Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dad Party Day One

Dad Party Day 1 is officially in the history books. Mel flew to Idaho this morning for a Scentsy convention, leaving me home with the youngsters for what has been termed a four-day “Dad Party”. Day One started out a little rough on account of the fact that we all went to the play Les Miserables last night and didn’t get to bed until 1:00am. Clearly my definition of time to wake up is different than a four year old’s definition.

We made a trip to the grocery store for the essentials: bread, milk, grapes, candy and ice cream. I became a legend in my kid’s eyes by doing one simple act: letting them get a regular-size candy bar for a treat. The last time that happened was…….never. We had a water balloon fight, watched some Napoleon Dynamite, and wrapped up the day with some left over sparklers. I learned a few important lessons today:

1) I make TERRIBLE spaghetti. It ended up as one giant blob of stuck together noodles that we almost needed steak knives to cut through. Fortunately the kids didn’t notice and Jackson indicated that this was some of the best spaghetti he’s ever had.

2) It is a TERRIBLE idea to get your kids all hopped up on sugar by letting them inhale a candy bar. That is unless you like to see them bounce around like an angry bumble bee in a Mason jar.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Curse Glenn Beck!

Glenn Beck is by far the funniest, most intelligent, most entertaining guy in talk radio. I enjoy the fact that I have a half hour drive to work each morning because I get to listen to Glenn Beck.

I'm currently holding a bit of a grudge toward him though. Three weeks ago Glenn was talking about how he couldn't eat Lucky Charms because the marshmallows were just too weird and foamy. He said it was like eating something from Dow Chemical. Or asbestos.

Hearing his discussion about Lucky Charms stirred up a craving within my soul. Unlike Glenn, I love the marshmallows, but I hadn't had Lucky Charms for years. I stopped at the grocery store and bought a bag of Marshmallow Mateys (cheaper bagged cereal), and ate it over the next few meals.

I have now developed an addiction to Marshmallow Mateys. I could eat heaping bowls of them for every meal and be as happy as a cat in an aviary. I only eat home-cooked dinners because it's polite and my wife goes to the effort to cook (absolutely no offense Mel, those Mateys are just so good!!!).

I blame my bad, sugar-ridden habit on Glenn. I'm sure this craving will eventually pass, but in the mean time I'll continue to buy this scrumptious meal by the bag full.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Stop - Hammer Time!

I went out walking today and happend to be passed by someone I know in the neighborhood driving a convertable. He's a little older, and apparently a little outdated. As he drove past he said "Hey cool stud!"

I'm approximating that the last time I was called a "cool stud" was, oh, 1991? So since that time one of two things have happened. Either 1) I was once a cool stud, then was no longer a cool stud (highly likely) so nobody was compelled to say that to me, and then as of this morning I became a cool stud again, or 2) NOBODY uses the phrase "cool stud" anymore.

It spawned a two minute trip down memory lane to a time when I blasted MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice on my ghettoblaster. When I wasted hours in front of a TV screen playing Duck Hunt. When Spandex and fanny packs were okay to wear. When minivans were the cool new thing on the road. Ah, the good old days.

I don't miss MC Hammer or Vanilla Ice. Or Duck Hunt. Or fanny packs. Or minivans. I actually don't really miss being called a cool stud either.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

So Far, So Good

For the last five days, I've been working hard to avoid the chunky burps. The upchuck. The ralphing. The barf. I don't know the root of the problem, but my stomach has ranged from mildly queasy to "watch your feet!" since Sunday. Grrr.

If there is a bright side, a way to see upchucking as "the glass half full", it would have to be the fact that it reminded me of a funny story from a few years ago.

I was working as a therapist at a teen treatment facility. One of the well-intentioned staff members stopped me in a little hallway outside to tell me something about one of the kids in my group. Trouble was that I was on a bee-line to either my office or a bathroom (whichever I got to first) because my lunch was begging to hurl itself out of my mouth. I tried to explain to Marv my dilemma, but to no avail. Within seconds, out she came. Barf splattered everywhere. My eyes were foggy so I'm not sure if it got on Marv's shoes, though I'd make an educated guess that his shoes needed a bath.

So during my illness, my purpose has been to not launch chunks on anybody's shoes. So far, so good.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Birthday Bonanza

Last week was crazy at my house. Kylee turned 4 on Tuesday, Danica turned 5 on Thursday, and Jackson turned 7 on Saturday. We capped off the week with a big 'ol birthday bash on Saturday where we let each of our offspring invite five or six of their friends to the party.

Some people would rather let loose a family of rabid coons in their house than have a house-full of 4-7 year-olds all hopped up on sugary birthday cake and candy. Yea. I would be one of those people.

That's why we gathered a gaggle of 4-7 year olds at a park for the birthday party. Then I was perfectly fine with getting the kids all hopped up on sugar. My wife happens to be ultra-creative and has a tradition of making a unique birthday cake for each kid. Jackson chose a bowling alley cake, Danica chose a cake that looked like a campfire, and Kylee chose a fat pig cake. Needless to say, we had enough cake to choke a baby camel. Fortunately, after 15 kids had their share of cake, we came home with just enough to cure a few of my sweet-tooth attacks. Even better, after the party was done our house didn't look like it had been inhabited by rabid coons.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Bonding With the Dentist

The dentist and I got to spend some more quality bonding time today. Ugh. Apparently I have an abscess tooth or something like that. The phrase that made my stomach jump up to my throat was when he said to the assistant "Go grab the laser. We'll laser it off." I'm serious. Go grab the laser.

They need to come up with some kind of code instead of saying "Go grab the laser." Maybe a phrase like "How was your beef chimichanga?" or "This popcorn is making me thirsty!" Just don't use the word "laser" in any sentence. Ever.

I had fears that maybe he would accidentally turn it up too high which would accidentally turn my head into a sloppy mess of brains and blood and guts. He must have had it on the right level because the laser didn't sever my head from the rest of my body.

Our fun together ended as he was tilting my head back up off the ground and said the words "Come back tomorrow and we'll check it out to see if we need to laser it again."

This popcorn is making me thirsty!

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Best Daddy She Ever Had

We live across the street from a baseball field where the city sets off the fireworks each 4th of July. This gives us the best seat in the house, unless you count the shrapnel of firework shells that rain down on our yard.

I love fireworks. Love 'em. I look forward to the 4th of July as much as I do Christmas. Sure, part of it is simple gratitude to be living in the country I'm living in. But a really big part is the simple pleasure of seeing colorful explosions in the sky and feeling my body vibrate from the boom. Maybe a portion of my personality is just a red-blooded pyromaniac.

This year I got to hold our three year old (she'll be four tomorrow) Kylee on my lap. My designated job was to cover her ears because she informed me that as much as she loves to see the fireworks, she's not a fan of actually hearing them.

My reward for an honorable duty was to have Kylee give me a kiss after the fireworks and say "You're the best daddy I ever had." It was the perfect way to end our celebration.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Getting a Root Canal

I had the pleasure of getting a root canal a few hours ago. Thanks to a good specialist it was bearable. I got to sit back and enjoy the ride and watch the Padres spank the Rockies. Good times.

I used to say things like "I'd rather get a root canal than listen to a Celine Dion CD" or "Given the choice between watching Law and Order or getting a root canal, I'd choose the root canal." The good thing about actually getting a root canal is that I can say with surety that I'd rather get a root canal than listen to a Celine Dion CD. If you asked me today to choose between that and Law and Order, it would be a toss up.

I'm convinced that a better torture for terrorists than water boarding would be to give them lots of root canals while making them listen to Celine Dion on the headphones.