working on the old truck then I pulled out the long ignored guitar and changed the strings that have been on it for at least a couple of years.

You would think that after all that I would either be able to drive the truck OR play the guitar, but you would be wrong. The truck is still in pieces and I still don't know how to wail on the Fender Acoustic.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Stuck in my head

I have heard this song all the way through exactly ONCE! And I was mostly asleep then. AND it was over a week ago.

But it is all jammed up in my hat holder.

There is a longer version over here.

This one should be easy.

when compared to last weekend.

One soccer game, one birthday party, church and sleep that does not involve a football field or a tent.

Then again, I made it through last weekend without a migraine. This weekend, I guess I have time for a broken brain. So pass the Excedrin and the Imitrex and move along. Quietly.

I woke up at 4 with a doozy of a headache. I moved to the couch so that The Boss Lady could sleep without me tossing and turning while I was looking for that one elusive position that would allow me to sleep. I must have found it.

At 5 I headed back to bed, but there was a little boy curled up on my side. So I headed to his bed. But when I lay down, I was laying on top of The Talker. Evidently, that was a little GIRL in mommy's bed. So I went to her bed. And I found out why she had abandoned the most comfy twin bed in the world - Pull-Up leak! Luckily I had not climbed into her bed.

Back to the couch for some tossing and turning until 7, when The Talker came running/yelling/pounding a bass drum into the living room, looking for Saturday cartoons.

I found the remote, picked a channel and made a run for his room, since I finally had a bed to crash on. But I never found the sweet spot again. No more sleep, just a nice headache in full bloom.

So now I have accomplished 2 things that were not on our Saturday calendar. I have a headache AND I have fully bitched and whined about it.

It sure is nice to have an easy weekend once in a while!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

'Tis the Season

For kindergarten birthday parties. This week I think I have either replied to or flat out ignored 5 birthday party invites. Yep, if I don't know the kid, we ignore 'em. Bad form, yes. Too bad. So sad.

The boy went to a birthday party last Sunday, The Princess went to one last Tuesday morning. I got rooked into both. We will all attend a birthday party this Saturday, at the cost of missing a simultaneous party on the other side of town.

The kids had only been invited to neighborhood birthday parties before the school year started. Now, it is a weekly routine. Still, we skip more than we attend. And by the end of the school year I expect a dozen more invites to come our way.

By the way, either Evite or invite by mail/card left in the school bag. Don't do both. And for goodness' sake, don't do all three! The Boss Lady and I are hanging on my a thread here. Multiple invitations to the same party can cause our delicately prepared Google Calendar setup to have a spasm and freak out.

Anyways. I am ready for the summer to start. Swimming, picnics and no surprise birthday invitations found in the bottom of school bags for two whole months!

By the way, I am throwing myself a birthday party on July 13th. Under the new picnic pavillion at our neighborhood park. Show up or don't. Call for directions or don't. Consider yourself invited.

Or don't.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Todays forecast - Perfect tent weather

100% chance of trashing the living room. And less than a 50% chance of getting any laundry folded. Sorry, Boss Lady.

The Princess and I set out to finish up the laundry this morning. It was supposed to be a day full of fun and adventure. Getting stains out, folding and putting away the clean laundry = big happy fun time!

But we seemed to get sidetracked on a different adventure. Tent City has sprung up in the middle of our living room.

But let me tell you something. This girl can CAMP! I count no less than 3 pair of shoes in our hideout. Including one set of sparkly high heels. When I pointed out that they might not be the best camping shoes, The Princess assured me that they are "just here for decorations."

I also counted 2 baby dolls, 4 stuffed animals, 5 pillows and 4 blankets. I am pretty sure you can tackle Mt Everest with less gear. But evidently you can't defeat the mountain of laundry laying on the love seat...

RacecarDaddy, Part 7 and Done!

This morning I went online and paid my fine from my speeding ticket.

I am feeling justified, since it took 82 days from the date of my heinous offense for the city to get any money out of The Boss Lady. I could have waited one more week to pay, but I did not want to forget. Especially since I HAD FORGOTTEN and The Boss Lady reminded me about it just this morning.

The city is notorious for adding outrageous service fees to online or credit card transactions. It seems like every department tacks on additional fees for services that SPEED UP their cash collection and reduce their payroll a little bit more. So I originally went online only to double check where I had to go to pay with a check.

