Monday, November 27, 2006

How to Keep Your Kids in Bed

Kidding...please don't call DCFS. I went through my nightly bedtime routine last night, step one being to check in on the girls. I'll rearrange covers, locate and replace stray blankies and stuffed animals, and situate dangling appendages so the monsters don't snack on them. (I think I spent a year of my life breathing through an airhole arranged from my covers to keep from being eaten by monsters...I was always worried about my exposed lips.) Diane and I usually do this together, but last night I beat her to it.

I walked into Kailey's room to find her scarf tied to the top of the headboard. It was dark, so I couldn't see everything that was going on there. I thought, "Well, I'd better move that scarf. We can't have it wrapping around her neck and strangling her in her sleep." That's what all good dad's would think. So I grabbed the scarf to untie it and Kailey flinched. I jumped back to keep from waking her, and it wasn't until I took hold of the scarf again that I realized she tied it to her wrist. Why? I have absolutely no idea. You know, every parent wants to believe their children are brilliant, but there are some things that cause those beliefs to come crashing down.

I jumped back again, this time to stifle the laughter that came bursting forth as I scurried from the room to get Diane. "What in the world?" she laughed as she walked into the room. "Go get the camera!"

"The flash will wake her up," I protested.

"I don't's too stinkin' funny! Besides, I'll probably wake her up when I untie her."

Kailey didn't wake up either time; didn't even stir. I showed her the picture this morning and asked her why she did it and she just shrugged her shoulders. Great. That's one more thing I have to worry about: my seven year-old developing a bondage fetish. Oh Dear Lord, help me.

Friday, November 24, 2006

'Tis the Season...

I'm not in a very Christmas-y mood this year. Perhaps that will change here in the next couple of weeks, but for now I'm just urked.

In the past couple of weeks we've all seen the news footage of people camping out in front of stores, sprinting en masse across open parking lots, jostling with police, and fighting each other over VIDEO GAMES. Most of these people look like the $400-$500 price tag of a game system might be better spent on something more useful, like, say...FOOD. But no, we have to get our priorities straight. Here in Tucson, our station ran a story about how a local Circuit City received a shipment of TWELVE Sony Playstation 3's, yet 30 buyers spent the night there in the hope that Circuit City was lying. They weren't, and lucky buyer #13 had the gall to bellyache to our reporters over how devastated he was to not get the game system. I fear there is much more inbreeding going on in our great nation than we're aware of.

This morning Diane had to go into work early for "Black Friday". She was at work at 5:00 am and the doors of her store opened at 6:00. The parking lots to Sears and Best Buy were packed with cars and people waiting for the doors to open. Why? Are we such stupid people that the thirty-one days between Thanksgiving and Christmas simply do not allow us enough time to get our shopping done? "Well, stores have such great specials!" people might explain. Well la-dee-frickin'-da is what I say. Retailers dangle a carrot in front of our noses and we come a-running. I guess that makes us nothing but a bunch of asses.

Do you know who's really going to suffer? The "sane" people like me. I'm probably going to have a hard time finding the gifts I really want to buy my loved ones because all the good stuff is gone. So I'll just smile and take it, move on to the Christmas "B" list, because I refuse to chase the carrot. But I still retain the right to be urked.

And it's sad. This is supposed to be the time of year where we reflect on the blessings in our life, celebrate our loved ones, and exhibit a little selflessness for a change. I'm probably starting off on the wrong foot, but I don't think my being urked is wrong. It may be affecting my attitude right now, but I'll get through it. I'm going to use my irritation as motivation to get Christmas right this year. But not right now...I've got Christmas lights to hang.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

You Can't Shelter Them Forever

"Someone wrote a word in the girls bathroom," Kailey nonchalantly offered between bites of pizza.

It was dinner-time. Diane was working late (which she doesn't really do that just seems that way in my writings) and we were on the tail-end of one of our hectic Mondays. Fortunately for me, my sister-in-law, Debbie, is in town for Thanksgiving and was there to help take up the slack.

