Friday, April 29, 2005

One Dollar Movie Review

Last night, The Boss Lady and I rented Finding Neverland. Good movie, especially if you are in need of a Great Pyrenees fix. My only problem with this movie: they implied the dog was a Newfoundland, but The Boss Lady and I are pretty sure it isn't. It was a badger marked pyr.

Ben never would dance but Bill used to dance with me. And just like in the movie, kids thought it was great. Adults were usually amazed to see a dog standing upright, almost 6 feet tall. Bill nearly looked me in the eye when he would dance.

So after all was said and done, I don't know if the movie was any good. But the dog was awesome.

Road Trip

The AtHomeFamily is heading out of town this afternoon. The wife and kids will be hanging out with The Mother of the Bride. Hopefully everyone will have fun.

Me? Hiding from diapers and whining and kids and family at a car swap meet in Ft Worth. This weekend is about a man and his truck.

Have fun. I know I will.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Bye Bye Freezer

Our deep freeze is dying a slow and painful death. Luckily, it made it through the really important task of keeping milk frozen for the baby. It only thawed itself out once or twice during that time. We lost some food back then, but found it soon enough, so the milk was able to go into the neighbor's freezer until ours decided to run again. It is a lot of fun going to the neighbor to ask to borrow a bottle of breast milk, let tell you...

The other day, we lost about $30 worth of meat and ice cream. It was a bummer, but at least the baby is weaned. The freezer is an old energy hog, so we decided it could go out on the curb during the next big trash day. Unfortunately, at the end of June.

Then The Boss Lady heard about Austin's Refrigerator and Freezer Recycling Program. Instead of letting it go to the landfill, where they do some recycling of the compressors, the electric company will recycle 98% of the materials. Plus, we get $35 to put towards a new, more energy efficient model. Gotta love living in a city that is environmentally conscious. That is, compared to most other areas of Texas.

The only problem, we have to make sure the freezer is running today, when they pick it up. So far, so good. I plugged it yesterday after letting it rest for a few days, and it is keeping cold. Just a few more hours, baby, you can do it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

That was NASTY

How can a little 13 month old girl blow out a diaper so bad that it requires a shower and a complete change of clothes for she and I, both, AND change of bed linens, including the mattress pad? AND a scrubbing of the walls, dresser and baby bed with bleach wipes?

Next up? Burning the clothes we had on before THE EVENT.

The good news? I think she feels better and I KNOW she smells better.

Baseball Night

The boy and I went to a baseball game last night. The Boss Lady had to work late, so she took the girl with her. We left really early for the ball game, so that we could play on the playscape in the outfield.

The Express have really figured out how to get families to the ball park. They have a pool, sand volleyball courts, a basketball courts, a huge playscape and several bouncers and a rock climbing wall - all in the outfield - so families can keep the kids entertained during the game.

The Talker does fine during the game, as long as we go find Spike, at some point during the game. Last night was even better, though, because he made a haul. The Talker got Spike's autograph on his ball glove. He got to hang out with Uncle Lemon. He got a foul ball (from batting practice, but it was still a REAL baseball)! And eventually, he got a gimme baseball, too!

Ages that Just Don't Work

The Talker likes to play with all of the kids in the neighborhood. He is 3 1/2 years old. The kids he wants to play with most are 4 1/2 to 6 years old. They used to play pretty well together. But I am becoming convinced that there are some ages where kids need to wear shirts saying "Does Not Play Well With Others". I am just not sure which kids should wear the shirt first.

The Talker plays rough. He likes to play chase and tackle and games that involve falling down. I know that turns off some kids. And we keep him reigned in pretty tight when the others don't want to play the same way. But it usually works OK, since the neighborhood is full of boys who are just as active.

Except most of the boys are older. And they don't want to play with a younger kid. Especially when there are other options. That leaves our boy trying to keep up as the other kids play games that don't involve a 3 1/2 year old tornado.

For the time being, The Boss Lady and I are trying to figure out if it is really just a matter of age. Hopefully so, and hopefully it will get better in time. For now, The AtHomeFamily is taking a hiatus from the evening neighborhood playtime.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Voices I Hear

While The Princess is napping and The Talker is eating snack on the JOllie Squishy Bug, I thought I would share a few things that I have heard The Talker say this morning..

