Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Floors! (part 1)

Let me back up. When we bought the house in the country it had a few issues. However, the secluded drive, the pond, the turkeys and deer, the timber, and the isolation is awesome. I believe my quote to Wife went along the lines of, “I don’t care if it is a tent on the hill, I am going to live there ‘til I die.” And I still intend to.
So we bought the property and it came with a house. A used house with issues. (log home issues aren’t for the faint of heart)
One of the issues was that the owners were irresponsible in many ways. One way was in maintaining their CATS. The house reeked of cats. So before we moved in (previous house hadn’t sold) we pulled up every inch of carpet. And there was a LOT of inches of carpet. With the exception of the Kitchen, Bathrooms, and utility room, every inch of the 1600’ house was carpeted in purple. Purple stained with cat pee and hair. So we opened the sliding glass doors and the windows and pulled up the entire carpet and pitched it into a truck and took it to a landfill.
Another conversation that Wife and I had was about her having a garden. I told her that we had time for one or the other; fix up the house the way she wanted it or put in the most awesome garden she had always wanted. Wife chose garden. (Putting in the garden is another story but picture a 12 row, raised bed garden with each row 50 feet long with a 4 foot path between each bed. On a southwest sloping hill side for maximum sunlight) As a result of the garden choice, we never replaced the flooring. That is right, picture plywood floors.
Due to the cats, the floors had been aggressively sanded to get out the stains (since the cats had soaked through the pad into the wood) and painted with KILZ. Over the years, Wife has painted the floors each year in white. Fast forward to this Thanksgiving.
This year, on Black Friday, Wife surprised me by buying laminate flooring. 77 cents per sq.ft., What A DEAL. (Surprised me because sure, we had talked about it but we had talked about a lot of things. Like going to Italy, or France. You don’t see me buying tickets on Black Friday, do you? Not yet, anyway.)
Anyway, with a new baby coming by new year (hopefully) that left me five weekends to get that floor laid in. I, of course wait until the weekend before new years.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Merry Christmas!
As I talk to friends and read various blogs, people talk about their Christmas memories and traditions.
I have been trying to remember if our family had a tradition. We didn’t attend a Christmas church service religiously. I don’t remember a specific Christmas breakfast, followed by opening gifts. We didn’t always visit this relative or that one. We did usually have a decorated tree. And I seem to recall that each year Mom got an ornament that had the date on it.
What I remember about Christmas is family. We weren’t always in a good mood and we still aren’t very close. But on Christmas, we were all together. When I was younger I was oblivious to every one else. What did I get, that was the important question.
As I grew older that was still a pretty important question.
I do remember trying to create a tradition that I would make breakfast of ‘messy’ eggs for Mom and Dad before we opened gifts. I remember being so desperate to please them with what I made. Looking back, I think I could have made anything in the world and burned it and Mom would have been happy with me. Looking back, I wanted desperately to please Dad. I remember always wanting his approval and for him to be proud of me.
I suppose that in his way he was pleased and proud. Born in ’38 in Kansas, raised by conservatives at the tail end of the depression, he was not and is still not a demonstrative man. (I am the opposite, hardly an emotion I feel doesn’t get telegraphed across my face or spoken)
I never felt secure that he was happy with me except on rare occasions. My security relied upon him expressing himself. I didn’t understand that what I needed was not in his nature, therefore I didn’t think it existed.
I understand better now, years after I have left the house. We live quite a ways apart from each other these days. But I understand that while he may not have shown his feelings, he most likely was proud of my brother and I just the same. I am sure that he went through the same trials and ordeals of parenting that I am starting to experience. There is no manual, no book of instructions. People tend to parent the same as their parents did raising them.
I guess what I am trying to say (badly, it seems) is that my memory of Christmas is of family, being together. As such, whether I was aware of it or not, Dad was part of that and in his (our) own way, we were all happy together.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Kat's busy weekend

Our little Kat had a very busy weekend. First, we had gift exchange with the cousins and aunts and uncles. As soon as we got to MIL, Kat had to get re acquainted with her cousins. Two are BOYS (eww, bully) but she has cousin MJ that dotes on her. Lets brush your hair and paint your nails, or would you rather just sit and tell stories.
When it came to gifts, little Kat made out like a bandit! She got toys and toys and attention and sweet potatoes and more toys. AND A REAL SLED!
She played and ran around so hard and long that she was asleep before we got turned around in the drive at MIL farm. Then again, Wife fell asleep about the same time.
(Pictures to be added when my computer cooperates)

Monday, December 15, 2008

financial thinking

Over the weekend, Dogbert explained the reasoning behind the mortgage problems we have been having for the last couple of years.
Then, today I saw even further explanations of the market. *Giving Credit where credit is due
“Think of financial theory as a stool. The stool is supported by three legs, or truisms.
• History always repeats.
• Past performance is no indication of future returns.
• Asshats are trying to steal your money.
These three truisms can explain any financial phenomenon. For example, if your financial advisor suggests that you invest in a market bubble that is about to burst, he will explain that the past is no indication of future results. Just because a Price/Earnings ratio of 45 has never been sustainable in the past doesn't mean it won't be perfectly safe in the future.

And when the bubble bursts and you lose half of your money, your advisor will explain it's because history always repeats. In other words, he's an asshat trying to steal your money. “
Last week an asshat (shouldn’t that be two words?) was arrested after his sons turned him in for being a common thief.
Ok, maybe $50 BILLIION dollars in theft isn’t a common thief, but he is still a thief. **
Over the weekend I heard a rumor that the US Govt. loaned $3Trill just before the market collapsed and they proposed the TARP to cover the mess. BUT the Govt isn’t saying to whom they loaned the $$.
Does Wall Street, or the Govt, really wonder why there is a confidence problem in the market?
I sincerely hope that the Obama administration can solve our problems. The current thieves in congress and Wall Street sure aren’t.
*Scott Adams espouses these ideas, I shamelessly borrow from them for my posts.
** so is a $2,000 hooker a common prostitute?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

hard days work

Last Sunday my MIL worked me like a hired hand. Today I worked me like a hired butcher. Since about 9 am I have been cutting up the two deer that I shot last weekend. And canning them. So far I have 40 pounds cut and put in jars and before I go to bed, I will have 24 jars canned. Sitting/Standing at a table all day with fillet knives pulling out stray hair, cutting out fat and sinew and cubing the meat for canning. All day long. With the stench of blood and meat up to my wrists. I bet I stink at work Monday.
Still, I will enjoy the convenience of being able to pop open a jar and have wonderful tasting roast for the rest of the year.
And I just realized I haven't done my ironing for the week.

one year older and cuter

The picture of Kat in red is from last December.
The picture of the Kat chipmonk in pink is from yesterday.
It is hard to believe how much she has changed in a year
Yesterday was her first time on a sled. Mom came up to play with her and I improvised a sled because I am too cheap to spend $11 for a plastic sled.
Kat didn't care, she obviously had fun.