I was hoping to find a little blog fodder to complain about so I decided to see what type of fees they would tack on if I paid from the computer, while sitting in my pajamas. Nice surprise, no additional fees! Score one for common sense.

In the end, the city got my $102 electronically and I am a scofflaw no more.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Princess Jokes

Hold on to your coffee. Be sure to swallow that last swig of Dr Pepper. The Princess is telling jokes! Of course, they kind of come at you free-form and free-flowing. So try to keep up, OK?

Why did the lights go yellow, yellow, yellow?
Because they are marking the school crossing zone?
No, it's a joke! Because they were crossing the road!

Why did the car cross the road?
I don't know. Why?
No, you gotta guess.
To get to the other side?
No, silly. To drive in the trees!

Why was the car covered in leaves?
Because he was driving in the trees?
No! Because he was hiding from the fence!

Why did the football toot?
Because he slid down the slide too fast?
Nope. Because he had a tear in his shell.

OK, now you tell one.
Let's see... There once was a man from Nantucket...
Never mind.

OK, how about this one. Why did the girl cross the playground?

Why, Daddy?
To get to the other SLIDE!
That's not funny, Daddy. No more jokes from you, OK?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Backseat Theology (from the other side of the car)

A follow up to this post...

The Talker got a pair of plastic vampire teeth at a birthday party this afternoon. And they reminded me of a comment he made a couple of weeks ago, as we were sitting in on a Communion Service at church.

"But dad, if we drink Jesus' blood, won't we be vampires?

Don't worry son, it's only grape juice. And vampires don't like grape juice"

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Military Secrets Revealed

Tonight your tax dollars were hard at work.

The Talker decided against building a sleek and speedy racer for our Pinewood Derby at Church. Instead he built Army Tractor #6. But like all military secrets, this was on a strictly need to know basis.

No one outside of the immediate design company saw AT#6 until weigh in. Which we nailed, at a perfect 5.00 ounces. In this photo you can see the Pilot, Co-pilot and Navigator.

Weigh in was our last successful battle at the races. Evidently this military contracting company needs to work on the final wheel and axle assembly. But that is for next year.

Tonight we mainly battled tears and disappointment since Army Tractor #6 was beaten up pretty badly by some very nice daddy-built racers and some that looked like the kids had actually helped.

For the record, The Talker did most of the work on his car! Design, sanding, gluing of the rear tail fin and adding the staff members were all his handy work. I helped with cutting on the bandsaw, striping and painting (since we decided to use spray paint), and any other assistance that was requested.

The night has a successful ending though, when we brought AT#6 to our backyard proving ground, the playscape slide, and we watched it catch some air on it's maiden flight. That's right, The Talker designed and built a FLYING AT#6! Let's see those daddy design firms do that.

Until the footage of the flying
Army Tractor #6 is declassified, I'll leave you with a short video of race night. In this video, AT#6 was in the red lane.

It's all in the context

I asked The Boss Lady how much we should let The Talker spend on a birthday gift for his friend.

"Oh, 5 to 10 sounds good.
I agree, I would LOVE 5 to 10 right now. 'Cause I could sleep in jail!

But how much should I spend on the gift?"

My own never ending weekend...

Our weekend started Friday afternoon, on a dinner visit to see mom at the Relay for Life. Then the kids wanted to stay over night. And I really, really wanted too, also. Really. OK, not really. But I had a headache and being home alone with the kids all evening didn't sound much better.

This morning we got home at 7:30 and I grabbed a quick nap before The Talker and I headed out to his soccer game. The Boss Lady and MiniHer stayed home to nap.

Since the soccer game, the boy and I have been resting up in front of the TV and PS2. He has a Pinewood Derby at with his Bible Club at church, tonight. We built the racer last weekend, so waiting all week has been tough on the boy AND the car. I know mom has worked on the car once and I have repaired it at least twice this week.

Tomorrow I am supposed to teach my Sunday School class for the third week in a row. (I usually alternate weeks with a few other people.) And the quality of the learning will probably show, since I have to cram in study for that between the end of the races and the start of class at 10:30 in the morning. Plus, I really want some sleep then, too.

