Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Pops Visit

Pops came by the house yesterday afternoon, on his way home from a few weeks in the mountains. Pops is a good house guest. He arrived at 5pm and he was gone by 8am. Much unlike you slugs that come over and hang out for days on end...

We went out to eat and then Pops and I played with the truck for about an hour, while the kids played with Mommy in the backyard. While The Talker got ready for bed, I ran a couple of errands in the truck.

This morning, we are playing inside. It is 90 degrees and 30 bazillion percent humidity today, so we will be bonding with the air conditioning extensively. Quick run to the mall might be in order.

Sunday, June 26, 2005


This morning we went with a neighbor and his kids to RailFair. A good fun time hanging out with grown men who play trains a lot. Some of them even play with the really big trains.

The kids had a blast. The went into a caboose, onto a diesel engine (The steam engine is being restored) and they got to ride on a restored motorcar, a self-powered track service machine.

The most impressive part of the day was touring a privately owned train car that a family here in town recently donated to the steam after using it to travel throughout the US, Canada and Mexico in the 1970's and 1980's. They would have it pulled behind Amtrak trains as they went.

The kids were fascinated by the model train layouts, especially the G Guage, garden trains. They also really loved the DVD playing in the van on the ride out and back.

But the real highlight was the purchase of a little bit of decor for our yard. We are now the proud owners of a roadrunner made of welded railroad spikes and a steel creature made out of a shovel and some grass shears. Classy!

Pictures to follow, once I decide where they belong. Good art must be displayed properly, you know.

When the light don't go on in Austin

We loaded the kids and drove down to the university to see the tower in it's orange glow with a 30 story tall 1 lit up. But the team is coming home tomorrow, so they are waiting to light the tower until then.

We cruised The Drag and checked out the crowds honking and screaming in celebration. The kids had fun. The boy showed his big stuffed "Hook 'Em Horns hand" to the crowd while he was screaming along.

Disappointed to see the tower not lit orange, but we all had a good time.

Off to see the tower

UT Men's Baseball won a National Championship this afternoon, so we are taking the kids down to the university to watch the lighting of the tower tonight. Cool!

Ever drive through Austin and wonder what the tower lighting means? Check here for the newest lighting designs.

Another great reason to love this city. We have a big tower with lights, does you hometown?

NO? Then sit down.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Redneck Moving Day

Big Trash Day is coming! This is the one chance every seven months that we have to dispose of things larger than our city issued trash can. So The AtHomeFamily makes it a big event. There are lots of people who toss usable, but unwanted things out for big trash day. There are also lots of people who cruise the neighborhood and pick up usable items. Us? We try to have the one pile in the neighborhood in which no one can find anything useful.

Yes, we occasionally pick stuff up, too. Those white plastic lawn chairs. Never have bought any but we have three or four on the back patio, thanks to big trash day!

But this weekend I may have the mother lode for big trash, a shed. My old Arrow building is about worn out. And I am getting a new shed soon. So this afternoon I emptied and moved the shed. It was quiet a show. I balanced the shed on top of my garden wagon and strapped it down. Then the wife steered while I pulled the wagon backwards. Here is an artistic rendering of the move. We are leaving it sitting on the wagon until our neighbor decides if he wants it. If not, off to the pile it goes.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

AtHomeDaddy's Toy Chop Shop

One of our favorite things about our neighborhood is the nearby park. It is a city park with a couple of playscapes and hiking trails. Nothing fancy in the amenities. But the neighbors make it pretty special.

One reason is the giant toy collection. Lots of toys live at the park. Everyone has brought toys that their kids no longer use. Sand buckets and trucks, shovels and riding toys are all there for the kids to play with. Keeps us from having to drag toys to the park all of the time and since they are "everyone's toys" it sometimes keeps the kids from feeling too possessive.

This morning we were at the park and I was doing my rounds as the un-official toy inspector. If a toy is broken into so many pieces that it can't possibly be played with anymore, or if it is dangerous, then it takes it's final trip, to the park trash can.

