Thursday, April 27, 2006

Half the mail in twice the time

OK, technically it is a third of the mail. And I have no idea how long it actually took to get here.

We got a card of some sort from someone's mom today. I think it is from The Mother of the Bride. But who really knows. Without further delay, I present you with today's mail.

All that is left of the envelope was the address. All that remains of the card is the thin strip that was luck enough to survive the sorting machine attack.

But the post office is concerned about keeping customers happy, so they mailed us the shreds in an envelope with this apology.

I hope she did not spend too much on the card or include any cash in the envelope. And if you did, thanks for trying, MOTB

Budget swim day

This morning the kids and I planted a new crop of beans in the garden. After we got them planted and watered, I ran to the house to catch a phone call. I figured I was taking a little chance by leaving two kids alone with a trickling water hose.

A couple of minutes later I found both kids and the garden hose in a plastic tub that we use to contain playscape toys. The kids dumped the toys and were waiting patiently for the bucket to fill up. Of course they killed a little time by stripping off every stitch of clothing they had on.

So here we are, one dressed adult, two nekkid kids and a wet dog pouting nearby, all hanging out in the backyard. I finally took some pity on the kids and set up the pool.

But seeing that they were already soaked, I would not let The Talker go get his new swimsuit. Why should he grow modesty now, right?

The mowing crew working next door worked right through the swim party. But I bet they had one heck of a story to tell later.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Better get a bucket...

The garden feast was enjoyed by all. Or at least the oldest two members of the family.

Tonight for an appetizer The Boss Lady and I had salads from the quickly fading lettuce and greens crops. And for dessert we had more vegetables. Pan fried eggplant rolled in bread crumbs with fresh rosemary and oregano. All the veggies and herbs came right out of the garden.

It was all so good that I forgot to eat dinner. Which was a really nice piece of barbecued chicken. That I will get to munch for lunch on Wednesday.

And for the record, The Talker took a couple of bites of lettuce and The Princess tried a sliver of the eggplant. No complaints from either of them afterwards.

Words from a wise 4 year old

The Talker is worried about the weather since it is cloudy and gray outside and he wants to play in the yard. While trying to convince me, and maybe himself, that it is not going to rain, he spouted out this gem:

"Don't worry about what is going to happen."

Pop Quiz!


What hurts worse than scraping your face knees and hands when falling in the street while chasing a 115 pound dog?


The day after.

I think I sprained/pulled/twisted/tweaked/wrenched/bent or broke something yesterday. Maybe several somethings. And lucky for me The Talker's antibiotics have taken hold, so the kids are back up to 100% strength today.

Anybody want to start a pool to bet when I will start crying? I'll chip in $15 to cover the 11 am hour.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Things you missed

Not much worth blogging about lately:

Here are the highlights from the past few days.

Hail can actually get to golf ball sized chunks. We had a half hour hailstorm blow through Friday. Lots of dents in the old car, none in the new car, thanks to the garage. The truck? Must take more than a golf ball to dent my old rig. No new dents on it.

The insurance adjuster came over this morning and took a quick look around before letting me know that our house needs a new roof. Fine with me, since the guy who installed this one turned out to be an idiot.

The garden is growing great. The Boss Lady and I ate salads right out of the garden yesterday, even though some of the lettuce had holes from the hail storm. The tomatoes are on the vine but not ripe. No beans or melons yet.

The kids are fine and dandy. Thanks to the nurse at The Boss Lady's school. The boy has been REALLY LOUD lately. After a trip to the nurse and then to the Pediatrician, we found the problem. Double inner ear infection. He never complained about his ears, but man, was he LOUD. Not that he is ever quiet, but clog this kid's ears up and you can break the city noise ordinances.

The kids also have new pets. But these are my favorites. Kiddy and Roy, came from Build a Bear Workshop. Pictures to come soon.

The dog went for a cruise this morning. After the insurance guy left, we went to the park and I put the dog out. Too bad I left the gate wide open. Luckily Kodak ran to a friend's house two blocks over and he played with there until we got home from the park. When we got him back home, he broke free of his collar and went running again. He took sympathy on me when I wiped out in the street and scraped up my hands, knees and face.

Pictures will not be following.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

How to tell if you belong to this family...

you need a helmet to dance.

