Sunday, August 31, 2008

Time Doesn’t Fly, We Just Get Older And Wiser

WARNING: This blog post is sappy. There is no wisecracking comical remarks or anything funny about it in any way. Proceed at your own risk.

If you have been following this blog since its inception you may have read a story where there was a reference to a bunk bed and wondered what that was all about.

I was in my early thirtysomethings, divorced, bitter and living in a small studio-ish apartment in the slums downtown. This is not a joke. I had the Swat Team go through my backyard and search the house with guns drawn, not once, but twice. I kept a bunkbed in the apartment so when Jacob came to stay with me he had a bed to sleep on and I had a futon couch down below. Jake was six or so at the time (yeah, exact dates are fuzzy now).


Here is Jake (at left)around age 6 or so I believe in front of the Lake Street house.

Now right next door, my now best friend Eddy moved in. Eddy had a large cactus and this cactus had been grown from a small branch that had broken off of his grandfather’s cactus. Several years before his grandfather's passing, I had a chance to visit his house and see this grandpa cactus. If you didn’t know better you would think it was something out of Little Shop Of Horrors. Large, overgrown, branches held up with metal supports. This thing was scary and frankly kinda freaky looking, but damnit, it must have been 40 years old. I kid you not.

So Eddy has this cactus of his, which is quite large also. An evil spawn of his grandfather's cactus and one day a small six inch branch breaks off. Eddy brings this broken branch and sticks it in a small pot of sand and dirt. Sort of a joke, sort of “Maybe this thing will take, maybe it won’t.” The odds against it were great. This cactus pot sat on the coffee table and was the recipient of the coffee dregs, beer, used as an ashtray and on rare occasion was watered. It didn’t turn brown and die, but it didn’t grow either.

This cactus branch became sort of a running joke, sort of the undead of the succulents. It was my cactus and I was sort of proud of it and I wasn’t going to throw it out no matter how stagnant its growth. Then one day a small leaf pops out of the side. Suddenly there was new hope for that cactus. It was beginning to start a new life.


Now you can call me a romantic, an old man with bad memory, or just plain nuts, but I like to remember that leaf, that little branch popping out about the same time I met Susanne. And honestly, from that moment on, my life has never been the same. Now it hasn’t always been peaches and honey and I am sure she would tell you the same, but it does just seem to get better and better as the years pass.

Now this morning, I was in the back room, pulling things out of it to get it ready to be painted for Emily’s relocation into that room and there is my cactus. Like some old item misplaced, but not forgotten. Not having been rotated for some time, the tip is bent over growing straight at the window.

I pulled this cactus out into the front room to show Susanne and was amazed at the growth of this broken little branch, once just stuck in the dirt, over caffeinated, over nicotined, given to much alcohol and left to fare for itself. Then one day, it decided it wanted to grow. And grow it did.

Take a look at it now. Over 10 years this cactus has been growing in a little pot (only replanted once just last year). Time does fly when you are getting older. When I first stuck it in the ashtray of soil my oldest son Jacob was just a little older than Braedyn is now. Jacob is now driving, a couple years from leaving the roost and heading off to college.


I wonder if it will look like Eddy’s grandfather's cactus when Braedyn and Emily head off to college. Will it need supports to hold it up?

Maybe. Maybe not. If its parallel growth with my marriage is any indication, I like to think it will still be growing strong like it is today.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

If the Stalls Had Ears

It was a lazy Saturday. Garage saling was great, and the kids were enjoying my day’s treasures. In typical Greg & Susanne fashion, we decided to go out to eat and worry about the funds later. (We don’t do this often, but rather than go look at houses we can’t afford, we’ll opt for the less expensive lunch out.)

Before I tell the story about the discussion Braedyn and I had in the bathroom at the restaurant, I have to translate for you some of our family’s terminology:

Lunch house = restaurant
Go potty = go pee
Pee-pee = penis

We hop on over to a lunch house for a bite. (I was craving a BBQ Chicken Chop Salad – YUM!) We pet a puppy on the way in, so of course being the neurotic mom I am I made sure we washed our hands before we ate. After ordering, I took Braedyn in to the bathroom first. He decided he needed to go potty too. We cram ourselves into a tiny stall and as he is peeing he looks up at me and says matter-of-factly, “Mommy, did you see? My pee-pee is getting bigger.” I chuckle nervously and wonder what the hell the woman who was washing her hands at the sink must be thinking. In the event she is even still there I say a tad louder than usual, “Yes, Braedyn, just like the rest of you. You’re growing and getting so big!” To which he replied, “Yeah, but Daddy’s pee-pee is bigger than mine.” When we left the stall, I was a bit relieved to see she was no longer in the bathroom.

OK, I was at a loss here. I simply laughed. Braedyn took my queue and started laughing too. When I got back to the table and told Greg the story, his response was, “Well, did you do me proud and say, ‘Oh, YEAH it is!!!’” I was like, “Dear, there wasn’t anyone in the bathroom.” He looked incredulously at me and said, “So?”

So, I learned that size matters most of all to men, and it is always important to talk up that size even in the presence of stalls. Empty stalls. With no one in them.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Solution for Anyone Needing a Heavy Breather


Meet Charmin. Charmin is a mut we adopted back in May-ish. From what we gather she is a mix of Shepherd and Chow. Oh, you think she looks adorable, don’t you? Yes, squeezable soft. Yes, look at that face. What this cute little face doesn’t say is, “Hi, I’m going to prevent you from going to sleep at night with my heavy breathing. I turn it on just at night. Just for you. Oh, I know I don’t do it all day long. I save them up for night time. Just for you.”

That precious little face that screams “Adopt Me! Adopt Me!” also doesn’t let you in on her other dirty little secrets. The ones like, “I like to sleep up against the walls at night with my legs in the air. Isn’t that so cute? It’s so cute that I’m sure you won’t mind the fact that my nails scratch against the wall and keep waking you up. Sure, you’re worried about that daughter of yours waking up to my love scratches on the other side of the wall, but isn’t my face so bloody damn cute?” Or "Cushions are for babies. You didn't need those outdoor cushions anyway." Or my favorite, “You LOVE kisses. I can tell. You like them on your legs when you pass by me. I just know it. Come here, my precious.”

Score One for the Sport Gene Team?

Braedyn had his first soccer practice yesterday and has his first game a week from tomorrow. Anyone who has ever watched little kids play soccer know it is not about competition, strategy, or winning goals. Nope. It’s all about the chase. If the soccer ball made up the nucleus of a cell, then the kids make up everything else inside the cell membrane. The ball and the kids move as a single unit. Forget teams. Forget which goal belongs to which team. It’s all about the fluid motion. A single unit.


