Thursday, September 30, 2004

Can You Tell Me Why...

The Princess decided to stay awake until 4pm this afternoon, completely blowing-off her 2pm nap? And what in heck was The Talker doing this afternoon when he got up from his nap and he kept calling the piano bench "Momma"?

I am pretty sure I was not hallucinating. The boy called the piano bench "Momma". Several times. He even hugged it once.

I would like to know why.

I think.

But right now I am too busy guessing why he is running naked through the back yard. I'll worry about the piano bench later.

What You Can Buy With 88 Quarters

The Talker loves to pick up loose change around the house. It is one of his favorite Reasons to go visit The Queen Mother's house. That place is like the US Mint, change everywhere.

This morning, after raiding the baseball bank for quarters, we headed out to Target and the grocery store. Here is what we bought on our quarter-fueled shopping spree:

At Target:

A new teether rattle for The Princess
A scooter for The Talker - 1/2 Price on clearance
A bottle of shampoo for The Boss Lady

At the grocery store:

2 Dr Pepper 3 liter bottles
A pound of american cheese
A 1/2 pound of ham - FREEBIE with coupon

Yes the cashiers were annoyed, but they really were doing a huge public service. Everyone in the store was about to get a peep at my drawers, because my pants were sagging from the weight of the quarters. So for the public good, the cashiers took the quarters.

What a load of excitement! Plus, the next time The Talker decides to empty his bank all over his bedroom, like he did last Sunday before church, it won't take nearly as long to pick up all of the change.

Morning After Regrets

The entire neighborhood spilled out into a couple of front yards last night. Actually it was the entire neighborhood with children under 5. But these are the only neighbors we socialize with anymore. Still, it was 30 people or more. THIS is a breeding neighborhood. Says so right on the front gates.

Most of the parents were hanging out, but a couple of the older kids were not playing nice with The Talker, so I hung out in the middle of the action, playing referee.

One of the neighbor kids loves to be thrown in the air. She is almost 3 but weighs like 8 pounds, so she can soar! After tossing her around, all of the other kids wanted me to throw them up, too. Man that is quality writing... Knowing that I could not do that, I started spinning kids around one at a time. Every kid got several turns. I still feel like my head is riding a centrifuge. AND we are out of Dr Pepper. The children and I will be running to the grocery store in a while.

Maybe next time I'll act my age, but don't bet your Dr Pepper on it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The Talker Gone Wild

The AtHomeTrio went to meet the SAHDs group at a new park this morning. The Talker was excited when we pulled up at the park because they had two huge wooden playscapes. The main deck of the larger playscape was 5 1/2 feet off of the ground, so I thought The Talker might be hesitant to hang out up there for too long. Proving his daddy wrong, The Talker decided first thing to slide down a 7 foot tall fire pole by jumping from the deck to the pole. He made it. 3 beautiful times, right in a row. He did not make it the 4th time. He did not try a 5th time. Yes, he can learn.

The 4th go down the fire pole was UGLY. He did a face plant from five feet into the gravel. At least his feet were most of the way down before he fell. Tears flowed for five or six seconds, until another child went up to the main deck. The Talker hung out with his buddies for a while before trying, quite unsuccessfully, to use the monkey bars. He fell right off of the deck into the gravel. He is now the proud owner of a nice sized scrape right up the back of the leg. Once again he cried for three or seven seconds.

Later, while playing on the much lower toddler playscape, The Talker did a nice re-enactment of his face plant and wiped out while running across the deck. He did not cry this time. He just hopped up, and came and told me "I am ready to go home now."

In the end, his face scrapes match his head scrapes and his leg scrapes, too. I asked The Talker if he liked the new playscape when we got home. He quickly asked me, "Can we go back, now?"

But, I think we will stick to playing on an air mattress on the floor for the rest of the day. Maybe I'll wrap The Talker in bubble wrap, too, just to be safe.

Monday, September 27, 2004

All is Quiet at Home

Friday afternoon The AtHomeTrio hit Costco to pick up a few things, especially the new Ray Charles CD, Genius Loves Company. From what I have managed to listen to, this is one awesome disc and you should add it to your collection. But, it has taken me 3 days to listen to the first seven tracks. So you might want to seek out someone else's more knowledgeable opinion. I hope that I will get to actually hear the entire disc before winter comes.

This is one of the things that I have gotten the least used to after kids. It is a good thing that the stereo system is tied into the TV and satellite system. Otherwise, it would never get used. A perfectly good, and full, 200 disc CD player and a decent tuner/amp sitting idle is a real shame. It is hard to just veg out to Cowboy Junkies or Robert Earl Keen at a low enough volume that I don't wake the kids. So there it sits, nice, quiet and not waking anyone up. My stereo.

I did get a nice surprise from The Boss Lady, The Star Wars Trilogy DVD 4 disc set, widescreen edition, of course. I sat down to watch Star Wars last night, once the kids were in bed. But listening to Star Wars at half volume just did not do it for me, guess I need to wait for the weekend to watch... but I also have to watch when the Talker is gone since he would be scared by some of the best creatures. So, maybe I'll get to watch the set when the kids are in high school.