There are two identical riding cars at the park. One had the top roof pulled off, but it still worked fine. Except for the metal rod sticking out if it's side, where the roof was attached. The other car has had broken wheels for a while. During The Princess' naptime, the boy and I set about chopping the first car into pieces. Notice the rod, sticking out by the door, right at toddler's eye level?

Then we swapped for the broken parts on the other car, to make one good riding toy. It won't be as much fun as having both cars, but hopefully no one will put their eye out on this one.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Housebroken in the Summer Time

It is summer. We are rotting our brains at the pool, at the splash park and in front of the TV. The wife is only working half-days, so we are all enjoying a little change of routine.

And the best change of all, The Talker is now officially 1000% housebroken. Some would call it potty trained. Whatever. We all love it.

Monday, June 20, 2005

The End of the Heatwave

Air Repair Guy has come and gone. The house is cool now and it only cost $150 for him to be here 45 minutes. $200 an hour. Money well spent, since no one had a heatstroke watching The Doodlebops this morning.

And it is a lot better than the $900 per hour the locksmith could have been charging last night when I locked all of our keys in the house. $45 for the 3 minutes that it took him to pick the lock on the garage door. Yep, we live in freakin' Ft Knox. But at least it is cool in here.

She is Such a Comedian

The Princess knows comedy. She has become the queen of the all-time-bestest fake sneezes. They go something like this:

Ah Ah Ah AH AH AH AH choo - Which really builds and then leaves you wanting more, because she ends quietly.

Which is usually followed by:

Ah Ah Ah Ah CHOOO! - This is almost the opposite, she stays quiet until the big bang at the end.

Then there is the ever popular:

Ah CHOOO! - The quick-fire sneeze always makes 'em laugh.

But her favorite must be the random sneeze, which this morning in the grocery store was going like this:

AH CHOO! ah ah ah ah choo AH AH ah CHoo CHOO CHOO!- 15 minutes of that? Who would not laugh?

While she was really going, I started following people, just to see how long it would take them to notice. It never took more than a couple of good sneezes and they were always smiling or laughing back.

The fake sneeze, verbal slapstick perfected by a 14 month old comedic genius.

No, I was not stalking old ladies at the grocery store, our air conditioning is broken and it is HOT at home, so we have been out, running errands.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

I Could Tell You

About our great afternoon and how much fun it was to spend time with the family. But I won't. I have been much too busy driving my truck, to know what is going on inside the house.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Skipping the Road Trip

The wife and kids headed out of town yesterday. They will be back this evening. Since it was a quick trip, I decided to stay home and knock out a few things on the To Do list.

Here is the list of things I planned to get done in 36 hours.

Laundry - Wash, dry, fold and put away all of the dirty clothes
Washing - The dishes and The Boss Lady's car
Waxing - Her car
Mowing - The backyard, weedeating too
Vacuuming - The entire house
Steam Cleaning - All of the bedroom carpets
Hanging - The Talker's curtain
Painting - The accent wall in the living room
Watching - A good movie
Listening - To the stereo, LOUD and late

What I actually accomplished is much more exciting. For me anyways.

But my list was not a complete waste. I did listen to the stereo loud, but not until this morning. I was sleeping off a late movie. A good one? Not really. I looked for something good in our collection, but the best I could come up with was, The Incredibles.

And besides, they aren't coming home for a few hours. I still might get my list finished...

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Is it OK...

to brag about how late the baby slept, even though she woke The Boss Lady up really early? It is OK, since The Boss Lady had to get up and go to work anyways, right?

I hardly woke up, in case you are worried. And The Princess? She slept until a time that rhymes with Hive after Ben O' Flock

But the worst part of the morning? She slept right through her morning nap... Dang.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Dog Days of Summer, Part 10 - The Final Chapter

The furry cousins are now gone. We are going to spent the rest of the night letting The Talker throw Hot Wheels and plastic toys all over the house and yard. And he will be safe in the knowledge that they won't get eaten.

Dog sitting was a multi-purpose event for The AtHomeFamily. We wanted to watch the dogs because we miss having big furry creatures welcome us home. But also, we wanted The Talker to become more at ease with these guys. He has been sort of scared in the past, but that is all gone.

