Friday, December 31, 2004

Playscape Pics

An AtHomeDaddy first... Pictures for you!

OK, technically, I am only posting the links to the photos, but if you want to see the new playscape behemoth that has taken over our backyard, follow these links.

This one is of the Talker sliding on the completed 'scape.

Here you can see AtHomeDaddy with his best helper.

Here, you can get some idea of how big The SS JOllie Squishy Bug really is. It's BIG, I tells ya!

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Back at the Computer

We are through this round of computer problems. After getting everything back to working order, The AtHomeFamily is going to be needing a new Internet Service Provider. Turns out the problem was with their software.

They charged me $2 a minute to tell me that? And to put me on hold? Some help line. Better way to internet, my butt.

Not to worry, nothing will change here. I'll keep churning out the useless crap that you have come to love.

The SS JOllie Squishy Bug Sets Sail

The Playscape is complete! Work is finished and the tools are put away. And now, it is truly an AtHomeFamily project. Because it has a name. The SS JOllie Squishy Bug is the new pirate ship that Daddy and Bob built in the backyard, according to the The Talker.

The official christening of the ship is scheduled for January 15th, at The Talker's birthday party, but he is planning daily sight-seeing cruises around the backyard until then.

Stop by and admire the work of art that is my kid's playscape. It is truly a site to behold. The finished size, 10 feet tall, 6 feet long and 8 feet wide. It has two levels of playspace and one super fast gangplank/slide!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Computer Problems Shutting Up AtHomeDaddy

THe AtHomeFamily is currently without a working computer. I know that you guys are dying for an update, so here it is.

Potty Training - DONE!

Playscape - Done! (Almost...)

More Later

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Christmas Wrap-Up

The AtHomeFamily is done with Christmas. The tree is still up and the lights are still on the house, but we have finally hit all of the family parties and the kids are loaded with new toys.

Thanks to Sis for giving an 8 1/2 month old a toy with 12 pieces! It put us over the 500 parts mark for the season. That might be a new family record.

And a really big thanks to Bro for the hat. I bet I am the only dude on this side of town with a purple velvet sombrero! I'll wear it with pride.

e*134.2761 days until Christmas 2005

The AtHomeFamily is heading out today to our last Christmas party of this year. We, along with AtHomeDaddy's parent's, siblings' families and My So Called Aunt's family are all heading out to a nice formal lunch to celebrate Christmas and The Queen Mother and Dad's 40th wedding anniversary.

I am taking the Airzooka with me, in case we need to lighten things up afterwards. I imagine the Airzooka will get a real workout after we all sit and act like reall adults for a couple of hours. Maybe I should take my marshmallow gun, too.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

AtHomeDaddy's Downer Day

I hope you survived your AtHomeDaddy withdrawl symptoms. I have heard it can be a nasty thing to deal with. Sorry I was off-line for most of the morning.

Evidently I managed to goof up my template file, and I have spent two hours trying to re-create it. It is now close, but I still have a little work to do. And when I get it right, I am going to BACK IT UP!

Yep, this would have been a 10 minute inconvenience if I had only backed up the #(@*#)(* template file!

Yep, It it True

The Boss Lady did indeed give the kids a toy with 100 pieces in it! I am making sure that it gets opened before she goes back to work, so that we can have the chance to step on 50 parts, each.

Santa Ate the Cookies!

23 minutes to rip open presents. It only took that long because AtHomeDaddy made sure the kids played with each present before opening the next.

The Hallmark moment of the morning - The Talker, hugging his new Woody Doll, says "Woody, I am glad you came to meet me today!"

The Toy that won Christmas - The Shrek 3 Wheeled Scooter. Thanks Mama and Papa!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Hairy Fish Moose and a Hoppy Gnu Deer Two Ewe

So I was going to let you know how busy life has been around here, with AtHomeDaddy picking up a few days of work at his old job, while The Boss Lady is home on Winter Break. But then I realized nobody wants to hear a guy whine about work. ESPECIALLY if that guy has only worked forty hours in an entire year.