We turned our full attention toward Kailey, our curiosity suddenly aroused by her statement. A pregnant silence filled room around us. Something deep inside me did not want to know what was written on the wall of the girls bathroom of CW elementary school. I fought the question inside me that begged to be asked. Debbie asked it for me.

"What word did they write, Sweetie?"

I don't think I will ever forget the image of my oldest daughter in that moment: sitting perfectly erect in her chair, head slightly cocked, eyes sparkling with confidence as though she was the only one in the world who knew the right answer. She looked completely innocent, though much older and more mature than her seven years. I've noticed recently that those glimpses of maturity are coming with greater regularity. My little girl is growing up more quickly than I would like. I braced myself.

"Fuck you."

Her delivery was quick, clear, and crisp. Her manner, matter-of-fact. She didn't move. She didn't giggle or laugh like she delivered the punch line to a great joke. She didn't scan our faces to try to gauge whether or not it was wrong for her to say those words. She simply told us what was written on the wall of the girls bathroom. Then she sat there.

So did we. A small smirk emerged on my face as I slowly turned my gaze from my precious little girl to Aunt Debbie. The look on her face was an odd mix of amusement and horror. YOU NEVER ASK WHAT IS WRITTEN ON THE WALL OF THE GIRLS BATHROOM! It's like the U.S. Military...don't ask, don't tell, and all will be fine. I took a deep breath and turned back to Kailey. We're venturing out into uncharted territory here.

"Do you know that that's a bad word?" I asked.


"OK. Well, it is. You're not in trouble and I'm not mad at you. That's a bad word and I don't want you to ever say it again, OK?"

"OK," she replied. "But what does it mean?"

Kailey obviously witnessed a great ruckus in the girls bathroom over those two little words, and she didn't get it. Curiosity fueled our dinner-time chat. But a full explanation would open about ten more cans of worms. And I'm not opening one of those cans without Diane. In fact, I might let Diane handle ALL of those cans. She's definitely in charge of the can opener. I told Kailey that I couldn't fully explain what it meant, but that it was just a very mean thing to say to someone. Thank goodness she seemed to accept that.

For now...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tanner, the Defecating Dog

OK, so all dogs defecate. But how many TOY dogs defecate? After reviewing my last entry, I was bummed that I couldn't show and help you fully appreciate Mattel's latest Barbie release, Barbie and her faithful companion, Tanner. I searched several websites for visual images of this amazing mutt's full range of potential, but to no avail. So I climbed up into the attic, fetched our girls' latest and greatest Christmas present from its hiding place, and put my faithful scanner to use. Those of you who are faint at heart may want to leave now.

Behold...Tanner, the Defecating Dog:

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Here she is...what a good doggy! So you start out by giving her a treat. I love the caption..."YUM!" The problem is that what goes in looks amazingly similar to what comes out. A little while later, Tanner needs to go outside. Here's the money shot:

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"Oh-oh" is right! Looks like Tanner had a little bit of a poopy. That looks like more than a couple of treats. Looks like Tanner might have gotten hold of a small animal. But never fear, Barbie is here to make things right with her super-duper-pooper-scooper!

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Barbie IS the best! She scoops the poop with a smile. She doesn't even have to plug her nose, and, hey, no gagging! Why train your kids to clean up real dog feces when they can PRETEND to do it first? See, kids, it's not so bad. Now get out in that backyard and give your dad a hand!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Monday is No Funday

Mondays suck.

They suck not in the traditional sense...end of the weekend, beginning of the school/work week, etc....but in what they have become specifically to our household. Mondays should be great. I have Mondays off. I should be lovin' Monday. But I don't. There's just too much going on.

Monday is traditional in that I have to get up at the butt-crack of dawn in order to get Kailey to school, always an adventure. Getting her out of The Spanish Inquisition was easier than getting a breakfast order out of her. Trying to get her to eat big time. Getting her dressed in an outfit she doesn't freak out over...el sucko. This morning, I'll admit, wasn't that bad. It was a better morning.

I'll usually get Kailey off to school in the morning and then work out. This morning I didn't. Big mistake. Lately I've been giving in to the temptation to NOT work out, and I need to NOT listen to that voice. I feel better when I work out. I actually have more energy when I work out. Bad things happen when I don't work out.