"Miss Peggy lives at Mommy's school. Not with the cows."

When I found him standing in the kitchen and staring at the refrigerator, "I am waiting in line for my juice."

"C'mon Buzz Lightyear, lets go scootering."

"Daddy let's go outside and hunt lady bugs."

"Oh NO! I can't hunt lady bugs, I don't have a doodie gun."

"Oh look, the reindeer are eating all the ladybugs!"

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Birthday Party Car Night

Busy weekend for the AtHomeFamily. We all attended a birthday party for a 4 year old friend of The Talker's this morning. The family arranged for a bouncer. But we should have paid them for letting our kids bounce. They took 3 hour naps this afternoon. And I got 3 hours of truck time!

This evening we went out to a "Cruise In Night" in the parking lot of the Home Depot near The Boss Lady's school. These guys come from all over town to show off their cars (and a few trucks). Tonight's attendees included a red Ferrarri, a 53 Ford Ranchero, a family of 5 that brought his and hers Vipers (hers had a toddler's car seat built into the center console) several old Chevy trucks (two were 1968s), lots of Corvettes, one really awesome rat-rod (that had no windows at all and vice grips for a gear shift lever), a couple of 57 Chevy's and a late 50's Ford Skyliner (a hardtop convertible- very cool!)

The Talker was pretty impressed with the cars, but somehow he still ended up playing in the sheds on display in the Home Depot parking lot. I guess when you are 3, no car is as cool as a barn with a ladder to the 2nd floor loft. Besides, when he was playing in the barn, he was NOT still throwing gravel at a row of 1960's Camaro's.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Fire Truck Park

I am constantly amazed by The Talker's ability to remember details and names. He will ask us something about a child, like "What color was Evan's shirt?"

My usual responses include, "Who?" "Dunno." Or the ever popular, "Do we know an Evan?"

"You remember the boy at the park, with the blue spiderman shirt that has firetruck shoes on his feets and his mommy told him to come back and he walked down the trail to see the ducks and his mommy got mad and he got in time out because he was in trouble and his mommy said you can't wear the blue spiderman shirt if you don't listen to me. You remember that, daddy?"

"Oh yeah, him. Wasn't that like two months ago?"

"Yeah daddy. It was blue and had spiderman on it and..."

This morning, the boy was trying his hardest to get little sister to go to The Fire Truck Park. This is the largest park in the area and it has an antique fire truck in the middle of the playscape. The Talker convinced me and The Princess that this was the best idea in the world. Ever.

We were the 3rd car in the parking lot at 9:35 this morning. Beautiful! Now the kids can actually play without getting lost in a crowd of kids on field trips from school. Or not. Five minutes after we got there, the busses started pulling up. 650 kids and 30 minutes later, we left to go play on the smaller playscape at the recreation center, on the other side of the park.

The kids had a good time at both parks. But AtHomeDaddy got one last lecture on the way to the recreation center. The boy remembered last time, six weeks ago, when he lost sight of me and thought he was lost. Forever. He wanted to make sure there would be no repeat, ever.

"Daddy, remember when we went to the recreation center and you left me and I was sad and you gave me candy and I was happy and we left and I was sad again? Can I have some candy?"

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Mattress Game

This evening at dinner, I asked The Talker what he wanted to do once we were finished eating. I fully expected him to answer either, "Let's watch the Buzz Lightyear show" or "Let's go play with our friends". However, I was not prepared for his actual answer, "Let's play the mattress game!"

Huh? What? He then continued, "Let's get it out and blow it up and bounce". Oh, NOW I get it. The Boss Lady was still lost and confused, though. One point for daddy.

A while back we pilfered a self-inflatable mattress from The Queen Mother. It was brand new and as far as blow-up mattresses go, a really nice one. Mom paid a lot for it. Then we stole it. But it is OK, because she has replaced it already.

The Talker likes to use this mattress as an indoor trampoline. Anytime we have overnight guests, he ends up jumping as early as possible, the next morning. So tonight, we played the mattress game for half an hour before bath and bedtime. And I don't know about the kids, but my legs are sore.