Sunday afternoon, after we stop by a neighbor baby's Christening Party, The Talker and I are heading out to a birthday party at a Lazer Tag place. No way I'll be able to convince him to go to Bible Club with mom instead.

So after a lot of walking, a little sleep, a little soccer, some racing cars, a muddle through theology and some Lazer stun-gunning, this weekend will eventually come to an end. But not soon enough to get any real sleep.

Which wouldn't be so bad if next weekend were not looking just as busy.

Thank goodness we skipped out on the neighborhood-wide garage sale today. 'Cause my junk is too tired to sell.

Worst camp camp site, EVER.

But what it lacked in scenic beauty, it made up for in noise and all night partying.

Not normally my type of spot to spend a weekend night, the AtHomeFam spent the night on a Jr High School football field, supporting The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. The kids had a ball - and they slept pretty well, too. The wife had a blast and didn't sleep at all. The Daddy? I slept some and had a ton of fun, too.

Of course, it WAS a much more suitable event for you guys with winter camping experience. I came home in the evening and grabbed every blanket in our house, since it dipped into the high 40's last night. Only 15 degrees colder and we literally could have frozen.

The Boss Lady's team raised over $2000, with something like $350 coming from loose change donated by the kids at her school. Good stuff!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Backseat Theology

On the way home from Target, with a birthday gift for a classmate in hand, The Princess got all philosophical on me.

"Daddy, were do Polly Pockets come from?
I don't know, baby girl. China?

Maybe God makes them.
Well, I hadn't thought of that possibility

And Jesus paints them. To make me happy."

So there you have it. The origins of the life of Polly Pocket.

Direct from the backseat to your ears.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Grandma Threat Assessment - Green!

All is calm. The Queen Mother is being driven home in her chauffeured Mercury, as I type.

This was the first time in years that mom and dad came to stay for a while, for something other than a family funeral. The kids, parents and the grandparents all had a blast. Unfortunately, I think only the parents and grands are worn out after the long weekend.

Time for a nap.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, Boss Lady

Now would be a great time to write something poignant and pithy. But I seem to have used up all of my best words already.

We love you and thanks for my two favorite presents.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Grandma Threat Assessment - RED!

I am taking a break from the insightful meanderings mindless drivel that usually inhabits this space for a public service announcement. We will return to the insane babbling wonderment of dad-hood in a few days.

GRANDMA is on the way! Everyone scramble! THIS. IS NOT. A. DRILL! 4 hours to go! (give or take the wind resistance of a 2007 Mercury traveling at 15 miles per hour less than posted highway speeds...)

Don't just stand there looking dazed and confused. Save that for my normal posts... Grab a mop. Find a vacuum. For the love of Pete's Dragon, she will be here for 4 DAYS!!!

Go in peace and goodness help us all!

And please remember, never EVER look The Queen Mother directly in the eye. You will melt. Not the heart-racing, teen-love type of melting. Lava. You will turn to lava. She can do that.

You would do best to leave the face to face interactions to the professionals. I am trained. I have almost 40 years of experience. Plus, The Talker is loaning me his I am stealing The Talker's Lava-Proof Sunglasses.

But maybe my mommy will check my washing machines for creepy crawlies and slicey-dicey things for me while she is here...

Scared of the washer

I really have to stop sticking my hands in washing machines without looking at the potential hazards first. A few days ago the pizza cutter stalked me in the dishwasher. This morning, I was unloading the clothes washer.

As I looked into the machine for any stray socks, I about had a heart attack. Big freaking tarantula. In the washing machine!

#$(*$)*@ scared, squared!

Luckily, I just had forgotten to check The Talker's pockets before washing his pants and socks. A boy really needs his 4 cents, rubber spider and a stingray, don'tcha think?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

19 minutes

The Talker got tubes in his ears this morning. He walked out of the waiting room about 20 minutes later than we were scheduled . Which is pretty good in hospital time, I think. OK, actually he rode out of the waiting room on a truck/trike built for a toddler. He was waaaaaaay to big for the toy, but no way was he missing the chance to ride toy a truck INSIDE.

The nurses and doc told us he should be done in less than 30 minutes. They almost cut that time in half. 19 minutes after he left the room, the doc was back, letting us know that everything was fine and dandy.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Hey Boss Lady,

Where do we keep the Worker's Comp forms?