Instead, I snoozed in my big chair with Kyra while she watched TV. I'm an awesome dad. I can see the girls confronting me thirty years from now about how they're in counseling because I wasn't there for them...that I was too busy snoozing in my big comfy chair and "forcing" them to watch TV. Yeah, well, get over it. I was beaten with a stick as a child, and I turned out OK. (Sorry, Mom. Actually, I was only beaten with a yard stick one time, that I can's all so fuzzy now.)

Kyra's birthday party is Sunday, so Diane and I decided to go shopping for Kyra's present after we dropped her off at school and before Diane went into work. I thought while we were at it, we should knock off some Christmas shopping as well. So we did. No sense in going to Toys 'R' Us multiple times. I hate shopping at Toys 'R' Us. To me it's a waste of time. My girls have closets FULL of crap that they NEVER PLAY WITH. Every few months I'll go in there to clean things out and straighten things up, and it's like frickin' Christmas in July. The girls are like, "OHHH, I remember this!" Well maybe if you dug around in your closet more, you'd find something to play with!

For her birthday, the ONLY thing that Kyra wants is a big freakin' Black 'n' Decker electronic workbench. If I had a boy and he wanted to play with Barbies, I probably wouldn't let him. But I have no problem letting my girls play with fake power tools. I'm a total hypocrite. I know it. Get over it. Kyra made it abundantly clear to both Diane and me that that was the ONLY thing she wanted for her birthday. Anything less would be total devastation. She will play with this thing for exactly one week and it will take up space in our home (space that we do not have) for the next ten years. Well, the joke's on her because we bought her the Home Depot electronic work bench which was cooler, had better fake tools, and is something that at least I would play with when she gets bored with it.

Highlight of the day: we bought Kyra a Barbie with a dog that takes a crap...I sh... er, kid you not. I thought I was going to crap right there in Toys 'R' Us. It was awesome. You feed the dog these pellets and when you push its tail down, it takes a dump! There's a picture of it right on the back of the box! Merry Christmas! I was going to put a link to it here so you could see for yourself, but apparently Toys 'R' Us thought that showing a steaming pile of canine feces on its website would not be good for business. I beg to differ.

So, we got most of our Christmas shopping done for the girls. That's cool. Diane went to work and I had a forty-five minutes to kill before picking up Kyra from school, so I went guitar shopping. That was highlight #2 of the day. I worked with a guy named Isaiah at Guitar Center, and he was great. He recommended and showed me a couple of other guitars that I'm now considering. I'm leaning toward Gibson.

I hurried from Guitar Center and picked Kyra up from school. Why not Kailey? Because last week she started tutoring on Mondays and Tuesdays. She's been having a little trouble in reading and math, and apparently they want to give her help early, which is good, but could again come back to haunt me in thirty years: "WHO PUTS THEIR SEVEN YEAR-OLD CHILD IN TUTORING!!!" I do. No child left behind. Get over it. She's in tutoring until 3:15. I take Kyra home and feed her. We go back to the school and pick up Kailey. We return home, get Kailey a snack, and get both girls changed for their 4:00 gymnastics lesson.

I take a book and read during the girls' gymnastics lesson. I used to watch them, but about fifteen minutes into the lesson, the older advanced classes begin and there are thirty pre-pubescent (and a handful of pubescent) girls running and tumbling and performing amazing acrobatic feats right in front of me, usually blocking my view of my girls' classes. So now I read, primarily to keep from looking like a dirty old man. I did notice, however, that Kyra was quite pouty during her lesson.

Took the girls to McDonald's after gymnastics. I hardly ever buy them fast food anymore, but I was tired and didn't feel like cooking anything (I knew I should have worked out). Kyra complained all throughout dinner about not being hungry. I made her eat anyway. Kailey has a ton of homework this week. Why do 2nd graders have homework? I never had homework until probably 5th grade. But I guess we can't leave any kids behind now, can we? So instead of allowing them to go outside and play, I had to be a hardass and make them do homework. I've learned that if we don't get a good jump on it on Mondays then it's hard to get through it all during the rest of the week, which contributes to the joys of Monday.