Postscript - I don't know what it means, but this is the second day that Kat has slept past 8am after going to bed at 8pm. I don't know enough to be concerned but I do know that Wife is jealous. She was up every 2 hours to pee.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A sense of accomplishment

Today was a great day. Not a great day like yesterday where I was with friends, hunting down the biggest nuisance pest in the great state of Iowa, white tail deer.
But a productive great day. I had borrowed my monster-in-law’s truck and needed to return it to her. So when I got down to the farm she had a list of things that she wanted me to do for her. Chores, so to speak.
First, I had loaded up her truck with wood to weight it down. Her truck is a two wheel drive farm truck and I am more comfortable driving it on snow when I have 500 pounds of weight in the back. So the first thing I needed to do was unload it. Some of that wood needed to be split, so I backed the truck up to the splitter and I split some wood.
Then I plugged in her loader tractor so that it could be started so we could put on chains. With winter and snow here she needs trains on for traction. Then I went and found her chainsaw and brought it into the house to warm up so I could cut up some trunks that were in the way.
About this time Wife showed up with my truck so that she could give me a ride home. Since Wife is pretty smart she had brought her homework just in case I wasn’t ready to go. So while she hunkered down to study I took my truck over to the splitter since I needed to move the split wood from MIL truck over to my truck and I needed to split some of the wood in the back of my truck.
Lunch. Pizza, steamed vegetables, apples.
After lunch we took the loader tractor to the machine shed and jacked up the rear end so that we could put on the chains. If you haven’t put chains on a tractor all I can say is that it is a serious full body work out. Not much cardio but you will use every major muscle group excepting maybe your jaw muscles. After the chains were put on MIL tried to torture me by telling me she thought they could be tightened one more link. I tried, I really did. Pulling on 100 pounds of chain stretched across a 5 foot tractor tire is an experience everyone should try. Especially while the tractor is jacked up and the wheels are free spinning. Suffice to say they were as tight as I could get them.
After that I took the chainsaw and quartered the stumps, fired up the splitter one last time and split another couple hundred pounds of aged oak. Then loaded it all up into my truck. As I type this out almost all of my muscles ache. I sprained my wrist trying to tighten the tractor chains. I froze my legs while splitting, loading then unloading the wood in the truck. (12 degrees F outside, thank GOD I filled my tags yesterday)
However, I feel like I worked hard and accomplished quite a lot today. This is the kind of tired that says you worked really hard and you will sleep very well tonight. This is a great feeling.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Deer Season - Happy Holidays!!

Today has been an outstanding day.
Jill woke me up at o'Dark:05 so that I could get ready to go hunting today. I got ready, warmed up the truck and put Kat in so that I could meet the guys at the truck stop.
We made our way to the MIL farm where we saw a trio of deer as we pulled into the lane. This was a good omen for the day to come.
While we geared up we discussed who would go sit where. Bill wanted to go back and chase the first three while Ben and I decided to go sit on the bluffs and wait for the unsuspecting helpless corn crop destroying pests to walk by so that we could quickly and painlessly harvest them.
Well, two out of three isn't bad. Bill got his deer after about 30 minutes. I got my deer after about an hour. Ben got cold.
After we dressed our deer, we put Ben in the spot I had been all morning. After another hour we went back into town to get brunch and talk strategy. We decided to put Ben and his hand cannon in my favorite spot while Bill and I walked the perimeter of the farm to gently encourage the deer to move around and hopefully wander within range of S&W .460.
Alas, it was not to be. While Bill was walking he reluctantly harvested another buck. I reluctantly harvest another doe. Ben reluctantly got colder.
Ben did see a small doe that he could have harvested. However, since he has a dog a home that looks bigger than the deer that walked by he decided to let it grow some more. The hunting version of 'catch and release'.
During the hunting breaks the three of us shared some laughs and told some stories. The sun was shining for the afternoon and the farm was as beautiful as it has ever been. There were alot more deer seen than shot so it appears there is a healthy population on the farm. All in all, a wonderful day with some great memories made to share.*
Now it is evening, I have filled all of my tags for this season and I am exhausted. I will have a celebration drink, smoke my cigar in the garage, take a LONG hot bath and pass out for the night.
I wish all of you a wonderful weekend as well.
*No dogs or horses were injured during the making of these memories.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

child labor, part III

In the tradition of the last person to leave the table has to do the dishes,

Kat lingered a little too long over the garlic mashed potatoes and honey cured ham (which were AWESOME, along with the sweet potatoes with pecans).

I was impressed with her ability to improvise in order to load the dishwasher.


As I mentioned in the last post, Niecey WANTED to have her picture taken. As soon as she heard that her daddy was going to put up the backdrop, she ran upstairs to change, then browbeat her grandmother into brushing and styling her hair.

Such drama, er, dedication deserves her own post.

Picture Time!

So somebody says, “While we have all of the grandchildren here and Gramma, let’s take a picture.”

Good luck. The oldest granddaughter runs and puts on her dress and stands in front of the backdrop. She WANTS to have her picture taken. SIL puts nice clothes on the oldest grandson, which he objects to continuously.

Nice clothes are put on the youngest grandson. He doesn’t mind the clothes, he just doesn’t want to be pictured with these other wierdos.

Youngest granddaughter would rather eat corn chips and play. Gramma’s okay, but sitting here is a pain.

Whose bright idea was this anyway?

As I watched these antics with the various moms and dads scolding, pleading, cajoling their children to sit and smile and play nice, I was reminded of the saying I heard somewhere.

All day long, I herd cats.
Once, one got away.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

sneaky daughter

Well tonight I had one of my first, “It’s too quiet in there.” The little girl had gone into her bedroom for a while. I assumed she was just playing quietly. She came out carrying a baby wipe. Oops, where did she get that?
When I went into her room, I looked around. What was out of place? Why was the diaper pail lid cocked over? When I looked, I saw part of a sock sticking out.
A sock? Why would there be a sock in her diaper pail?
So then I noticed that all of her clothes were off of her dresser. A new trick she learned, she can reach the top of her dresser and pull her clothes and changing supplies off the top. But why would there be a sock in her diaper pail?
So I opened the lid to her diaper pail and what greets me? All of her clothes stuffed into her diaper pail. She has seen us drop her diaper in the pail and pull the lid over, dropping the dirty diaper down into the plastic bag. She must have thought it looked like fun so she first put all of her socks in, then a couple of onesies, a pair of shoes, a comb, a tube of dr ointment and some pants.
Great….. Just what I want to do is reach into the diaper pail and rescue her clothes.
Silly girl.

Monday, October 27, 2008


and my stupid computer/internet connection lost my post I just typed in.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

cutest little girl!

It was pointed out to me that I have been woefully remiss in posting pictures of my cute little girl.
Let me correct that oversight immediately.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ick. I got memed

A poo flinging monkey tagged me with a picture meme. Go see the procrastinating perfectionist that tagged me and fling poo at her.
As I understand it, I am supposed to dig into my sixth picture file and pick the sixth picture and explain it.
Then I am supposed to tag six others to do the same. I am not sure I know six bloggers that I can tag with a picture meme, but I can certainly explain the picture below.
Wife and I went to the Bellagio while we were in vegas for the brunch. Which was ok. Not great but certainly ok.
Anyway, afterwards, we wandered around the splendor that makes up the B and found that they have a aboratorium (sp?). While we walked around the plants and saw 499 different versions of MUMS (seriously? MUMS!) I took a picture of a couple in front of a tree with their camera. They wanted to return the favor so they took a picture of Wife and I. Now keep in mind that we had walked from the MGM to the B (90 degrees) and just finished gorging ourselves on the buffet. I WAS going to get my $59 worth of food out of the place. And we were tired and needed a nap. But we stood together and looked ordinary and had our picture taken together by some stranger from Japan. A good thing, really. We need to have momentos of our vacation together.

