Saturday, August 15, 2009

Zoo Trip

The guys are all here.
Hossman and The Bruiser watching the kids run.

Everyone has a date. The FOTZ pass holders drag along a non-member.
It is a very good day for the zoo. A little hot but not too humid.
We trickle in the gate and immediately some split off for the bathroom.

Everyone was in a good mood.
The kids are already enjoying each other.

As we head off into the zoo, we make a gameplan for the day.

Walk to Africa, Tram back to the Carousel, then a train ride.

The walk down was nice. A little breeze. Elephants to see.
A few explanations as to why there are 13 dads there in a group with their kids.
Great to see a trail of dads and strollers along the path.

The kids enjoy rides in the strollers. The baboons are attacking the glass.
Snacks are eaten and lots of water drank.

As we take over the dining patio, we notice this sign.

Too bad it was closed.

As a note to future visits: The Tram runs SLOW!!!!!
I started walking back from Africa with Monkey on my shoulders.
I beat the Tram by 20 minutes!

Carousel rides. Train rides. And Monkey and I fed the Lorikeets.

Awesome day at the zoo.

Getting to the Zoo

Off to the zoo.
Gotta get up in time.
It's only.... 9:07!!!!!!

Goober has to be at school in 10 minutes!!!

I'm jumping out of bed. Crashing through the door.
"UP NOW!! You need to be up and dressed! I'll help."

Got Goober up. Time for Monkey!

"Let's go for ride!" I say nicely.
"OK!" Monkey squeals.

I throw him in the van.
Yell at Goober to eat her granola bar.

I got her there in time. Whew!
Time for the Zoo.

I tell Monkey that I will be right back. I have to run in the house and grab his shoes and bag.
I run in. I grab what I need.
I pop in my contacts. I grab a hat to cover my head and rush out.

I am in plenty of time. I pull in to the Zoo like a king.
I find a parking spot on the lower level. Scratch that, I AM A GOD!!!

I jump out. I grab the bag.
I slide open Monkey's door.
And stare dumbfounded at his bare feet.

What have I done!!!!!!?????

I jump back in the van.
I peel out of the parking lot.
I dart home. Grab the shoes.
Jump back in the van. Rush back to the Zoo.

I am just in time. I pull in as the last guys are joining the group.
A fun time is had by all.

A laugh is had at my expense.

How to Parent. Video Generation

I know all of you are wondering how a guy stays at home with the kids and doesn't go insane.
Here's a little known, but often assumed fact.

He Does!

Case in point:

I was going through the motions of my week.
Monday: Laundry
Tuesday: Outing
Wednesday: .....
Here is where it all came crashing down.

I had an offer to go play paintball.
on Thursday.
They lied. It got switched to Wednesday.

I was depressed.
I sat on the couch.
I played video games.
I let the kids run around mostly naked.
Fed them cereal and fruit snacks.
Watched numbly as the mess piled up around me.

"Go watch TV in mommy's room." I said
"I don't care" I stated.
"Work it out yourselves!" I yelled.

Not my best day.

The Warden got home.

"You did nothing, did you ?" She stated.
"Nope" I said proudly.

"You have to mow later." She said with a smile.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Paintball Fever

I get to go paintball!

The wife looks at me with that "Yes dear. You get to go play with your friends" look.

I got "new to me" camo pants and jacket. Got a new Co2 tank and got my current one filled.
Got a half case of balls and plan to shoot them all.

Met up with my manager at Dick's Sporting Goods to get the Co2.

Nothing like seeing three guys come in the store wearing camo gear. Trailing two kids behind them.
The greeter jokingly said "I didn't know there was an Overland Park Militia."
I told her we had a low budget and could only afford paintball guns.

Drive back home. Drop Monkey off at neighbors. Wait for Grandma to take Princess to lunch.
Ok. Bye!


Field isn't far from home. I have packed water, granola bars, and a stool to sit on.
Too bad Nature Boy couldn't make it. Gotta ask some of the other SAHD's if they want to join us.