While Kailey finished up her homework, I herded Kyra into the bathtub. On the way there she commented on how cold she felt. I told her she'd feel better once she got into the warm water. I got her into the tub and returned to help Kailey with her homework and load the dishwasher. Then I went to wash Kyra and noticed she was shivering. Light bulb. I washed her up, dried her off, dressed her in the warmest PJ's I could find, and put her under a blanket in front of the TV while I got Kailey in the tub and fetched the thermometer...100.5.

From the bathroom I heard singing. Loud singing. I walked into the bathroom to find Kailey standing naked in the tub singing at the top of her lungs:

"Can you feel it?"
Can you feel the love?
Nothin' feels better than feelin' the love."

That's my girl, and highlight #3 of the day. I guess Monday wasn't as bad as I thought, just much busier than I like it to be. And I had to fly solo since Diane is working late. Both girls went to bed without a fuss, for which I am eternally thankful. But I put a bucket next to Kyra's bed because I have a feeling this day ain't over.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Guitar Quest

My guitar is dying and I'm sad. Well, it's not really's just very sick. My Takamine G-334 was a birthday present from my family nearly fifteen years ago, and though it's probably considered a mid to low-end guitar, it has considerable sentimental value to me. It was my first real guitar and is my baby.

For about the past year there's been a noticeable string buzz when I play. I could see that a couple of the frets were worn and figured it would need a partial re-fret job. Since I haven't performed publicly in several years, I just ignored the buzz as I dinked around at home. I would just reposition my fingers so that the buzz would disappear. This past summer I recognized a definate itch to write and perform again, so I called around to different music stores for quotes on a partial re-fret.

After finding an acceptable quote, I took my baby in for surgery only to find out the damage was much more extensive. Upon inspection, the luthier discovered a bow in the neck of my guitar near the headstock. He told me he could repair it, but that it would be nearly three times the original price. I was speechless. The repair price was not much less than the original price of the guitar. I told him I'd think about it.

Well, I've thought about it, and I think it's time to step up to the next level. My Tak has served me well, but I think I'd rather use the money toward a new guitar. Please don't hate me, baby! I'm not getting rid of you...I'm just adding to the family! I've been going to a couple of music stores in the area and playing different guitars to get an idea of what I want. So far here are the finalists.

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This is the Breedlove AD25/SR Plus. It is the dark-horse surprise of the finalists. I picked this little beauty up at Guitar Center and was amazed by its deep full tone and beautiful low-end. I love the sleek look of it as well, except for the gold hardware (even though my Tak has gold hardware). It is the least expensive of the finalists.

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Next up is the Taylor 310ce. I've been eyeing Taylor guitars for years now and this is my nostalgic pick. It is beautifully crafted, sounds great (although a little thin on the low-end for my taste...I love a big, deep, rich low-end), and I know it will sound fantastic when plugged in. This is the frontrunner.

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And finally, the Gibson Songwriter Deluxe Cutaway. It's fricking expensive. It costs twice as much as the Breedlove. It's busy. There's a lot going on with this guitar with the fancy pick guard, the curled saddle, the gold hardware, and the pearl inlays on the frets. But when I see artists playing this guitar, it looks pretty freakin' cool. Also, it sounds amazing with great low-end.

Hopefully, I'll be able to make a purchase in the next couple of months. I'm still a little bummed about the current condition of my Takamine, but excited about the prospect of buying a new high-end guitar. And who knows, maybe someday I'll restore my baby.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

My Profile Pic

Last night while at (looks to the left, then to the right) updated some of the things on this blog, and my co-worker saw my profile pic. "IS THAT YOU? That can't be you. I mean it looks like you, but it doesn't LOOK like know what I mean?"

I knew what he meant. My profile pic DOESN'T look like me, while still looking like me. I love this picture for many reasons: first, and most of all, because Kyra, my 5 year-old, took it. Not too shabby. We were at my in-laws celebrating a birthday when she popped up in front of me and yelled, "Say cheese!" Instead, I hammed it up for the camera. I gave her a goofy, annoyed look and the rest is history.