Friday, October 10, 2008

How the stock market works

Once upon a time in a village, a man appeared and announced to the
villagers that he would buy monkeys for $10 each.
The villagers seeing that there were many monkeys around, went out to
the forest, and started catching them. The man bought thousands at $10
and as supply started to diminish, the villagers stopped their effort. He
further announced that he would now buy at $20. This renewed the efforts of
the villagers and they started catching monkeys again.
Soon the supply diminished even further and people started going back
to their farms. The offer increased to $25 each and the supply of monkeys
became so little that it was an effort to even see a monkey, let alone catch
The man now announced t hat he would buy monkeys at $50 ! However,
since he had to go to the city on some business, his assistant would now
buy on behalf of him.
In the absence of the man, the assistant told the villagers. "Look at
all these monkeys in the big cage that the man has collected. I will sell
them to you at $35 and when the man returns from the city, you can sell them
to him for $50 each."
The villagers rounded up with all their savings and bought all the
monkeys. Then they never saw the man nor his assistant again, only monkeys
Now you have a better understanding of how the stock market works.

I know who I am in this story (see gambling post below), How about YOU?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

15 months

I took Kat for 15 month checkup today. In addition to being 98% for height and 50% for weight, she got three shots. My first experience having to hold her down so the nurses could jab her repeatedly. Kat started fussing when the nurse opened up the band aids and stuck then on the table. Kat started wiggling and flailing her arms around. Then when I scooped her up and laid her out on the table, she started whimpering. Then the wicked nurse struck.
Kat looked right into my eyes and screamed. Then cried. Cried so hard her whole head turned red.
All in all, I think I handled it pretty well.
I didn't cry at all.

update - while I was typing this out, Kat stood up under the table and banged her head. She then fell down. Then stood up and banged her head. I shouldn't laugh. I did the same thing until I was in my mid thirties.

What to do in Vegas

People keep telling me you can’t go to Vegas and NOT gamble.
I admit it. I gambled. In fact, every single time I have gone to LVegas I have gambled on something. Usually $20 on slots. If you pick a nickel machine, that $20 can give you hours of entertainment. That’s me, living on the edge.
This time I tried roulette.
Why roulette? While I was in school we had a prof that talked about the best single event odds that you can get in a casino is to play ONCE for either red or black at a roulette wheel. If you only play it once, you have a 49% chance of winning. About a month after that lecture, my buddy Poker Player and I were out for an after work motorcycle ride and since we couldn’t come up with a better idea we went to Riverside Casino in Riverside, Iowa. It was a decent distance away and made for a nice ride after work. When we got there, Poker Player wanted to gamble. I didn’t really want to but I told him about what the prof had said. Keep in mind, Poker Player really enjoys pitting his skill against other people. He has an incredible memory and is very smart and as a result he does pretty well playing poker in tournaments. In his mind, he isn’t playing a game of chance but a game of skill. So I was very surprised when he listened to my roulette story and said, “sure, I’ll try that once” He went over to the table and dropped a $20 on Red. And won. Then he double dog dared me to do the same. Well, I am not a chicken (although Loren called me a girl!) so I dropped $20 on black. And won. Winnings in hand, we left.

So while I was wandering around watching people and while Wife was studying (sleeping) in the room, I decided to play roulette a little bit. I sat down at a table and watched a few spins. When I saw that Red had come up twice in a row, I put $20 on Black and won. I should have left then.
I watched a little more and watched a young couple put $10 on two different numbers and one of them paid off, 35:1. $350 and good for them. After a little longer, I put my $40 on Red because there had just been two Blacks. And doubled my money again. The waitress brought me a beer and I thought I was pretty smart. So I watched a while longer and saw two Reds in a row and put $40 on Black. There goes $40 as Red came up again. Three reds in a row.

This time it HAS to be Black. Another $20 on Black and it comes up Red again. So I am left with my original $20. I could walk away, having gotten two ‘free’ beers while wasting 45 minutes in the MGM at a table. But SURELY it will come up Black this time. And goodbye $20.
And with that I remembered the lesson I had learned in college. When I sit down at the table with my money and look around for the patsy, I don’t even need to bother. Because it is me.
When I got up to leave the dealer (spinner) said to me that the most times she had seen one color come up in a row was 17.
I was glad I got out of there when I did.

The luxurious massage

As promised, I bought the spa package for Wife. I admit, I did flinch a little bit when they told me how much it would cost. To be pampered at the MGM isn't cheap. And while I AM cheap, pamper the pregnant woman seems like a good strategy. She went off to spa, and I decided to take a nap. Sometime during my sleep, she crawls into bed. It is a little after 2pm. At 3pm we wake up and snuggle.
How was your spa? Did they rub your feet? Did they pamper you? I want really want to know if it was worth it.
She tells me that they rubbed her feet and really worked on her hips which have been aching quite a bit. She tells me that although she couldn’t sit in the hot tub, she wore her robe and dangled her legs in as far as she could. Not getting into the hot tub is hard on Wife, she misses taking long HOT soaking baths.
Then Wife looked at me and told me that the spa was women only and the steam room and hot tub were clothing optional. Wife said that while she wore her robe, a woman came in and tossed her robe and stepped into the hot tub, totally nekkid. Wife tells me that this nekked woman was tan all over, the dark dark brown tan like an antique walnut table, dark brown. The only light spots were the creases on her cheeks and the creases in her pits. And the Walnut brown woman had no hair down there. Wife had never seen that before. Totally smooth. And tan.
I asked Wife how her spa was and have to pull details about the massage from her. What Wife really remembers about her spa was Walnut brown woman and her bald cat. Well. I am glad I treated her to a totally luxurious spa package at the MGM resort. It was supposed to be memorable. I just didn’t expect it to be memorable because of the other guests.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