AtHomeDaddy got a pass this weekend and went to see The UT Longhorns whip Rice. All of the people around were asking me to "sit down and shut-up", but this was the first time I was able to make noise in a month, so there I was screaming louder than the entire student section. I should have taken a portable CD player or DVD player with me. Then I could have really jammed out to my new discs without waking anyone up, except maybe the Rice defense.

By the way, I worked up a bunch of links for this post, but they were bugging out, so I took em' out. Do your own searching, next time.

Friday, September 24, 2004

SUPER HAROLD to the Rest of You!

The Talker has a secret identity.

SUPER HAROLD has been hanging around our house for a couple of weeks, but he has been kind of sporadic about his visits. Tonight, The Talker made his transformation into SUPER HAROLD and the entire family went out for a walk. Actually, since we were trying to ensure that our 2 1/2 year old super hero did not cross the street without help, AtHomeDaddy had to go for a run.

SUPER HAROLD is not a character that we know much about. We have no idea where the name came from. The Talker became SUPER HAROLD one afternoon when he put a long blue piece of scrap fabric on his head.

SUPER HAROLD is very similar to The Talker's Racecar Man. Anytime he sits on the potty chair and covers his head with a bath towel hanging from the rack above, he becomes a Racecar Man. But Racecar Man is sedentary and only hangs out in the bathroom at night.

On the other hand, SUPER HAROLD has the run of the AtHomeFamily estate and one never knows when SUPER HAROLD will make an appearance. Tonight was his first forray into crime fighting on the mean streets of the neighborhood. And since SUPER HAROLD was about to go on patrol, AtHomeDaddy fashioned a cape out of the blue satin cloth scrap.

I say SUPER HAROLD was going on patrol, but actually, we don't even know what SUPER HAROLD does. He might fight crime or put out forrest fires or fly helecopters or...

In regards to this information, The Talker ain't talking.

So, if you see the flash of a blue satin cape running through your town, please know that you are safe, because SUPER HAROLD is on duty. But please make sure someone holds his hand when he crosses the street.

Toast This!

Last night, while AtHomeDaddy was out rocking the evening away at guitar class, The Boss Lady decided to let The Princess, now 5 months and 19 days old, try toast.

All I can say is: Why did we wait this long? This is one happy child. She is currently two-fisting pieces of toasted wheat bread. Once in a while she either drops the toast and screams or she finishes the toast and screams. Either way, she gets more toast and does not scream.

Who woulda thunk that stale bread could be this entertaining?

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Just so you know

It is now 7:54 AM do you know where your children are? Mine are in bed.

This has been a public service announcement brought to you by a gloating daddy with a migrane and the letter R and the number 234

Thank you, Thank you very much.

Look, ANOTHER Tractor

The Talker lets us know every time he spots a tractor or a Mini Cooper on the road or in a parking lot. The Mini Cooper sighting thing is pretty funny, because the AtHomeFamily has a huge crush on these cars and we want one.

But the tractor sightings are great, because it is seldom that we see any tractor larger than a lawn mower. The Talker's tractors are more commonly called Jeeps. The old style REAL jeeps, not the minivan Cherokees. We have a minivan, he is not impressed by things with four doors, unless it happens to be a real big, loud F350 crew cab with a Cummings Turbo diesel.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

$2 First mile, $.75 Every 3/32 a Mile Thereafter

The Talker is getting a college fund! I decided tonight that there will be no more free rides, even if I do need the exercise. See, I take The Talker out for a ride once in a while in his bike trailer. But when the trailer comes out, I must give a ride to every kid in the neighborhood.

This evening The Talker was already playing at a neighbor's house by the time I got the bike and trailer ready. I thought several of the neighbor kids were going to cry when I told them that The Talker would get to take the first ride. That did it.

So, from now on, if I am hauling your whiny brat around the neighborhood on a 3 hour tour, then I am cashing in. No credit card accepted. No discount for multiple riders. I'm too fat to encourage that. And for dang sure, NO REFUNDS! But I will take a check because I know where you live.

Right Again, Rick

Rick is an evil genius. Yep, the minivan needed new front brakes, too. Thanks for the warning. Next time send a check along with your prediction, OK?

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Hanging Out, AtHomeFamily Style

The AtHomeFamily hung out around the house most of the day. The Boss Lady and The Princess slept in while AtHomeDaddy and The Talker headed to church. We ate lunch and hit the grocery store in the early afternoon. Not very exciting you say? Hah.

You see we were together in the minivan. Living on the edge, because we are rebels. Managed to complete all of our running around with out blowing any tires or needing to bum a jump start! Now that is excitement. OK, it isn't but we are boring.

Deal with it.

AtHomeDaddy headed over to the quarry to go fishing while the others took naps. It was hot, but there is nice shade for me and the fish, so it was a successful two-hour trip. I saw the largest fist I have ever seen in a lake. It had no interest in any of my bait, but that is OK, too. Cause if I catch him, I have to deal with him. Since I was fishing from a little perch 8 feet above the water, that big ol' hog would probably pulled me into the water. I have heard about the 6-8 pound bass in this quarry, now I believe!

