Tuesday, February 28, 2006

It 's all in how you are raised

I let the kids watch Finding Nemo this morning, while I was trying to get a little laundry and house cleaning finished

For those who skipped the 2,243 showings of Nemo at our house, early in the movie Nemo's mother is killed by a shark.

Right as that scene is about to happen, The Talker turned to his little sister and prepared her.

"It's OK Baby Girl, Nemo's mommy is just at work. Nemo is just playing with his daddy today. She's not getting deaded by the shark."

Celebration that turned out OK

The Boss Lady wanted to celebrate her last day at her old job by going out for Italian food. Our favorite place closed down about a year ago and I don't think we have eaten at any Italian restaurants, except The Olive Garden, since.

There is nothing close, except for a Romano's Macaroni Grill. Since this was a special meal, we decided high dollar dining would be OK.

Now on to the bitching:

The hostess stuck us in the back of the almost empty dining room. No big surprise, since the kids were eating with us. But I hate getting crammed in the corner. Must be left over anxiety from my elementary school principal's office.

The waiter was quick to get drinks and take out order. That is not bitching, but those are about the only things he did right all night. It is hard to give good service when you disappear for half an hour.

The kid's food came out really early, before our meals. Nice if the kids are starving, but the pain is that they will finish quicker and then we can't finish our own EXPENSIVE meals. But they did help slow down the meal. The kid's food and plates were just about boiling hot. After blowing and fanning a smoldering cheese pizza for ten minutes, I was about to hyperventilate when my food arrived.

My food was over cooked, but the potion was huge, so I figured I could just avoid the edges and still have an OK meal. It was also near the point of spontaneous combustion when I first bit into it. But it tasted really good. I was going through the water like crazy, since the sausage in my meal was really spicy. That is, I was drinking a lot until I got cut off. After waiting 15 minutes for water, I finally got up and grabbed some from the drink service area across the dining room.

The waiter came back to clear the table and asked how was everything. He did not wait for the long answer. When she told him that her food was overcooked, he was gone with our plates. And of course, the only time he returned quickly to our table was with the check.

Luckily a manager cut him off with our check to explain that he has comped The Boss Lady's meal. He seemed concerned about everything else, so he got an earful. We were willing to pay for our meal, since we did eat. The manager wanted to know why we had not complained to our server. I explained that it is very hard to complain to The Invisible Waiter Man. It was pretty obvious that the waiter should not have been too busy at 5pm and the manager told us, "Gosh, he didn't even have that many tables to serve".

The manager understood that we were not planning to return. So he comped our entire $50 meal. Then he handed us his card and asked us to let him make it right another time. We will see about that. But there is a pretty good chance we will try again, but we will be calling ahead to make sure that some manager is on duty.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The long and the short of it all

If you want the long explanation for the pictures in my last post, scroll down a little. If you want the short version, stay here for a second.

The short version: Fingers should not be under shopping carts. It is not broken. The wrap stays on for another day or so.

And the long version: The kids and two neighbor kids went to Costco with The Boss Lady Saturday morning. When they were heading into the store, The Princess fell and the cart rolled right over her left index finger. Actually, it went right down the length of her finger, from her hand to her fingertip. By the time the herd got back home, The Princess had a swollen and sore finger.

I was supposed to take some food to our church at noon. Instead I took the girl to the ER and The Boss Lady carried the salad to the church, with the three kids in tow. The girl slept in my arms for a couple of hours at the ER. While the wife dealt with feeding and entertaining three kids. They X rayed and saw no major problems. So they fitted a temporary splint, which is bigger than a normal finger splint, because she would have ripped one of those off in a few milliseconds. Then they sent us home.

So in the end, she got a big gauze and fiberglass wrapped hand, which is very useful in smacking big brothers around. The Talker got smacked upside his head a few times this weekend by Big Hand Sister. The Boss lady was worn out from keeping the herd happy. And I slept at the hospital in a plastic chair for a few hours.

Sounds like I won this Saturday.

Pretty well wraps up our weekend...

Friday, February 24, 2006

Garden update 1

Our garden is ready and the onions are growing well. I planted them a little over two weeks ago. This morning the kids and I planted some Green Ice lettuce and some Mesclun greens mix. I don't think we have ever grown either of these in the past. Hopefully they will grow well. This is also the first year in a while that I have actually gotten the lettuce planted early enough that we should get a good crop before summer.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

That sums it up nicely

When we ran to the grocery store this morning, we only needed one thing. Who cares that it is 50 degrees and raining. We were out of Dr Pepper.