National Lampoon's Laubengayer Vacation - Vegas

We went on vacation a week ago. My fondest memory? Several. Sitting at the pool was rather enjoyable for many different reasons. Relaxing. Warm. Scenery. Relaxing
Wife, however had a goal for vacation that I didn't know about. Sleep!
How much can she SLEEP?
Wife had homework to do while we were in LV. She also had a test waiting for her on Tuesday, when we don’t get back until late Monday. I would go people watching, she would usually stay in the room and ‘study’. I found out on Saturday, that ‘study’ quickly became a code word for SLEEP! Not including sleeping at night, Wife seemed to want to match the amount of time she slept during the day with the amount of studying she did. I don’t think it was even close. She studied for a few hours on Friday. Otherwise she slept for hours on end every other day. The funniest time came on Saturday when I went to the ISU/UNLV game. She said she would study once I left. It turns out she took an hour nap. Then she woke up and studied for a little bit at the desk in the room. Well that wasn't comfortable, her being pregnant and all and sitting in the chair, so she moved all of her books and notes over to the bed and studied propped up on all of the pillows. For a little while. She didn't remember when she fell asleep, but when I got back to the room at midnight, she had only been awake a little while. Good to her word, tho; when I came back to the room, she was studying. She admitted that she hadn't studied more than two full hours in the eight hours since I left.
I plan to blog a little bit each day rather than write a book about the trip. This is the first chapter to National Lampengayers Vegas Vacation.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Wife and I are taking a few days off of work and going to Vegas. This is supposed to be a relaxing vacation. I think I will eventually be able to relax but I am not sure about Wife. She had a test in Calc this week and the end of the FY is coming fast at work. Wife is taking her homework with us to vegas so she can study. Her plan is to study and sleep. Really. Sleep is the big goal for Wife on vacation. And study. What a WILD ONE!
So between studying and working she hasn’t had much time for mothering our precious little Kat. Needless to say, this is hard on both Wife and Kat. When I pick up Kat from daycare, she is happy to go with me and she lets me feed her and change her and play with her. But she is always looking. Sometimes in the strangest places. Looking for MOM! Where is she? Usually she walks around the woodburning stove, patting down the sides and sticking her nose on the glass doors. Around and ‘round she goes, calling mamamamamama while she taps on the sides and pats on the top. I distract her as much as possible so she doesn’t dwell on missing mamamamama. (I also REALLY wonder why Kat thinks mamamama is in the stove…. Does she think I chopped her up? Or does she think mamamama is a witch and she goes in the stove and up the chimney? I would love to know what thoughts run through that little girls mind)
Last night, Wife decided to come home at 730. It just so happened that Kat had fallen down and cried so I took her outside for some fresh air to dry her tears. I heard my truck coming up the lane, so I walked out to the drive and waited with Kat in my arms. Kat looked around the yard and looked at me. “Moron,” she seemed to be thinking, “why are we standing in the driveway and WHAT is that loud noise coming closer?”
The truck pulled up with its noisy diesel cranking away, shut off, and noisily came to rest. Kat’s head swiveled between me and the truck. Then the door opened and Wife said “Hi Kat! Mommy’s home!” I immediately got an elbow in the throat as Kat tried to claw and fight her way out of my arms and into MAMA’S arms. (she will be great at basketball or hockey or soccer or any rough contact sport like golf, the way she can throw an elbow)
The rest of the evening, when we were trying to sort clothes and clean the house so we could pack for the trip, Kat wanted to be held by mamamama. She all but ignored me. Never mind that I fed her Mac&Cheese for supper. Never mind that gave her milk, water and Clariton. Never mind that I danced with her and sang nonsense songs to cheer her up. None of that mattered because mamama was home.
I don’t think Kat or Wife realized that I missed Wife just as much.

Monday, September 15, 2008

What is your fate?

What is YOUR fate?
Your Result: To live the perfect family life.

You will live the dream family life where you will have a decent career, marry someone you truly love, have kids you enjoy, etc. You will be very happy with where you'll end up.

To die while saving a life.
To make people laugh and smile without trying.
To become the world's most poplular bachelor(ette)
To become rich and famous for no reason.
To become a successful careerperson but live alone
To do absolutely nothing useful and love it.">What is YOUR fate?">Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

weekend laundry

First of all, when I said I did many loads of laundry on Sunday, I realized this morning that I didn't really do all of the laundry. Three clothesbaskets are full of clean clothes and the dryer is full of dry clean clothes. I am sure this never happens at YOUR house.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Parenting lessons come from the strangest places

Last week I was able to have lunch with a diverse group of people, five men and a women as part of a networking lunch. The guidelines for the lunch are that you engage in conversation and get to know one another somewhat. Everyone leaves with everyone else’s name and contact information.

The people at the table were a pretty diverse group. I happened to know one of them, the person who introduced me to the lunch. He is a Small Business Owner of a shop. The others were an officer on a drug task force with the DEA, a retail clerk, a farmer, and a business analyst.

Conversation quickly centered around the officer’s experience with drugs and teenagers. With the exception of myself and the analyst, everyone else at the table had raised teenagers. Several questions were brought up about how to spot drug use amongst your kids or the kids they hang around as well as how to avoid it in the first place. In the officer’s mind, prevention starts with toddlers. Parents need to interact with your children every day as they grow up. We need to talk to them, be there for them, know them and let them know that parents are there to help them make decisions. Parents need to be very involved with their children’s lives and spend years helping them understand right and wrong and how to make good decisions and understand that decisions have consequences.

The business owner spoke up at that point to say that he had been VERY involved in his younger son’s childhood and raising him. In the end it didn’t make any difference. In high school his son was arrested for possession of MJ and then arrested a second time in a sting operation for intent to deal. He talked about many of the arguments he had experienced with his son about grass where his son insisted that he wasn’t hurting anyone, not even himself. In the end, the two arrests hurt the entire family emotionally and financially.

The officer said that in counseling that he has been part of, parents need to understand that at some point their children begin making their own decisions. Also, those decisions may go against the coaching and teaching that the parents have spent years trying to develop in their children. He went on to say that too often, he will hear a suspect say that it isn’t their fault, that it is someone else’s fault. The officer went on to say that he calls that the victim mentality. People need to understand that at some point you need to take responsibility for your actions. Just as a person from a very disadvantaged community can graduate from college in spite of only one parent and poor home environs because they take responsibility for their lives.

It seems the decision to make a poor choice ultimately falls to the individual making the choice, not the circumstances that led them to that point.

I spent most of the luncheon listening. My little girl is 14 mos old. I will spend years being involved with her life, helping her learn and grow, understand right from wrong, realize that actions have consequences. I have the best of intentions and look forward to raising her to an adult. In the end, the officer opened my eyes a bit about the fact that I can only do so much.

Sooner or later she will have to make her own decisions and face her consequences, just as I did when I was a teenager.

what a pill!

Kat has spent the day enjoying herself. Mommy was home all day for her and did she CLING!
Today was kind of a lazy day for me. 6 loads of laundry and I ironed clothes for the week. Tanked up the car and truck. Took a nap.
The fencing was a roaring success yesterday. Scott, Bill, Chris and I put in one fence that was 100 yards long, then another that was 100 yards long, then we got two strands put up of the 300 yard fence. All of the posts were in, but none of the braces were put in. And the bolts for the braces were larger than the holes in the braces. We ended up re-using the braces from the original fence. Overall, the fence that we completed looked great. Other than a dozen deep scratches on Bill and Scott, and a wicked sunburn on everyone, there were no injuries to notice. It is important to note that I narrowly managed to avoid being stung by a wasp. One of the braces we removed had a nest on the underside. We discovered this while it was still 60*F and the wasps were too cold to fly. Having been stung twice the week before, I was glad to avoid a repeat occurrence.
MIL fed us a great big lunch consisting of a spiral cut ham, potatoes with cheese, and strawberry shortcake with ice cream.
I got home at 8pm and Wife still wasn't home as she was working on homework. Kat was still awake and very tired. Mom had spent the day watching her which they both enjoy immensely.
I talked to MIL this morning and she cannot thank the guys enough for coming and helping put in the fence. She really appreciated your help and wants you to all know that you can come down any time to go fishing after the rest of the fence is strung. (JK!) I told her that I will be down next Saturday to finish the last three strands.