Look more closely. My eyes look tired. There's a hint of a five o'clock shadow above my lip and on my chin. The hair that continues to recede rapidly from my forehead now grows in my eyebrows, ears, nose...and back. Sick? Tell me about it! The bangs on my forehead are the last refuge. They are my last vain attempt to cover the ever-expanding desert frontier that is my forehead. It is not a comb-over. My bangs fall freely across my forehead, and the day that they fail to provide adequate coverage, I will shave it all off. Just like my dad. Just like my YOUNGER brother. Sorry bro.

My bushy right eyebrow is raised in its increasingly familiar "What do you think you're doing?" position, which, by the way, is not limited to my time at home. It makes frequent appearances at (looks to the right, then to the left) My mouth is shaped in more of a grimace. That definitely happens more at work where this look becomes my "What the hell do you think are you doing?" face.

I love this picture because I know I'm being silly, but I look a little worn and annoyed. I'm posing for this picture, but it's different from my normal smiley-happy pose. It accurately reflects how I feel more and more often, even though I don't allow those feelings to reign supreme in my life. It is the perfect picture for this blog.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tourette's and the CMA's

Diane was having some issues last night. To give her the benefit of the doubt, let me just say that she's spent a lot of time at work over the past couple of days and she's tired.

It was a little after 9:00 and I settled into our comfy chair to watch Monday Night Football. We used to live in Seattle and I became a Seahawks fan while there. I hoped that they would break out of their funk and lower the boom on the Raiders. During the commercial breaks I switched over to the Country Music Awards to see if there were any good acts performing. Diane has converted into a pretty big country music fan in her "old age", and I'll admit that there are a couple of country artists that I enjoy listening to. Diane came home during one of my CMA switch-overs and her eyes lit up. "Oooo...what's this?!"

She quickly changed her clothes and snuggled in beside me (it's a big comfy chair), and since the Seahawks seemed to have the game well in hand, coupled with the fact that I'm an amazingly wonderfully caring and giving husband, we focused our attention on the CMA's. Sara Evans was introduced and seemed to be doing well despite the turmoil in her life. "She's wearing a corset. Those are very 'in' these days." Diane commentated, as if I needed a play-by-play on the CMA's, but I engaged her nonetheless.

"I knew that vests were 'in', but not corsets." I'm such the renaissance man. "I saw someone wearing a vest like yours on Ugly Betty last week."

"Did she wear it buttoned or unbuttoned?"

"Buttoned. It definately looks better buttoned." Has anyone seen my balls? I seem to have left them somewhere.

Sara evans started her performance and she sounded pretty good. She has a tendency to sing flat, but last night she was right on. We were enjoying her performance when Diane blurted out, "Big red belt!" I shot her a funny look. "What? That backup singer is wearing a big red belt. We sell those."

I looked her right in the eye and mocked her, with a touch of rapid-fire Tourette's syndrome added in for flavor, "BIG RED BELT!!" She cracked up with a big belly laugh. For those of you who have never heard Diane explode with laughter, you're missing something. It is, hands down, my favorite sound in the world, and I strive to hear it often.

Not two minutes later, Montgomery Gentry came onstage and Diane, to my delight, blurted out, "That guy shot a bear!" No sooner had the words left her mouth before she knew what was coming.



Peals of laughter. We laughed so hard I thought we would wake up the girls. We didn't, and for the rest of the night I would bark out either "BIG RED BELT!" or "THAT GUY SHOT A BEAR!" at irregular intervals. It kept us laughing all night long.

I guess you had to be there.

Monday, November 06, 2006


I've coined a new phrase recently (a new phrase in our house, anyway), and it is, yes, you guessed it, "shoozerboots". It is most often used in the morning when I am getting the girls ready for school. Allow me to demonstrate its usage: "So, what's it going to be today, Kailey/Kyra, shoozerboots?"

I never used to have to ask this question, but since the whole Halloween boot-buying craze, I have to ask it on a daily basis. And then I wait patiently for an answer as each girl carefully thinks it through. This process usually entails pursed lips and eyes slightly turned upwards. Kailey mutters as she makes her decision, which is based solely on what "special" class she has that day. "Let's see...yesterday we had art, which means that today is music and tommorrow is PE, so...BOOTS!"