I told the kids that they could have a donut when we got there, since they have been playing nice together all morning. So we bought three things. Two donuts and a 12 pack. Much different than our usual hour long trip that fills the basket to overflowing.

When we got to the cash register The Talker looked into our almost empty basket and told me "But Daddy... We forgot everything".

I feel so conflicted

The kids are playing nicely. But we are out of Dr Pepper. So it is time for a grocery run. But they are being so nice to each other.

Screw it. I need caffeine. Everybody to the car, NOW!

Monday, February 20, 2006

My new heroes

I have a new respect for at home parents who don't have access to a car during the days of hanging with the kiddos. Especially when the weather is not nice enough to play outside. I have gone crazy hanging out at the house the last few days. The Boss Lady's car decided to take a vacation. So we sent it to the car spa resort/repair shop.

Turns out I knew just how to fix her car. I tried to do it. The part I bought was close. But you can't get the CORRECT parts except from some guy named Elmer in Moose Jaw, Alaska. And he only ships his ignition switches by a slow boat. Which must make a port call in Honolulu. After 4 days, we are still waiting on the part.

Saturday and Sunday were both rainy and cold enough that we stayed home. All weekend. A record for our family. Scratch that. The wife and kids went running around, I stayed home all weekend.

This morning we are off to Chuck E Cheese with several neighbor families. Not really my idea of a great hang out spot, but it has to be better than watching another 3 hours of Go Diego Go. Or spending 13 hours in the office, like one of my other heroes is doing today.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Gotta love the growth spurt

The Princess is right in the middle of a growth spurt. She has been sleeping two or three extra hours everyday. Yesterday we were up and running at 7. By 10 she was napping while watching TV in the living room. From 11 to 2 she was asleep in her bed. She went back to sleep for 30 minutes or so at 3:30. And she slept all night. (OK, The wife says she woke up once for a drink.)

So you would think that we are getting a lot done around here while Sleeping Beauty snoozes. Oddly I am not. But The Talker and I have gotten to read lots of books and do lots of puzzles this week.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Need to improve your eyesight? Clean your kitchen

The kiddos were playing quietly this morning. Don't really want to know what they were playing. I was just thrilled that it was quiet!

Anyways, I decided to tackle the disaster that has over run our kitchen. And after an hour of cleaning, the kitchen looks awful.

No, I did not forget to wash dishes or scrub counters. I even scrubbed the stove and microwave. Everything is clean.

But know I can see how bad this room really needs to be painted. And the floors that I never finished staining two years ago... And the really nasty crack in the slab, right through the middle of the room. It shines like a beacon. Begging for foundation repairs. Bet that'll be cheap!

Damn. If I left the mess alone I would have never seen any of this other stuff.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Wanna play Questions? Are you afraid you might get your ass kicked by a 4 year old?

A dozen years ago my cousins introduced me to a game called Questions. The premise is simple. Some asks a question. And the response has to come in the form of a question. Then the original person asks a question in response to that one and so on.

Little did I know that 8 years later a Questions master would be born. I should really think about changing The Talker's blog name. Something like The Grand Inquisitor would be much more fitting. For one thing, his sister now talks more than he does. But the main reason would be that he seems to go days on end only asking questions.

This evening I am letting the kids watch Monster's Inc. while mommy works late. During the first 27 minutes and 54 seconds of the movie, a movie that the boy has seen scores of times, he asked 63 questions. Sixty freakin' three.

You do the math. However you count it, that is a lot of questions per hour, coming out of a little mouth. I guess it is better than curse words, but sometimes I wonder...

And believe me this is not confined to movies. The Talker is sort of like a living and breathing version of 20 Questions that does not stop after 20. Or 200. So now I am hiding in the kitchen because my brain is too tired to answer anymore questions.

Right now there is only question on my mind. Where is the vodka and the cough syrup?

The good and the bad

The good news - It is a Friday, it is only 35 hours until the start of the NASCAR 2006 season, and it is a Friday.

The bad news - 13 hours ago I overheard The Boss Lady telling the kids that she will be at work really late on Friday. Wha? Huh? On a Friday?

At least it is raining, so we get to be stuck inside all day, too!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Just what every Daddy wants to hear

The kids and I went outside this morning, to check on the damage. It must not have gotten as cold a s predicted. No harm done, it seems.

In fact, it is a really nice day, so the children played on the playscape while I finally got around to doing some much delayed yard clean up.

While I was working I heard The Talker as if his sister wanted to play. Her hesitant response, "Play what?" was met with a very sure answer. "Tattoo shop!"

I did not get a lot of work done after that. I was a little busy making sure the boy did not decide to ink up his sister. That would be really fun to explain to the wife.