This morning, Kat perched on the counter and help Wife make pancakes. Kat has taken to gracefully jumping up on the counter when I am not looking, then making herself right at home. She inspected the wisk and when she thought Mom wasn't watching she tasted the batter. First she dipped her right hand in the batter, tasted it, then put her left hand in the batter and tasted that, too.

This afternoon, tho, she wouldn't take a nap. She didn't want to go to sleep when Wife was here to play with and cling to. She finally slept for about 15 minutes when I drove to town to get some much needed supplies, beer and cereal. She didn't sleep again after that until she had spent 45 minutes crying every time Wife moved out of her reach. My holding her just made her cry harder. Finally, after 8 oz of warm milk (for her) and a shot of tequila (for me), I stood and bounced/danced with her in her darkened room with lullaby music playing hoping that she would go to bed. (Reminds me of some of my earlier dates with wife back in college)
Finally, she relaxed and fell asleep on my shoulder. All of the crying, rolling on the floor, shaking my head back and forth paid off and she dozed off to sleep clutching her loving bunny rabbit.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

thanks Mom

I would like to give a shout out to Trish for posting poems that she wrote about my encounter with the Skink of the Farm. I thought they were funny.
Mom belongs to a writers group at U of Iowa. It gives her something to do now that she is retired. On days that she ISN't watching the Kat, her favorite hobby.

I accepted a position at work that basically changes my title to match what I have been doing for the last 18 months. I have been a project manager on special projects since Feb., '07. My title has stayed senior buyer and I have still reported to my purchasing manager. Don't get me wrong, I have an awesome manager and I really enjoy being a part of her team. As a part of her team, I don't really fit in. I don't buy anything. I float from one crisis to another and annoy people into fixing their problems by holding their problem right in front of their face 'til they cannot stand it anymore. (more or less).
With this title change, I will be reporting to the department director and she has given me a series of projects to start on as soon as I can.
FIRST, Wife and I are dumping the Kat at G'mas house and flying to Vegas for VACATION. Since baby # 2 will be here in 4.5 months (taking bets - Boy or Girl?) we are going for some senseless pampering. With the hotel deal comes a BOGO free SPA package. So Wife is going to get some pampering with mani/pedi/reflexology/seaweed wrap/mud facial and a massage from a masseuse named Javier. At the same time I will be getting the EXACT SAME TREATMENT from a guy named 'Bruce'. I cannot wait as I have NEVER had a pedi before. I wonder what it will be like to have another man touch my feet. (this reminds me of the time Wife and I went to Madi, Wi to a saltwater aquarium shop and met a flaming enthusiast - Wife laughed her butt off that day. i will have to have her guest post HER version of the experience)
Anyway, I will post again before we leave and will post while we are there.
This weekend is putting in three hundred yards of 5 strand barb wire fence. I am rounding up a great group of people to help but there is always room for a couple more. (hint, hint Loren, you too Stanfield bring Kyle down)
I will post pictures when we are done.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

time with Kat, morning and night

Working on the neighbors farm, baling was canceled because it might rain before we got the bales put away, so I got to stay home and make fuel.
More importantly, this means I got to spend the evening with KAT!
When I woke her up this morning she didn't seem to want to be disturbed. This is how I found her, with her head under the covers. I said her name three times and shook her sippy cup full of warm milk. No response. She looked so cute that I went and got the camera, took pictures, then pulled the covers from over her head which woke her up and earned a glaring look to kill. Fortunately, she isn't full grown and doesn't have her full powers so I didn't die, but merely flinched.

Tonight for supper was a bit of this and that, served with something else to round it all off. What we call Leftovers. She dug right in and ate and ate. She had some beef, then soup and crackers, then put the beef in her applesauce and picked up her applesauce bowl and proceeded to stick her face in it and slurp it up with her tongue (note to self, don't let Kat watch dog eat supper). She then put her face down to her plate of meat and gravy and stirred it all up with her nose and chin. All the while she is eating bits of this and that. She ate most of the meat, most of the soup and all of the applesauce as well as most of her milk.

When Wife came back into the room and saw the mess, she promptly took Kat off to the bath, asking why I hadn't been supervising the meal. This, after a discussion on letting Kat feed herself more! I cannot win.

After Wife got Kat cleaned up and the dog got to clean Kat's tray, I sat in Kat's room, surrounded by toys and read different books to her. Goodnight Moon and Barnyard Dance, Where is my Bellybutton and the firefly book. Then we played with the pinwheel and the fan. Then she used me as a pliant Mt Rushmore and climbed up my lap, up my chest, and used my hair to pull her up over my face to try and see out the window behind me. She ended up perched on my shoulder like a bird. Which is really silly 'cause she is a Kat.

All in all a wonderful evening spent with her. I was able to entertain her enough that she didn't go searching for mommy more than once. Well, maybe it was two or four times. Really, we had fun and I am glad that I got to be home to enjoy it. Even if it was messy.

rare lizard sighting in Iowa

While stacking bales at MIL yesterday afternoon, I scared a small lizard out of hiding.

I was astonished. I had never heard of lizards in Iowa. I didn't think it was a salamander, but what else could it be? I had NEVER heard of lizards in Iowa.

It wasn't very big, but it was very fast. I jumped a bale to get a good look at it and thought about trying to catch it. In the amount of time it took to think about catching it, it had run through a hole in the board wall. By the shadow I could see that it was climbing the outside of the wall. I would have had to run around the building or crawl through the calf chute to try and catch it. I decided that I had a BIG wagon of hay that needed to be unloaded and got back to work.

Tonight, I was telling Wife about it (she grew up on that farm) and she thought I was nuts. "Too much physical stress and sunshine without a hat?" she asked. I was not making it up. So I went to our friend, G**gle. (How did I graduate from college the first time without the Internet?)

Sure enough, when I looked up "lizard in Iowa" I found a site that talked about the five known species of lizard found in Iowa. Mine was a 5 lined Skink. Not commonly seen and not on the endangered list either.

This was better than finding and playing with a hog nosed snake!

Kat withdrawal

One thing that I really don't like about baling hay until the evening is that by the time I get home the little princess in sound asleep in bed.
To make it worse, Wife sits around with a smile and faraway look in her eyes. When I ask what she is thinking of, she will tell me the Kat is so cute/funny/intense without sharing the details of what they did that evening.
I do get to wake her up and give her some milk in the morning. Unfortunately, she wakes up like Wife so the first thing I see is a GLARE and then the insistent look of "FEED ME & CHANGE ME!" After that is done I pick her up and dance with her in my arms as I sing her silly songs. While this is fun, it lasts only as long as Wife stays upstairs. Once Kat hears the Wife's voice, the only thing she wants from me is to give her to Wife, NOW.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

hay, hay hay!