Hopefully they are worn out enough that they will need to sleep in tomorrow morning. Because I know I will.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Trading Spaces

Running the vacuum can be a very time consuming chore around here. Yesterday, I wanted to clean the kids bedrooms a little, so I recruited some helpers, The Talker and The Princess, and we got to work.

Since the ultimate goal was to get the carpets clean, we needed to move the furniture. Since we were moving everything around, I decided to try something the The Boss Lady and I have discussed for a while.

The Talker and The Princess are now sharing a bedroom. We are doing this on a trial basis. Depending on how they nap and sleep at night, we might not be able to keep the rooms set up like this. Yesterday, at naptime, it did not look promising. But last night they slept like angels.

The bonus is that now we can get some of the toys out of the living room, since the kids have a play room set-up in what was The Talker's bedroom. I was hopeful that all of the toys would fit in there, but the room is small, so for now, the train table remains in the living room. Maybe someday Paige Davis will come by and help me get that out of the living room, too.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Shop Time

I have only ventured out in the woodshop a few times since The Princess was born. I don't think I have started (or finished) any projects in almost a year.

The Boss Lady has to go to work in a couple of hours, so I need to hang close to the house while she gets ready. But I really wanted to get away for a while. So I hid out in the garage and started working on a new wooden truck design. What else would it be? A 1968 Chevy Longbed, Stepside, of course.

I drew up some basic plans a couple of months ago, but this morning I actually put the saw to the wood for a while. I got a rough body and rear fenders cut out.

Maybe I'll have it finished before The Princess' second birthday.

Just for grins and bragging rights, here is a picture of a Hummer (aka The Homer) that I built last year for The Talker. And here is a tractor/trailer I built a while back.

Friday, April 15, 2005


The Talker has been looking forward to going to his friend's house for two months. Tennis Boy lives in the neighborhood, and they met while paying at the park. His mom is a tennis pro and he is evidently pretty good. Whatever that means, when you are talking about a three and a half year old kid.

Every time we drive by, The Talker reminds me that "Someday we will have a playdate at Tennis Boy's house." Tennis Boy's mom and I set a playdate for today at 10 am. We got a late start over and by 10:15, they were walking down the street.

We went, we played, the playdate moved to our backyard, so The Princess could nap, and we played some more. Two hours and no tears. A very successful first playdate. The next playdate is already scheduled to start at our house, 9:30, next Wednesday morning.

Wanna come play at my house?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Payoff Pitch

The AtHomeTrio went on their own road trip last night. We went to the ballpark and finally got to see a winning effort. The Princess had fun, but she wanted nothing of sitting in my lap. She only wanted to sit in her own seat, on top of the diaper bag. The Talker was his usual self, entertaining the crown with his dancing and cheering. At one point he got bored with his sister and me, so he went and sat down beside the people in front of us. He even stayed down there after he turned and told the guy "Your not Uncle Lemon."

We left in the 6th inning, which might explain the win. But, we were there long enough to see Danny Klassen hit a Grand Slam Homerun! The first I have ever seen. The Talker was dancing in the aisle.

So now, AtHomeDaddy's record for the season stands at 1-3. The team's season record, 3-4. And the big payoff of the night? Keep the kids up to 9:45 and The Talker sleeps until 8. The Princess? Dunno? Still asleep and it is now, 8:45! I'd rather have that than a grand slam, any day!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Road Trip

The Boss Lady is going out of town tomorrow. She and several of her teachers are traveling a couple of hours away to visit a school that is very similar to theirs. They get to compare notes with someone else and see new approaches to dealing with common problems.

Me? I'll be holding down the fort for 36 hours, solo. I think the kids and I might sneak out to the baseball game Wednesday night for a few innings.

But, counting tonight, I have been to three games this season and they have lost all of those. They won all but one of the others. So, maybe the team will pay us to stay away. Then, the kids and I can go to a movie or to the indoor playground.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Do You Know the Difference Between 350 Degrees and 450?

Yes, technically the answer is 100 degrees. But in AtHomeDaddy Land, the answer might as well be, burned brownies.

I was trying to bake some brownies for The Boss Lady's birthday dinner. While I was feeding The Princess AND cooking The Talker's lunch. And two out of three ain't bad, right? I got the kids fed and down for nap. And then I noticed the smell.