A neighbor came over to play this afternoon. He was playing on the toy drums while I adjusted the kid's new bike helmets. Then the dancing broke out but the helmets never came off.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Dueling Doodle Pros

Adding to my deep admiration of seven year olds, Sunday, while the AtHomeFamily was hanging out at Sis' house, The Nephew Without a Name and I had a name calling battle. He won. Big time.

We were each using a Doodle Pro to come up with silly names for the other. I had a hard time making up names that were age appropriate. The Boss Lady said I wasn't allowed to use the F word. He was much more creative, with names like Booger Brain and Stinky Ear.

He also came up with the winner of the First Annual Easter name calling fest - Action Stink!

I am Action Stink. Fear me.

Cutting the cord

After three days of dorking around with it, I finally got our wireless internet router up and running. Actually it was pretty easy, once I went to the manufacturer's website and read through the tech support section.

Before that I got it working, then I broke it, then it would not work for a while, then it was back on again. And after all of that, I could not get online again.

But tonight I finally looked success in the face and conquered the router. The wife and I celebrated by checking our email separately and simultaneously.

Life unchained. Wooo Hooo! Now I know what the dog feels like when someone leaves the gate open.

Monday, April 17, 2006

It's an AtHomeDaddy Tool sale, EVERYTHING must go!

OK, not everything. But I am tired of tripping over the beast. So I want to sell it and get a smaller one that will run on 110 electrical power. This is my first effort at selling on Craig's List. If this works, some of The Boss Lady's stuff might go up for sale next week.

C'mon, somebody needs a gigantic air compressor that runs on 220 electric. I'll make you a good deal.

Chain blogging

I won't forward a chain letter, no matter how much bad luck I am threatened with if I dare break the chain. And the whole blog tagging thing I don't really understand, but here I am.

I got tagged by The Bean's Dad, over at where boys fear to tread. So here, for your perusal, are six (plus a couple of bonuses) strange things/facts about me:

1. I never owned my own television until I was almost 30 years old. My parents had some, college roommates always had one, and the wife had an old one when we married. We now have five.

2. I once lost my hair to a seven year old. When I was 24 and running a summer camp. If he beat me in a foot race back to the dining hall then I had to shave my head. He did. I did.

2b. I also once lost my facial hair to a barbecue grill. When it finally lit, I stopped, dropped and rolled.

2c. I also once got beat up by a seven year old. I was 25 but he had gravity working with him. He blacked my eye while I was rolling down a hill. A hill I was falling down because he pushed me. He started it, I swear.

3. I have only gotten four or five speeding tickets in almost 20 years of driving, but I got two on the same day. The first one was for 72 in a 65, the second was for 72 in a 55. 150 miles away from the first ticket and less than two hours later. Guess the cops clocked me as I was slowing down.

4. I have completely destroyed two bikes in crashes. I tore up a road bike when I hit a parked Volkswagen and finished it off when I hit a road construction barricade at full speed. Years later, I killed a mountain bike riding trails during an ice storm.

5. I once ran over my own foot. On a forklift. Afterwards, neither the forklift nor my foot were broken.

5b. I also once got my foot almost broken when I got stepped on by a horse. That I was leading around.

6. I know the true stories behind MPH Factors and CBH. And a song and dance about the OJ Simpson trial.

So there you have it. Several more pieces to help you complete the AtHomeDaddy puzzle. Feel inclined to answer for yourself? Then go tag yourself.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

We are now 1 and 1

I took The Talker and one of his buddies out to the ball park tonight. They boys had fun getting sugared up with the 6 pounds of snacks I brought along. After the suckers, peanuts and fruit candies we had to wash it all down with a few sodas.

After three innings I decided to give the people around us a break from the high energy twosome and we ventured out to the kids area above centerfield. The boys waited in line for an inning to bounce for four minutes. But after that, they told me they were ready to go home. I guess the sugar buzz had finally worn off. We hung around for another couple of innings anyways.

I got to listen to the end of the game on the radio driving home. Which was fine since the game was tied up when we left. Friday night we won, tonight we lost. So The AtHomeFamily is now 1 and 1 on the season tickets. 70 more games to go.

We are skipping the afternoon game on Sunday to hang out with Sis' family. No big loss, since it should be about 90 degrees at game time.