Kyra's process is a little more subjective and based upon whether or not she feels like playing in the sand during recess (we've told her that she can't wear her nice boots in the sand, but have since softened on the matter). "Well, yesterday Arianna was mad at me for not playing in the sand, so (big pouty voice)" It's amazing the level of drama that can be drummed up in kindergarten.

Whatever their decision is does not matter to me, just as long as I get to ask the question, say it with me, "SHOOZERBOOTS?"

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Oh, how humiliating it is when you get duped by a 5 and 7 year-old. I'm so proud of my girls!

This is the time of year when the weather turns colder and the critters and creepy-crawlies seek refuge in the warmth of our home. I've gotten used to hearing the melodic, sing-song summons of "Hon-ey" or "Da-ad" over the past month, and I've become quite adept at deciphering their meaning..."we need you to come kill something"...usually a spider.

I don't really like spiders. I've gotten better about spiders over the years, but the bigger ones still freak me out a little bit. Don't get me wrong, I'll still dispatch the little suckers, but the big ones require me to collect myself before going in for the kill. At this point, all the PETA-people out there are letting out a collective gasp and imploring me to at least do a catch-and-release. No friggin' way. A catch leaves open the possibilty of escape which leaves open the possibility of me running through the house screaming like a schoolgirl. I'm sorry. If it ventures into my home, it's dead. End of story. Since moving to Arizona, I've had to take care of two tarantula-like spiders IN MY HOUSE. They were small for tarantulas (3 1/2 inches each, respectively), but big freakin' spiders to have in your home.

This morning I was in our bathroom shaving when I heard the call from my girls, "Da-ad". Great. They were in Kailey's room.

"I'll be there in a minute!" I groaned. I finished shaving and could hear them shrieking and giggling and carrying on as I steeled myself and headed to Kailey's room. I expected to find one of those medium-sized, lightning quick wolf spiders, as they have been my prime prey over the past couple of weeks. I walked into Kailey's room to find both girls on Kailey's bed.

"Where is it?" I asked. Kailey pointed to her bookshelf, about waist-high, right next to where I stood. I turned and saw a huge black spider sprawled out on the edge of the bookshelf about a foot away from me.

I jumped.

The girls cracked up laughing.

The spider was not real.

"WE GOT YOU! WE GOT YOU!" they sang at the top of their lungs. Indeed, they had. Kailey had clipped one of those plastic spider rings to the edge of her bookshelf and I didn't expect it. At least I didn't scream...I don't think.

I spanked both of them, sat them in the corner, told them there was no Halloween candy or Disney Channel for a month, told them they were both adopted and that their real parents loathed them, and then spanked them again. OK, I really didn't do any of that. I just laughed and told them they were rotten kids. They got me good and I knew it. And I'm man enough to admit it, even though I'm barely man enough to handle a little spider.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Making Friends

When I was growing up, I had no fewer than thirty kids in my neighborhood that I could play with. I would come home from school, throw my bag down and be out the door to see what everyone was up to, that is unless I was in the mood for Gilligan's Island. We did everything: bike riding, baseball, basketball, football, home run derby, tag, war (in the woods), trading baseball cards, and, when the sun went down, ghost in the graveyard. We knew our neighbors and our neighbors knew us, and everyone seemed to look out for each other. We had the run of the neighborhood.

My, how times have changed. We've lived in our home for almost three years now and we barely know any of our neighbors. It seems that everyone is content to keep to themselves. I rarely see any kids out playing as most of the kids on our street are older, junior highers or high schoolers.

One afternoon last week after school, the girls wanted to ride their scooters out on the sidewalk. I complied, as I had a little yard work that needed to be done. I like to be out there with them since I don't really know our neighbors that aren't immediately surrounding our home. As they rode their scooters, they encountered several other kids walking home from school. They were all older, but every time one of the girls saw one, they'd scream, "KID!" and peel out on their scooters to go meet them. It was like watching lions in a feeding frenzy on a fresh kill.