As Greg and I watched Braedyn during his first practice, we wondered which one of us he’ll take after. Will it be Greg? If he does then he’ll decide he really hates this organized sports crap and run full force toward something else. To a world full of bits and bytes maybe? Or will it be me he takes after? If he does then he’ll feed his competitiveness with organized sports and feel sick to his stomach in the process. He’ll love the thrill and hate the stress of it equally through each aerobic breath. Or who knows? Maybe there will be some crazy mutation between my sports gene and Greg’s to form something altogether different and unknown?

IMG_0712It ultimately doesn’t matter if he ends up with my sport gene, Greg’s, or a combination of both. As long as he is happy, satisfied, and fulfilled by the genes he was dealt. And in the meantime we have the joy and privilege of watching him discover himself. And we’ll be cheering him on.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bad Day, Shmad Day

As if there were any doubt about my love and dedication to my husband, I wanted to share a thought.

I know you come home after a hard day at work feeling like this:


But you always manage to turn into this:


And I adore you for it. Thank you for all you do for this family.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

On The Flip Side

So late last fall Susanne and I finally got rid of the old 36” Trinitron TV that we had owned for several years. As part of the deal on the new plasma we got a discount on a Samsung Blu-Ray player. Now I cannot stress enough the difference between upscaled DVD and a crappy DVD playing on the same TV. It’s worlds apart so when we watch movies we tend to use the Blu-Ray player. Well, it was a 1.0 version and we have had weird issues with it since we bought it and it quickly was discontinued. Luckily we bought the extended warranty and I keep waiting for the player to die hoping we will get the newer model. Long story long, we have weird issues with it not loading DVD’s, getting stuck, etc. Frustrating but nothing reproducible to expedite a return.

On Sunday when we were coming back from Jet Skiing at Pyramid Lake Susanne said “Oh, you know what movie I want to see again, Pelican Brief. It’s an oldie, but a goodie”. Now I don’t even remember the plot but it has that Pretty Prostitute chick who spilled composting worms on Oprah, so I said sure, lets rent it.

Life with children sometimes puts movies in the wayback. Not just the backseat but the WAAYBACK like the area behind the third row of seats in the old family station wagon. Needless to say it took a couple of days to get to. Tuesday night we finally got around to watching it. We were both enjoying it very much when-BLIP, it just stops and up pops the pretty (but at this moment very annoying) Samsung branded screen. We both think WTF our damn player is giving up the ghost (yay extended warranty still in effect). So Susanne goes into the menu, selects the last chapter, fast forwards prior to the spot where it stopped and we proceed to watch.

It stops. Again. In the exact same spot. WTF. Again.

Now you should feel free to make fun of me for what I am about to tell you dear reader, because I probably deserve it, but in my household I am not allowed to touch the remote. Yes, its a good thing I don’t watch sports or this could be an issue, but in my household the woman rules the remote. So I of course figure Susanne keeps pressing the stop button when she stuffs it between the cushions far out of my reach but I am not ABOUT to tell her this or my budget for the next gadget in the house could be drastically cut or even revoked altogether. Yes, she controls the remote control AND the budget BUT I get to select WHICH remote control we buy (can you say Logitech Harmony).

So here we are, selecting the chapter, fast forwarding to just prior to the break point, press play and watch for a bit.

It stops. Again. In the exact same spot. WTF. YET AGAIN.

Ok, now I am kinda pissed off. I am tech savvy. Really I am. I was ripping MP3’s back in 1997 on my 1X CD-R burner from the command line and unsuccessfully trying to convince my family and friends that this was the future and how revolutionary it would be if we could play MP3’s in our cars and portable stereos. Not bright enough to get rich off it mind you, but savvy enough. Yes, we proceeded to prove ourselves insane by going into the menu for yet the third time to try it just once more. As Susanne is AGAIN selecting the final chapter on the disk we see very subtle letters at the top of the menu.

Side A.

(ok, so for those of you who don't know some older DVD's had two sides and you had to flip it over see the second side).

Box Man Bing!

What’s scarier than a Bad Guy Super Hero? A BOX MONSTER!


Hero, Bad Guy: It’s All In the Wording

Braedyn was happily drawing imaginary creatures while I snuck in a couple of games of Yukon Solitaire, and the following is the actual conversation we had:

“This is a bad guy super hero,” he says to me holding up his picture.

“But he can’t be a bad guy if he’s a super hero. Only good guys are super heroes.”

“No, he’s a bad guy super hero.”

“But that can’t be. A super hero can’t be bad.”

Clearly agitated, he states emphatically, “His NAME is Bad Guy Super Hero. He has pinchers on his head.”

“What’s his power?”

“Ghost power. I’m going to shoot him to outer space. Pshhhhhhhh!”

And off he went to save the doggie from being turned into a bad robot. Stay tuned to see if Bad Guy Super Hero can save the day (and the doggie)!


Who Knew Jet Skiing Used So Many Muscles?


IMGP1531.PEFOur friends, Sarah and Josh, invited us to join them at Pyramid Lake for a day of fun and jet skiing. We had a wonderful time, and our muscles are still recovering from the shock of riding the jet ski. Our children were exhausted from two previous days of BBQs and playing hard. Because of this, Greg and I decided that this trip served as a bonus for our friends as well. Birth control.



Tuesday, August 26, 2008

No Stone Unturned

I recently started seeing a naturopathic doctor for some persistent problems not resolved by the eight hundred and thirty six traditional doctors I had seen. OK, it was only four doctors, but shouldn’t that be enough to find a solution to some problems I was having? Apparently not.

First, I’ve been having some rather uncomfortable skin irritations pop up all over my body over the last three years, to which three different doctors prescribed five different creams. The last doctor, the dermatologist, the one I had expected the most from, shrugged her shoulders when I asked if these problems would ever go away. She told me they wouldn’t and handed me the prescriptions. She told me to just apply them when I was “having an outbreak.”

Second, I’ll sum up by saying my body has been out of whack since Emily was born. For instance, my sleeping has been crap lately. I’m talking wake up at 1:00 a.m. and not get back to sleep until 2:30 a.m. or later. Every night. What happened to the days of teenagerhood when sleeping for 10 hours straight was easy to do? Not only easy but expected? If someone was threatening to stick bamboo up my toenails if I didn’t come up with something I missed about being a teenager, sleep would be the only HONEST answer I could give. And nothing else. Not one little thing else do I miss about my teenage years.

Another post-Emily issue I’ve had challenging me is feeling like I’m on an emotional roller coaster from which I can’t get off. For example, I could feel my blood pressure rising with the slightest whine noise coming from one or both children. I’m talking lump in your throat. Rising pulse. Then there were days where all I wanted to do was cry. SO not fun. Not one bit. Granted this didn’t happen every day, but let me assure you when it did, I did not feel like it was the end of the world. I did not feel like I had no way out. When I looked honestly at myself – a woman with two beautiful children running around, a husband who adores me and whom I adore, a step-son who is honest, sweet, and incredibly talented, food in our pantry, and a roof over my head - I KNEW something was out of whack with my body. The one doctor I brought these issues up with told me to reduce stress in my life, get more sleep, and offered to write me a prescription for the pill. Mind boggling.