So instead I'll recap this week's AtHomeFamily adventures for you:

Potty Training - Going great! Like the pun? The Talker has the right idea and he is making it through the entire day, including naptime, without diapers.

The Princess - Likes having AtHomeMommy at her beck and call. She is a speed crawling and cruising machine and she is trying to stand without help anytime she can.

Christmas Toys - The neighborhood kids will have to wait. The workshop got so cold that I had to stop after finishing up toys for the nephew.

The Playscape - Bob is coming to help build the 'scape Monday and Tuesday of next week. I am still not entirely sure of the design. Guess I need to finish up the plans ASAP. Because, the main structure needs to be built before AtHomeMommy goes back to work. I might even chicken out and download a set of plans. But we definitely won't be buying a $30,000 Rainbow Play System!

That is all the news from The AtHomeFamily that is worth reporting, so have yourself a Merry little Christmas.

And consider this your Christmas card, OK?

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

AtHomeDaddy Would Starve

if the grocery bill were to be paid with his earnings from making wooden toys. Eight hours in the workshop, lotsa toys started, a few almost finished and none complete. The big problem is that when I am making stuff for my own kids or nieces and nephews, I try to make each one a little different. Also, I like to design as I work, I don't need no stinkin' blueprints. But a great idea can end up costing me a few hours to create the first time. Then I usually end up making it a second time, to make the new design look better.

Even worse, it is getting cold tonight, and I have to finish everything up Wednesday, so I may be doing a lot of the final assembly and finishing in the living room. The workshop is actually just an unheated, two car garage, and I am a wimp.

Silent Voyager Re-cap

Back in early June, I posted about a guy, Charles de Villiers who was setting out to circumnavigate solo in a 37 foot sailboat. Silent Voyager left from Palacios, Texas nine and a half months ago and he is now home. Quiet an adventure.

Just a little perspective, when he left, the premiere of The Princess was still a month away and Rick was still the head of a two car family. KRB? Back then he was a loser out in East Texas. Now? New location, same loser.

I'll leave the link up for a while on the sidebar, but I am looking for another ongoing adventure to experience vicariously. Anyone headed to Antarctica?

AtHomeMommy is in the House

The Boss Lady started her two weeks of Christmas break yesterday. AtHomeDaddy started his two weeks by working his old job at the recreation center. It was a good day to be working away from the house. Because potty training is in full force around here.

Have no fear, the boy WILL be potty trained before The Boss Lady returns to work. This has been her goal for six months and so far, so good.

Today, Wednesday and Friday AtHomeDaddy will finally get to spend some time out in the workshop I have several toys to make for Christmas gifts, so it is about time to get started.

And if our crappy low-on-memory computer would have let me log in to check my gmail account without clearing out an over loaded cache file, a few files at a time, I would have been out there an hour ago.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Playscape Progress, None

The Talker is getting a playscape for his birthday. The kids have a swingset that I built 2 years ago, and they have the playdeck, up on our retaining wall. Plus, there is Fort Walden, a sandbox, a square climber cube and the toddler's climber and slide set. In fact, the kids now have the run of half of our backyard.

But they do not have a climbing tower or a good slide. So, now is the time. Progress has been slow, though. becasue the plans have been scaled back after a visit to the local lumberyards. The Talker and The Princess will have a cool elevated playscape, a new sandbox and a real slide. Somehow, I think they will still be thrilled. Also, it will be larger than their friends playscapes. And that is what really matters, right?

Friday, December 17, 2004

Top Down Day

After running to the middle of nowhere to visit a lumberyard that reportedly stocks lots of stuff for do-it-yourself playscapes (they don't, actually), The AtHomeTrio spent 2 hours at the neighborhood park. The Talker got really adventurous while we were there. He was climbing through trees and running through the fields. Now he has a nice rash all over his body. For the record, the nurse said it is no big deal.

The Talker is very adept at spotting Mini Coopers and PT Cruisers while we are out running errands. This afternoon he was a little confused, though, when we spotted our first Mini Cooper Convertible. It was a medium blue, and the top was in the proper position, down.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Boss Lady's Haul

One of the best parts of having The Boss Lady working in an elementary school is getting to see all of the gifts that she brings home before Winter Break.