I just got home from stacking a trailer of 112 bales of hay at my MIL farm. This time I put the hay in a different shed, not the barn. And I got an earlier start so I had daylight to stack under. In any case, today was a completely different stack. This time I was able to stack in pattern with the columns interlocking with each other so that when my MIL pulls a bale down to feed the horses, the entire column won't fall on her.
I may not be the fastest knife in the drawer, but I can learn*.

Public message to Loren and Scott, I will be working on the farm Wednesday afternoon - feel free to come down and show me how it is done! We start at 2 in the afternoon.

*given enough time, coaching, and experience

My stacking deficit

If you have been following the insane choices I have made, you know that I have two horses. Horses eat hay. So I made a deal with the farmer up the road from MIL farm for hay. Basically, I would help him bale it and stack it then take it to MIL barn and stack it in the bar, then pay him what his asking price is for hay. Sounds like quite the deal. But wait, there's MORE!
It turns out that baling hay and stacking it is not only educational but an intense whole body workout! And like any gym, I am paying him for the privilege of this whole body workout! Such a deal!
But one thing that became obvious as I was stacking the hay in the barn. Actually, many things were obvious if you looked at my red face and listened to be gasping for air in a dust and hay filled barn, namely I am in horrible physical shape. But while I was putting the hay away, with MIL help, it became obvious that I neglected LEGO studies when I was young. How did this become obvious? Because I cannot stock bales of hay in such a manner that I can climb them without having them teeter precariously, threatening to spill ME on the ground. Of course, I can stack them. I mean, I am not a complete idiot. But what I ended up with was three rows of stacked bales that weren't connected. so when you stepped on the first row, it pulled away from the second row. When I managed to climb to the top of a pile, I needed to hold on to the rafters to keep the pile in place. By the end of 104 bales, I was really ready to call it a night.
fortunately, I get to go down this morning and stack another 104 bales.
And I pay him for the exersize.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

sharing my insecurities

As Scott pointed out, I edited my post yesterday. I removed the angst riddled post that discussed my nightmares that I have been having. I wrote the post at 5AM, very shortly after I woke up.
While I am sure that some people have confidence issues, I had re-read the post and decided that exposing mine wasn't really needed.
Overall, I do a pretty good job. I provide pretty well for my family and while I am not the primary breadwinner, I do feel that I am an equal partner in raising our Kat. I have one hobby that saves us thousands each year in expenses that helps allow us to live in the country. t (I have another hobby that costs money each year, too. don't most people?)
And while I may not be on the fast track to career advancement at work, I am asked to work on special projects frequently to help solve unusual issues that impact our company. I seem to have developed a reputation as a problem solver.
I guess what I am saying is that I need to remember that while I will cut others slack because I KNOW they have a lot going on in their lives, I need to cut myself some slack as well. While I am not my own worst critic, I am the loudest most persistant critic I have.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I still have nightmares

That Hillary will be president and Bill will be Veep!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Jill's new necklace (not a pearl necklace)

Today I am giving a shout out to Autumn Vine for their beautiful and original necklaces and jewelry.
I sent an email on Sunday to order a necklace that Jill said she liked, but had no stock. Loren assembled the necklace as soon as she got the email and sent it out on Monday. It arrived on Wednesday and is beautiful. I gave the necklace to Jill last night and she loves it. This morning I noticed that she wore it to work to show off.
The website shows many different designs that are all originals by Loren, who worked for years in the jewelry trade and knows and understands jewelry, fashion, and style.
So stop buy and get your someone special a necklace with matching earrings and enjoy seeing their face light up when they open the package.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

scene of the (messy) crime

In the first two pictures, she is discovered and tries to make her escape from the crime scene.

Once she is apprehended, Wife holds her up for her mug shot.
Then we have the mess that she has been crawling around in.
Thank goodness she couldn't get the maple or chocolate syrup open.

Friday, August 15, 2008

She is growing up!

Yep, she is a year old now. So far this month she has had her tantrum, her black eye, and she tore open a box of Wife’s dark chocolate hot cocoa powder.
She made quite the mess all over the kitchen floor and herself. We found that Kat really likes chocolate. She was grabbing handfuls and shoving them into her mouth. A bad side effect is that she got chocolate all over herself and the floor and when Wife and II picked her up, all over us.
Not to mention just a bit fussy with a new tooth coming in. This is another case of fake teething that has been going on for three weeks. Acid diapers, uncontrollable drool, and did I mention fussy?
The black eye came from one of the other little urchins at daycare. Kat is trying to walk more every day and when she gets bumped, she tends to fall on her head. This time a sippy cup got in the way. OUCH. DCLady said that Kat didn’t even cry. Which I find amazing as Kat cries at the drop of her head here at home.
I cannot wait for all of these new experiences to continue.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My latest time sucking, $$ squandering hobby.

The first picture of two horses is to give you an idea of the pasture that Revenue (on the left) and Dreamy (on the right, DUH!) get to enjoy every day. Dreamy is the lighter of the two geldings, a 17 yr old Bay Quarterhorse. Revenue is the dark, nearly black Morgan Horse that just turned 13 in June.

The first picture also gives you a glimpse of one of the fences that needed to be restrung. In fact, the horses couldn't go into that pasture until I pulled the electric fence wire from the creek bed from where the floodwaters deposited it. You cannot see it, but there is a meandering creek through that pasture. At least one other fence needs to be completely rebuilt this fall. Not an easy electric fence, but a board fence that runs along the house and back to the shed About 30 posts will need to be sunk, then nearly 100 boards will need to be nailed to the posts. At least, I think it is only 3 boards per and not 4. I really hope it isn't 4. I will be painting the whole thing before it is installed so that I can paint en masse using a sprayer and roller. That way I can avoid all the vertical surfaces.
So far, I have done very well in keeping my promise to myself that every time I go to the farm, I work on something to repair or improve and I ride Revenue. Not all projects have been as involved as the electric fence. And not all of the rides have been an hour long. Actually, none have been an hour long. I know I need to build up butt tolerance to the saddle. Lucky for me, even though Revenue is a broad backed horse, I have really long legs to wrap around him. After riding him, I don't find my tush to be sore, butt rather, my thigh muscles ache.
When I was first dating Wife, her dad asked me if I rode. I responded that I had ridden some in the past, but not well or frequently. He told me then that if I was going to successfully date his daughter, I would have to learn. Over the next six or seven years, I did learn quite a bit. Nowhere near her class, and what I did on a horse couldn't be called riding compared to how F-I-L handled his horse, but I did learn to ride. Usually to their amusement. FIL is gone now, but I like to think that he approves of me getting a riding pair of horses for Wife and I. Wife and I used to enjoy riding around the farm or even the neighbors farm. And I have very fond memories of Wife and I on a particular hilltop on saddle blankets while the horses grazed on grass nearby.
Yesterday, Wife and I rode together for the first time since a vacation ride in colorado nearly nine years ago. It was a very nice time. A short little ride along some of the timber we used to ride alot. Over the next 20 years, I plan to ride it alot more.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


For weeks Kat has been standing up without holding on to things. I can tell she has been thinking about walking.
Everyone tells us that when she starts walking, it is all over for any relaxation. She will be everywhere and into everything. So I have been joking that when she stands up, I poke her in the belly to put her off balance and have her sit down.
Well last night while I was working on a meaningless project at work, Kat walked 5 step across the living room floor to the couch so that she could reach a book and throw it on the floor.
She walked! Only the once, and she seemed very surprised when she got to the couch so she sat down. But if she did it once, she can do it again.
Let the adventures continue.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

cake decorating

By the way, I just looked at my post from yesterday (posted at the best western while waiting for a seminar to start because we STILL don't have 'net at home) and realized that 1)that is the ugliest frosting job I have ever seen/done to a cake and 2) I better make sure everyone knows that I did it and not Wife or Mom or MIL or SIL or anyone else. I hope I don't lose my day job 'cuz I will starve to death as a cake decorator.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Happy Birthday!!

