Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Apologies all around

I am sorry if we infected your kids this morning at the McDonald's on the freeway. I don't think any of The AtHomeTrio is contagious. But even if we are, too bad.

It was 80 degrees at 11:15 this morning. We played outside most of the morning with a neighbor and it was really cool at 9:00. But we have been hiding inside after 10:30 in the morning for the past month and a half, so we could not pass up our one chance to stay out until naptime.

After it rained yesterday, a cool front passed through and it stayed a little cooler. But this morning it was beautiful here. The kind of day my grandmother used to complain about. No she wasn't crazy.

She loved this town. And a gorgeous day like today was her favorite. While she was watching the world go by from her front porch, she often told me "Don't want too many days like this in a row. Days like this make people want to move here and there are already too many of them around.."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

OK, no chicken pox

The Princess' suspected chicken pox are just a viral rash. Looks much better this morning. We are just taking it easy again today though, in case she decides to barf all over me again.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Don't cheer or you'll jinx it

It is raining! For the first time in like 50 days!

And it is coming down pretty good, too.

I always miss out on all of the fun

I left the kids with The Boss Lady at her office on Thursday afternoon as I headed home for a funeral. I arrived at Mom and Dad's 3 hours later with no hassles. After the visitation on Thursday night, I ended up talking with an old college buddy until 4 a.m.

Lucky for us KB brought breakfast by. Unluckily, he brought it at 8 a.m. After the funeral KB three of our college buddies and me visited until after dinner time. It was a nice reunion, 11 years too late. We hooted and hollered enough at the barbecue place that I think we scared the locals. And we swore an oath that it will not take death or 11 years for us to gather again.

Back at home The Boss Lady was dealing with a campus wide power outage and fire alarms that would not stop ringing - so therefore the students were all outside for 30 minutes. All while she and The Princess were sitting at the pediatrician's office, 25 miles away.

Friday night The Princess decided to take mommy on a field trip and they headed to the Children's hospital ER, thanks to a high fever. The Mother of the Bride was here with The Talker, so at least he was able to sleep through the trip.

All of that to figure out later on our own that The Princess might have chicken pox.

Anyways, when I got home and started telling stories of my weekend, The Boss Lady has banished me from leaving town again. Especially if someone dies.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Home run

I am heading back home for a couple of days. The kids get to hang out with mom at work this afternoon and at home with her all day on Friday. Though I doubt they will actually spend much time at home. The Boss Lady always has something good for them to do.

KB's dad died unexpectedly this week. So I'll be heading home this afternoon to attend funeral services Friday. Buck was a huge guy, that we should have all been terrified of as teenagers. But he was actually a giant teddy bear and KB's friends loved hanging out with Buck. He will be missed by his family and innumerable friends.

Mom and Dad are out of town this week, so I'll have their house to myself. But short of raiding the fridge of sodas, I doubt if I'll make too much of a mess there on this trip.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Fence this!

Our side fence has been standing for almost 25 years. Pretty good for a wooden privacy fence that was probably built on the cheap back then. It is 85 feet long and a straight, flat run. Nothing special as far as fences go.

We have put off replacing the side fence since we moved here 7 years ago. Thanks to
the neighbor who did not like the way her fence looked, and a nasty thunderstorm 5 years ago, the rest of the fence has been replaced.

After the storm, I built our back fence and we split the cost with the neighbor on the other side. It took me a couple of weeks, because I worked on it when I got home from work each day. And I hand nailed the entire thing. No nail guns were involved in the making of that fence. But mainly it was a good chance to beat on something after working 10 hours a day with people I could not stand.

Then, the neighbor paid to have a new fence built surrounding her yard. 100 feet of that fence divides our yard from her driveway. But we hated the fence she chose, so we did not split the cost with her. So she is the proud owner of a wall of wood that towers 13 feet high over part of our side yard.

Our neighbor on the opposite side, where the old fence still stands, is a lot easier going. He and I have already agreed to build another plain wooden privacy fence and to split the costs. Originally I was thinking that we would built it ourselves. But I started calling around for estimates from fence companies to make sure that we would be saving enough money to make it worth the hassle.

The first company told me it would cost $1400 to fence that side of our yard. IF they hit no rock while digging post holes. (Not bloody likely around here). If they have to run the jackhammer, it would cost $1500 more! So they are charging at minimum $16 a foot for fence installed, with teardown and haul off of the old stuff. And if they play with the jackhammer, they get $34 a foot.