Here is a sampling of her haul this year:

A candy cane striped ostrich thingy with a suction cup base
A reindeer mug with assorted cookies
A box of cheese enchilada soup mix
A bag of chili mix
A Hersheys Kisses candy cane
A set of 6 wine glass marker bracelets
Poseable Santa, Reindeer and Snowman figures
Lots of baked goods
2 bottles of bath gel
Lotsa candy
A 3 pound bucket of peanuts
Several Hot cocoa mixes
A first aid kit
Bag of homemade bathsalts Want the Recipe?
A handpainted mug full of homemade white chocolates
A 6 pack of Tic-tacs
A poinsettia
A ceramic Santa and sleigh
Loads of coffee mugs
A snowman serving tray
A Longaberger jar of chocolates I think it is an heirloom jar!
A bottle of AJAX laundry soap No, I am not joking
A promise of 10 times this much stuff on Friday.

And she brought a mess load of my cookies back home.

Long live the Queen!

You Don't Say

Have you ever said any of these things?

Please quit licking your sister's head.

You are getting green stuff all over the place.

No, you can't have popscicles for breakfast.

Keep your hands to yourself, or you'll break the shot glasses.

We need a refund, the firetruck took our quarters.

Next, we go to Victoria's Secret for Uncle Robert's gift.

Please be quiet, I can't hear Dora.

I'll give you $30 if you let me put this in your eye.

And I'll give you $30 to please stop whining.

I have said all of these things since 10 am. Exciting morning, no?

Fable of the Dentist and the Cookie Monster

The Talker was awake at 3 am. And since he was screaming, we were all awake at 3:01 am. Usually, when he wakes up in the night, he wants a drink and they he gets back to sleep quickly. .

But last night he was obviously dreaming. Because all he would say is "NO Mommy, don't go to the Dentist." So she didn't and I got him a drink. Then I spilled the water all over the kitchen. So I got him another drink.

Of course, The Princess was awake by this time, too. She did not want to miss out on the fun. The Boss Lady got her back to sleep, while I cleaned the kitchen.

And they slept happily ever after. Until 6:43 am. Except The Boss Lady, she snuck out, under the cover of darkness, at 6:03 am, because she was stealing all of the cookies.

Then, The Boss Lady was banished from the AtHomeFamily Kingdom, because AtHomeDaddy found out that she stole ALL of the cookies, to take to an office party, eventhough AtHomeDaddy had made her a batch to take to the office and a batch for the king's breakfast.

So they lived grumpily ever after, for they had no cookies. The Royal Dentist was lonely, because no one came to visit him. And The Boss Lady was hungry since her royal cook went on strike for a few weeks.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Bad Math, Bad...

Good Thing that The Boss Lady took the time to read the label on The Talker's eye drops. The bad news for the boy, he has to have it two times a day, per eye. The good news for me, that makes each drop only cost $1.70.

So I only wasted $5.10 worth of medicine yesterday. And The Talker's eye looks a bazillionty times better this morning. Now The Princess? Different story, but since we have the medicine, her eye drops will be FREEBIES!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

48 Bucks!

Just so you know, The Talker's medicine cost $47.71 this morning! At Costco. Good thing we have prescription insurance. I don't even want to know what the market price for that 3ml bottle would be.

Since he needs 2 drops a day for 7 days, that works out to $3.41 PER DROP! It only took me three tries to get it in his eye this morning. What a fun way to spend $10.23.

New Addition to the Homestead

The AtHomeFam will soon be installing a decontamination shower on our front porch. That way, The Boss Lady can rinse off before she comes in the house.

Evidently the kids at her new school are some of the germiest creatures known to man. We are only half way through the year, and we have all had the flu, several colds and lots of ear infections. AND NOW, The Talker gets to battle Pink Eye, and a 102 degree temperature bonus.

Thanks, you filthy little school kids. Go take a shower. In Everclear. And be sure to wash behind your ears. But please watch out, because that stuff burns when it gets in you eyes. Or in your mouth.