So, I had heard about this naturopathic doctor and thought I would give her a try. I was not willing to accept the answers and indifference I had been given by the slew of doctors I had seen. I feel there is a lot to be said about homeopathic medicine, and I had felt failed by traditional medicine and doctors. Sadly insurance was an issue, but I got the go ahead from my loving husband who just wanted me to feel better.

My first visit was truly amazing. I didn’t walk out of there with all my skin issues gone. I didn’t walk out of there feeling like I was suddenly going to be able to sleep like a baby again. Far from it. What I walked out of there with was hope. A plan.

During my initial visit, the doctor, who happens to be trained in BOTH homeopathic AND traditional medicine, started by talking to me about all my issues. In detail. I didn’t feel strange with her at all, but rather felt like we were having an honest, comfortable, and open conversation. Her questions were poignant and precise. During this visit I had acupuncture, and while I was lying on the table with the lights dimmed and the soothing music playing, I cried. Not a bawling like a baby cry. A silent cry. I felt like someone was taking care of me. She understood my issues and had a plan to resolve them.

I have now been to see her three times, and this is what I have learned. My skin issues are related to a food sensitivity. I took a skin prick test and found that out of the 96 foods they test against my blood, I am highly sensitive to only one of them. Eggs. I am on my first day of cutting them out of my diet completely for six weeks. After this time, I should see a huge improvement if not an elimination of the skin problems. I have learned that a shift and imbalance in my hormones can cause each of the other issues listed above and the others I haven’t mentioned here. I am now taking supplements to help put my body back in balance. I’ve learned that my body is highly sensitive to acupuncture, but it’s a good thing.

I was told that for each year your body is off-kilter, it takes approximately a month to restore and re-balance. Some may argue that I’ve been a little left-of-center my whole life, but for the issues I’ve discussed here, we’re talking about three months. The doctor said after taking the supplements for three months, I would be able to look back to before I was taking them and see a big difference.

For any non-believer who may be reading this, let me tell you that I’ve been diligent about taking my handful of pills everyday. My favorite is “Women’s Relaxing”, a Chinese herbal supplement whose name brings a smile to my face every time I crack open the bottle. It has been only two weeks and I already feel a shift in my mood. My blood doesn’t start to boil when my children argue over a toy. I feel like I have a lot more patience. Even with the damn dogs that still wake us up early in the morning when our children are FINALLY SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT.

I was not willing to accept that my body was defective at 36 years of age. I have too many great years ahead of me to be uncomfortable in my skin. If you don’t like an answer a doctor is giving you, see another one. And another one. And another one, until you are satisfied with the answers and the results. Question them. Be relentless about it. This is your life. Let no stone go unturned.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cape Is Not a Flying Toy

During his last routine check up, Braedyn had a not so good diagnosis. I couldn’t believe it! I was outraged! I always read the labels on everything! I completely watch his intake! After arguing with everyone in the office about how this could have happened, I gave in to the truth of it all. The sad, sad truth. My son had a cavity.

I was really bummed. I felt like I had failed him somehow. We don’t have junk food in the house, or at least nothing with high fructose corn syrup and such. I only give him juice that was 100% juice, and I watered it down to boot. (Yes, I have the house my kids’ friends won’t want to hang out at after school for a snack. Sorry guys!) He got the cavity and didn’t even get to eat the junk food to get it.

I was told because of where it was and how deep it was, they would not be able to fill it with a nice white filling, but it would have to be silver. I wasn’t too freaked out about this, after all it is a baby tooth, and I always had silver fillings as a kid. Then I was told he would have to be given a sedative before hand and nitrous gas during the procedure. At this, I freaked. I got online and researched the drug they wanted to use. I called his pediatrician and asked about it. Twice. I was so completely sick-to-my-stomach worried about this that Greg had take him for the first part of the appointment, the sedative part.

By the time I got there, he was already in the back getting the work done. Parents weren’t allowed to go back with the kids, so Greg and I sat in the waiting room and well, waited. After he’d been back there for about 45 minutes, we heard this deep, guttural groan/scream. I glanced at Greg and we looked knowingly at each other. That was our son. I watched the office staff close the door to the back to help muffle the sound. To confirm my suspicion, I asked the staff if that was Braedyn. They went and checked on him and came back with the news that yes, it was him, but he wasn’t “sad”. I was told he was “more angry and tired of having the work done.” The unwelcome sick-to-my-stomach worry came back.

Not too long after that, the hygienists brought him out to a private room where we comforted our very tearful and sad little boy. We looked in his mouth and didn’t see a filling. Nope. Not a filling. A whole damn cap. Our son had bling and I wasn’t thrilled. Why wasn’t I told he would have a cap? To comfort him we plastered smiles on our faces and said, “Wow! You have a robot tooth!” He lit up.

A few days passed, and his lips finally healed from chewing on them when they were high on Novocain. A few days after that, I thought I’d floss his teeth, which we do every day now. As soon as I touched his robot tooth, his hands flew up to his face and tears sprung from his eyes. I had hurt him?! I hugged him like a good mamma bear would and decided ok, I won’t try THAT again for a few more days. Well, three or four days later, I tried again. Same results. A few days after that, same results. I called the dentist office and I was told it could take a couple of weeks before the angry tooth would take a chill. I know my son. I knew something wasn’t right, but I waited out the couple of weeks and called again. We set an appointment to have his robot tooth looked at. This appointment was yesterday.

I knew it wasn’t going to be easy the second we walked in and Braedyn started complaining about the smell in the office. And I was right. I didn’t get any easier.

The dentist flossed the tooth and got the same results as me. He looked around the tooth with his little mirror and couldn’t see any reason for the tears. I almost felt like he was a bit annoyed with my son’s reaction which ruffled my mommy feathers, so I kept pushing. “It is obvious this hurts him.” “It’s been three weeks.” He suggested I wait another five days or so and try flossing again. I kind of got the feeling he wanted to be done with this check up. After all, he couldn’t see anything. Well, that just wasn’t going to fly with this mamma bear. I kept pushing. Kept asking questions. Flabbergasted, he informed me he’d done thousands and thousands of these and never had a kid come back. I pushed more. Finally, one of the hygienists asked if an x-ray might show something. He conceded and said, “Sure. Let’s take a look.”

After staring at the dark spot in the x-ray that was lodged between his robot tooth and his back tooth, I felt like I was victorious. See? He’s not fibbing. He’s not being dramatic for the sake of being dramatic. Something was there, and the simple act of putting pressure on it, even from floss, hurt him. The dentist said it was a piece of glue from when they put the cap on. And it was deep. To get it out they would have to numb him and give him some gas.

