Thursday, January 31, 2008

Just call me RacecarDaddy

For the past month or so I have been toting one of my cousins to her driver's education classes. It has been a pretty good deal all around. She gets someone to haul her across town and The Princess gets someone to play with while we are waiting around for her lessons. Me? I hide from my child while the cousin is around, since there is someone else around to keep the 3 1/2 year old busy. Or I vacuum.

Always exciting, right?

So one of the side effects of hauling the cousin to driving classes, I seem to get paranoid about doing things correctly while the cousin is in the car. Need to be a good role model, right?

And let me tell you what, she learned EXACTLY how to behave while I was getting a speeding ticket today. I was a perfect example of saying things like "Yes sir." and "Thank you." And I think I even threw in a "Have a nice day and stay safe" at the end.

Yep, gotta teach the kid ALL there is to know about driving, right? Next week maybe I'll teach her about traffic court and how to cry in front of the judge.

Or maybe I'll just show her how to watch the #($^*&@ speedometer.

Just FYI, Because I have a commercial driver's license, I can't take defensive driving so 10 over the speed limit in Austin is good for $167. At least he didn't write me up for the full 21 over. That would have set The Boss Lady back $253.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Waiting for her head to spin around

Poor Gil. He got barfed on, real good. But as I remember Steve Martin's role in the movie Parenthood, he only got puked on in one scene.

The Princess of Puke and I now working on a barf movie of our own. She has barfed in no less than 4 places today. My car and the Chick-Fil-A parking lot seemed to have gotten the worst of it. And the costume changes would astound you. We have puked on enough clothes to clog the washing machine. Twice.

Yes, WE. See, I have this unfortunate response to barf. It makes me puke right along with the barfer. So now, we are wretching up a duet.

Wanna come over and make it a trio?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Not a good start

It's Monday. Again.

The Princess is staying home from school today, to nurse an ear infection. The Boss Lass is staying home with the girl. I don't think she is feeling very good, either. By 7:45 they were curled up on our big bed, watching Cinderella.

So that leaves me to go to work. On a foggy morning. Yuck.

Move over guys. I want to stay home and watch movies, too.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

TV junkies

My kids watch more TV than I would like. They probably watch more than some of their friends, but not as much as others. But they aren't so crazy about TV that they cannot function without it. Or BECAUSE OF it.

Yesterday we were waiting in a Dentist's office waiting room. And this place was decked out for the kids. There was an XBox and a touch screen computer for the youngest patients. High on the wall they had a flat screen TV that was hooked to the office computers, so that they could use iTunes to run the movies. It was a pretty slick setup.

My kids played with the computers and basically ignored the movie. I was impressed by the size of that screen hanging on the wall and caught myself dreaming of a TV that big in my living room.

Anyways, I had to laugh at some other kids in the waiting room, when the mom had to ask for the TV to be turned off, so that she could get her kid's attention. The mom called each of their names at least a dozen times, but they gave absolutely no response. Not even a blink. It was a little creepy.

One of the girls even held her gaze on the TV at least three or four seconds AFTER it was turned off. And I think she glanced back at it as she was walking back to the exam room.

Anyways, the mom announced that "We don't have TV in our house. So they just get a little excited."

Whatever. As of this morning, I am calling that mom out. She is a liar and her kids are just TV junkies. Oh, she might be telling basic truth. I haven't seen their house. But guess who was throwing a fit in the school parking lot this morning because the dual monitor DVD system in the Honda Odyssey was about to be turned off.

You got it the very same kids. Both kids wailing in the school parking lot. Because of TVs that they don't have. And all through the dual-fit? The movie played on...

It was cool. And I laughed out loud. No TV indeed.

See, The Talker and The Princess watched a show this morning. And we left for school when it was over. The only tears shed came when they raced to turn OFF the TV and The Princess slipped on the tile floor.

AND we made it to school on time. So take that, No TV Momma.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Things I heard...

this weekend, while The Boss Lady was gone.

"Daddy, is #@(*& a bad word?"

"Daddy, why did you say #@(*& when you hit your foot on the chair?"

"Daddy, I don't wanna eat another grilled cheese sammich"

"Daddy, why do you make grilled cheese sammiches the wrong way?"

"Daddy, why are you too tired to read?"

"Daddy, the dog is eating your dinner!"

"Daddy, why did you say #@(*& to the dog?"

"Boom Chicka Wow Wow..."
Repeated a thousand times a day

"Who ate all the Cheetos? Daddy, did you eat the Cheetos?""