Maybe it would be more effective to just run all 800 kids at The Boss Lady's new school through the decontamination shower once a week. Plus, that would save The Boss Lady the embarrassment of having to burn her clothes in the front yard each night before she comes inside.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Toy Count on the Sidebar

Thanks to The Boss Lady for a great idea for the blog sidebar.

I have added a running total of toys that The Talker and The Princess have received and a countdown to Christmas Day. You will also be able to keep track of the total number of component parts and pieces that come with these toys.

We just returned from an early Christmas visit with The Boss Lady's extended family, so the kid's toy count is off to a quick start. I am a little worried about the sheer number of parts, though, since I will eventually step on each and every piece while walking barefoot through the house.

Friday, December 10, 2004

The AtHomeTrio is Cruising New Cars

This morning the kids and I are heading downtown to the Auto Show with a bunch of stay at home dads. How cool is that? 10 am, hanging out with a bunch of cool guys (and a few nerds) scoping out new cars. It will feel like one of those days a few years ago when I would play hooky from work to go hang out somewhere more fun.

The Talker wants to go look at motorcycles and Monster Trucks. Reportedly they have an exhibit of Martin Bros. Bikes set-up, too, so I believe he is in luck. The Princess wants to look for a shiny two-seater convertible. And AtHomeDaddy? He really just wants a nap, but a new pickup would fit nicely under my side of the Christmas tree.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Creek Camper Revisited

Earlier, I mentioned our Neighborhood Camper who was living in the creek. A quick update.

It took until TODAY to get rid of him. Finally another neighbor called the Police this morning, when she realized he was burning a campfire in the creek. She must have used the secret word. Got a little better response than AtHomeDaddy did last Wednesday. 3 Police cars AND a Fire Truck showed up this morning! My tax dollars at work. But at least the camper, whose parents do indeed live around the corner, is gone.

Library Run

AtHomeDaddy is finally getting to delve into Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger. It only took the library four months to get me a copy. That is the longest I have had to wait for a book, since they started an online reservation system.

Used to be, you would ask the librarian to get you a book that was not on the shelf, and they would call you when it came in. If it ever came in. Sometimes it would be a year later, and they would call. But the knuckleheads at our branch library would often forget to route the request through the system, so sometimes, the call never came.

Now, with the online system, I only have to deal with the library staff when I check out a book. Or pay a fine. Too bad they won't Fedex me the books I request and take Paypal for fines.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Should I Call Crimestoppers?

So KRB moves to Burleson and then this happens? Draw your own conclusions. I am calling the FBI. Or The Lone Ranger.

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Associated Press

BURLESON - Holiday shoppers were pepper-sprayed by a gunman who stole a bag of money from an armored car's guard at a North Texas Wal-Mart.
Twenty-two people required medical treatment after the gunman began spraying startled shoppers and workers after the robbery in front of the store. Authorities said six customers were hospitalized Monday with breathing problems and 16 other people were treated at the Wal-Mart.
One shopper said the robber ran straight toward him.
'He said, `Excuse me, man,' as he went by me,' said Bill Rose. 'Then he pulled out a cylinder and started spraying this reddish fog into the air behind him.'
The bandit escaped in a white van, which was found abandoned in a field about seven miles away.
The store was evacuated following the afternoon attack and paramedics arrived to treat customers exposed to the pepper spray, said Burleson police Sgt. C. Aaron. Most of the injured complained of burning eyes or breathing problems.
Aaron said the guard had made a pickup and was exiting the store when a man in a trench coat and a white or gray wig pointed a gun at his head. She said the guard dropped his bag and the gunman sprayed him in the face with pepper spray, then grabbed the sack containing an undetermined amount of money from the victim.
'He had this orangish substance all over his eyes, his nose, his mouth and his hands,' shopper Erin Foreman said. 'Employees started pouring milk on him.'
The robber sprinted through crowded aisles, escaping through another exit.
The FBI was assisting in the investigation, Aaron said. Burleson is about 40 miles south of Dallas

Monday, December 06, 2004

Thanks for NOT Sharing

Sis's kid has pneumonia. And since before Thanksgiving, The Princess has had a nasty three-pack-a-day type hacking cough.