Hopefully I'll head over there again soon and try to catch another peek at that big bass. If I am lucky, I won't end up in the water with him.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

On The Road Again and Again and

Because I know you are worried, a quick update on the tot-toter.

New Battery $80 The biggest that would fit Monster Garage style.
New Wheel Covers $20 - NOT Monster Garage style.
Destroying My Youthful Ego - FREEBIE!

Turns out that you can buy plastic wheel covers for $20 a set up to $80 bucks a set. The extra $50 will get you some nice spinners or LED lights like these. I wanted to hold out for the Iron Cross spinners, but I needed the van looking top-notch this by afternoon. Or I could have gone with the Mobile light show. Righteous! But again, these would not be ready for our trip to The Boss Lady's staff picnic this afternoon.

When it was all said and done, I ashamedly plunked down my $20 on some plastic that looked easy to clean. Cleanability. Yep, that was the deciding factor. And as I was walking to the van I was wondering, am I really this old?

Friday, September 17, 2004

New Blog Link

The Distance is Justa Dad's blog. I finally added a link on the Blog Links list. 16 days ago I planned to do it and now it is done. Pretty quick for a professional-level procrastinator, don't you think?

Dang It Rick, Cut It Out

Did I ever tell you why I hate Mazda Miatas? Rick and his toy car are really starting to wear me out. A while back his Miatapox ended up costing me a new paintjob on The Boss Lady's car. Now that dang topless car has done it again. Four new tires for the Miata ended up costing ME $160 and a chunk of my afternoon.

I had a blowout today in the minivan. The tire was covered under a road hazard claim and two others needed to be replaced because of tread separation. So, in the end, I bought one tire. Of course, some of the lug nuts were stripped, so throw in a new set of those. One lug post is stripped also. Obviously, The minivan needs an alignment. AND the freaking wheel covers/hubcaps are trash, so we need a new set of those.

Plus, after putting the spare tire on while sitting on the side of the freeway at rush hour, THE @#($ing van would not start. So while we are getting the other stuff done, throw in a charging system check and maybe a new battery.

Now I am starting to wonder, what else is gonna break. Rick let me know what is going on with the Miata so I can have a heads up, OK?

Thursday, September 16, 2004


I finally found THE script I have been looking for. Thanks to Blogger Forum. Being an idiot, and knowing nothing about Blogger templates or html (or whatever the heck they write this stuff in, has put me at a disadvantage. All of the coolest blogs are way head of me, but I am getting a little closer!

Now, when you click on a link to a website that I reference, you will get a new browser window whenever I can make it work. I updated my Blog Links and Web Links lists to reflect this change and future sites will be linked this way and over at ADHDaddy, too.

At least you will get a new window in IE Version 6.0.2800.1106. I don't know about other browsers. Heck I am actually just guessing on this one...

Sorry if you are cool and use a different browser.

Wanna Mess Up Your Own Brain?

The Queen Mother and Dad will be proud to know that The Talker is currently infatuated with a tape of Disney songs that includes the classic I'm My Own Grandpa. Everytime we get in the van, he wants to hear this tape.

Add that to the book that I am currently reading, which happens to include lots of information about polygamy and the family structures that result from guys marrying their own step-daughters.

While we are riding in the van this morning, I'm My Own Grandpa comes on and I am sitting there wondering if I should let my son hear this song that espouses (pun fully intended, I worked hard for it, so I want credit) fundamental Mormon theology.

But the option was to hear The Talker whining and wanting the music back on, so we just sang along.

Monster Truck Momma

This morning, The AtHomeTrio headed out to The Boss Lady's school for a car swap. The Talker loves riding in Momma's Car, a 10 year old station wagon, because it is novel and cooler than the minivan.

We took her car for it's annual state check-up. When the inspector drove off The Talker was sitting beside me screaming

"That's MY Momma's car!"

Just as I got him calmed down, the guy drove back around the building and screaming started over. We watched him finish up, but The Talker was still ticked off.

Driving back to the school to swap vehicles again, The Talker let me in on a secret. Seems his mother has a little bit of road-rage. Not the parent most of you would have suspected, right?

It went like this:

I asked Who's car do you like more?
He answered Momma's, It's FAST!
Momma drives fast?
Yeah, FAST! Crush those cars, Monster Truck!

Then he started telling me about the Sprite he got to drink at dinner last night. The shared insight into my drag-racing car-crushing wife was over as suddenly as it started.

But, I always suspected. There was that time she tackled a school bus with her brand new car. And the time she hit a woman who just had a heart-attack (Scratch that - that was me, but it was in HER car). Then the time she drove her car into the side of a bar at 2 in the afternoon. On a school day. On school business. And her hatred of silver BMW's and SUV's (Oh wait, me again).