He loved having the girls stay over. The Princess is going to miss sharing her milk cup with the pups. The Boss Lady liked having the girls over, too. And me? I now remember how much work dogs really are, especially when they are this big.

So now, only one question remains, "When are we getting some of our own?"

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Dog Days of Summer, Part 9

The dogs have been bad. They ate the bouncy ball-hop that The Talker keeps in the backyard. I am not happy with them, but I am really ticked at myself. When they arrived, I looked around the yard and decide that there was no way they could destroy this toy. It is big enough for an adult to sit on and made of really thick rubber. So it stayed in the yard.

And now it is dead. I hid the carcass from The Talker, buried it in the kitchen trash under veggies. He'll never look there for it.

If You are the Person

who found this site by googling "graduation caps made from Reeses Peanut butter cups", would you please explain?

At least it is not female deathbattle...

Monday, June 13, 2005


The Boss Lady starts her summer school teaching assignment today. So she is working most of the summer. But only 6 hours a day, four days a week. So I plan on slacking off of my rigorous schedule for a while.

This morning the kids and I headed to the park to meet up with a group of SAHDs. But starting the half-done theme off right, I took The Princess in her pajamas and when we got there, I realized that the kids had no shoes. Or snack.

So The Talker got to play on the biggest slide he has ever seen (and one of the biggest I've ever seen - you know, one of those straight metal slides, with a straight stairwell leading 10' up, to the top of the slide)while I kept The Princess contained in a swing. Then we bailed, because it was the baby's naptime. And no way am I goofing that up, not even half-way.

Dog Days of Summer, Part 8

The furry cousins are here for a few more days. They have really settled into our house pretty well. Except for the pretty cat. They won't leave her alone for anything. She only comes out once a day to et a quick snack, but they seem to find her every time.

I am a little afraid for the dogs because I think she is getting fed up. And she is armed. No one has trimmed her claws in a while. I am sure that she could make them into puppy hamburger meat in no time.

This morning she was sitting on the safe side of the puppy gate, just daring them to stick a nose or an ear underneath. And I have to admit, I was a little anxious to see it myself.

Nothing like a little bloodsport to get the week off to a good start.

But they were smart enough to stay at paws distance. Instead, they got bored an went outside to chew up a dump trucks.

Running tally of damages, I think we are now even. The dogs are have officially erased the dog-dish-debt.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

When is Our Summer Break?

Summers were a lot of fun when I was a kid. I liked 'em so much that I made a 15 year career out of summer time, by working at summer camps and kid's recreation programs that were busiest during the break from school. But being a SAHD has changed that a little.

I still love the fun stuff to do during summer, except swimming, I'm not much on swimming. Once I stayed home, The Boss Lady started working more summers. And now, this summer we are both trying to work a little. And I gotta say, I really like NOT working.

When The Boss and I were both full-timers at work, our schedules were almost opposites. When she was busiest, I was in my slower season. And in the summer, I worked like crazy while she napped and ate Bon Bons while watching As the World Turns. But even though I often worked a lot of summer hours, it was nice to come home while the sun was still up and have a little time to play with REAL dogs and to just hang out.

Am I a Bum? Probably. Lazy? Definitely. Lack of drive and motivation? You know it. And I like it that way, so go away. American Chopper is on. And my Bon Bons are melting.

Dog Days of Summer, Part 7

It's been a busy couple of days. The girls have kept us hopping, but all is well. The girls were home alone for several hours this morning and there is no new collateral damage to report.

The AtHomeFam took the girls for a walk last night. The pups really put on a show for the neighbors. They behaved really well and walked perfectly on their leashes. Lots of praises for 'em.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Dog Days of Summer, Part 6

Walks so far, 5. Short walks last night and this morning. Both were interrupted. Last night by playtime with neighbors, this morning, by a light rain. The dogs didn't seem to mind the sprinkles, but I remember the smell of two damp dogs in the house.