I wanted to get this done, so I did what any good mom would do. I used bribery. I said if we got through this today, we’d go get that Batman costume he wanted. The one with the wings that pop out, creating a 5 foot wing span. He gave me the toothiest grin ever and promised, “I’ll be brave!” I gave the go ahead to the tooth crew, and here’s how it went down:

Cotton in the mouth: Screams. Tears.
Grape flavored gas: Screams. Tears.
Needle in the mouth: Screams. Tears. Blood. Flailing. Two sets of hands holding him down.
Bent needle coming out of his mouth: Tears. Blood.
Singing the Spiderman song in his ear: Calm. Slowing of tears.
Chat about Batman costume: Not working. Tears.
Digging out the glue: Tears. Screams. Blood. Three sets of hands holding him down.
Driving away: Non-stop talk that went something like this, “Batman. Batman. Batman. Batman. Batman. Batman. Batman. Batman. Batman. Batman. Batman.”

On the way from the store, I realized I probably could have bribed him with a couple of 99 cent Hot Wheels rather than a $40 costume. Oh well. My boy was happy.


And I’m so grateful for the directions that came with the suit that said in big, bold letters:


IMG_0631Phew! Otherwise I was thinking of teaching Braedyn to climb up to the roof and jump.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Screaming Rock


Ok, I seem to be on a roll now and I thought I would post one more before I go to bed. Another shot from our Oregon Trip last summer.  Makes me think it would make a good band name.


Dedication Motivational Poster 1.0 – Thanks for the idea Amy.


Ants In My Pants

Susanne and I have an ant problem.  One of the really crappy things about a slab home is the ants can make a home sweet home anywhere under your foundation and you can’t do anything about it except bitch.  We are  bitching a lot lately.

Ants crawling across the floor, along the carpet, in the bathroom.

So last night I am out in the front yard letting the kids play and yes, I am geeking out with my laptop on the front lawn.  The battery was dead and to really drive the point home to my neighbors that I am nerding out I have a bright red heavy duty extension cord running out to the front lawn to power my little laptop.

The kids are having a great time, and the wine is working its magic.  I have a half full glass of wine on the driveway next to me and one of the neighborhood kids runs by and kicks it.  Yes, kicks my glass of wine sending the liquid gold flying directly into my laptop screen and keyboard, the glass clanking and rolling down the driveway.  I shouted “watch where you are going” while in my head I am thinking “you blind little f**k you spilled my wine”.  I didn’t say it. I wanted to, but I didn’t.

So the wine is dripping down my laptop screen and oozing in between my keypad.  I run into the house and get a towel to dry it off while I am thinking if it would just short out, smoke, catch on fire I would have an excuse to upgrade.  It didn’t so I can’t.

Fast forward to tonight.  I bring my laptop out of the hiding place in the closet where my wife diligently places it each day when I leave for work.  Why, but to keep it out of harms way.  Yup, that’s why she tucks it in the closet, not because its an eyesore living on the dining room table, but to protect it.  I am sure of that.

So here I am typing, and lo and behold an ant crawls out from under the keypad.  WTF, wow, he must have crawled in from the grass the night before and hung out overnight.  That’s what I thought, until I put it on my lap on the couch and Susanne goes to the dining room table and lo and behold (yes, another lo and behold, its that kind of story) there is a small army of ants making formation ready to take the table from the humans.  Seriously.  They had already built a small fort with little cannons and everything.  Susanne realizes immediately that its the wine they are after.  The little stealing alcoholic bastards.  Susanne runs to the closet and sure enough in the laptop safety zone they have an entire fortification built on the closet floor.  There must have been thousands of them from Susanne’s description. I feared for my life. 

So yes, there are ants in our closet, there are ants in our bathrooms, under our dining room table and in my frickin laptop.  I feel so violated.

Yearbook Photos

Ok, so Susanne and I were digging through our yearbook photos and I had to share these with everyone.  Doesn’t she just look hot, and well, I look just like my father did in the same year.

Susanne-1968                                  Greg - 1976



Lonely Sea Shell


I took this pic of a clam shell on the beach near a beach house we rented in Oregon last summer.  I finally have a chance to share it.

Go Away! Please.

We get at least two solicitors at our house a week. Now this may not seem like a lot at first, but you multiply two by the 182 weeks we’ve been in this house, and you can see how it can get old. Quickly.

I understand these guys are just doing their job. OK, I TRY and remember that. We usually just say we’re not interested and shut the door, but occasionally we get the spit-fire individual who will continue to plead his/her case about the alarm system they want to install, the children’s learning materials they want to unload, or the souls they want to save. Most of the time they can see by the acrobatic act I am performing at the door to keep two hyper dogs and two curious children inside the house that I’m serious when I say, “No thank you.” Cirque du Soleil has nothin’ on me.

A couple of years ago around Christmas, I was out shopping with my dearest friend, Eileen, when I got the call from Greg. “Don’t get mad.” Not a great way to start a conversation, I’d admit, but I was intrigued nonetheless. “These guys came by and I bought a couple of magazine subscriptions.” I’m thinking, ok, it’s before Christmas, and we’re trying to watch our spending, but how bad could that be? “It came to $100 for both, but I got a subscription for you that I think you’ll enjoy! And you’ll get it for three years!” “WHAT!?” A hundred bucks. Before Christmas. For magazine titles I didn’t even know existed. After clearing my head of all the things we could do with that money, I asked Greg if it was even legit. He looked online and found discussion groups about the very company that so convincingly presented their case. He read about people who never got their magazines but had their checks cashed. He read about how there was only a 50/50 chance of getting what you paid for.

This was before I started taking relaxing pills (a story for another day), so I was a little worked up. In a fun and entertaining way not a bitter, nagging way - of course. Greg conceded that this probably wasn’t the best idea, so the next business day he had the checks successfully canceled. Um, we’re still receiving those magazines today. Nobody has come and threatened to break our thumbs if we don’t pay up, so we’ve just gone with the flow. And read.

So, ultimately, I was done with the interruptions, usually in the middle of my dinner prep. I was done trying to keep the kids and dogs at bay. I was done smiling politely and finding creative ways to say I was not interested. So, I tacked up the perfect no soliciting sign I found online. Several people who have come over have insisted over their laughter that I make them a copy. It has worked like a charm. We have not had ONE more solicitor grace our front door since it went up. Here it is for your solicitor-repelling pleasure.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Family really matters

This blog’s initial intent was to be lighthearted and fun.  Inspired by the Dooce blog that I found linked from Brad and Amy’s blog Susanne and I thought it would be a great place to put down our funny stories and life snippets.

Life isn’t always a bowl of cherries though, is it. 

Lately, I have found my work life to be very stressful and overwhelming.  Too much work, not enough time and the pressure to complete tasks that are far beyond most rational human reason have brought me to a place where I find it hard to write anything witty or funny.  Each day seems to bring an increased level of this stress.

Then, each day, I come home to a family that loves me.  My children run to the door and great me most days with “YAY, Daddy’s home!” which is usually enough to melt the toughest corporate armor that you may put on during the day.  Some days it’s a bit harder, and on those days I feel like a bad father because I realize that my response to them is not what it should be.