A wonderful day with a house full of people and kids running around. Wife's sisters came and brought their fun kids.
Brother came and brought his two kids also. I can assure you that we have never had that many children in our house before. I don't think we have had that many adults in the house before.

Kat was so well behaved, she loved playing with everyone and everything.

The most exciting incident was when one of the cousins tossed the dogs ball

up into the ceiling fan to see if it would ricochet around the room like in the cartoons.

Unfortunately, Kat had had enough just as it was time to have cake. We got a couple of pictures of her with her cake, but the meltdown quickly followed. Everyone else enjoyed cake and ice cream while she took her nap.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


I named my blog “7acresofheaven” because it is so peaceful and removed from urban Iowa. Not that urban Iowa is anything like, say, urban CA. But I like being close to nature. Today, I have watched my little girl crawl around the house and explore everything. Again.
I also got to watch a trio of bucks in velvet skitter across my back yard just past the garden. Last weekend I watched mama doe with her dotted fawn drinking down by the gazebo (from the incredibly swollen flooded pond). The fawn was pretty typical for what we have come to expect. Jumpy, brainless, all leg, and absolutely adorable.
Yesterday I watched a pair of parent wrens carrying food into my clothespin bag that is hung on the back deck. It seems they made their nest inside the clothespin bag this spring. The benefit of them doing such a thing is that I get to listen to the wrens sing just outside my back door pretty much every morning I eat my cereal. And all day on weekends. (as I type this, the mama wren is outside my door twittering away)
All spring I have been watching three families of ducks that have been paddling around my pond with their baby ducklings. People should know that baby ducklings are INCREDIBLY cute. Especially when they are paddling along behind their parents across the pond. Strangely enough the ducks are three different types. There is a family of common ghetto mallards. Then there is a family of the most beautiful wood ducks. Then the strange family; a family of blue winged teal are raising a clutch on my pond. This is the first year for the mallards or the teal. I like it. It is really nice having the ducks stay for the spring and part of the summer.
Mowing the grass yesterday down along the ponds edge I spotted at least a dozen hundred bullfrogs trying to hide or jumping into the water to avoid me. And last night I went to sleep to the chorus of bullfrog Gregorian chant music. Which doesn’t do much for me but I guess it is the only thing bullfrogs know.
Anyway, this is all much more enjoyable than finding someone chucked a golfball at my house hard enough to leave a ¼” deep impression. Or coming home and finding 400 tulips cut down and left to lay in the beds. Or even going to sleep to the chorus of straight pipes leaving the biker bar.
This may not be heaven, but it sure is peaceful and relaxing.


I got scolded yesterday from my Mother.
She had discovered that I allowed Maddie to play with one of Kat’s dolls. I hadn’t noticed Kat playing with it prior to Maddie discovering that it had bells and they rang when she shook it and tossed it. Maddie really got quite a bit of enjoyment out of that little doll. She would grab it by an arm or Let and shake it, then while shaking it she would open her mouth and that little curly blond haired doll would go flying across the room. Whereupon Maddie would take a step or two, then pounce on it. Only to repeat the process. Sometimes she would shake it and drop it at my feet. “Play, Dad, play! You throw the little noisemaker and I will catch it and shake it to death! Try it! It is great fun, you will see!”
And I would. I would give it a toss across the room and Maddie would play her version of fetch.
Over a few weeks time, the hat that this little BoPeep doll had one had torn from its stitches and hung on by a thread. And the wig was starting to separate as well. If you looked closely, you would notice a pair of holes in one leg.
To her credit, Wife said to me, “that is Kat’s doll, Maddie shouldn’t be allowed to play with it. Don’t encourage her.”
I scoffed in response. Kat doesn’t play with it, someone should get some enjoyment out of it. I did notice this week, however, that Kat had started playing with that little abused doll. Kat would crawl over to it and shake it, listening to the bells jingle. Then she would toss it a couple of feet and crawl over to pick it up and shake it again. She had watched Maddie play with her little doll and was playing with it the same way. Maddie was teaching Kat!
I have to ask myself, do I want Kat picking up habits and mannerisms from our ferocious little dog? When it comes to self defense, probably. When it comes to social skills, definitely NOT.
Anyway, Mom discovered the abused little doll in the corner and rescued her by taking her home to repair her. Before she left, she scolded me and explained, “I bought that little doll for my granddaughter! That is the first little doll that she ever had and it will be taken care of! You will not let your dog ravage and tear apart your daughter’s first doll!”
Well. She set me straight.
But as you look at my little puppy, could you deny her a doll to ‘play’ with?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Grew UP?!?

I am always excited when I get a comment to a post. It confirms that for whatever reason, someone happened on to this site.
Loren posted that my trip to the middle of TREES was a half hour from where she grew up. I put it to you, readers, go to her site at and read her last 4 or 5 posts. I may admit that perhaps her parents raised her in Treeville, WI, I don't think I can agree that she grew UP!!!!
I will say that reading her site encourages me as a parent. So far, her adorable daughters haven't done anything that has made me want to move to Mexico or Canada. So keep up the good work, Loren.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

picture post

Here I sit in a hotel room in Steven's Point, WI. I still don't have 'net access back home, so I came up here to see if I could find it.
Really, Wife and I are here for the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair. We came her last time in 2003. Or '04. We aren't sure. Regardless, it is every bit as interesting this time as it was last time. Last time we were here, Wife discovered my new hobby. It took her a while to sell me on it, but I must admit, I am glad she did. We saw the guys from Azure Biodiesel out of Sully, Iowa show how easy it is to make biodiesel in the comfort of your own kitchen. Sure, they overlooked a few details and glossed over one or two other issues, but by and large making our own fuel is very rewarding.
This year, we are zeroing in on Solar Hot Water and GeoThermal. It wouldn't surprise me if we end up with our own collector sometime in the next couple of years.
More importantly, my Godsend of a Mother is watching our precious little action adventure while we are away this weekend. This is complicated by the fact that Thursday, Kat decided she was done with the FAKE TEETHING and decided to push out two top teeth. Not that we have seen them, she waited until G'ma took her home to get a fever, sickly, and cut two top teeth. So G'ma has been having a wonderful time.
Since I have been lax about posting, here are some Kat pictures.