Yep, the signs were there all along. Just to be safe, I think I'll double check the kid's seats in her car tonight. Better make sure they are strapped in real tight for the next monster truck rally.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

That's My Girl

After a 2 day hiatus using a high quality clone, the Princess came back on duty today. This week she has been having a great time all day long. Never before had she been so happy to spend time with AtHomeDaddy. Today she was back to some of her old tricks. Thankfully though, like The Boss Lady after a three day weekend, she made a half-assed run at it. The Princess did not scream all day, but she decided a nap was not on the agenda.

Most 2 1/2 year olds start balking at nap times. Ours will head to his room and lay down when he is tired. And he gives a 2 or 3 hour nap every day! So to those of you who have a kid who does not nap, I say HAH HAH!

Don't worry, your revenge won't take long. I have doubts that this nap-friendly attitude will continue with The Princess. So, in another year or so you will all be laughing your butts off when neither of mine will nap.

Some friends you are.

AtHomeDaddy Comments

As of today, AtHomeDaddy will be occasionally removing comments from individual entries. It may be because I don't like your comment or some random other reason. As I once heard on a playground: It is for me to know and you to find out.

Current Reading List

A lot of blogs contain a list of books that the writers are currently reading, so I think I'll let you in on my list once in a while.

Last week I started on Under the Banner of Heaven, A Story of Violent Faith, by John Krakauer. Here are some links to reviews:

Review 1
Review 2

Normally, I would not delve into a book about Fundamentalist religion, but I have read lots of things by Krakauer and have enjoyed them all. But most importantly, the central group in this book is currently building a compound in West Texas and the entire process has been very intriguing. Here is a link to the newspaper articles at The Eldorado Success.

That, sadly, is my entire reading list. Usually I am jumping between a couple of books at once. Worse? I have been working on the first ten chapters for a week already. Normally this book would have taken me a night or two.

My take-away from this book? Books and 5 month-old babies don't mix.

Deep insight, right? Hope you can use that sometime.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

My Dear People

The following line, from my previous post was not intended to get anyone talking about another child for this household - especially grandmothers or know-it-all-neighbors.

Can we use that with Kid #3?

Sorry to get your hopes up. I want to make sure this is public knowledge because I like my bed. Just look at this email I got from The Boss Lady:

OK, the public discussion of a #3 makes my stomach ache... I'm gonna slap you stupid if you are talking about another now...

Otherwise, your ass will be sleeping on the couch and my last name will really become work--Work you like a dog!

Now, get on with your lives and quit gossiping about the AtHomeFamily. I have to finish cleaning the kitchen and dining room, I better get some laundry done, too. Just to be safe.

Sorry Boss Lady.

By the way, I found the smell. It was a mix of piled up dirty dishrags from a kitchen cleaning gone horribly wrong over the weekend and a beef-jerky-fest on the dehydrator.

Yes, it stinks, but I am still going to eat it. What could happen?

What's That Smell

I emailed The Boss Lady to tell her I was chasing a mystery stank around our house this morning, with no luck finding the source. She emailed me back:

Mystery Stank is in our third grade class.

I was laughing my big ol' couch-shaped butt off! That woman just makes me crack up. The worst part for her, now she will keep hearing about Mystery Stank for weeks.

Mystery Stank - Hey, Boss Lady, Can we use that with Kid #3?

Weeks on end, see what I mean.

Access Denied, Try Again in 5 Years

This morning, AtHomeDaddy was hoping to find something novel for The Talker to do. So we headed to the library.

Novel, get it? That's right, I am this funny all of the time.

We were on the search for a high-speed net connection so that The Talker could play games on PBS kids. I knew that the main library has a computer area just for kids, so we headed downtown. Once there, The Talker had a blast playing with puppets, activity tables and reading books with The Princess.

Later, we headed over to the kid's computers. 30 machines, set aside for kids. Not a single computer was in use nor was any other kid in sight. The Librarian told me that these computers were for 8-15 year olds only and that The Talker could not use them.

What the heck kind of rule is that? Don'tcha know there are no other kids over there?

Next, her reason was because they only allow independent work, no parents are allowed to sit with the kids while they work on the computers. We could use the computers in the Adult section if we wanted.

Yeah, that its a great policy. Always keep the parents in the dark about their kids online activities. No thanks to the Adult computers. My kids don't need to be hanging out around a room full of dudes cruising porn instead of hooking up with

Finally, she told me that it was because the area was funded by a grant from The Dell Family. They required in the grant that The Talker not be allowed to use their machines. Actually she told me that the ages were stipulated in the grant.

Whatever. Michael Dell has no interest in seeing kids younger than 8 years old begging their parents for a new computer? I bet they just over looked the pre-school market entirely. Yeah. Right.

The Librarian did let me take home a comment card, so that I could explain why I thought the policies were idiotic. Maybe I'll just email a link back here. After a fascinating discussion about the appropriateness of PBS kids for 3 year olds, we checked out some Joe Mcdermott CD's and headed home. At least I KNOW he is pimping his wares to the under 8 set!

Monday, September 13, 2004

What the Heck?