We are maybe a hundred yards off the road. Can only hear the occasional car.
We get everything ready. Show off our guns. Take a few practice shots.

Ok. Split up into teams. Only six of us total. Three on three.
Ready! We holler.

Game ON.

I see movement straight ahead. Fire a few shots.
I feel the first hit of the day. Inside left thigh.
HIT!! I holler. Look down. The ball didn't break.

Walk off the field.

Game ends soon.

We talk a few minutes. A beer is passed around.
Different game. Free-for-all / Capture.
One hit. Wait to be tagged. Now you're on his team.
Second hit. You're out.

Everyone splits up.


Swing to my right. See movement away from me. Follow him.
Hear shooting. Creep closer. Hear a hit. See the fallen. Wait.

Shooter comes to tag. Aim. Now.
Shots from the other side. Crossfire.
One hollers out. Walks off field.
Other out. Kneels down. Movement on other side. Getting closer.

Forty feet. Still shooting.
Thirty feet. Holy crap those are hitting close!
Peek out. He's 15 feet away.
I hear footsteps towards me. He comes around the tree running and firing.
I get off about six shots. Two find their mark.

I tag both. Two others out there. They don't stand a chance.
I got the two best with me. I'm just a little rusty, out of shape.
Got you didn't I?

Game over. Last one standing.

A few games of two-on-two-on-two.

Creeping through the trees. (pop pop pop.) Take cover.
I see them. Going to that bigger tree.
Run run run. Vision turns yellow. I got hit. Crap.

Time's up. Gotta get the kids.
Back to reality.

I am going to hurt tomorrow.

It feels so good.

The Night Fish Came to Dinner.

Princess: What's for dinner?

Me: Fish. Mommy thawed it out.

Princess: I don't like it!

Me: You've never had it before. And it doesn't taste like anything.

Princess: *whimper* (stomp stomp stomp)

Well, that was encouraging.

Dinner time:
Baked Tilapia, in a nice Olive oil and Apple juice marinade.
Chicken flavored rice with a side of Green Beans.

Not bad.

She won't touch the fish.
Rice is gone. Beans are gone:

P: I ate all my beans. Can I have some more rice?
Me: You need to try the fish. I promise it's good. Look. Monkey's eating it.
P: Monkey eats anything. (she's got me there) And I don't like it! (Whining all the way)
Me: Just a little bite. Here.
P: chew chew "Eewwww"
Me: Swallow it!

Warden: You need to eat this much. (Cuts a piece)
P: It's too big!
Me: Fine. Here. (cuts into smaller pieces) You need to eat three pieces.
W: Ok, two. But you stay there until you finish.

Dinner almost done. Princess got a little more rice.
Monkey needs to be changed.

Me: You need to eat those two pieces.
Princess: (enthusiastically) OK! I will.

Something is up. She sounded too eager.
Set Monkey on changing pad. Walk back down hall. Look around corner. "HEY!"

In front of the trash, Princess looks up. Eyes wide. Yup. BUSTED!

Sent to room.
30 minutes later, She's out.
Sent back to room.

One hour later, let her out of room. Time for bed. Take vitamin.
Go brush teeth. Good Night!

Think she'll try it again? Yup. Get busted again?


Friday, July 31, 2009

Wife's Days Off: Part 3

Time to get up. Wow. 9:30!
Got to sleep in today.
Let's get everyone up. We have to think about going.

Deanna Rose Farmstead. Great.
Everyone in the van. Wagon stays here today. Monkey doesn't ride in it anyway.

There it is.
HOLY SHIT!! I mean shoot!
The parking lot is packed. Hey! There's one right up front. Will my luck hold?
YES!! Great spot.

No, Monkey. There's nothing around the outside of the fence.
Well, I will carry you in. Princess is looking at the peacock.
Monkey is making a break for it on a side path.
Ok gang. Let's follow the little one. He seems to know where he wants to go.