Besides, what kind of tat does an almost two year old girl go for? One of those tribal center of the back things? Too Nineties. A little butterfly on the hip? Too teenager. How about a crucifix covering her left bicep. That would go over great in Sunday School, don't you think?

I think he broke my brain

The boy woke up an hour early this morning. Don't know why. Don't really care. I just know that I was nowhere near ready to get rolling.

So after breakfast he wanted to watch a movie. Thinking I might get a few minutes to nap before little sister woke up, I let him watch Shrek 3D.

But watching the ogre in 3D was not good enough for him. He wanted to share the early morning 3D experience with dad. So I lay on the couch with 3D glasses on, watching too.

Now? He is watching again. And I am trying to get my eyes to readjust. Now everything has a weird purple tint and seems to be jumping out at me. Blogging in 3D is a little odd.

And now we can all see what happens when AtHomeDaddy doesn't get enough sleep. But believe me, it is even scarier in 3D.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Getting ready to garden

A few days ago I tilled up most of the garden plot. Sunday afternoon I moved a huge pile of leaves into the garden and tilled the whole place again. Since the garden is overgrown with a year's worth of grass and weeds, I still have a lot of work to get ready to plant.

The dog decided that the fresh dirt was too good to ignore. Kodak thought I built the perfect digging pit. So last night, while the dog watched and looked sad, I fenced the garden with 3 foot tall wire fencing.

This weekend we will add some compost and plant some onions and lettuce. It still may freeze, so we won't put out anything big for a while.

The kids helped me draw out a plan for the garden. We are going to grow watermelons, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, onions along with some herbs. Plus this year we may try to grow corn.

I always try at least one new thing each year. In the past we have tried purple hulled beans. They tasted like you would think a purple bean would. At least 15 different tomato varieties. We finally settled on Romas and Sweet 100 Cherry tomatoes. They grow best in our garden. This year, we might have one plant of another variety.

We tried squash and pumpkins. We got one of each. Too much work to harvest one. We tried birdhouse gourds. The vines damn near took over our backyard. And the gourds molded when we tried to dry them. Too much work to end up with none. And gourds stink to high hell.

So this year we are sticking to the basics. I want the kids to see some success. And hopefully we will all have fun while we get really dirty.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Park run

The AtHomeTrio started the week off with a bang this morning. We headed to a really nice park to hang out with the stay at home dads group. We were one of the few families that showed up, but the kids did not care. This park has a huge playhouse that can keep kids entertained and exploring for hours.

After a couple of hours at the park, both of the kids snoozed in the car on the ride home. Hopefully they will still nap for real, later today.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Diaper Strike!

AtHomeDaddy is calling a Diaper Strike.

No, I am not refusing to change diapers. Since The Princess is still wearing them, that would be mean. But I am officially declaring my intention to not pick up diapers that are left in the hallway during the evenings.

See, The Boss Lady has a bad habit of tossing diapers in the hall, with the intention of taking them to the trash after bath time. Now to be fair, they are never stinky diapers. That would be REALLY gross.

And sometimes they sit there until I pick them up later in the evening or the next morning. As of this morning, when I found 2 diapers on the floor, they will be sitting until the responsible party picks them up or until the dog or a child tries to eat them.

So if you come over, watch your step in the hall. And if you want to cross the picket line, that is OK, too. I won't hold a grudge. Unless you are a diaper tosser.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The world's worst girl toy

Need a gift for a kid you hate? Need to buy that jerky little kid around the corner a birthday present? Well do I have the perfect toy for you... A Fairytopia Magical Mermaid Barbie doll. Even the name sounds stupid, right?

Yesterday The Princess found an still boxed up Christmas gift in her closet. And who can resist "Daddy, can I play with my new Barbie? PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZE?" I tried to get the doll out of the box quickly, because my daughter was squealing with delight, just anticipating her turn with the new doll.

And now I know why The Boss Lady never opened this piece of junk. It broke. BEFORE I got it out of the #$)&()(#&$# box! The tail fin won't stay on, so we have a mermaid without a tail floating somewhere around the house. The Princes has already moved on to playing with real dolls.

The fin and bikini top are both now taped in place. But that won't work for long. The Talker is bound to get a few peeks at the mermaid's rack, because the plastic bikini is just barely covering the goods.

And that hair. Didyaknow that they sew the Barbie hair to the box? Yep. So The Mermaid is already losing her hair because I did not remove it from the box correctly. And did we really need another thing that sheds in this house? I think I hear the vacuum cleaner crying in the hall closet.

So if you feel the need to make some little girl cry, fork over a half naked prematurely balding tailess mermaid toy. It will make her day really special.