Yesterday The Princess screamed from 7:30 am until 10pm. It is not often that I ditch The Boss Lady and run off, but I took a nice drive around the neighborhood at dinnertime just for some quiet. No radio and windows down. It would have been cool if my cruise had been in a nice convertible or an old classic truck, but the world's-least-reliable-minivan provided a quick escape, so away we went. Also, the realization that I might breakdown and get stranded was very appealing after 8 hours of screaming!

This morning I suspect The Boss Lady was ready to get to work, just to avoid the repeat of Sunday. At 7am I was trying to get ready for the onslaught of screaming. It never came. This child tried her darnedest to imitate her older brother. She was one laid back baby. Happy all day.

She and I laid in the living room floor and laughed at each other for two hours while The Talker napped. What a blast!

I am afraid that the gig is up, though. See, my usual excuse for getting nothing done around the house is "The baby cried everytime I put her down...". Today's reason, "We had too much fun to stop and clean the house.

A few more days like this and The Boss Lady will start expecting a clean house. All in all, I think I can squeeze in a few minutes with the vacuum cleaner if The Princess will stay this happy, but it might take another few days of laughing on the living room rug to know for sure.

He Calls 'Em Like He Sees 'Em

Today, while riding around in the van, AtHomeDaddy and The Talker were practicing our emergency information. He answered perfectly every question I asked.

An example:

AtHomeDaddy: Boy, what is your name?

The Talker: My name is The Talker Boy.
He answered with first, middle and last names.

AHD: What street do you live on? Again, perfect answers.

AHD: What is your Mommy's name? and so on...

Tonight at dinner I wanted him to show off for mommy, so I asked

AtHomeDaddy: What is your last name? He answered perfectly, just like this afternoon

AHD: What is Mommy's last name?

And he yells out, "WORK!"

I thought she was going to cry, right at the dinner table. Ah, good times...

Applause for AtHomeDaddy? Yeah, Right

Yesterday we sat in on a new group at our church. The leaders were chatting up The Boss Lady about education and local schools, when the conversation turned to me.

"So, what do you do?"

Inspired by this recent post, What Do You Do? on another SAHD's blog, I answered.

"I am a stay-at-home-dad."

Then a couple of the people in the room actually clapped. Truthfully, I was a little embarrassed, but it got worse. One of the ladies in the group was telling something about her husband 'working on the road for another six months or so.' They have two or three kids and this lady is raising them solo for another six months.

I should have stood up and applauded for her.

It is Grandparent's Day!

Bro was at a hardware store a while back with his 1 year old son. The cashier asked him something like 'How old is your grandson?' Evidently, they are moving across the state just so they won't have to shop there anymore.

That story just warms my heart everytime I hear it.

I thought of Bro today. It is Grandparent's Day at The Boss Lady's School. She said they would have 300-400 grandparents roaming the halls today. I think they plan these programs so that guys like Bro will not feel too old when they come to visit their kids at school.

I Always Suspected She was a Werewolf

I got an email from The Mother of The Bride today in response to this eariler post. The email ended:

Kiss those babies for least until I can get to town and slobber all over them myself!

Just to be safe, I think I'll keep the kids hidden during the next full moon.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

I Married Lunch Lady Doris

One of the kindergarten kids at The Boss Lady's school has taken to calling her The Lunch Lady, because the only time he sees her is in the cafeteria.

This really makes me question the $30,000 for that Master's Degree. Really now, she could have learned to cook in the Army while she was GETTING paid. She was the Queen of Future Homemakers of America in High School, right? I was the one that almost gave my home-ec teacher a nervous breakdown.

So sorry about melting all of the Tupperware in the broiling drawer, Mrs. Baker. I learned my lesson and have never done it again! By the way - isn't that a great name for a home-economics teacher?

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Warning - People In The Talker's Imagination May Appear Cooler Than They Actually Are

This morning The Talker has been playing with two of his toy motorcycles. Every once in a while one motorcycle Uncle Lemon will talk to the other, Bro.

Now, either of these guys might be cool enough to ride a motorcycle, but I have not seen either of them out popping wheelies or jumping school busses, lately.

Knock Knock Knockin' on Death's Door

Classic Rock on my mind? Yeah, a little, since I managed to go to my first guitar class this week. The first riff we worked on was some little 8 note blues thing inspires by Led Zep - or so the instructor says.

Actually though, AtHomeDaddy has just faced his own mortality this week. Turns out The Boss Lady's virus was not done with us last weekend. AtHomeDaddy was sick Thursday night after rocking out at guitar class.

The upside - I realized that I am not a total slug with kids, at least not most of the time. Yesterday, I WAS a total slug. Slept on the couch while the baby alternated between the swing and the exer-saucer. The Talker was watching a stack of DVD's. Yeah, I know, a real nurturing environment. Let's hope genetics helps make up for the lousy dad-ing they got yesterday!

(See, even in a weakened state, I can still make up words. Maybe AtHomeDaddy should run for office)

Thursday, September 09, 2004

AtHomeDaddy's Helpful Household Hints - Vol 1

When your lovely wife bakes a nice chicken dinner and you get up the next morning to clean up the kitchen, do not try to take the easy way out. Just throwing the baking pan into the dishwasher, will not work!