A side note - the kids have stood or sat in the aisle for most of the games we have gone to in the last three years. They haven't bothered anyone out that I know about. Plus they can see better and they can wiggle a little easier. Tonight, during the 6th inning, an usher came and shooed them back to their seats. It was pretty funny watching the boys wait her out and seeing them head out to the aisle again as soon as she was out of view. Sneaky kids. They cracked me up.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Play Ball!

The AtHomeFamily went to the home opener for the Round Rock Express last night. They won. We stayed through 3 1/2 hours of baseball to see the fireworks show. Everyone had a good time.

Especially the drunk idiots sitting directly behind me who screamed right before every single pitch. At least they kept it interesting. Sometimes yelling and cussing in english, sometimes in spanish. And I am pretty sure that my hearing will return but only if I never sit near those chicks again. Thank goodness I heard they ran out of beer money in the 5th inning.

In other news, the good guys won. The kids had a blast and the fireworks were awesome.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

My sleep number?

Dunno. Don't really care.

But I do care that our new bed was delivered this morning. Maybe I'll get a decent night's sleep tonight. For the first time in 8 months.

We bought a new bed last summer. After the first night, I had an awful backache. It never really goes away unless we spend the night somewhere else. Being the genius I am, after 6 months or so, I finally figured out that I was out of luck. The new bed was too soft for me. But The Boss Lady slept great on it and we were surely past the time when Costco would take the pillow-topped torture device back.

I caught a lucky break a month ago, when The Boss Lady mentioned that her side of the bed was uncomfortable. Seems a spring broke and was poking her in the side.

A side note - Did you know that AtHomeDaddy can sing "Just a Gigolo" unprompted, from memory. The entire thing. Yeah, the wife is proud, too.

Costco has agreed to take the bed back, we just have to tote it up there. And I am betting that we will get no hassle from them, since we bought the new bed from them, too. The new bed came through the online site. It was the most plain and firmest set they sell, so hopefully I will get some decent sleep now.

If not, I guess the wife and I will have some fun trying to break this one, too...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Birthday party gems

Today the kids and I spent most of out time getting ready for The Boss Lady's birthday party.

We made the cake the first thing this morning. While it cooled, we ran to the grocery store to get icing, candles and strawberries. I should have know that my vision of a cake covered in cream cheese icing and sliced strawberries would not come to be.

The Talker wanted orange candles. The Princess, pink. He wanted vanilla icing wanted, she had to have chocolate. The Talker really thought the Shrek sprinkles were great. The Princess decided the princess sprinkles would be best for mommy.

So we compromised. I bought the strawberries and vanilla icing. We also grabbed pink and blue candles and multi colored sprinkles. Once home, I iced the cake while the kids ate lunch. They sprinkled and I placed the candles. After covering the cake with sprinkles, The Talker spied the almost full bottle of left over sprinkles. "Daddy, maybe I could get a plate and we could have a bowl of sprinkles for a snack."

We made a side trip to let the kids pick out some nice birthday gifts. The Boss Lady will look spectacular in her kitty cat bracelet that The Princess picked. If she isn't in a kitty mood, she can wear the silver dangling heart bracelet that The Talker picked out.

After that, the kids napped while I cleaned the kitchen and folded laundry, hoping to have things straight before the birthday girl got home. When she arrived, we headed to Cheddar's for an early dinner and birthday cake at home afterwards.

The Boss Lady enjoyed her cake and presents, she even agreed to share the Pringles that The Talker got for her at the grocery store. "So mom, you want to share your chips, right?"

And for the first time ever, I took the easy way out on the birthday gift. I bought the woman something she has asked for many times. Earring backs. The little piece that keeps earrings in place. I never wanted to get them for her. Initially I thought the gift was boring but without them she cannot wear her diamond earrings.

I took her two best pairs of earrings into the jewelry store to get them cleaned and make sure they had the right backs for them. The backs were not really expensive, but when The Boss Lady saw her earrings looking great, her eyes sparkled.

One pair of the earrings came from The Boss Lady's dad, when she was 10 years old. And while waiting for the saleslady to finish cleaning the earrings, I could not help but browse the diamond earrings for little girls. In another 8 years I guess I'll be buying some for The Princess.