Brownies burn very well in a convection oven. Especially if you accidentally add 100 degrees to the temperature setting on the oven. Dang, and I was being SO smart. I remembered to take off some bake time, since I was using the convection system.

If only I had read the directions closer. Or at all. Then The Boss Lady would have brownies tonight for her birthday dinner. Now I guess it'll be Ritz crackers with strawberry icing on top. Just like last year. That makes it a tradition, right?

Happy Birthday, Boss Lady. Hopefully the kitchen won't still stink when you get home.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

The END of the Weekend is Near

The AtHomeFamily has made use of the local highway system this weekend. Saturday morning we headed downtown to the Kars and Kids Car Show. Thunderstorms and bad weather were predicted, so there were not too many kars (or kids). It was still an awesome time. I'll post some pictures over at TruckinDaddy, soon.

Today, after church, we headed out to watch the local minor league, triple-A baseball team, Round Rock Express. It was hot, the Express lost and we left early. Definitely not a total loss, though. The kids got free baseball gloves for attending, and since it was a Sunday game, the team has family activities outside of the stadium before first pitch.

The Talker got to ride a horse and he got to slide on an inflatable slide lots of times. The inflatable obstacle course almost proved too tough, but he finally climbed over a big wall and finished the entire thing with only a little help from dad.

We were supposed to do "Mommy" things this weekend. After all, it is The Boss Lady's Birthday, Monday. Lucky for me, The Boss Lady enjoyed getting to do lots of family things this weekend, even if they were things that The Talker and I picked.

But we finally did "Mommy" stuff, when we went out to dinner tonight, with Uncle Lemon, My So Called Aunt and their children, Beautiful and Gorgeous. Our kids were well behaved. Theirs? They acted better than 1 year old Golden Retriever puppies. And since their puppies are really nice dogs, that is saying a lot.

The Boss Lady is going out of town Wednesday and will be gone for 36 hours. Should get exciting around here, about mid-week.

Friday, April 08, 2005

The Weekend is Near

This morning started a little early for The Boss Lady. At 3 am The Princess was running a fever. Since she is teething, just had shots, and is prone to urinary tract infections, The Boss Lady called our Pediatrician. This morning, we all headed down to The Pediatrician's office. The Talker and I skipped out on the fun and went to the park across the street. We chased ducks. We climbed trees. We played on the playscape. We won this morning.

They? The girls got to sit in the waiting room, waiting to get a 'sample' so they could test for another urinary tract infection. No urinary tract infection!

And no, I still have not folded the clothes. Yes, the pile is getting bigger, and yes I had to shove a lot of clothes out of the way so I could sit down on the couch. And yes, I dressed the children right out of the pile this morning. But that just means fewer clothes to fold tonight, right?

Thursday, April 07, 2005

I should be folding clothes...

but I decided to post some more recent pictures instead. Enjoy.

Here is a picture of The Princess at the park, taken about two months ago.

This one was taken during our Saturday Easter Egg hunt. That's my girl. Who cares about eggs when there is a truck to play with!

The Talker got to drive a lot of tractors at the fair, three weeks ago.

Try as we might, getting both in the same picture is a real trick. This was from about a month ago.

And here, you can check them out in their Easter best.

One of these days I'll actually update the kid's webpages, but this will have to do for now.

Late to the Party

The Boss Lady and I have not rented a movie in a long time. Blockbuster once reported us to a credit agency for a $3 late fee. And that pretty much did it for us.

But now, our grocery store has installed an automated DVD machine. You scroll the titles, pick one and it charges your credit card $1 a day. After 14 days, they charge your card $25 and you own that movie. Great. Now if they will ad some self-checkout lines, I will finally shop in peace. And I won't have to deal with the creepy 132 year old checkout woman.

Last night, needing mindless entertainment, we rented Dodgeball. Watching Rip Torn chunk wrenches at people from his wheelchair is well worth the dollar. Maybe it was not worth the $25 keeper fee, though. I had it back at the store before 10am.

Tonight's Feature Presentation, Friday Night Lights.

Amen, Brother

Russ, over at The Daily Yak, has a post up, about his wife and her recently hectic schedule.