It's very sad when the Koi fish don't want to eat.
Prairie Dogs are out and enjoying the weather.

Gotta stop, Monkey. Mommy wants to see the Bobcat.
Ok. We're going to the goats.
Princess wants to feed them. Let's go in.
Found some young ones I was able to coax one over.
These are some greedy goats.

There goes someone's shirt.

Out of food. Let's go wash our hands.

Does Monkey want to go down the slide?
Princess, Go with him.

He balks. Gotta go after him.
Ok, I'll go with you. *shove*
Is it mean to trick your kid like that?

One more time.
Done. Not made for dads.

Splash area here we come.
You just brought a washcloth? Warden says I can pack the bag next time.
Crap, that backfired.

Playground is next. Run around. Dry off.
You're soaked! I'm not picking you up!

Time to go.
Lunch at Culver's
Another double burger with fries.

Damn. When I wasn't looking, I got another chocolate malt.

Let's go home. I'm beat.

Wife's Days Off: Part 2

Ok, so day one wasn't that bad. We had some fun, got some sun, and wore the kids out!

Day two started out nicely. The kids let us sleep until 8:30. (Real treat for the wife)

Got everyone ready for lunch with Grandma.
We went to eat at IHOP (The original, Not the church)

Monkey was in a rare mood. We get there and get seated.
Monkey wants down, wants up, shoes off, down again.

Drinks come. Out come the cars. Crayons on the table.
Princess is wanting Grandma's attention.
Small spill of soda. Wants down again.

Food comes. Gotta cut up the sausage.
What do you mean? Didn't I give you some? You ate it already?
Your eggs too? Want some ha---- Ok! No hash browns!
Have some of Mommy's eggs.

Almost done.
Monkey's flirting with lady across the aisle.
Rolling on the floor. Has a great audience.
Says hi. He gives her a hug. Makes her day. Says she only has daughters.
Princess wants in on the attention. Gives her a hug too.
Ok, say bye. We gotta go.

Grandma leaves.
Off to the museum.
Nelson Atkins Museum of Art and the "not so new anymore" Bloch building.

Underground parking to Bloch Building. Find a parking. Walk in. Walk around.
Lots of:
Don't touch!
Get up!
Quiet! Inside voice!
Screw it. Go. Just don't break anything. Thank goodness Little Hoss isn't here. (kidding Hossman)

Time to go inside The Nelson.
Awesome architecture. Great old building.
"No, you have to walk."
Look at the paintings, the sculptures, the teacups.
Lots to look at.
"What do you mean I can't carry him on my shoulders."
Hang on Monkey, Daddy wants to stand here a minute. Yes, by the look in your eye, I can answer. She is naked. There's a plaque here, but I don't care who she is.

Why do I have to stop at every item that shows a woman unclothed?
I'm a guy. I got balls. The Warden might have clipped them, but they're still there.
Waiting for the next girl, real or otherwise, to look at and admire.
Do anything with? No, not if I want to keep them attached to some degree.

Time to eat. Lets get out of the history lesson today.
Winstead's for dinner? Awesome!
Double burger, fries, onion rings, and a chocolate malt.
And a real 45rpm record jukebox with unlimited free plays.
Frank Sinatra, Jim Croche, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Elvis, The Temptations and more.
Can't beat the oldies.

Can't wait till tomorrow.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wife's Days Off: Part 1

My wife took a couple of days off this week.
We (she) decided we would do stuff as a family.
This is actually a great idea. We don't do much together outside the house.

We planned a few outings.
Day 1: Topeka Zoo

Please keep in mind that the Topeka Zoo is about an hour from the KC Metro area.
1. Pick a driver.
2. Get something for the passenger to do.
3. Get something for the kids to do. (We forgot. This might be a #1 to most.)
4. Bring a camera. (We have these nifty phones right? Yup, we forgot.)
5. The sign for the zoo is very small. (Yup, we missed it. Had to hang a U.)