A 3 and 4 year old not only have no clue what a hard day at work is like, but shouldn’t have to.  Tonight my son wanted to go outside and play with the neighborhood boy on his" “4 wheeler”.  They drive around and crash their Power Wheels screaming in fearless joy like there is no tomorrow. Spinouts and curb crashes galore. This is a new thing for Braedyn and I can see it brings him more enjoyment and excitement than most adults can remember feeling (tonight I even forgot to make him wear his helmet…gasp). My initial response was… “I just want to sit and drink my wine”.  Bad father. Bad.

I gave in knowing it was the right thing to do.  After dinner I took both Braedyn and Emily out front (Emily wearing her “saaaaale” boots) so they could play with the neighborhood kids.  Emily kept asking me to say “Ready, Set…Go” which actually sounds like “eddy, sit…YO” and usually takes me three or four times to understand the game we are playing.  She kept racing an invisible challenger up and down the driveway, prompting me each time to say “Ready, Set…Go” before she would race.  Braedyn is in the street screaming in his “I’m gonna get you” voice as his Power Wheels rides up over the back of the neighbors Lighting McQueen car, nearly doing a full monster truck crush over the poor boy (who is absolutely fearless and would probably think it was cool).

At one point Emily just walks up behind me, completely out of the blue and puts her arms around me (ok, on my shoulders, daddy is big and her reach is not quite that wide) and leans up against my back.  She presses her face against the back of my head and says “Daddy, I love you”.  In the briefest moment, I felt the purest love of my child and it melted away the remaining armor from a hard days work.

I am so glad my children talked me into going outside to play.

Family matters.


Craigslist Etiquette (Or the Lack Thereof)

I’d like to start by saying I’m a HUGE fan of Craigslist. I’ve bought and sold things using this free service quite a few times. Each Friday night or early Saturday morning, I peruse the garage sale listings (big surprise there). It’s a fantastic service, truly.

Something about it that really gets to me however is how people feel like they can be outright rude or dismissive to you during an email exchange or a purchase. When inquiring about an item from the owner, I’d almost prefer no response from them than the “Sold” response I have received a couple of times. It would be one thing if during my inquiry of the item I was short and without some semblance of personality (cyber or otherwise), but that just isn’t the case. I always start my email with a greeting, write my question(s) about the item using full sentences and correct grammar.  I always end it with a kind farewell and my name. When people inquire about an item that has multiple inquiries from different people, I thank them and tell them where they are in the list of people interested. Maybe this is my problem. Maybe I shouldn’t be considerate in my emails. But I was brought up to be kind and polite, so being gruff in an email to a complete stranger is not something I really consider doing.

It’s not just the emails either. What’s up with people listing a garage sale and then not actually having one? What’s up with people saying they are going to meet you at the library to buy that $2 CD from you and never show, only to give up on them after sitting there for an hour? Or the people who email you five minutes before they are supposed to meet you somewhere that they aren’t going to make it, only you're already on your way and don’t get the message? You’d be surprised how often that happens!

What takes the cake in Craigslist abuse is what happened to us over the last two days. A random thought struck me yesterday, and I did a search for “compost” on Craigslist and found a guy selling a $350 compost bin for $95. We now need a second compost bin because we have filled up the first, and of course once it is full, it needs a good 6 to 8 weeks without adding anything else to it to turn into that black, magical gold. So, I sent this listing to Greg, who instantly emailed the owner and asked if it was still available. Greg emailed me to let me know it was still available and to suggest that we get it because of how much we’d be saving from not buying a new one. Being the perpetual bargainer, I told Greg to ask him if he’d take $80, knowing full well that we’d take it even if they said no. After all, it already was a really good deal. He said he wouldn’t take our $80 offer.  Greg wrote back, “Ok. Sold. When is a good time to pick it up?” He gave the details, saying anytime this week would work except Wednesday. Fair enough. We were happy.

Now Greg has been excruciatingly busy at work lately. I’m talking going in early, trying not to stay too late, and working hard to decompress in his actual “free” time. Greg didn’t respond to the guy right away. In fact, I was amazed he actually had time to do as much as he had done. We talked about which night would work best for us that night. This morning, the very next morning after this exchange, Greg emails him and says we’d like to come pick up the compost bin on Thursday night. He knew we wanted it. He knew we’d pay his asking price. His response? “Sorry - bin sold this evening...”

OK, I’ll give him an inkling of credit for even using the word “sorry” in his response. However, this man should be in Dante’s second circle of hell with the lustful. He lusted after a quick sale. Who cares if he already promised it to someone else? No wait. He belongs in Dante’s FOURTH circle of hell for avarice; he was so damn greedy! Nope. Even better. The EIGHTH circle of hell is where this bugger belongs for his fraudulent representation as an honest man.

What is it about the anonymity of Craigslist that makes people think they have the right to blow people off willy-nilly? What happened to human decency and kindness? Don’t people feel responsible for their actions anymore?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Just A Little Tongue


Koko wanted to give me a kiss.  Who am I to tell a girl no?

Monday, August 18, 2008

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Happy (Meal) Family


I couldn’t help but follow my last post with this great shot of my Happy (Meal) Family, posing in one of their superhero poses. I’m telling you, alternative uses for a happy meal box are endless in this house.

The Three R's

OK, so our family is not the norm in our neighborhood, or at least I don’t think (???), when it comes to recycling. (Maybe not in other ways too!) I don’t know of anyone that has as much recycling out on the curb every other Monday as we do. We recycle SO much that I’m considering asking Waste Management for a THIRD set of recycle bins and a smaller garbage can. We take our own bags to the grocery stores. We have even started composting, so our “sensitive” papers, our empty cereal boxes, empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls get shredded and composted. With two picky little eaters, and one big one, we tend to have a lot of food to throw in there as well. We’re getting ready to order our second compost bin, so we can fill it up while the first one turns into nutritious dirt we can add to our flailing plants and trees in the backyard. Let's face it, Nevada dirt, aka clay, sucks. Of course until the dogs stop trampling everything we try to plant, the dirt won’t make too much difference. I can't think about that too much; it makes my blood pressure rise.

Greg says our recycling and composting isn't for any political or social reasons, but rather a personal challenge to see how much we can recycle and how little we can throw away. He says this lest he be labeled a liberal (gasp!) by those who still think he votes for "the other" (say with disdain) party. However you want to look at it, we are doing our part for our planet.

Alright, I'll get off of my soap box. The point... Our recycling habit/obsession/challenge, along with geekiness, must have a passable gene, for our children have started to get creative in the ways they do their own recycling. Just check out the progression on this Happy Meal box:


IMG_0513  IMG_0566

IMG_0569  IMG_0577

Maybe it’s not a gene after all. Maybe we have all just listened to the Curious George movie soundtrack by Jack Johnson about a bazillion trillion times too many:

We got three R’s we’re going to talk about today
We’ve got to learn to
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Now that song is stuck in my head. Oh well, it wouldn't be the first time.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Dynamic Duo


This is my Her Pick Pic of the day. Watch out for these web-slinging super heroes. Thankfully they know with great power comes great responsibility.