"What's your name?"
"How old are you?"
"Where do you go to school?"
"What grade are you in?"
"Where do you live?"
"Do you have a scooter?"
"Do you have a dog?"
"Do you want to play?"

In almost every instance (this happened three or four times), the accosted child was merely passing through our street to get to their home on another street. Witnessing this made me realize for the first time just how different my childhood was from my girls'. It made me sad.

Finally, a little while later, the girls noticed a little boy out riding his scooter. POW! They were off like a shot to administer the inquisition:

His name is Shawn.
He is six years old.
He goes to the same school as them...duh.
He's in first grade.
He lives five houses down from us on the opposite side of the street.
He has a scooter (they didn't have to ask that question...he was standing on it).
He doesn't have a dog.
And, most importantly, he DID want to play.

Phew! They spent most of the rest of the afternoon riding their scooters until Shawn's mom called him inside. She probably feels the same way I do: she has no idea who I am and is not exactly sure if she wants her son down at my house. I don't take it personally. I was just glad the girls were able to make a friend on our street.

We've seen quite a bit of Shawn this past week. He's a rambunctious little guy, but he's nice and the girls like playing with him. He did tell us, however, that his dad is in the military and that his family is moving in December. So in a couple of months, the girls will be back out on the street looking for new neighborhood friends.

This time I'll beat the streets with them because I want them to enjoy the same kind of childhood that I remember.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Perfect Gift

My dad's birthday was this week, and I finally got him what I believe to be the perfect gift. He's not the easiest person in the world to buy for (whose father is?), but this year I nailed it.

A little background: I was born nearly 38 years ago on January 12, 1969. Any sports nut worth his or her weight will know that one of the greatest upsets in American sports history happened on this date. On January 12, 1969, Joe Namath delivered on his guarantee of victory as he and his upstart New York Jets defeated the heavily favored Baltimore Colts, 16-7, in Super Bowl III. The victory gave much-needed credibility to the AFL, whose teams had been blown out by the "superior" teams of the NFL in the previous two Super Bowls. My dad never saw a minute of the game. Not a huddle. Not a snap. Instead, he waited for his precious baby boy, his first child, to be born. And nearly every year of my 37 years, he has reminded me of this.

Until now.

The idea came to me last year as I looked for my dad's birthday present, "I wonder if there's a DVD of Super Bowl III?" So I jumped on the internet and searched. I came up empty in my DVD search of Super Bowl III, but I did find something in a format called's a video tape played through a V-C-R. They seem vaguely familiar. Anyway, I stumbled across a video series called "The NFL's Greatest Games", one of which was Super Bowl III. SCORE!! IN YOUR FACE! IN YOUR FACE!! Except the series had gone out of print (or whatever videos "go out" of) and retailers wanted $1 million for the tape. Abort. Abort. I bought him a hat. I'm not cruel...he collects them.

This year in my quest for a birthday present I returned to my search for the NFL's greatest game to see if it had come down to a respectable price. It had. SCORE!! IN YOUR FACE!! IN YOUR FACE!! So I purchased it along with a couple of hats, Jets and Colts, of course, and sent them along to my dear ol' dad.

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I talked to him a couple of days ago and he told me he just laughed as he opened up his gift. "Guess I can't tell you that I've never seen the game anymore, can I?" he said.

Nope, I reckon not. But I'm looking forward to the day when we can watch it together.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy Halloween: What To Do With A Wig Unused

You wear it, of course! Kyra absolutely refused to don her Princess Leia wig due to the fact that, in her words, "I hate wigs!" So we had a perfectly good wig hanging around, which we promptly put to good use. Then we passed out treats to the kids while they snickered at us. Check it out...Diane, her sister Debbie, and I took turns:

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Yes, that's a sword Kailey's holding up to my throat...cute, huh? How precious!

The Halloween highlight of the night: the girls approached a house that was broadcasting a loud "haunted house" soundtrack which was freaking them out a little bit. They were more than a little afraid of what awaited them on the other side of the door and hesitated to ring the doorbell. So Diane went up to the door with them. We all cracked up when we saw who answered the door:

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All of us expected the boogeyman and got a sweet little ol' lady instead. Gotta love Halloween.


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