The Topeka Zoo is a very nice place. We got in for half off with our FOTZ Memberships.
You walk in and BAM! Animals right there in your face.
Not just an otter either. A Giraffe!

Note: Follow the toddler. He can be loud. This zoo is pretty small.
With quite a lot packed into it. We toured the whole thing in about 2 hours.

We walked around to the rain forest bulding. Kids wanted to go in.
Walked around in there for awhile. Got the closest I have been to a flamingo, Camen Croc, Armadillo ( buried himself), and a large fruit bat. (About a foot tall.)

Saw lions, tigers and bears. Oh, My!

The best part of the zoo was leaving.
Don't get me wrong. I really liked the zoo.
But there is an awsome mini train across the street.
It is a train for kids and adults alike. It has been running for 43 years.
Tokens to ride are $1 each. Doesn't matter how old you are. If you ride, you pay.
Train ride takes about 15-20 min. Even goes in a tunnel and over a tressel. (Bridge)
Then comes back into the station.
The kids got to walk up front and sound the whistle.
My wife politely declined.

There is a fun looking pool in the area. We don't know if it is public or not.
We heard their PA system say something about a contamination.
(Don't forget your swim diapers)

There are two playgrounds if your kids still have energy.
Swings, slides, a wicked cresent teeter-totter.
(Almost sent my wife end over ass.)
And some play trains to climb on.
The other one has a lot of sculptures you can climb on and play around.
Gorillas, a whale, a boat, etc....

We ate at a nearby Wendy's. Then headed home.
Little monkey was asleep after 5 min on the road.
Didn't even make it out of Topeka.
And, the tolls on I-70 are prety cheap. $2.15 one way.
A great day trip.

On the way back we stopped at Legends.
Walked around and window shopped.
Got a treat from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
Kids then played around the fountain display.

Load them up. Time to go. Home.

More tomorrow.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Teenager Comes Out!!!

So, I'm driving home from my mom's on the 4th of July.
I call a buddy who had to work.
"How was tonight? Slow?"
B: "Yeah. Watched fireworks from the roof."
B: "It's ok. Hey. Are you up for some Call of Duty 4?"
"I'm on the road. Should be home in about 40."
B: "Great. I'll be out of here in an hour. Get on and we'll play. Boss is playing too."

Now I know I shouldn't. I have to work a double in the morning.

"Ummm... Ok, sounds good."

Finished driving home.
Turned on XBOX 360.
Wait.... Wait.... Wait....
Got on FB to do stupid, time sucking games.
Wait..... Wait..... Wait.....
Watch part of movie I had on DVR.

Get text. "Be on soon"

Wait..... Wait.... Wait......

About to give up when I see they have gotten on.
It seems that my buddy has gotten hold of some beer before he left.
He is drunk.
Now, my buddy likes to joke and harass people when he is sober.
It just gets worse.

Play for awhile. Get fed up with the harassment. Turn off XBOX.
Watch a little more tv.
Look outside.
The sun is up.
I should go to sleep.
Sun is up. No point in going to sleep now.
Stopped by gas station to get two 5 hour energy shots.
Worked the whole day.
Had to stay late and clean because the inspector was going to be there in the morning.
Had to get up with the kids.

I am a stupid man.

Kid again. For a night.

I am a kid again. Not a care in the world.
It's Saturday night and I get to light fireworks!
Not the little crappy ones you get when you are a kid.
I'm talking about the ones that come with five different safety warnings, a hazmat suit, and a written disclaimer to sign, saying that if you are dumb enough to hold this when it goes off.....
Well, let's just say you won't be writing any letters to the company.
I bought a butane lighter just for tonight.
Blue fire, very hot.... won't light. Cheap piece of shit.
Get out the candle lighter.
Drop mortar into tube. (yes I said mortar)
Light the fuse.
Walk 5 steps.
Cover ears.
Look up while blinking cause I looked when it took off.
(Ooohh, AAhhhh)
Repeat 5 times.

