Tasty Buttered Toast

Quips and Quandaries from a re-employed house husband

Archive for the category “Homelife”

Slacker Jones

Attention!  Attention!  I’d like to make an announcement…

I… am a slacker.

I know you what you’re thinking…”say it isn’t so!  You’re smart, funny, your family is super cool, and some might say you’re devilishly handsome… how can this be?”  While all those things are mostly true, it still remains that I have been slacking on a key household duty… my lawn.

My poor neglected front yard

I’m of the school that says if you have a lawn, you should do your best to make it as manicured, primped, lush, or welcoming as you can.  A man’s lawn is almost an extension of his personality… soft grasses, flowers, landscaping that compliments its surroundings can give one feeling, while dry earth, wilted shrubs, and prickly weeds can give the complete opposite.

Where weeds come to party.

My yard has been doing me as many favors as I have it this summer.  With spring and summer classes, homework, spending time with the family, I haven’t paid the proper attention to my responsibilities as our family’s chief yardsmith.  I haven’t fertilized like normally would, watering has been left to Mother Nature (any of you in the mid west know that this hasn’t exactly been a great year to make that decision), weeds have overrun the landscape like an unwanted gang deciding they are taking over a city block.

Some have a picket fence, I have a row of ugly clover.

I had always tried to keep up with the Joneses.  In fact, one of my neighbors has been given the nickname Mr. Jones because I would try to maintain a lawn of equal or greater value than his.  He’s probably embarrassed to look out his front window with this abomination of a lawn across the street.

If a yard can have acne, mine would be the spokesperson on the late night infomercial.

But, now that summer classes are complete, I have approximately 3 weeks to try to whip my lawn back into shape.  Show it some TLC and remind it that I never left, but had in fact been here the whole time.

Weeds, bugs, and other unwanted baddies… I’m putting you on notice. I’ve lots to do and not a lot of time to do it, so be ready to be gone sooner than later!

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Bicycle Race

Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle

We all remember that feeling.

The smell of the asphalt.

The wind in your hair.

The sudden realization that you finally had transportation and you were free; free to jump on your bicycle and go for a ride, even if you didn’t have any particular place to go.

I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like

Ever since the weather has changed, Eddie has been hounding me, almost on the daily to go for a bike ride.  He has a small bike that is just his size, but he hasn’t had a lot of time to ride it.  At daycare, they have a couple tricycles and a big wheel or two that he has been able to practice this pedal technique; which I can say has come a long way compared to what he was attempting last fall when the idea of a pedal was confusing at best.

Bicycle races are coming your way
So forget all your duties oh yeah
Fat bottomed girls they’ll be riding today
So look out for those beauties oh yeah
On your marks get set go
Bicycle race bicycle race bicycle race

Today I told him if the weather permitted, I would ride bikes with him for a while this afternoon.  His face lit up and he was all about it.  He couldn’t get to nap soon enough… and would you know you, as soon as he was out of bed he was asking about going outside and riding bikes.  Who am I to deny this young lad a small taste of freedom… well, as much freedom as you can have when you aren’t allowed to ride past the mailbox.

*Lyrics to Bicycle Race by Queen

My first attempt at authoring a video, I had no idea all that cast & location stuff was needed at the end and yes I know my camera work is terrible, but this kid loves to ride! It might not be much to watch, but the soundtrack is fantastic.

Opening Day

Spring Training is a time to work out the kinks, get back in to game shape, and get back into the groove of being a team.

In less than two days, if all goes according to plan which it rarely does, the newest addition to our little tribe will be in our midst.  I would like to think that we’re all set and prepped for Opening Day; unfortunately, since we know when he’s planned to arrive, certain items haven’t been completed or are still in a state of limbo. We could maybe use another week of Spring Training.

When Ed was on the verge of joining us on the outside all we had to go by was the due date.  We knew that there was the potential of him coming early which put us on our toes a couple weeks in advance “just in case.”  And as luck would have it, he arrived on his due date, and even with all the preparation, I had left the laptop, Kate’s overnight bag, the camera… EVERYTHING at home in the excitement of it all.

For some reason, having a planned C-Section makes it feel like he won’t come early because we have an appointment.  He’ll arrive on Tuesday, and that will be that… ultimately, I hope that is the case, not that one day will throw too big of a wrench into things, but certain items are already in place to accommodate his arrival on Tuesday; so why mess with plans, right?