This last picture is her most recent. She is displaying the attitude that lets me know that the next 17 years are going to be a real treat.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Technical Difficulties

I live one county over from Linn County, Iowa. My internet server is/was under water and not working.
So I am making a stealth post from work to say that when I have service at home, I will post pictures of my Kat again.
Oh, and if you haven't heard, Cedar Rapids, Ia had severe flooding last week.
Swear to GOD. Google it, search youtube for it.
Serious Flooding.
Stay Dry, Stay Safe.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Fake Teething

Someone asked me what fake teething is. I referenced it in my blog a while ago and it must not be a common phrase.

Little Kat is doing what I call fake teething. It is where her gums swell up, she drools a lot, runs a low temp and is miserable. She wants to chew on a teething ring or an ice cube. She gives every indication that she is going to FINALLY pop out her two top teeth.

A week ago Friday, Wife and I took Kat to dinner with us. Just as they delivered our food, Kat erupted with everything she had eaten that day. Possibly everything she had eaten in the last 48 hours. It was a mess.

We took her home and spent the weekend with fussy, unhappy Kat. And with the amount of drool, chewing, crankiness going on, we thought, “hey she is going to pop more than just the top teeth, maybe another bottom pair as well. Or maybe all four top teeth. I seem to Recall Connor did that!”

Here we are, a week later and the Kat has two bottom teeth. That is it. No more. The same two bottom teeth she has had since she was born.

Fake teething. Acting like you are going to cut a tooth but are really just scheming ways to annoy your parents.

I developed this term because every other week for the last two and a half months we have gone through this little charade. And while I don’t WANT her to be miserable and uncomfortable, I wish she didn’t drag this out so.

Oh, well. We can do this next weekend as well.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Just what I need. Like a hole in the head

I got called to the principals office at work this morning. So to speak. My phone buzzed in my pocket, I saw it was my boss so I answered it. "Come to the Director's office."
So I went.
Changes, there are a happenin'. I am not entirely sure if they are for the better, but I am such an idiot I never say no.
I spend the day trying to clean up loose ends. I have to tie off the project I am working on before starting the new one. I am more concerned about the new one than the old one. But I don't want to leave messes behind me so I try to do housekeeping.
At the end of the day while talking to Boss, I hear that I had better do a good job tying off the project I am leaving. I am being TESTED apparently. What does that mean? A test. Me being the person I am, I worry. I mentally make a check list of things I am NOT going to do over the next two days while I make sure I am prepared for the TEST. One of the last things I am reminded of before I leave is that I need to determine WHAT I want to do in my career.
Priorities first. I must go pick up Kat from daycare. So I skedaddle out the door with the TEST on my mind. I drive past the turnoff for daycare. Turn back around and pick her up. She is happy to see me but preoccupied with not feeling well. "I am pretty sure she is going to push those teeth through, soon. Maybe even all four of them." is what Daycare Lady tells me.
On the way through town I see the farmers market is open. Not many vendors but I stop to see what is there. Score! Way too much fresh spinach for $1.00. Then as I am leaving I see a slender bundle of flowers. $1.00/bunch. As I pay the lady, she hands me another bundle. "I don't want to take them home. Make your wife even happier," she tells me. Spinach and flowers for two bucks! Earning all kinds of points with Wife.
At home I am thinking about work. I need to get this done. It needs to be done right. What is the director really looking for. Why is this a TEST. What are the consequences for failing. A million questions on my mind.
To my surprise, Wife comes home much earlier than expected. After hearing me bitch, er, explain what is on my mind, she sends me back to work. Action is better than worrying is what she lives by.
I go in, work for a while, brainstorm and try and guess what I need to put together. Then come home. REALLY tired. When I get home, I have a couple of things in the garage that must be taken care of. And I need fuel for the truck. So I take care of that, too. Then I come inside, trying to be quiet because it is well after 10pm and EVERYONE is asleep. As I walk around to the kitchen island to get myself a tequila nightcap I notice the floor is damp and the cupboards under the sink are open and everything from under the sink is IN the sink.
And this is what I see.

Just what I need. Like a hole in the head.

Goes by so fast

Mamatulip posted the other day. A wonderful post. Typical of her since she is usually funny and insightful. One of the sentances in her post was "Enjoy it. It goes by so fast you wouldn't believe it." Or something like that.
As I see Kat every day, I don't always realize that she is growing so fast. Then there are times I see her stand up in her crib when she wakes up and grins at me and I realize, "WOW, she is growing."
She still has her blue eyes that I was afraid would turn brown after a week. She still wraps me around her finger with the great big smile, so big that you can see it behind the binky in her mouth. Her whole face lights up with her smile. She is starting to test things; she still investigates everything; she still explores every boundry of her world. I think she resents that we don't let her eat from Maddie's dish. It is the first thing she heads for when she makes it into the dining room. (of course the dog eats in the dining room, we never sit down and eat in there)
We just got over a weekend of her not really feeling well. I think she is fake teething again. I hope she means it this time. It would be nice to see her with more teeth. She is teetering on the edge of walking. She stands and tests her balance. She will take her hands off whatever she pulled herself up with, wobble, then sit down. I know she will figure it out. People tell me that Wife and I will never know peace again when Kat is walking around. (I am not so sure I have known peace since we found out Wife was expecting)
She is growing up fast. And the 'first' experiences we are having run by so quickly. I enjoy watching her when she is experiencing and exploring. The world is a wonder to her and she is determined to experience all of it.
I don't have a picture to post today which is unfortunate because Mom took a bunch of wonderful pictures. For some reason, I cannot paste them here.
BTW, a shout out to MOM for coming to watch Kat this last Sunday. Wife and I were busy pretty much from sunup to sundown working on something. MOM watched Kat and kept her out of trouble for the entire day. And since Kat didn't feel well, she was pretty high maintenence this weekend. So thank you, Mom. For giving up your day to help us and allow us to get stuff done.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cooks Helper

The little girl has decided that each door and drawer is a veritable treasure to be explored. I think she is practicing for her chance to be on Drew Carey's "The Price is Right". Considering how many decades Bob Barker was on, it is very possible that Drew will still be hosting by the time Kat gets to be on the show.

For now, however, she is the explorer. She is so curious about everything she can get her hands on or into. Everything must be intently examined to see what it does or how she can use it to amuse herself.

Pots and pans are a big hit. They make the prettiest sounds when they are banged on with a fist or, better yet, the lid. She has even tried to sound the baby food jars on the pan.
When she grew tired of the pots and pans, she discovered another drawer full of fluffy folded towels! One after another after another comes out of the magic drawer of towels.
Tonight, whilst Mom was making Blueberry Walnut Banana bread, Kat just had to help. Do you need chocolate syrup? How about crackers? Maybe some instant pink lemonade? Surely some Splenda. Never mind how much mischief you think I am getting into, I think I am helping you. After all, how boring your life was before I came along. You didn't even know how good you had it before I could crawl and pull myself up. Just wait until I can walk and run on my own.
Fortunately for the Kat, she is pretty darn cute. When she turns those baby blues on us, all we can do is love her a little more.