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.