Did You Get That at a Saaaaaaaale?

My kids get their addiction to routine from somewhere. OK, namely me. Every Saturday I go “garage saling” with my great friend, Lindie. Yes, it is a verb. It is a thing I do, like sleep, drink coffee, end the day with a glass of wine. You get the picture. I love the thrill of the hunt, and my kids just love the treasures I bring home for them. So much so that Emily thinks everything she has is from a garage sale. She’ll tell Granny, “Mommy got this at a saaaaaaaale.” The long “a” in the word is spoken about three times the length that it should be.  Whether it was something Santa brought her at Christmas, something she received as a birthday present, or something we got at the store TOGETHER, to her everything comes from a “saaaaaaale.”

Although this makes me laugh, I can’t help but think of the comedian who claimed to hate when you paid a compliment to a woman about her outfit and she replied, "Thanks! I found it at a garage sale for a dollar!" He'd hate me then! I've toned it down a bit lately. I think my family and friends might have been getting an itsy bit tired of hearing how much (or how little) I paid for something. I don't offer to tell people anymore where I got the new pictures hanging in my bathroom, or the new sandals I'm wearing, or the new rug in the playroom, or... OK, I don't do it as MUCH.

So, even given my recent attempt to keep my mouth shut, I can't help but share a story about one of my recent finds. This last Saturday during the annual Hidden Valley garage sale (it's like Christmas for avid "salers") where hundreds and hundreds of homes drag out their unwanted items, I stumbled across a great pair of rain boots for Emily that look like bees. For a dollar. Seeing as how we live in a DESERT, they were practically new. They are a couple of sizes too big, so I figured they'll come in handy next year. Or not. After Emily saw them she just HAD to put them on. She HAD to wear them out to lunch to the McDonald's Playplace (on the wrong foot, mind you). She walked like Frankenstein without bending her knees to try and keep the too-large "saaaaaaaale" boots from falling off. Braedyn's socks HAD to be pulled up, a tribute to the 70's. I thought this was a great example of an outing at our house where I throw my arms up in the air and say, "What the heck! You're dressed. Let's go!"


Friday, August 15, 2008

That’ll Teach Me to Cheat

I’ve quickly been sucked into another Jodi Picoult book and have been looking forward to the kids’ “quiet time” all day to dive back into it. We do Emily’s quiet time routine first, and after reading Goodnight Moon, her pick, I quickly looked down to the growing pile of books next to the rocking chair to pick her second read. One book will never do. It’s always two. Knowing that Trixie and her fate awaited in my book’s unread pages, I quickly grabbed what I thought would be a quick second read for Emily, Snappy Little Bugs. A pop-up book with few words and even fewer pages. Perfect. The second I opened it however I remembered why this book can

S      T      R      E      T      C      H 

out for an eternity! Emily has to kiss each and every bug on each page. And I’m not talking a speedy kiss on each page. It’s a deliberate kiss, a pull back, a look at the next bug, then a kiss, another pull back, another deciding look, etc. It’s a very. slow. process. And don’t try to turn the page before she’s done! Oh, no! She wants to be fair to all the bugs on the pages. Each one deserves a kiss.

Eight butterflies…kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss.

One snail…kiss.

One worm…ewe, no kiss for that one.

Two dragonflies…kiss, kiss.

One caterpillar…kiss. 

One beetle…kiss.

One spider…kiss (yeah, this one surprised me too!). 

Three ladybugs playing hide-and-seek…kiss (guess the other two were hiding pretty well).

Holy spaghetti monster, HOW many bees is that? Kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss… IMG_0474

Three grasshoppers…chomp, chomp, chomp. Guess those looked tasty!

OK, that’s one lesson to file under why cheating never pays. Sweet dreams, Emily. Now where’s my book!?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fireman’s Poles Are Off Limits

Our family has a campsite at a private campground North of Truckee.  We have been going there since I was 5 years old (yes, a fricking century ago, I get it).  Now, my children are nearly as old as I was when my parents purchased the site and Susanne and I attempted (yes ATTEMPTED, more on that another time) to take them up to have the wonderful childhood camping experience that I remember. 

Funny thing was when I was that age and enjoying the camping experience I did not realize that I was DRIVING my parents to drink and smoke.  I realize now that they must have started these habits to cope, because that’s what respectable parents do while camping with toddlers rather than shooting themselves.

When I was a little older I remember my mother would come back from her friends campsite a little tipsy (smart woman, I see that now) and I remember asking her “Are you drunk?” to which she would hold her hand up, positioning her thumb and finger about a dimes distance apart and say “I had one TEENY WEENY Martini.”  Smart woman.  I should have brought the strong stuff.

One of the good and bad things about this campground is the playground.  You heard it folks, a good old fashion playground with swings, monkey bars and all.  When I was old enough it must have been a godsend for my parents to send us off to the park to play. The bad is that when they are toddlers, you have to go with them.

The campsite is actually full of nature. You know, Bugs.  Emily has issues with bugs. “EEK A BEE DADDY”.  Emily that's a fly. “EEK, ANT BIT ME DADDY.”  Yes Emily, I told you not to pick up the ants.  “Eeek, eeek, eeek, eek”. Bartender, bring me another drink.

So Susanne and I needed a break and figured that the park would give the kids something to focus on and would give us a rest.  For the most part it worked.  They enjoyed the swings and the monkey bars.  Then a couple other kids showed up, and Emily decided it was time to flirt.  Now here is a two year old girl glowing at the site of this 7 or 8 year old boy.  Yes, it scared me.  She runs up to the boy does a sort of hipswing and arm flailing and says in a sing-song voice “get me, get me” and runs off.  The little toddler flirt is trying to get a boy to chase her.  After two or three instances where the boy does chase her, she tries for a final flirtatious chase.  “Get me, get me” she singsongs, pivots and in an apparent attempt at slapstick comedy runs smack into the fireman's pole on the play structure.  It wasn’t funny. She had enough speed to knock her flat to the ground.  I bet she doesn't do that again.  At least till she’s a teen and she verifies there are no fireman’s poles around.  While we are on that subject Emily, I don’t want to hear about you being around Fireman’s poles while men are around.



Flaming Swords and Fiery Dragons


My oldest son Jacob asked me to take him to Controlled Burn in downtown Reno during Artown this year. His interest in photography has taken a very serious turn and I am all about supporting and encouraging it.  He has a great eye, and the more practice the better.  During the fire dance these huge torches would light the sky and I captured him waiting for the perfect shot in the glow of those beautiful torches. 

Mommy is Just SO Mean


I would look like this too, tears and all, if I was told I couldn’t throw my napkins on the floor. Mommy’s just so mean. When I told her “No, you may NOT throw your napkins on the floor,” she burst into these tears and told me “You hurt my ‘feewings’.”