So this morning we headed off to the pediatrician's office to make sure The Princess's cough was nothing more than a lingering cold. We don't need no stinkin' pneumonia...

The bad news- It is more than a lingering cold. It is an ear infection.

The good news- It ain't pneumonia!

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Christmas Gift Panic

The Boss Lady was stir crazy this afternoon and she wanted to head to the mall. Good thing we went, because it seems that in all of the post-Thanksgiving madness, we have forgotten to buy our son's Christmas gifts.

We do a very small Christmas around here. The kids get a few things from Santa. We don't go into debt for gifts and everyone is happy, because Grandparents can buy insane amounts of gifts, if they want. In the end, the kids aren't too overwhelmed by all of the new loot, so they have more fun, too.

Still. We can't go through Christmas day without gifts for The Talker. Thanks to a sale at The Disney Store and an easily distracted almost-three year old, our son now has Christmas gifts. It was kind of funny walking out with two large bags and having The Talker ask "What's in the bags?"

"Mommy got boxes at the store."

"Oh, OK!"
He never asked again.

We topped off our Christmas shopping trip with a drive through the neighborhood, looking at lights and Christmas decorations.

Friday, December 03, 2004

AtHomeDaddy Saw That

So sorry if I type this blog slower than usual. As it turns out, AtHomeDaddy has been needing new glasses for a while. I know that, because I went and got some this afternoon. And I can't see a freakin' thing. I forgot all about that break-in period for new glasses.

I have not worn glasses in 10 years. Not sure why I stopped. I think I forgot where I left the old pair and then we moved. Five times.

The new glasses are providing a lot of laughs for The Boss Lady, though. I damn near tripped over a painted line in the Costco parking lot this evening. But at least I did not break the new glasses.

An aside... I went to buy A SINGLE PAIR of glasses to wear for reading and driving. $175 for the pair I liked. And certainly not the most expensive frames in the place, either. But I could buy TWO pairs of glasses, including the exact pair I liked and pair pair of sunglasses for $120!?! What the heck?

Another aside... Didya know that Blogger tries to correct the spelling of freakin'. The suggested correction? Foreskin. Sorry, I had to do it. Mainly because I know my mother reads this at work.

Now, move along, nothing to see here.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

No Camping Without AtHomeDaddy's Permission!

This morning, while out walking in the neighborhood, The AtHomeTrio happened upon a campsite in the creek near our house. I am assuming this is a neighborhood runaway or teen that has gotten booted by the parents. I thought the guy was dumping trash in a vacant lot, but it turned out that he was dumping a load of firewood. Not good, since at least one house backing up to the creek had an attempted break-in a week or so ago.

Hopefully the Police will get this guy to move along, or back home. The Officer I spoke with this morning assured me that he would keep stopping by, until he found the guy "home".

But the worst part, now I have to be nice to The Boss Lady, because this guy is squatting in MY spot. This was my haven, in case I am ever in the doghouse with The Boss Lady but now, I guess I'll just have to sleep in Fort Walden.

Swept Away in the Chaos

I am pretty sure I swept up a cat this morning. I have not seen one of the fur balls all morning, and there WAS an awful lot of junk in the dustpan after I swept the dining room and kitchen this morning.

Nothing will make you break out the broom faster than a new crawler trying to explore all parts of her kitty and puppy fur-lined house. Add to that, the miles and miles of tile we have in this place. The nice thing about the tile, though, eventually everything just blows into a corner. Sweep the corners and you have won half of the battle.

The real expertise comes in to play while you are sweeping. Keeping the creepy crawler away from the piles of fur in the corners can be a real trick. It takes a pro like AtHomeDaddy to distract The Princess long enough to get the entire mess swept into the dustpan. Bonus points if she stays happy when distracted. So, I earned NO bonus points this morning!

And the real kicker? I swept yesterday morning. The Boss Lady swept last night. Enough! I am off to shave the cats, dogs and kids.