And while she was admiring mommy's earrings, The Princess hit us with the winner of the night. "Mommy, you have sprinkles for your ears."


Monday evening, while the kids were playing in the backyard, I decided to track down JB. He was my college roomie for a couple of years and except for classes, we were damn near inseparable.

We seem to lose touch every couple of years. And I had not chatted him up since he moved to LA. Once the bee was firmly in my bonnet, I started trying to find a number for him. He is a cell phone only type of guy so that it isn't too easy. Especially since his number was stored only on my old cell phone. That drowned itself in the Gulf of Mexico.

First a quick call to information just to check the city where I last knew he was living. No number, no surprise.

Then a call to info to ask for his dad's number. No deal. After I realized that I had given them the wrong town name, I tried a third time. No listing there, either.

Yahoo to the rescue. No numbers for son, dad or mom, except one for Jr, when he was several states away and one for the parents that I knew was their old address. No go on Yahoo, either.

I was a sad boy until I saw a listing with the correct last name in the right town, wrong first name. But it seemed promising.

The Boss Lady, The Talker and I had gone to JB's parent's house a few years ago. So I pulled up a Google map of the address and saw that the house was right where I remembered it. I also remembered that JB's mom and dad had bought his grandma's house a few years ago

At last, success with his grandma's phone number! Ain't the internet great?

A quick call to dear old roomie's dad on grandma's number and I had JB's new cell phone number in my hand. After that, JB and I were on the phone for at least two hours while I shopped for The Boss Lady's birthday gift and made a Costco run. A little bit of reminiscing and a lot of shit got shot. It was a good time goofing around with a good buddy.


Sorry, but I am not at liberty to divulge the contents of any conversations I may or may not have had with JB in the past, present or future, sorry.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The annual birthday gift hunt

For the first time in several years I actually have a clue.

I should probably just end the post there, but I'll elaborate.

The Boss Lady's birthday is approaching quickly. As in it will be here before my next blog post. So the kids and I are finally getting around to shopping for her gift. I have a head start since I actually have an idea about what to get. But of course, I like The Talker's idea better than my own.

She works hard, so she really would enjoy a motorcycle, right?

Harbor Freight, here we come. But maybe we will swing by here just to see if a gift catches The Talker's eye.

Edit - Well, we WOULD go shopping if we could find my keys for The Boss Lady's car... Anybody seen em? A Ford key and a house key on a Round Rock Express key ring? No?


Thursday, April 06, 2006

World's best baby picture
What every parent dreams for their daughter

One of the blogs I check in on is THE ODA MAE BABY BLOG

I had not been over in a while and I had to scroll down to the middle of the page to get to this entry, Doctor visit...

Be sure to follow the links and scroll to the bottom of the page to check out the best kid picture ever taken.

Or if you are really impatient, click here.

OK, I know it was photoshopped, or something, by Mr. Mom in Florida. But it has had me laughing my butt off all afternoon.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Ooops, It's Wednesday

This morning I got up, I put out the trash, I set out the recycling and I got the back yard poop scooped. My usual Wednesday routine. But I thought it was Tuesday most of the morning.

So you might wonder why did I put out the trash? Because the neighbors had their trash out and even at 35 years old, I can't resist peer pressure. Still, I thought they were moronic for putting out the trash a day early... Hey, I may be an idiot, but I am a complicated idiot.

When we got to the bouncers this morning, it hit me. Wednesdays are full price day. $10 per kid to play on the moon bouncers. Ouch. But the pain of turning back then would have been much worse than paying full price. No one wants to hear our kids cry that loud in the mall. Plus, it is the girl's birthday, so we bounced at full price.

The upside to dropping a wad? There are usually 50 or more kids in the place when we play on half price day. Today, 10 kids at the most. The Talker had a blast for almost three hours. The Princess had fun bouncing for a little while and robbing the candy machines for the rest. Several times I saw her eating something, so I guess she was able to shake candy loose once in a while.

We may have to consider going back on full price days. The kids had tons more fun and the other kids were well behaved enough that I was able to play along, too. A rousing game of hide the Daddy's hat went on for than an hour. At first a couple of mom's seemed worried that the kids kept snatching my brand new ball cap. When they realized that I was not worried about it, everyone had fun.