So, assuming that $16 a foot is close to what the other companies estimate, I guess I'll be building some fence pretty soon. But this time I think I'll bring a nail gun.

Second bid, almost as bad...

$13.50 a foot for a basic fence and up to $18 a foot for a "nicer" fence. AND $500 for the jackhammer that they won't even let me play with.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Want to trade a week of winter for two weeks of summer?

The kids and I are officially sick of summer. 25 days in a row of 100 degree heat and no rain for more than a month has worn us out. After all, we can only go swimming to escape the heat so many times. Last week I strung up some lights on the playscape. That way the kids can be out there after 8:30pm, when it is only 97.9 degrees. It is too hot to play out there after about 10:30 in the morning. Right about the time we usually hit our stride and WANT to go play outside.

This morning we are going to get the front yard watered and this weekend The Talker and I washed all three cars. The windows of the truck are rolled down and I am leaving them that way until it gets wet in there. So, short of doing a rain dance in the backyard, we have done everything I can think of to tempt some rain showers our way.

In other family news...

I got nuthin'. But did I tell you about the heat?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Home again

The kids and I got home Thursday afternoon. On the way home we stopped at the zoo. After a couple of hours there and three hours in the car, I was wiped out. But not the twosome. They rode around the zoo in a rented wagon and napped for a little in the car.

The kids were wired when we got home but it was about 30 degrees too hot to be outside, so they watched The Incredibles on the big TV and I hid out in the back of the house for an hour and a half. I am not much on napping, but the next thing I knew the kids were climbing on me and telling me that the movie was over. And we still had three hours until The Boss Lady would be home from work.

Somehow we made it through the afternoon. We ended up meeting up with The Boss Lady for some yummy Tex-Mex at dinner and luckily the kids crashed quickly at bed time.

Another road trip down and another day survived. Yeah for us.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Stop thief!

I am quickly growing convinced that someone has boosted our portable DVD player from the car. I have turned the house, car and garage upside down looking for it this morning. We don't use it often and it is usally crammed under one of the front seats in my car.

But this morning I was setting up the car for our quick road trip and I can't find the DVD player anywhere. I let the kids use it one afternoon last week when we were out running errands and had to skip naptime. Since then, dunno.

If you have any leads, call the police. Or Crimestoppers.

After all, this is Texas. A thief could probably get The Chair for stealing a kid's DVD player right before a road trip.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Hiding out

The Boss Lady's brand new school opens to kids in the morning. 400 or so kids, from 3 yrs old through however old 5th graders are, will arrive at somewhere after 7:00 in the morning.

So I am doing what supportive husbands all over do when the wife's job gets too hectic. We are getting the heck out of the way.

I am packing up the kids and we are leaving until Thursday. Going to Mom and Dad's for some end of the summer fun. Or just for a couple of days of watching a different TV. Whatever. We are packed and will head out in the morning once the kids wake up.

It is only 3 hours from here to there, but since President Bush is back in DC, we can cut through Crawford, past his ranch, and enjoy a nice drive through the country. Without any fear of ticking off the Secret Service and ending up in Guantanamo.

Plus, by escaping for a couple of days, we will avoid ticking off the Principal on the first day of school and spending the rest of the year on her bad side.

Edit - I was a day early. When The Boss got home at 9:00 last night, she clued me in that kids start on Wednesday. But that only really matters to me and you next year, on The Talker's first day of school.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Four years ago tonight'

I worked my last evening as a Parks and Recreation professional. That day ended with the fabled going-away party to which I showed up late and most of the guests were already gone and the food was eaten by the time I arrived. Two days later I started my current gig as Stay at Home Dad.

I am sure I could think of something profound to say about the experiences of the last four years, but I am too tired. Maybe I'll get around to it in a couple of days. The kids wore me out this afternoon while The Boss Lady was at work.

(And that, ladies and gentlemen might be the REAL lesson of being a SAHD.)

Good Night.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Kiddie Mosh Pit

When I first started this Stay at Home Dad gig, The Talker was 8 months old. The boy and I would make weekly jaunts to the coolest bookstore in town to catch story time with Miss Staci. And almost 4 years later, we are still following Miss Staci around town. Today we caught her story time at The Austin Children's Museum.