"I don't want lunch, Daddy. I want Cheetos!"

"Why, Daddy? I had Cheetos for breakfast?"

And the cherry on top of our weekend? The Princess dropped this last one on me while we were standing in hallway at church on Sunday night.

"Daddy, is Mommy dead?"

To which I replied succinctly,

"Huh? Wha? Uh? Ummm... NO!She is in Florida."

Monday, January 21, 2008

Throw in, must you, the towel

The Boss Lady will be home in a few hours. If you take one look around here it is obvious that our long weekend is coming to an end. The boy has been playing Star Wars on the PlayStation since breakfast. After this, he may turn into a jedi.

The girl has watched a Barbie movie at least three times since lunch. Let's pray she doesn't turn our to be a Barbie... And I am just about to hit the bottom of my jug of Dr Pepper. But would it be so bad if I actually mutated into a 3 liter of Dr Pepper?

So we are taking the easy way out for dinner, Chick-Fil-A, here we come.

Not to say this weekend has been a total waste. We did manage to paint the girl's finger nails and toe nails. WITHOUT spilling the paint on the living room floor. Thank you very much.

The Boy has built every creation possible out of his Legos. And I managed to keep from stepping on any Legos. We also fit in a trip or two to the YMCA indoor pool. And this will be the first time we have eaten out all weekend. We did not even make a single trip to the catfish place with the doting grandma waitresses...

All in all, I would say that meets the standard for a very successful 3 and a 1/2 day weekend.

Now where is that #(!%*$&) plane?

Down to 12 hours

The Boss Lady is scheduled to be home at 8:30 tonight. Yeah for that.

Boo Hiss for the rain outside. Yeah that it isn't raining INSIDE.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Why I should never multi-task

So there I was, walking through the living room, talking on the phone to my mom, and carrying a laundry basket full of clean clothes.

And much like back in November, I slammed my toe into a chair. Pretty sure this one is broken, too.

I swear we are buying some of that European cardboard furniture and getting rid of this heavy antique stuff we have all over the dang place. Family heirlooms? More like antique torture devices. Anyone up for some sewing table water-boarding?

I can see myself watching TV in this. I really can.
Anybody have 69 Euro you want to donate to my toe preservation fund?

P.S. Unlike last time, my toe was not the only casualty yesterday. I dropped the phone when I hit the chair. And just like my toe, the cordless phone seems to be a little broken, too.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Next time she leaves town

I hope The Boss Lady will leave behind a few things.

A maid - Keeping this dump running on the weekends seems to be a lot harder when working solo

A washer woman - Especially someone who specializes in folding and stashing the clothes

A CPA - It would be really easy to entertain the kids all weekend. If we were going to break the Bank

A sugar-momma - Evidently we already broke the bank

A bartender
- It's almost bed time for the kiddies, and daddy needs some quiet time. Some nice, smooth, aged 7 years, in a white oak barrel type of quiet time. On the rocks.

49 hours to go. The laundry is washed, folded and stowed neatly in the drawers. The kitchen is clean enough for us to eat out of, and no one has gotten lost or run away.

So far, so good.

Friday, January 18, 2008

So far, so good

The Boss has been gone for 18 hours or so. We have another 72 hours to go.

The kids made it to bed on time AND it think they both brushed their teeth. Everything else, like cleaning, laundry and proper diet, is getting a pass this weekend.

Of course I am not skimping on the true necessities, like watching Strange Brew, and Napoleon Dynamite, though.

Pray for the power

The Boss Lady left to hop on a jet plane for Jacksonville, Florida about four hours ago. She is there for a 3 1/2 day conference. Big fun, I am sure.

The only problem, that leaves the kids and I home alone BY OURSELVES for four days and three nights. As long as we don't run out of donuts or electricity for the PlayStation2, everything should be fine.

A little nice weather would help too, but it looks like rain and cold will keep us from any outside playtime this weekend.

Wish us luck and if you see The Boss Lady, please beg her not to sell her return ticket.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

He forgot to mention

that this truck has been driven by AtHomeDaddy. I bet that would have brought in a ton of bids.

Rick is making a push to sell his 1925 Chevrolet truck.

And as much as I think it would look FANTASTIC sitting in my garage, I would not want the rat that lives in my engine to eat it. So one of you go buy it and I'll drive it for you, too.