My cap showed up inside of every bouncer in the place and I think every kid there wore it at least once. Thank goodness we haven't played the cap hiding game when there were 50 kids around on half price day.

You might not want to let YOUR kid wear my hat though. Especially if you see any little bugs crawling around in my hair next week.

The Princess is 2!

Last year we had big fun on The Princess' birthday. This year she gets to pick the fun for the day. So far, we know that we will be going bouncing in a little while and eating lunch at McDonald's.

Everything else is up to the whim of our 2 year old event planner. And who cares if she is snotty with allergies? It is her birthday.

But she said we can't go to the auto part's store this year, either.

It's curtains for The Talker

Before The Talker was born, we decorated one bedroom pretty well. It has custom made curtains that hang from a large rustic tree branch and the room got a fresh coat of paint before the son was born. There is an outdoor feel to the entire room. Worked great when it was The Talker's room. But now it is The Princess' room and we will have to redecorate someday. But for now, we still like it and she hasn't told us that she hates it...

The Talker's room got new miniblinds three or four years ago, but hasn't been touched since. Besides a few posters on the wall, there is nothing to give his room any character. But last night his room took a big step towards looking like a little boy's room. New curtains. Sort of. Actually they are banners from past Round Rock Express seasons. The souvenir shop didn't have this year's banner, yet. But we already have the spot marked out.

Most importantly, he thinks it is cool. And I bet Uncle Lemon will think so, too

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Play Ball!

Tonight the AtHomeFamily headed over to the ballpark for the first time this season. This is the second season that we have shared Round Rock Express season tickets with Uncle Lemon. They don't start playing home games for 10 more days, but tonight they were entertaining season ticket holders with a meal and a meet and greet with the players and coaches.

The Talker was disappointed that they were not playing a game but he was excited to get to talk to the players. He said that he wished they had worn "their baseball playing clothes tonight", instead of the casual clothes they were all in.

He got a few player and coach autographs on his ball glove. Last season he would only let the mascot, Spike sign. Including Spike, his glove has been signed by Pitchers Dave Borkowski, Jared Gothreaux, and Mark McLemore, Third Baseman Joe McEwing, the Manager, Jackie Moore and one mystery player. I forgot his name and his number does not appear on the current roster. And of course, these guys are all wanting to be major leaguers, so they all have autographs that no one can actually read.

Edit - leave it to Uncle Lemon, the keeper of all baseball knowledge, to be able to recognize the mystery autograph. The unknown player? #3, outfielder, Mike Rodriguez.

Even though the players did not play a game, we had a good time. The kids got new Spike shirts and hats. And I found a rack of 75% off hats in the stadium store. So I come home with a stack of hats, a $2 license plate frame for the Saturn and half a dozen banners from past years, for The Talker's room.

After all, I like baseball. But I love a good 75% off sale.

My last one year old day?

The Princess turns two on Wednesday. She already acts like a two year old and is as big as her two year old friends, but tomorrow makes it official. And hopefully soon, I'll quit being corrected by The Talker every time I tell someone she is two.

This morning we headed to the children's museum to enjoy "No Group Day". The one day each month that they do not schedule school field trips or day care centers to visit. Since it is not crowded, we try to make it every month.

Afterwards we had to run a few errands. We stopped at a new Sears store to look for a Dora shirt for The Princess' birthday. I wanted to get her as t shirt, but everything they had was too fancy. We cruised through the toys on the way to finish our errands and The Princess latched onto a new set of dolls.

"I want to take these home in Daddy's new car, pweeze."

Who could say no to that? So we spent all of her birthday money from mama and papa on two new dolls. She enjoyed them for the ride home. But when it was time to nap, she told me, "NO babies in my bed. I don't like them."

Of course, she never did say she wanted to play with them, only to take them home in the new car...

Isn't that the cutest thing you've ever herd from an almost two year old. My baby really is a two year old, isn't she?

Yes, Talker, I know, NOT UNTIL WEDNESDAY!

Monday, April 03, 2006

All things considered

Letting the kids eat The Princess' left over birthday cake isn't that bad of a breakfast, right? Especially compared to the left over Krispy Kremes and Dr Pepper I just enjoyed for my morning meal.