Oh, the dish will come clean, but the remnants that looked too burned on to scrub off of the pan WILL come loose, too. They will eventually land on the heating element and during the dry cycle you WILL learn what burned chicken smells like.

Take the time to scrub the pan and make your life easier. Your keys will be easily found, the doors will be unlocked and your car will start. And your whole house will not smell like burned-on death.

I guarantee it.

What Are YOU Getting Her?

So AtHomeDaddy is ready to head to the flower shop, because it is our anniversary and I am not a total jerk. I am a mid-level jerk, there is a difference. A mid-level jerk only forgets his wife's birthday once, a total jerk blows it every year.

Kid #1 in the minivan, watching the recycling truck do its thing out front. Kid #2, on the floor of the living room, waiting for a lift to the car and playing with AtHomeDaddy's car keys.

Car keys??? Awww heck, I hope the front door is not locked. I'll just try it. Maybe it is not locked.


Back door is not locked. Woo Hoo. Run around the house. Twist the knob and

Damn. Deadbolted.

Garage doors. No worries. Into the garage and back on easy street.

Damn. Locked. Both of them. Double Damn.

Guess I should have not griped at The Boss Lady for leaving the garage doors unlocked yesterday.

House key at the neighbors? Yeah, but they are out of town and the key to their house is INSIDE, nice try.

Kid #2 now crying on the floor of living room and the recycling truck is gone, so Kid #1 is now in the driver's seat honking the horn and flashing the hazard lights.

OK, desperation time. Just give the door a push and see if it gives. It is a 20 year-old tract home.

Well, not too much damage, just a broken door frame and trim. Stinks that my house was that east to break into, but we are on the way, now. There is a hardware store on the way to the florists, so back to no worries.

Kid #2 into her car seat. Keys in AtHomeDaddy's hand this time. Kid#1 in his seat. AtHomeDaddy in his seat. Keys in the ignition.

Turn the key and nothing. NUTHIN, NADA, ZIP.

Damn. Damn. Damn-ity Damn.

I do not know much about cars, but I do know this - turn the key and drive away.

Not today.

So Boss Lady, you might be expecting flowers or a visit. Sorry. Hope this explains most of the reasons why it is not happening today.

Happy Anniversary, Boss Lady

Today is AtHomeDaddy's and The Boss Lady's ninth anniversary. She could have avoided a lot of this had she only run a credit check before the wedding... Instead she's gotten nine years of bliss that included:

6 places to live, including one pop-up camper

6 different cars, 0 with more than 200hp

1 Mini Cooper fascination that has spread through the entire family

4 pets - Ok, 3 pets and one evil cat-thing

2 rounds of major cat surgeries

3 degrees - 2 for her, one for me

3,567,345 Dr Peppers

2 radio contests won

1 less gall bladder than we started with

2 washing machines, including one that fell from a 3rd floor porch

1 dryer that now sounds like it wants to take a suicide leap, too

1 backpacking trip that proved the value of a good tent

4 jobs for The Boss Lady, 8 counting summer gigs

4 for AtHomeDaddy, 5 if this gig counts

And most importantly -

2 wonderful kids that gave AtHomeDaddy a reason to be

Thanks Boss Lady, CBH

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Guilt in the 2nd Degree

Most nights, when the Talker is heading to bed, he comes into the kitchen to put his milk cup in the refrigerator. This is when he tells me good night and usually something like 'Thanks, Daddy, for playing trucks. It is always nice and sincere.

Recently, this has also included gratitude for popsicles since The Talker gets an Otter Pop occasionally for snack after dinner. Tonight, he got no Otter Pop after dinner, because he ate no dinner. When The Talker came to tell me good night, he let me know that he remembered getting the shaft.

"Thanks, Daddy, for no popsicles" was all he would tell me. The best part, though was that he said it exactly the same way he says the nice stuff on other nights.

A little sarcasm form the 2 year old, perhaps?

The Boss Ladies are at Work, Let the Party Begin

This morning, The AtHomeTrio is meeting up with KB and his son while they are in town. KB's Boss Lady had to go to a meeting and The Boss Lady is at work, so the 5 of us remaining are going to the park. Afterwards, we are going to hang out here and trash the house during naptime.

The Talker is very excited about playing with KB and "That Boy". But, he always gets excited to see people who bring him new toys. "That Boy", is now tops on The Talker's list, because he came over last night with new fire trucks for The Talker!

I am pretty sure that The Boss Lady talked to The Princess last night about acting like a lady. Just because she is running around town today with 3 handsome guys and KB, does not mean she should start acting like KB or her daddy.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

The Boss Lady is Down for the Count

The Boss Lady has endangered the lives of the entire family. By starting this new job, she is evidently bringing an entirely new line of germs into the house.

First, AtHomeDaddy was sick for a day last week. I thought it was just allergies, but now I realize that The Boss Lady was poisoning my system.

Next, The Talker was out of commission for a couple of days. He got better, then worse. The events at Joe's Crabshack occurred a few days after he first got sick.

Then The Princess succumbed. She ran a fever, but nothing more. Good girl, way to keep your bodily fluids to yourself! That will always make AtHomeDaddy happy.