Collateral Damage We lost a beach ball and a pirate flag in the back yard. I guess the dogs are atheists or demon possessed. They ate a kid's book about the birth of Jesus. Another reason to get out of the rain. I don't want to be near these dogs when the lightening goes off.

Running tally of damages, I think we now owe them only $5.54. The dogs are quickly erasing the dog-dish-debt.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

We Interrupt this Blog to bring you DSL

Kids? What kids?

Dogs? Our dog died. A few months back.

DSL? Yeah, that I got. The phone company turned it on today. And I have not left the computer all afternoon.

I hope The Boss Lady gets home soon. The kids are getting hungry and stinky and the dogs have to pee. But the back door and the bath tub are too far from the computer.

Did someone say "wireless network"?

Dog Days of Summer, Part 5

Walks so far, 3. Too freaking hot out there for man or beast. Maybe tonight.

Collateral Damage The Princess is getting her licks in. Pretty ceramic water bowl. Gone. Done. Busted. Whatever. I knew it would not last, but I have been too busy to move it to the floor. That might have kept it around for a few more days.

Running tally of damages, I think we now owe them $8.73.

Dog Days of Summer, Part 4

Walks so far, 3. The girls behaved pretty well, once I wrestled them into the halters. I think I got more of a workout before the walk than during.

Collateral Damage No new damage to report, except one pop-tart that disappeared off of the couch. Goodbye to The Talker's breakfast.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Dog Days of Summer, Part 3

Collateral Revenge The Princess is getting a little revenge. After her nap and a snack, I found her walking around in the family room with one of the pup's Kong toys in her mouth.

Ewww. Yuck.

Turns out that she is really great at fetching when I throw it back into the toy basket. She is much better at retrieving than the lazy golden retrievers.

Walks so far, 2. The ladies behaved very nicely on tonight's walk. I ran over someone's front paw with the jogging stroller and one dog escaped from the halter. Twice. It slipped down around her neck, so she thought she was still on lead. Score, AtHomeDaddy 2, Dogs 1

Dog Days of Summer, Part 2

Collateral Damage The Princess' hair brush. Not so much destroyed as just simply chewed on. But it won't be going anywhere near the baby's hair again. Pretty good chance that the baby's hair wasn't getting touched until mommy gets home in two days, anyways.

Also, a second plastic sandbox cup. Met a much worse fate than the other. Hopefully the dogs didn't eat any of the million pieces that it shattered into.

Running tally of damages, $1.37 cents.

Dog Days of Summer, Part 1

Fuzzface and Furbutt are here for nine days. You can keep up to date with all of the fun and excitement by checking for subsequent blog posts.

So far, only one semi-panicked call late last night to remind us to keep extension cords away from the pups.

No problem. We don't want the baby and the puppies sharing toys, now do we? The kids get the electrical cords, the dogs get the squeaky toys, check.

And did you know it is really hard to water plants with golden retrievers in the yard? Yep. Both mutts ended up wet, I ended up wet and the plants ended up dry. Maybe I'll try again tonight.

Walks so far, 1. They both heeled nicely until they saw a cat, then my arm almost separated from my body. Score, AtHomeDaddy 1, Dogs 1

Things I want to know. Whose idea were the breakable dog dishes? And do you really think they will make it through the week? Might as well get the broom and mop ready to pick up the pieces...

Collateral Damage One plastic cup, it was put out of it's misery as a sandbox toy in a hideous manner. Burial services for the ex-cup will be handled by the city recyling crew.

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Post that Started it All

AtHomeDaddy is a year old tomorrow. Not the man, he will just be crying like a baby.

The blog.

I don't know if I should sing or what, so here is a link to the first post.

What a year.

The Boss Lady is off to Tennis Camp

The wife is heading out in the morning for three days and two nights at Tennis Camp. She says she is attending a conference, but there has been a lot of talk about drinks, pool, hot tubs and stuff like that. I have not heard much talk about work things. And since they are going to a tennis resort, I assume she is off to Tennis Camp. Hopefully she won't be too tired when she gets back.