One pricey workout

I hit the YMCA fitness center this afternoon for the first time since goodness knows when. Good thing we have been paying that membership fee every month for the past couple of years.

At this rate I figure today's time on the treadmill cost us like $748.34 per mile. I guess I'll go back in another 18 months or so, just so to make sure we are getting our money's worth.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Whining in 3 ...2 ...1... And go...

This week is already setting a new record on the suck-o-meter. A funeral on Monday is no way to start a week. Then there is the impending doom that is a 4 day business trip for The Boss Lady starting on Friday.

Those two things make a pretty nice pair of bookends for all of the crap that seems to be going on the next couple of days.

Yesterday The Princess and I never left the house. Today, thanks to a nice raging migraine, we would repeat that excitement. Except I am scheduled to work and I have already missed a bunch of days. So I'll suck it up drag my carcass to work. Besides, then I have a LIVE audience to whine to!

Added to the fun, It it is raining. Which means that I get to play INSIDE with 6 classes of kids. I just want to barf thinking of the noise to come...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Long daze

It has been a long week. Good thing it is almost Friday!

Tonight our house is empty except for the AtHomeFoursome. The kids are asleep and life will start getting back to normal in the morning.

The funeral was fitting and nice. It was good to see the whole family again and it was fun to swarm on that poor little cafeteria afterwards. 40 or so relatives all breaking bread and swapping stories at Maw Maw's favorite hangout.

No matter what you hear, we DID NOT get kicked out of the funeral home for being too boisterous and laughing too much last night. But it was close. Heck, I did not even know that they kept a bullhorn at the funeral home...

Believe me when I tell you that Maw Maw would have been OK with us having a good time and telling a few stories on her behalf.

Oh, there were lots of tears shed, too. But it just seems that around my family a good story will always trump a tear in the eye.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Not "Good morning" or even "Happy Birthday!"

The first words out of the newly turned 6 year old this morning shall live forever in family legend.

"Yahoo! Yahoo! Yahoo!
Do I LOOK like a SIX year old?"

So sayeth The Talker. Amen and Amen.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Just so you know

The car is back home, the suit is back home and I am sick of crap breaking and/or not working as it should. And don't even get me started on the rat that they think is eating all of the wiring in my car...

Yep, it's been that kind of week. Rats living in the engine. So I am going to sit in the blue chair and drink Dr Pepper until someone serves me some birthday cake.

Trying not to lose The Talker in all of this chaos, his 6th birthday is on Sunday. A big bonus of this crazy weekend, he is going to have a birthday party with cousins, aunts, uncles and his own Maw Maw and Paw Paw.

Somewhere in all of the excitement and anticipation, The Talker completely forgot about the Chuck E. Cheese birthday party he has been begging about. For a year.

Getting to skip a Chuck E. Cheese party. There is one thing that has gone right in a row. Looks like I am on a roll, now, baby!

Hey Terry,

Did I tell you the one about the guys who quit working at the cable company and went to work in the repair shop at our nearby Saturn dealership?

Except that one well dressed guy, he went to work over at Men's Wearhouse.

Yep, my car is heading back to the shop for round 4 this morning. Terry pretty much called this one.

I picked up my car yesterday. The shop had completed a fairly lengthy re-do list that they had been working on since last Saturday. This time? The wife was cruising town with her mother in law and the AC won't work.

It is January in Texas, so of course we need the AC working. Now we are starting round 4 of what should have been a simple repair. Can you say "better be a nice loaner car"?

Want to know about the well-dressed guy? If not, stop reading and go check out a library book.

In our preparations for Maw Maw's funeral, I realized that I need a new suit. Not needing to wear one often, I only own one. And it fit great, 20 pounds ago.

Last week I walked in to Men's Wearhouse. Looked at 3 or four suits. Picked one. Made arrangements to get it altered in time for the funeral. Picked out shirts and a new tie, too.

Turns out all of that little stuff adds up quickly. Had a little sticker shock at the register. But the deed was done, so I haven't worried about it since then. We were out of there in less than 45 minutes.

I picked up my freshly altered suit last night. I was about to try it on for The Boss Lady, when I realized that the breast pocket on the jacket is torn. So right after I drop of my car for round 4 of re-repairfest, I am headed over to the torn suit store to see what they can do about it.

Somewhere in all of this hassle we have to find time to have a 6th birthday party for The Talker. At least that'll be fun. And I won't need to wear a suit.