OK, I know some Stay at Home Dads bristle at the images of the buffoon dads that are portrayed on TV and especially in commercials. Though I couldn't really care less what some advertising company thinks of our family structure...

Of course, there are some days when the biggest buffoon of all is right in this very house. Heck, even Mr. Mom didn't almost cut off a few fingers in the dishwasher, like someone here did this afternoon.

Luckily, I think it is nothing a few band-aids can't hold together...

Always know where your pizza cutter is,
when you are unloading the clean dishes, OK?

So about the blood. You think that stuff will stain the insides of the dishwasher? Maybe I should run a second rinse cycle with this next load.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

I can see a little perspective from this point of view

The Talker is having ear tubes put in on Wednesday. Sorely needed, but when the hospital wants to chat you up about all of the things that could happen in the surgery room, it still gives parents pause.

I know the reality is that thousands, millions, however many kiddos have tubes every year. And the most serious problems seldom happen. It was nice to cruise through the hospital's pre-surgery tour for kids this afternoon. We took the same tour a few years ago and nothing too dramatic happened on our part. Heck, the boy was almost giddy to see the operating room.

It is hard to get too worried about it, knowing that the surgery takes 15-30 minutes. Still. It is my boy. But I think I am done worrying about those 15 minutes he will be out. After all, he will be back at school 18 hours later.

The only other kid who was on the tour is having a 4-6 hour open heart surgery on Thursday. 4-6 hours! Working on her heart! Then goodness knows how long of a recovery after that.

Other than her first name, we don't know this girl or her family. Still, I think I'll spend my time worrying about her for the next few days.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

AFTER we cut off the part that the dog licked on...

Four years went by fast

and without a lot of sleep.

The Princess turns four today! She is out running the roads with mom this morning, but we should all be together for a birthday lunch of her choosing. Hopefully it won't require any dads to dress up like princesses.

So here is looking forward to an afternoon of fun and frivolity with our newly minted 4 year old. And if I must dress like a Cinderella with spiked hair, then hand me a ball gown and a glass shoe.

But if it happens, then believe me, pictures will not be coming soon.

Happy Birfday Baby Girl.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Now, let the wild rumpus start!

The wife and one kid just left town for a quick weekend trip to see the cousins. Another kid is at school. Daddy is at home with partying on his mind. At least until 3pm, when the elementary school bus drops the boy off.


But now that I think about it, we are out of good party supplies. And it IS pay day, so I might as well go to work and hang out with a bunch of other people's kids.

Not much of a Wild Thing, am I?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

M&M Wild Cherry. Sadness in a pretty bag

My love of M&Ms is only topped by my love of Dr Pepper. Put the two snacks together and I go into a state of enlightenment (and a mild diabetic coma).

M&Ms. I love 'em all. Al the colors, all the varieties. Peanut? check. Plain? You betcha. Almond? You know it! The caramel and crispy M&Ms? Me likee long time. Heck, I don't even hate the dark chocolate M&Ms. (I just skip over them to get to the good ones...)

So imagine an almost 40 year old dancing in the aisle of Target when I found a bag of M&M Wild Cherry. The pretty red treats wrapped in a red bad the color of God's wife's toe nail paint. This would be great!

My first clue should have been the horrendous gagging noise that The Boss Lady made when she opened the bag before we had even left the parking lot. The next clue should have been the smell I was dealt when I took my first whiff.

The third clue? That would be the funky after taste that came around before I had even bit in to my first WCM&M. Whoever approved this project at M&M/Mars should be stoned. Or maybe they WERE stoned. Munchies for Christmas candies, anyone?

Needless to say, next time you are headed this way, stop and pick up some Dr Pepper and M&Ms. I'll be your best friend, unless you bring me those naz-teee Wild Cherry things. Keep those and we will use them as slingshot ammo when we break into the local convenience store on a sugar induced bender.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Princess has a good ear

She has been running around the house all morning, singing Please Read the Letter That I Wrote, the Robert Plant and Allison Krauss re-worked duet.

Of course, The Talker will have good ears too, thanks to the tubes that will be going in soon. Maybe then I'll be able to start my very own Hanson's-esque kid band.

Or we could skip the tubes, let the boy keep screaming 1000% of the time, since he can't hear a thing, and we could be junior punks. That would surely be more Zeppelin like, right?