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

How About Now?


I routinely worry about Braedyn’s allergies, which have a tendency to express themselves with deep, dark circles under his eyes. Today I said to him while driving back from the library, “Oh, buddy, you have such dark circles under your eyes.” He replied, “Do they go away when I do this?” Yup. Stinker.

I Touched an iPhone.

This was never the way I planned
Not my intention
I got so brave, drink in hand
Lost my discretion
It's not what, I'm used to
Just wanna try you on
I'm curious for you
Caught my attention
I touched an iPhone and I liked it
The feel of its inaudible click
I touched an iPhone just to try it
I hope my hubby don't mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don't mean I'm in love tonight
I touched an iPhone and I liked it
I liked it
No, I don’t understand all the shame
It doesn't matter,
You're my experimental light-saber game
Just human nature,
It's not what,
Good PC girls do
Not how they should behave
My head gets so confused
Hard to obey
I touched an iPhone and I liked it
The feel of the devil’s walking stick.
I touched an iPhone just to try it
I hope my hubby don't mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don't mean I'm in love tonight
I touched an iPhone and I liked it
I liked it,
Us PC geeks we are so magical
Big grin, writing scripts, so inexplicable
Hard to resist so touchable
Too good to deny it
Ain't no big deal, it's innocent
I touched an iPhone and I liked it
My tummy doing a butterfly kick.
I touched an iPhone just to try it
I hope my hubby don't mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don't mean I'm in love tonight
I touched an iPhone and I liked it
I liked it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Why So Serious?


Our own little Joker.

It’s Potty Time, BaaaNaNaNa…NaNa…NaNA, Potty Time

Every single day right before nap time, or “quiet time” as we call it in our house, lest we conjure the demons within with the dreaded word “nap”, we do the same thing. Seriously, the same, identical thing each and every day. I ask two or three times, and then demand, beg, and plead, “Braedyn, please go potty before quiet time and then go pick out the two books you want to read.” And every day he reacts as though this was the first time he was hearing this obviously unreasonable request.

“But I don’t NEED to go potty!” Um, the conspicuously-located wet spot on your shorts says otherwise.

“I already went potty this morning!” Um, that was hours and hours and ounces upon ounces of juice ago.

While standing in the bathroom, he’ll say, “I DID just go potty.” Ah, a quick glance at the shut lid of the toilet (which he NEVER shuts) tells a different story. Nice try.

“I don’t like you telling me to go potty.” Well, when you go on your own without me telling you to go, then I’ll stop. I promise you will not be in your early 20’s with a mother calling you to remind you to go potty. I promise.

You’d think I was asking him to clean the bathroom floor with a toothbrush while simultaneously eating a vat full of vegetables - raw, unsalted, fresh veggies. Seriously, can you please just try and go!? Otherwise, I have an extra load of laundry, comprised mostly of wet sheets, to do before bedtime tonight.

I’m Captain PowerTransformerRanger, Matey

IMG_0461 You may not believe this, but this Captain PowerTransformer Ranger (Captain PoTran?) has a winter hat underneath the Transformer mask. Rock on. He should talk to Marvel about the creation of their next super hero! He can take the bad guys out on land, sea, or air.

Braedyn, your imagination is such a joy to watch. Don’t ever stop thinking cool stuff up, Matey, or I’ll make you swab the deck. Wait, maybe I should have you do that now?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Got Wood?

Yes, a woodpile is today’s His Pick Pic of the day. I went on a father/son trip with my brother and our 2 four year olds. I forgot to bring firewood and needed to scavenge in the California woods. Now I don’t know how many of you know but, psst … scavenging for firewood in California parks is really frowned upon. So I trudged through a meadow, slapping mosquitos on my balding head and looking over my shoulder for the Ranger Rick I just KNEW followed me out there just waiting to jump out and arrest me for “gathering”, (I mean, what else do they have to do?) when I came upon this large fallen tree. Did I have an axe, saw, or any type of woodgathering instrument? Just the saw on my Leatherman, but it was an overnight and didn’t have time to saw with it (size DOES matter as my wife so frequently reminds me), so I had to rely on my bare computer and mouse calloused hands. I hung from a large branch and it snapped like I was 30 pounds overweight. I then used every ounce of machismo left in this geek body of mine to swing and smash that large branch on a rock to create this perfectly formed pile of wood. I then hightailed it back to the family van, hiding from cars as they passed. I beat you Ranger Rick, I beat you.

What’s wrong with electronics in the bedroom?

I agree whole heartedly that there are some electronic devices that belong in a bedroom and that some of the ones in the tub do not (without some safety modifications of course).

I’ll move em.  I promise.  How about into this new empty closet we had built?   The shelves look pretty sparse, and there are already some geek items on the second shelf? What’dya say?

IMGP1423.PEF Maybe the tub will slide on under your crafting table in the bedroom?

I guess I just don’t get it. Seriously?  Unreal Tournament, Far Cry, a webcam and a copy of DBAN don’t belong in the bedroom? Ok, maybe three out of four.  Honey, I thought you were more creative than that?

Nothing Screams Romance Quite Like This

The bedroom is a place to get away from it all. A retreat. A place for a couple to get away from the hectic aspects of life and just be together. Greg and I don’t have a TV in our bedroom because we don’t want the distraction. After all if you’re watching TV, you’re not doing other things. Wink. Wink. Nudge. Nudge.

Nope. No TV, but we’ve got a big box of geeky splendor that is a huge focus-suck, not to mention a tripping hazard. Greg’s geekiness is a huge turn-on, true, but these aren’t exactly the type of toys I want in the bedroom.

IMG_0459Don’t get me wrong, Greg has done a truly amazing job of whittling down his geek empire that once engulfed 7/8 of our garage (can you say unopened boxes (PLURAL) of 5 1/2” disks?), and I completely appreciate it. Now one of us can park in the garage, but our bedroom has taken the hit.  I have my own box of demons that I need to sort through in the bedroom too, so that proverbial ball could easily get thrown back in my court. I’m probably just focused on this since my toe is still throbbing from stubbing it on this distinctive box of geek lovin’.

Who’s Funding the Geek Gene Discovery?


So, I’d like to know who’s funding the discovery of the gene related to geekness.


No, I’m serious. I have the proof it exists, right here.


Braedyn’s geek-ambidextrous. Mac. PC. Whatever gets the job done. There’s a gene. I’m certain.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Who Didn't Watch the Price Is Right?


This is my Her Pick Pic for the day. Just look at my guys getting soaked at the Sparks Fountain...and loving it! Too bad a lady had to bring her out of control pit bull and park herself close by in the grass, making me go high-tailing it to the car. Her very male, not neutered, out-of-control pit bull. Call me crazy, but does this dog really need the ability to procreate? Bad local citizen, bad! Someone should have listened to Bob Barker more.