Here is to another wild weekend.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Maw Maw, The Great

This afternoon I ran out of grandparents. Which is not an unusual development when one is almost 38 years old. But, still...

My dad's dad died when I was not yet three years old. And on the exact day that The Boss Lady was born... I have no recollection of him. He was a WWII vet, so he will always be a hero in my book.

My Paw Paw, a farmer, died 15 years ago or so. I still have lots of great memories of him. I also have his old truck. I think of Paw Paw C every time I hop in OUR 68 Chevy. Or when I play in my garden.

My mom's mother died three years ago. I think of her when I count or when I play dominoes or when I read or watch someone use sign language. She was a great teacher.

My dad's mother was in hospice care for past week or so. So it was not a surprise when THAT call came this afternoon. Alzheimer's stole the last decade of her life. But nothing will steal the great memories I got to share with her.

One of the awesome-erest ever things (and there were many...) about Maw Maw was her love and knowledge of this city. Oh, she would hardly recognize the place now. We have had too much growth and development in the past dozen years. But she lived almost her entire life within a few miles in Austin. And she loved this city. And that made me love this city.

I didn't grow up here, but like the bumper sticker says "I got here as fast as I could." I was in Jr High or High School when I told a teacher that I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up, but that I WOULD live in Austin. So it was no surprise when I was 20 and I moved in with my grandma. I brought my couch, my clothes and Siamese cat and Maw Maw provided just about everything else.

The best times of that year were our weekend driving trips through the city, just to see "stuff". I would drive and she would tell me things she knew about each part of town and about people who once lived in each neighborhood. We also toured a lot of cemeteries, so grandma could clue me in to the final resting places of our family.

While cruising the city with Maw Maw I learned every backstreet and shortcut in town. She had this place wired and we weren't about to sit in traffic on the freeway, when a little known side street could get us there quicker. Often the side street might take you out of our way, but right past an interesting site. And that was always good, too.

Maw Maw was spunky. She was happy. And she was fun to be around. I would love to thank her for teaching me everything I love about my town and I'll miss her.

Soon I'll sit and grieve. But tonight I think I'll go take a drive.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Oh yeah. now I mamember what I was going to tell you...

It is a good thing I have a loaner car today. The dealership might be a little surprised when they get their less than100 miles on the odometer loaner car back, though.

The Talker went to play at a friend's house this morning. A last free day before school starts back in the morning. I took the chance to beg my way into a Dr's appointment for an allergy shot.

It is cedar allergy season and I will beg, buy, steal or maim someone to get into my Dr for a shot of the good stuff. But I hate going to see my Dr with 2 kids in tow. The waiting room just ain't big enough for the three of us.

The nurse offered me an 11 am visit, so The Princess and I hopped in the loaner car and cruised downtown for a shot in the butt. Then we headed home for lunch. Less than a two hour round trip.

Three hours later I was back on the same street, just 1/2 a block from my Dr's office. To visit the Pediatrician's office. That turned into a 2 and a 1/2 hour round trip, but no kids got shots. And that is all that matters, right?

If I had been in my own car I would have taken a later appointment that my Dr's office had available, just 30 minutes before The Talker's appointment. And I would have dealt with both kids in the waiting room. But with the Saturn dealership paying for today's gas and mileage, it was sure nice to entertain only one kid during my Dr's visit.

I guess I should have been there

I had something really great to blog about. It was profound. Earth-shattering, really.

Then I walked. All. The. Way. To. The. Computer.

Now it is gone.

This moment of insanity brought to you by an excess of Jack Daniels Dr Pepper and a little too much college football in the past week.

You are welcome.

At least I can still type.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Knocking out the Honey-Do list in 37,000 steps

I packed up the Christmas tree and most of the inside decorations on Thursday. And since then they have been in the middle of the living room, waiting for a ride to the attic. Which I promised The Boss Lady I would provide once the weekend arrived.

This morning I also planned to get the outside lights and decorations taken down and packed up, so that I would only need to make one trip into the attic. Hopping up on the roof to take down lights is no problem. Packing up the giant Winnie the Pooh and Tigger scene is no problem. Likewise, tackling the giant polar bear inflatable is no hassle.

The only trouble was getting TO the attic. Seems there is a partially disassembled truck in the way. So I spent several hours getting the truck put together enough that I could steer it out of the garage, where it was parked at such an angle that I could not roll it straight out of the garage.