Her songs are the part that keep the kids coming back for more. And today we bought a copy of her debut album, The Big Bubble Be Bop. The Talker is already on his third listen to the new CD.

Anyways, today, when she sang her title song, Miss Staci had a bubble machine that was going at full speed. All of the kids tried to cram into a 10 square foot area where the bubbles were landing. It was pretty funny to see. Since The Princess was one of the smallest ones in the mix, I was anxious to make sure none of the other kids decided to let her body surf overhead.

After the chaos ended, we headed over to the museum store to buy the album. We came back later for Miss Staci to autograph it for us.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

It makes the day go faster

If you get real dizzy first!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Superman slept here

For the past month or so The Princess has been calling her big brother Superman. But mostly when he is asleep in his room. She seldom says it when he is in earshot. Not that he would mind. The boy thinks super heros are super duper cool. And anyone that thinks he might be one is alright by him.

Since The Princess wakes up most mornings before him, I get to hear "Daddy, Superman is asleep. Let's go wake him up" five times a week. But this afternoon, Superman took the blame for a wet spot on the tile.

While big bro was still napping, The Princess told me "Daddy, Superman wet my pants." I looked up and saw the tell-tale wet spot and the puddle on the floor. But I wasn't fooled. After all, don't you think Superman would have super bladder strength? He would be able to hold it for days and days....

It is just too bad she was wearing Superman's cowboy boots when the second spontaneous potty break of the day occurred.

Maybe I'll just tell Superman to avoid his cowboy boots for a few days, since someone spilled liquid kryptonite in them.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Let the housebreaking begin!

The Princess has started potty training. The rest of us are wearing rain gear and have draped the whole house in plastic tarps.

Hopefully this goes a little quicker than it did with The Talker. Because I don't know how long The Big White Dog will wear that rain poncho.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

If she kneecaps him, Elmo will be soooooo sad.

I think The Princess might have been watching Scarface last night while we slept. Whatever it was, she has perfected her Mafioso Goon voice. I kept hearing her from the other room "Are you talking to me? Are you talking to me? Are you talking to me? "

Once I got to the bottom of the laundry basket I went searching for The Princess and her hostage. Turns out a couple of Elmo dolls were getting the third degree while sitting in a rocking chair. But the Elmos would make good mobsters. 'Cause they weren't sayin' nuffin.

As I walked away I heard The Princess trying the soft approach "You WERE talking to me! I love you Elmo."

I think the boy has it all figured out

The Talker and The Princess have been playing pretend all morning. She is pretending to get ready and to leave for work. And he keeps telling her "Mommies go to work. Daddies stay home".

A minute ago he followed that up with "so I'll stay here and play with all of our toys while you go to work."

4 day re-cap

The kids and I have been keeping busy this week while The Boss Lady is working crazy hours to get her school ready for kids.

The Talker finally got his first real video game this past weekend. He is crazy for Cars, so we bought him a Cars game for our computer. Then I got it installed and found out that our 6 month old computer's onboard video card would not run the game. Off to Fry's for a new video card while the boy napped. $100 and 3 hours later, we were smashing cars all over Radiator Springs.

Sunday the kids each got to take a ride around the neighborhood in the now complete truck. It isn't finished, a long way from that, it does however now have ALL the major elements of a truck. Cab, motor, transmission,brakes and a BED.

Monday night we went out to the baseball game for a few innings. No excitement there, except for the $1 hotdogs and sodas. A night at the ballpark with your kids? Priceless. Feeding everyone out there, $7. What a bargain.

Tuesday. Stuff happened. Can't remember any specifics, though.

Wednesday we swam in the indoor pool at the YMCA, after hitting the playscape for an hour. Whoever decided that building giant canopies over playscapes in Texas was a good idea should be given the Nobel Peace Prize. Everyone was happy and everyone napped. Good times.

This morning the twosome played in the backyard and watched birds attack the feeder that we finally filled up over the weekend. One bluejay is in charge, but there are at least 20 other birds sneaking turns at the feeder when he chases away an intruder. While the kids were on the playscape I cleaned up what was left of the spring veggie garden. The only plants left out there now are one eggplant and a Sweet Basil. Everything else died in the heat. Soon we will start working on our fall garden.

By the way, when I spell checked this entry, Blogger thought I should change canopies to cannabis. I guess they think that the guy who decides to grow pot at the playscape should win an award, too.