Akubra Shedding Water


I chose this image for my His Pick Pic of the day. Susanne took it at the Sparks Fountain. Composition, color and framing just seem right. That and I have that sexy rugged look. What more could I want?

Pinch, Poke, You Owe Me a Coke?

So, Emily did her usual wake up call. "MOMMY, I want YOU!" I usually wait until I hear it a few times before actually beckoning to her call. After several outbursts, it was obvious she wasn't going to go back to sleep. In good troglodyte form I stumbled out of my bed (thank you, thank you, thank you Greg for letting me sleep a little extra) and into her room. I crawl into bed with her with the distant and slim hope that she'll curl up next to me and drift off to toddler-bliss sleep. Yeah, right.

She asks me to make her "sof Bo", her soft teddy bear, talk to her. So I put her "sof Bo" in front of my face and in the best cutesy voice I can muster without some coffee pumping in my veins say, "Hi Emily! Good morning! I love you!" She said she wanted to get up, and she and "sof Bo" wiggle out of bed. I stayed and curled up, again with a glimmer of hope that she'd go without me. Yeah, no such luck.

I come out to the family room with her, and she promptly goes to Daddy, and I promptly go to the kitchen to see what coffee dredges are at the bottom of the pot that I can lick until I have enough energy to make a new pot. Hooray! A quarter of a cup. Not bad for a Sunday morning.

Emily is curled up with Daddy on the couch and asks him to have "sof Bo" talk to her. Greg looks at me and informs me this is her "new thing." I said I know, and we couldn't have planned the next few words better if we had tried. In perfectly matching tone and pitch we both said, "I started it." We stared at each other incredulously and each wondered who'd get to blog about it first.

We laughed, and Greg said, "I bet your Bo doesn't do this!" and turned the bear at an angle as to give him premium tooting power. In his best (and he's good) flatulence sound, the bear appears to really let one rip. It makes Emily giggle. Daddy's good.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Terror Turns To Angel

This morning my daughter woke up screaming for mommy. Her mommy was out garage sale shopping is as her usual Saturday morning ritual. Her time away with friends and adults.

When I went into my daughters room to get her up (she never leaves her room of her own accord) she screamed at me "NO, I want mommy". I replied "Mommy is not here, so you can just stay in bed until she gets back."

I stormed out of the room, waiting to get just out of sight to hear my daughter beg for me to return. Instead I hear her yell "SHUT MY DOOR!!", as simple and demanding as that. Remember, she is three. Well, rather than get upset about it. I did. What the hell. If she wants to lay in bed and wait for mommy. More power to her.

I left her in her room for over half an hour, and thought perhaps she had fallen back asleep. When I poked my head in again to check on her she said sweetly and pleasantly. "I want to get up".

She was sweet for all of the fifteen minutes as she drank her morning sippy and watched an episode of Caillou and it was back to being a little snot.

Doesn't want to eat, doesn't want to get dressed, a closed fist punch to her brothers face when she didn't like what he was saying. Like the title says, a Terror (yes, it deserves a capital T). She is not like this often. This is the exception and not the rule, but it was enough to start my day off on the wrong foot.

So I had to get out of the house, change the environment and perhaps the mood. We got pancakes and hash browns and Micky D's. Of course Braedyn threw a tantrum because he wanted to eat in the "Lunch house" and play on their play structure. Oh joy. The Micky D's play structure where the noise level exceeds OSHA standards for a safe environment. That's what I want to do on Saturday morning when I am already in a funk. But I persevered and we drove to the new park and ate breakfast in the car in the parking lot. Then the the children transformed.

They were outside. They were playing with other kids. They were having a great time. It was windy as hell. Braedyn didn't care, but Emily sure hated the mist being blown on us by the sprinklers.

Mom met up with us so it was less stressful to track the kids in a park the size of Yankee Stadium and on this day seemingly as many people.

I sat at the bottom level of the play structure and Emily began running back and forth to me, giving me very wet kisses. Sweet and adorable and then she hid behind the pole and played peek-a-boo. Just twice. Just long enough for me to get this shot which melts my heart and makes it all worth while.

My little Terror is growing up. I love you Emily.

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Whoa! TMI

Damn. I should have read your first post before sending this out to my facebook pals. Oh well, what the heck. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The fact that we are sitting in the same room on respective laptops posting to our new blog and laughing about it says we were meant to be.

Virgin? Not on our first night you weren't.

Wow, I haven't even finished configuring the DNS settings and you saunter into the OK Coral with both guns blazing and pulling no punches. Good thing we talked about defining boundaries for this website eh. Oh, wait, we never finished that conversation and it shows.

Yes, if it weren't for you speaking up, I would have probably been kicking myself wondering how yet another woman spent the night in my bed, the entire night, fully clothed no less. Instead, you wake me up and then leave me out of breath and spent on the top bunk. No wonder I couldn't let you go after that.

Yup, a bunk bed. Let's leave that discussion for another day. There is a good reason a 31 year old man has a bunk bed in his studio apartment. Really there is.

Floppy disks? You are going to pull that out of your arsenal. Ok. Here goes... oh crap, I lost a bet nine years ago and you won, so I can't talk about THAT part of your past.

Ok. You win the first round.

We do make a great team. Having worked for the same company doing the same job I know that you truly can geek out when you want to. Trust me, I know that this is one SAHM who can hold her own in the geek realm. Hell, if you hadn't wanted to get pregnant and have children you would be MY boss now.

This should be fun. Lets roll baby!

Like a Virgin on Prom Night

OK, so I'll go first. What the hell. It was like that when we started dating. After all, if it hadn't been for me, we'd never be where we are now. Right, babe? Yes, way back in the DINK (double income, no kids) days of being FWB (no, you may NOT call me your girlfriend...YET), it was up to me to get the proverbial ball rolling. The simple words, "Are you awake?" and a really uncomfortable bunk bed was all it took. Now here we are almost 10 years, two kids, and two dogs later. And it is absolute, unadulterated bliss (now that I've convinced him that really, those 5 1/4" disks in an unopened pack he was holding on to for all those years really didn't need to be the start of some un-state-of-the-art museum he wanted to start). So, here we are... what I say and what he says.

Yes, we are both geeks. Yes, we both adore and cherish our children. Yes, we both like cheap wine out of the box. And, admittedly, I love handing over the tech reigns to my super un-wired husband. I like to use the technology, and he loves to find it. Go us!

First things first, let's define geek, shall we? Those who are geeks or nerds already understand the distinction, but some may not get it. It's simple. A geek is a nerd with social skills.

Second, I am a stay-at-home mom (SAHM), and most of my posts will probably be about the shenanigans of our children, Braedyn (4) and Emily (2). They are beautiful beasts that rule the roost. Greg's posts will probably have a lot to do with cool shit he finds online. Again, go us!

OK, now that the scary, painful, devirginizing of the blog has been posted, let the he said/she said craziness begin.

Love you, babe.