Can't see the family due to the barn in-between us.
After walking back to the house with singed fingers, missing part of beard, and blind from powder flash.
Find that half have gone inside.
The other half thought it would be rude to have me walk back and find I had been deserted.

Now I have to drive home so I can sleep and work a double the next day while wife and kids get to enjoy MY mom's pool. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine.

Next year, I'm buying snappers.

Or gunpowder.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

An outing with my daughter. (or) Kicking and Screaming

To tell you this, I first have to give you some history.
My daughter is a Daisy. I know what you are thinking. Of course you think that of your kid. How else are you supposed to think?
And for the record I do. But wait! There is another explanation.
So, for those of you who don't know. A Daisy is a rung on the Girl Scout ladder.
In Kindergarden, a girl goes in as a Daisy, at second grade, a Brownie, then Junior Girl Scout, and finally Girl Scout. (or something to that effect)
My little girl is going into the second grade this fall. Graduation from being a Daisy was this past Tuesday. Just afew days before this I found out that the Troop was going on a field trip on Saturday. Yes. Today.
Now I like/love to play poker. I'm not always very lucky. But I think it's fun. I ask the wife every time if I can go play. Well.... this was her turn.
It turns out that she and a few friends had planned to go and scrapbook for the day.
Mental note "Kiss up to wife to score points"
I bit the bullet and took my lovely child on a *choke* Daisy field trip.
Dragging her little brother along for the ride.
The plan was to meet at Crown Center and walk over to Kalidescope, a kid activity and learning place, put together by the Hall company (Hallmark Cards)
We get there a little early. And I count my lucky stars, because a charity run for a hospital was wrapping up. The street past Crown Center was closed and the closest parking was across the street.
Mental note "Always check area activities before an outing"
We walked over and didn't see anyone yet. Gotta kill some time.
There is a great LEGO exibit going on for awhile. LEGO artwork on display in the lower level where Santa gets set up each year.
It was the wierdest thing. My son walked around and looked at the artwork. Commented on it. (did not understand much of what he said) Didn't play with the LEGOs and then wanted to leave! Guess he's an art lover!
Mental note "Get LEGOs for the boy"
Still a little early. Might as well walk over to Kalidescope.
We walked over and still don't see anyone. So, to kill more time, I took the kids through the Hall's Visitor's Center.
We come out and after asking, find out that the troop went in without us. Oh, well.
We were allowed in. My daughter and the troop had fun.
This is not the place to take 2yr olds when it's crowded.
After letting them explore and create. We headed over to Crayola Cafe.
A fun diner attached to the Crayola Store. Good food, decent prices. Not equipped to handle more than two parties of 10 or more. At a kid's restaurant!!!!
Staff was harried, 3 manager types looking lost.
But a very friendly mouse in the corner.
Lunch paid for from the Cookie Fund!!!!!
Mental note "Don't go on a Saturday without a reservation."
After lunch, in which my youngest was finished before anyone else. (don't blame him)
We headed over to the fudge/chocolate store "Chips". Great place. Lots of yummy looking things.
The girls had a front row seat to the "Fudge Master" making a batch of fudge. Then entertaining them while he made up new candy combos for them. At the end, all the girls got a sample bag.
We walked back to the car, past the fountains with kids playing in them.
Looks like fun.
Mental note "Go back and let kids play in fountains"
The drive home was peacefull. Kids were told in Dad Voice (thanks Hossman) that there would be quiet time when we got home.
Quiet time was not very quiet. Dad Voice came out again. Crying girl stomped to room after.
Laid down on my bed to read a book, wondering if my day could just get any better!!! YAY!!
Couldn't doze off due to forgetting to put "Do not disturb" sign on door.

Next week will be better.
Now.... where did I put that notebook?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Trouble with the car.