After a few hours of parts installation I had the truck movable, granting access to the attic. It also allowed me enough room to get to my ladder. So I hopped on the roof, yanked the lights down and packed away the rest of the decorations. Three or four loads went up to storage and The Boss Lady helped me push the truck back into the garage. My entire weekend chore list was finished before nap time.

So what did your have to move to get your decorations back into storage?

Disney Store Reality

I think we might have to bar The Princess from any further association with her female cousins. They seem to be a very bad influence on our 3 1/2 year old.

An example: tonight, while standing in the middle of The Disney Store, trying to buy a birthday present (for a girl cousin, ironically enough), The Princess blurts out "But Mommy I need more toys AND accessories..."

So for teaching my child to accessorize, girl cousins are now banished from my kingdom.

Away with you all.

Car woes

I sometimes post my more whiny and bitch posts over at ADHDaddy. But it has not seen a lot of action in the past few months. At least not until I took my nearly new car in for service the other day. And then it got worse when I went to pick it up. FYI, I went back and edited those posts. The originals might reappear later, after all of this meddis settled.

Todays adventure with my car just takes the cake. I was telling RacecarMan about my car troubles. And I went to show him the repair that I still wasn't very happy with. Then I noticed fluid on the top of the engine and a the pad that hangs under the hood to deaden sound and dissipate heat is completely trashed. Evidently, while repairing my car they let antifreeze leak all over the engine compartment and manifold.

It turns out that if you demand a service manager show up at your house on a Saturday morning, AND the dealership knows that they have already dropped the ball on this deal, you can actually get a house call from a service manager.

50 minutes after I demanded to see the service manager IN MY DRIVEWAY, he pulled up in a loaner Saturn Outlook. (Yep, the same one, just in case you saw the original ADHDaddy posts.)

So now my car is back at the shop, getting a better repair, a complete detail, including the engine bay and a new hood sound deadener/heat pad. Should be back in four or five days and I bet it looks like a million bucks when I see it again. Oh for the love of God, please let them do it right this time...

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Just look at what Santa or some other Satan Worshiper has brought upon my house. To be honest, I think there were a few sets of these around before the holidaze.

I never really noticed how freaking small these things are. Anybody got a nano-tech sized shoe horn? Because evidently Belle is having a shoe crisis and she REALLY needs the pink shoes NOW!!!

I don't really see the need for the pink shoes since they sorta clash with the yellow dress that I just installed a few minutes ago. But just to be honest once again, there is a history of male color blindness in my family. There is also a history of our men not giving a crap about what we wear in public. I'll let you decide which of those groups I fit into...

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

13 and a 1/2 hours and counting

The Boss Lady goes back to work in the morning. She has been home since the Friday before Christmas. And more than anyone, I'll be sad to see her go. It has been a good break and we all like having her around. Plus, it really is nice to let someone else yell at the kids once in a while.

With that said, I am sure she is looking forward to getting back to her office. A private office. With a door. And no Star Wars, Littlest Pet Shops or Legos anywhere in sight. It is very good that she doesn't have a private bathroom in there or she might never come back home.

Who bets that she will barely be able to contain the laughter and glee as she is pulling out of the driveway in the morning?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Solo celebration. Just the right speed of revelry.

A few years back I had nice area set up for back yard cookouts. But it most often was used just as a great hangout spot for the dads. One of the neighbor's named it the White Trash Fire Pit, but you'll know that he was ALWAYS here when I lit a fire in the thing.

I am sure he was jealous of my creativity. Or maybe he was cold.

The White Trash Fire Pit met it's end a while back. Since then we have had no backyard bonfires. But last night I ended that streak with a pile of old rotten cedar limbs and a pink washtub.

Why pink? Because it was the only washtub we had. Besides, the fire burned off all the paint, so it isn't pink anymore...

Anyways, I knew the dog would not relax once neighbors started lighting fireworks. The wife and kids had gone to bed earlier, so I decided to celebrate New Years out in the yard, cozying up to The Big White Dog and a flaming pink washtub while we listened to the neighbors try to blow up their yards.

Yep, it was just my kind of party.

The world's fastest dreamer

As I lay down with The Talker for a few minutes tonight at bed time, he told me that he was having a dream about "Toyota Chevrolet PS2s, but not the Chevy ones. They are too rusty."

I reminded him that he actually should be ASLEEP before he would start dreaming, then I left his room.

Before I finished the 15 foot trek back to the living room sofa, he came out and told me "But now I am having a NIGHTMARE.."

See. I told you nothing good would come of a global economy.