Now The Boss Lady is home early. She is snoozing it off. Hopefully this is the last of it.

AtHomeDaddy is too busy to get sick. Lots of manly stuff to get done today. Vacuuming, mopping, laundry. Yup, it is a real testosterone-fest around here today.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Puke on You, Joe's Crabshack

Eating dinner at Joe's, the AtHomeFamily and The Queen Mother and Dad. Having a great time, watching the kids across the room dancing. The Talker looked like he was not feeling 100%, but earlier he had been playing and feeling fine. So we ate.

The best part, The Princess fell asleep in my arms. This is a rarity. This girl will only sleep with her mommy holding her. So I am having a good meal, because this cute thing is neither screaming or crying AND she is sleeping in my arms. I would not even share her with The Queen Mother, because this is a moment for the history books.

Finally, I gave in and abdicated the baby to The Queen Mother. Almost immediately, The Boy went off like a fire sprinkler. AtHomeDaddy can handle anything but barf. So there I am, trying to not throw up on The Talker while I am helping get him cleaned up. We managed to get out of the restaurant with out AtHomeDaddy puking on a staff member. That cannot be said about the boy.

Good thing we 'hit' before the lunch rush.

Today's Forecast - Sappy, Not Crappy

Today we ate lunch with Dad and The Queen Mother, who made a surprise sneak attack last night. Sitting at the restaurant, The Queen Mother told us about the first day of kindergarten, for one of my cousin's son's.

She was re-assuring the boy that his dad would pick him up from school before they went in, when he turned and asked something like 'Momma, who's gonna love me while I'm here?'

Damn, just rips at your heart strings, doesn't it. Seriously, this kid was able to verbalize the fear that I bet a lot of kids in his place are feeling. So teachers, watch out and be nice to The Talker's third cousin, because that boy is watching you, closely. And you don't want to tick off his momma...

We now return you to the usual useless crap.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

The Play Deck and the Patio Umbrella

First off, 65-0, in the end, Directv got my $30 so that I could sit at home with sick children and enjoy the game. Good thing I am really a UT fan at heart. Now, let's never speak of it again. Go UT, beat OU, for once, PLEASE! Go UNT , beat the hell outta Baylor, again! Several weeks until either of those games, so not likely to make many football posts for a while.

AtHomeDaddy took advantage of having The Boss Lady around today. I finished
the neighbor's patio umbrella repairs and it looks like new, with the exception that all of the moving parts were originally riveted together and I don't have a rivet gun. I finally decided, after and hour or two cruising the little hardware store by our house, to use small carriage bolts and stop nuts to make the repairs. Should work great and if not, I won't have to grind through a bunch of rivets next time.

The play deck, DONE!

A one day project that actually went as planned. Nice! I decided at the last minute to build it a little smaller, 5x6 instead of the originally planned 6x6. It looks a lot better, and it fit easier on the hillside. The Talker had a blast this evening hanging out on his deck. I think I will double up on the floorboards. The floorboards I am using are re-cycled from other projects. No real risk, though. The highest part of the deck is less than 10" off of the grass. Most of it is only 3 1/2 inches high.

I posted a picture of The Talker playing on 'His deck'. Look for it on his page. Email me if you need the address. I'll send you the address if I like you.

17 Weeks Until Christmas, And FYI, AtHomeDaddy is CHEAP!

AtHomeDaddy has started thinking about your Christmas gift. The Boss Lady started getting Christmas catalogs in the mail this week, and AtHomeDaddy actually saw Christmas displays going up at Lowes. Nothing like The Christmas Season lasting a quarter of the year.

So here are a few of my gift ideas:

For those of you who do not know your butt from a hole in the ground...The Butt/Face Towel
My guess, AtHomeDaddy will be giving a lot of these!

For our mathematically challenged friends with a sweet tooth Penny Candy
50 pieces for $13.80? Shouldn't that make it 27.6 Cent Candy?

For Sis, quiet possibly the most sacrilegious Nativity in her collection

For The Mother of the Bride, A decoration for your home, I'll let you decide which is most special

And for the frat boys up the street, I think they need to pursue a higher-minded skill, like chess
It might be a little more challenging to check-mate when you see two kings

Don't fit into one of these categories? Don't worry, I'll find you something nice...

AtHomeDaddy Has a Job!

After all of these years, AtHomeDaddy has decided to take the advice of The Mother of the Bride. Of course, the job should only take an hour or so and one trip to Lowes, and it only pays $20 bucks, but hey, it is honest work.

The neighbor stopped by yesterday. Like rubber-necking a wreck, I can't resist finding out what task she needs help with.

Today's mission, installing a seat in her minivan. Sounds simple. Stupid Chevy Minivan... 45 minutes later, because of a lack of any instructions and a seat that has not been installed in 4 years, the seat is in and the neighbor has shelled out the usual Dr Pepper payment.

Then she remembers 'something else'. Once, the 'something else' was repairing a clock. Another 'else' was the lightbulb in the shower stall. And then there was the time I tried to figure out the solar water heater for her pool when I went over just to open a stuck cabinet... This time, though, the 'else' pays. She insists, since it is a holiday weekend...