How do you spend an hour, two days in a row at the car dealership, while getting oil changes and safety inspections with a 2 yr old?
Bring toys, books (for both of you), change for the vending machine, and patience.
Hope there is a cute receptionist.
And pray, that while your kid, who loves cars plays in one. And you get in the backseat to watch.
Someone hasn't thrown the child lock on the back door. Which when you close it, locks you in the car, with the windows up. So you have to crawl across the half folded seat to open the other door to get out.
Then when you are paying. That same child runs down the hall and dissapears.
Only to reappear, looking at you like this is the best game ever.
Then you have to go back to the cute recepionist and shyly get the keys and wallet you left on her counter.
And to leave you have to look like the worst parent ever. Dangling a chocolate bar like a carrot in front of the kid to lead him out of the building to the car that you actually own.

Sometimes. I hate my day.

But I love the kid.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Lab Work? or Blood Suckers from Avon.

You ever have that sick child that scares the hell out of you? You want to run to the hospital. But you also don't want to look like all the parents you see who overreact to everything.
ie: "Help! Help! Somebody help my child! I don't think he/she will make it! Somebody do something!"
"What seems to be the trouble ma'am?"
"My child was playing and fell down a very steep hill. Now he/she is bleeding! Help!"
"Ma'am. Your child rolled down the grassy slope. He/She rolled over a piece of wood on the way down and got a splinter."

Ok, you get my point.

So there I am. Ignoring.... Playing with my youngest. 2 1/2 years old. Boy. We'll call him Monkey.
He has started getting a little cranky. Feeling a bit warm to the touch. MOTRIN!!
He chugs it down. Acts happier. Dinner: Frozen Pizza.

7:00 : Feeling warm again. Acting very cranky. Hand in mouth. Ok, there's a tooth coming in.
7:30 : Falls asleep while watching TV. Cuddled against me. Carry limp Monkey to bed.
9:00 : Wakes up crying. Whining. Mother goes in to comfort. Call her The Warden.
9:10 : Another dose of Motrin.
9:12 : The Warden yelling for towels. Monkey has just released dinner.
9:15 : Clean up Monkey. Take Temp. Ear not reading clear. Gotta go in the bad way.
Temp reading : 104.4 !!
Got on phone with NurseLine. Can't believe she said not to worry until temp hit 105.

Took Monkey to doctor in the morning just to be sure. Doc said everything looked ok, but wanted to get a blood test to rule out bacterial possibility.
Try to NEVER DO THIS!!!!!!

We drove to the nearest lab. One person working there. Doing everything.
Now if you have never had to do this with a child, here's the deal.
You sit in a chair. The child sits in your lap. Then you have to pin the child down while some stranger ties a tourniquet on their arm and then comes at them with a needle to jab in their arm.

It helps if the chair you are sitting in does not swivel. Yes, this is from experience.

Then of course, Monkey starts squirming. - She missed the vein.- Then you have to watch, as she moves the needle around in your child's arm to find the vein.

And, you guessed it. Your child is looking between you and the needle, wondering what they have done wrong. And SCREAMING at the top of their lungs.

Then to make a bad thing worse. Since she didn't get anything. We have to go to another lab, where they have more help to hold a child.
We get there. We wait to be called. Monkey falls asleep. (wonderful)
We get called. We go into a room. We wait again for more help. (come on!)
We hold. She ties. She stabs. Victory!!!!
Blood goes through the tube! She hooks up the second vial. Then .... Wait.... What are you doing!? Forget the tourniquet!!! Don't let go of the needle!!!!!.
He moved. Needle came out of the vein. Blood swelled under the skin.
Did we get enough? NO!?!?!?! Ok. Make it QUICK!!!!

Ok, kiddo. It's over. Would you like a sucker? Huh? Ok. Here you go.

Whew. It's over. But I tell you.
There is nothing like the looks you get. Carrying out a 2 year old who the whole packed waiting room has heard scream and cry for the past ten minutes. You get ooohs, ahhs, how darlings, bless his hearts, and looks of sympathy for you from everyone. Why? Because they are in to have the same thing done to them! And they could not imagine if they had to sit there and do that to their child.
The other best part? Your child will have the best sleep that night.

Excuse me. I need a nap.