Three days and two nights alone with the kids? Sounds exciting enough, but I am a Super Stay at Homer, so as of tonight, we also have two one year old golden retrievers staying with us for a 9 days. Hopefully they won't chew up all of our tennis balls. The Boss Lady might want to practice her new skills when she gets home.

The AtHomeFam hit the splash park again this morning. The Talker and I had a blast playing in the water. It was made even sweeter because we were the first ones there. We had the place to ourselves for about ten minutes. The girls hung out and ate snack. Must hve been fun for all, though. After a quick trip to the grocery store, we all napped for several hours. Good Times.

And the long weekend ends...


Sunday, June 05, 2005

American Patriot and Sports Fan

A few minutes ago, while The Boss Lady was getting lunch ready in the kitchen and I was sharing news of my latest Ebay purchases with her, we lost track of the boy. He had been playing with playdough in the dining room, but he wasn't at the table anymore.

The Boss Lady and I found him standing silently beside the table. He would only whisper that "I'm just standing up". He would not say anything else.

Then I realized that 'The Star Spangled Banner' was playing on the local country radio station that was on in the living room. They play the national anthem everyday at noon, followed by 'The Eyes of Texas'.

Evidently, The Talker now requires that we all stand quietly at attention when it is on. And you won't get off easily after that. You better have your horns up and sing loud through 'The Eyes of Texas', or you'll have The Talker to deal with because this is Longhorn Country and he is here to defend it.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Splash Day!

The AtHomeFamily went to a new water park this morning to celebrate the start of The Boss Lady's Fridays off for the summer. This park is a water play area with giant sprinklers and water features that soak the kids while the water drains away. That way there is very little standing water, so the younger kids can get right in the middle of the action.

And action was everywhere this morning. The Princess was not too interested in playing in the water and at first neither was her brother. He warmed up to the idea and went crazy for an hour. The Princess ate snack for an hour.

She and I both think that snack trumps waterplay, everyday.

After water play we headed out to lunch at The Talker's favorite restaurant. The experience was much better than last time, when the boy barfed, I fell in it, I hurt my wrist and he got a popscicle and a change of clothes.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Moving into the 21st Century

The AtHomeFamily is a few years late to the party, but we are going DSL! And after all these years of dial-up, simply because we are cheap. Well, the phone company is offering DSL for $2 more a month, we gotta do it.

Yeah, I know the price goes up after a year...

Yeah, I know we will never be able to cancel after a year, because I will be spoiled...

But just think, now I'll be online all the time, so words of wisdom can flow much more freely here. Good god, someone call the phone company and tell them to stop the maddness...

The Balance of Power

is seriously out of whack around here. The boys, AtHomeDaddy, The Talker and Other Kat always maintained control in this house, thanks to Big White Dog. Since he died, females have shared the control of the house.

But last night my cousins, Beautiful and Gorgeous spent the night with their girl puppies. Fuzzface and Furrbutt. Four extra females in this house? The other boys and I are scared. The three of us are hiding in the bedroom today.

And we are taking the TV remote with us!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


Deep thoughts from The Talker, shared while we were out on the playscape, this afternoon...

"Does sister wear diapers and I don't like mangoes?"

It's Just so Sad...

when a nice young man like me goes absolutely insane. I damn near broke my glasses and my nose on the front door when we got home from the grocery store a few minutes ago. Made my nosebleed when I walked right into the locked and deadbolted frontdoor.

Heck, the doors at the grocery are electric and they open by themselves. Why shouldn't our front door, too?

And then there was the three seconds of trying to unlock the door, without setting down the napping baby or the hamburger meat. Does not sound like a long time, but it felt like forever. Especially since I was trying to unlock the front door with the van remote.

Heck, the doors on the van are electric and they unlock at the push of a button. Why shouldn't our front door, too?

Even though I have lost my freaking mind, I am still good! I got the baby out of her shoes and into her bed, the meat in the fridge, the toddler on the pot and into his bed and I did not get a drop of blood on the carpet.

But now I can't find my keys and the rest of the groceries are locked in the van....