Cabanna Boy AtHomeDaddy at your service, holiday schmoliday...

The wind caught her brand new pool umbrella and broke a couple of the structural ribs. Repair the umbrella? No problem. Any good Cabanna Boy knows that you gotta keep the customer happy if you want a good tip. Or in my case, you gotta keep the neighbor appeased or 'else'.

Friday, September 03, 2004

We Pre-empt this UT Football Season to Bring You a UNT Whoopin'

So this weekend is one that The Boss Lady dreads each year. College Football gets rolling big time tomorrow. The alma mater, UNT Mean Green have to endure a whoopin' from the home team Texas Longhorns so that they can cash a big fat check afterwards. I have to endure the game this Saturday, so that I can get back to following The 'Horns. No matter how I try... No matter how unlikely... No matter how many generations of my family have worn the Burnt Orange, I just can't root against the Mean Green.

Since the game is on pay-per view, and costs $20, I'll be heading to the bowling alley to watch the game. Will I show up wearing all of the UNT Forest Green I can find? Doubtful, but I won't show up wearing any of my Burnt Orange, either.

It's a good thing The Boss Lady could not give a flip. She might self-destruct, since she has placemats hanging on the wall from both schools.

Izzza Friday, Y'all

First, the Thursday recap and then the plans for today and the weekend.

Thursday afternoon The Talker and I worked on the flower beds on the retaining wall while The Princess was napping. I used to grow a lot of veggies and stuff up there. Weeds were never really a problem, because I was constantly working the beds. Now that I have freakish mix of flowers, herbs, succulents, vines and onions (yes, onions, I'll tell you if The Princess stays asleep) all mixed in together in these beds - looking like an Paul James, The Gardener Guy, landscaped my yard while on an acid trip, the weeds try to take over quickly.

The Talker helped me haul weeds and herb cuttings to the brush pile and he kept watch on the water delivery truck working the neighborhood. The Boss Lady came home for a couple of hours between meetings, so AtHomeDaddy got the front yard mowed and edged. Very exciting stuff, because it was the only thing I did yesterday that could not have been done by a well-trained helper monkey.

Seriously. No monkey would ever have spent that much time on his hands and knees weeding between and under the rocks along the flowerbed edges. If my yard looked like yours, maybe I would claim it had been done by a monkey, but not mine...

And now, our plans for the weekend...

Thank you, thank you very much. I know those are some excellent plans. It will be a blast. A life changing experience for the children and pets.

On a side note: Did you know Blogger spell check tries to correct Y'all with Yale? Are they saying something about my southern education? Hell, The President of the University said "Now Y'all Git...Y'all done gots learned" at the end of my college graduation. OK, that never happened, but it would if AtHomeDaddy were the President of a University...

PS Wanna know about the onions? If not, stop reading...

The Mother of the Bride's ex mother-in-law (Aka Pop's Mom) Gave us a few onions that she had grown for years. She said her mom had some when she little. They self-propagate and are kind of cool. (The onions, not Pop's family) Anyways, these things can take over the a yard in a few years. 5 years ago I planted some and now WE'S GOTS US LOTSA ONIONS. Want some?

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Morning, Sunshine

The Princess slept an hour and 15 minutes later today than usual. Whatever it was, alignment of the stars, the inspirational speeches at the RNC, or maybe The Princess is doing drugs, don't know and right now, I don't care. Add that to The Talker playing for an hour in the backyard, it all adds up to a good start to a day!

What a morning, dishes are done, laundry is started and we are off to the park!

Does not even seem like too long until 10pm, when The Boss Lady will be home from School Board meetings...

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

R E S P What The Heck???

AtHomeDaddy was listening to the local light rock, pop you know, Crap Rock station on the radio while trying to give The Princess her bottle at lunch. She was wailing away, because the bottle was either too hot, too cold, too slow in arriving or something else. Take your pick.

Anyways, The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin came on. They started playing Respect. The Princess got quiet and smiled through the entire song. Once the song was over, The Princess stayed happy for a while, because I was laughing my rear off while trying to feed her.

If this girl just needs a little bit of soul to be happy, then AtHomeDaddy will be going out tonight to buy the entire Aretha Franklin collection!

Your Blog May Be Next

AtHomeDaddy got another blog mention. Go check out The Distance to see how AtHomeDaddy rates with JustaDad, another SAHD.

Funny, I'll give you. I am the funniest guy I know. I am freaking hilarious.

Healthy? Questionable, especially if you start dealing in the realm of mental health. Then, AtHomeDaddy may or may not be drinking from a full sippy cup on the playground of life...

GMail Accounts for the Asking

By now I am sure you have heard of Gmail. It is still in Beta testing and you still need a invite to get an account. Do you need a Gmail account or half a dozen? Learn More Here. AtHomeDaddy can hook you up. Drop me an email or leave me a comment.

Available until all of AtHomeDaddy's invites and The Boss Lady's invites and The Princess' invites and The Talker's invtes are gone.