Even though our schedule is not really crazy right now, I can sure share the sentiment. And by linking to his, I don't have to type all of the mushy stuff. Thanks, Russ.

But mainly, Thanks, to The Boss Lady.

I Once Hated the Time Change

But The Princess is still asleep, and The Talker has only been up for 35 minutes! Gotta love those legislative geniuses that gave us Day Light Savings Time!

The kids both had doctor's appointments yesterday. Once they FINALLY woke up, we rushed around getting dressed and out of the house. The Talker evidently has really big tonsils. And they only get bigger until the kid is 7 or 8. If they stay in that long. We shall see.

And the doc's advice about the boy's raspy voice? "Try not to let him talk loud, or yell" He is getting nodules on his vocal cords because he is always whooping and hollering when he plays. Keeping him quiet? Not a chance. Not even if we gagged him and kept a pillowcase over his head.

And The Princess? She got her one year shots. Plus one shot that we missed because of a urinary tract infection, at nine-months. Handled them like a queen! She cried for less than 30 seconds. And her moron daddy had left the pacifier at home.

She napped on the way home, so we went to the neighborhood park. Lots of kids and moms out there, so The Princess got lots of sympathy for her three band-aids on her legs.

The Boss Lady has gotten to come home from work early the last couple of days. So she has had time to play with the kids outside, before dark. Makes life gooder for all of us. Especially since it is not dark until about 10 minutes before bedtime, right now.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Having a Ball on Her Birthday

The AtHomeFamily is out of babies. We only have toddlers around here. The Princess turns ONE, today.

And continuing a tradition we started on The Talker's first birthday, she got a giant rubber ball for her birthday. You know the kind that they stick in 8 foot tall wire bins at Target or the grocery store.

Yep, that's it. And you know what? The Talker still has his big red ball, two and a half years later. And he still plays with it. Tell me another toy that still gets played with almost daily, two years later, and maybe we won't be so cheap on the kid's next birthdays...

We are going to hit all of the cool places on her birthday. Target. The mall. The grocery store. Since we all went to the auto parts store last night, I guess we will skip that. Maybe next year!

Insert your own rendition of "Happy Birthday to You" , here...

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Birthday Party Success

The Princess will be 1 year old in a few days. So we had a birthday party for her this morning, after church. It was a small party with a few neighbors and several of the kid's cousins. The kids all had a blast, and there were only a few tears shed.

The mommies talked about stuff that daddies don't care to discuss in public. The daddies talked about the truck. What a great party. Even if most of the dads almost got in trouble, because we were outside looking at the truck, instead of watching the opening of the presents.

But it is all good. Because there are cupcakes left for breakfast!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The Busy Before the Storm

The inlaws have landed. There are at least three hotels within two miles of here. Lucky for me, they are using those accommodations.

Since they were only here for a while today, and The Mother of the Bride brought three of our nieces down with her, I spent the morning (after a little truck time) getting the yard ready. I got all of the mowing, edging, weed-eating, and blowing the clippings off of the driveway and patio done before lunch.

It would have taken all day, but I went out in jeans and a sweatshirt. By 11, it was almost 80 degrees and I was overdressed. Nothing like dehydration to make me mow faster!

Friday, April 01, 2005

Hang Out Day

Recently The Talker has decided he likes "hanging out here", or playing at home for those of you not schooled in cool-kid three-year-old speak.

So today, we hung out. We played animals, with his hundred or so little plastic animals. We played cowboys with the red and yellow and blue cowboy men and Indians. We played with the Fisher Price Little People. We read books.

All good stuff. And a good day to be inside, since the wind was blowing 25 miles per hour almost all day long. I did not really want to risk going out there anyways. Neither of the kids weighs much. They might have taken flight in the breeze, today.
Except for that quick trip to get Krispy Kreme doughnuts, this morning. The boy and I were hungry and we found $10 laying by the computer. That trip was work the fly-away risk. But otherwise, it was a great day to play inside.

A little blogkeeping

I have updated my blogroll list. I deleted a couple of sites and I finally found one that was MIA.

A big "sorry, bud" goes out to Eccentric Father. Turns out I posted it to ADHDaddy by mistake.