But as the big day draws near, Kate gets antsy.  She sees things around the house that she feels need to be addressed before Charlie’s arrival.  I’m not too surprised as this is her nature, sometimes it is a good thing, but other times, not so much.  This would be one of those times… since we are so close to the birth day; she needs to take it easy to prevent things from being accelerated.  And keeping her low key is proving more and more difficult the closer the big day gets.  Thankfully, she has been listening to my pleas for her to take it easy and relax.  I’m more than able to do as much of the heavy lifting as necessary until she is healed up and ready to retake her position as my teammate in this game of parenting and housekeeping.

This time I feel we are more ready, Kate has her bag packed, and laundry is finishing up as I type this.  Mothers and Mother-In-Laws have their Ed assignments for the week and so long as Charlie cooperates, we should be good to go.

Bring on the baby lotion, tiny clothes, and car seat.  When the “first pitch” is thrown on Tuesday, this team will be ready to play ball.

They Say Its Your Birthday

A lot can happen in a year.  This past Saturday was my birthday… and after having to get up early to drive 40 minutes to school so I could take my first final of the semester,  I was able to return home just in time to gather up the family and roll over to my in-laws house to help decorate Christmas cookies.  And while I’m pretty sure if I had wanted to, I could have played the birthday card and went back to bed or something, but I would have felt guilty for leaving my post.  My MIL and I are the two lone frosters… everyone else (we had 6 this year… ) and I it is up to us to get the cookies frosted so they can be adorn with sprinkles, candies, and various items of deliciousness.

So I assumed my post on the east side of the island in the kitchen with seven bowls of homemade frosting between us and a pile of cookies, my MIL and I got after it.  The family time is something that I really enjoy… with Kate’s brothers living farther away than we typically travel, I really enjoy the time I can spend with them and their significant others… and hanging with the nephew is always good times too.

After cookies, we headed home for a nap for Eddie and what I thought would be a little unwind time for me… but then I remembered some of the items on my honey-do list… so I was off.  Reflector stakes to line the driveway, return cans because the box was full, try not to lose my cool while waiting for the can return machines to be fixed; making friends with a little girl in the cart in front of me was a highlight of that trip as well.

Closing out the evening was a visit with Santa and dinner with Kate and Ed, with a special viewing of The Big Lebowski made my birthday celebration complete.  Given all my little family has been though this past year, both good and bad, I think made this year’s celebration that much more sweet.  Seeing Ed so excited to give me a birthday card brought emotions to the surface I hadn’t ever felt before.  This birthday is one I shall not soon forget.

Thank you family for a wonderful celebration, you make me feel special each and every day!

Flew The Coup

Gobble! Gobble!

Having a sick kid is never fun… not for anyone involved.  Those of us who are parents or know how frustrating it can be to try to comfort your child or to get them to chill out so they can find a way to recoup.

This past week Ed has had a pretty fierce cough, so we took him to the doc to get checked out and the result was allergies.

Allergies?  Really?  Ok, I’ll bite, but then why doesn’t the allergy medication do the job and turn the faucet that is his nose off and maybe do something about that cough?

And then to top everything off, Saturday evening while spending a ruckus time with some friends, he gets a fever.  Cue the drugs to take care of the fever and then the eventual dosage of the allergy medication.

Now this is the part where I’m going to take a little side step and make a suggestion to those pharmacists out there.  You know how medications that cause dizziness and drowsiness and they put those brightly color stickers on the bottle to make you aware of those side effects?  My question is; why don’t they have one that says “It might make your child act like a serious wack-a-doo”?  Needless to say, Ed was and has been a serious wack-a-doo about 30-45 minutes after his dosage.

Anyway, some have mention that this symptoms could be the result of additional teething… while this seems odd in my mind, everything but the cough is quite similar to his teething exploits of months past.

The doc said to give a call on Monday if the cough hasn’t left / if he hasn’t improved.  I’ll be on the horn tomorrow morning and see what she’d like us to do.

What I do know is that Ed as a wack-a-doo before bed is not a fun way to end an evening.

May your turkey be moist and delicious, the gravy be smooth and delightful, and the cranberries be not from a can.

Safe travels on your Turkey Day… don’t be afraid to take a nap while the Lions get their backsides whooped by the Packers… as is tradition.

Gonna See My Friend

While standing at the sink this morning, washing a sink full of dishes I noticed these two cups just sitting there as content as could be.  Now, bear with me as I get a little symbolic here, but I want to say that these to cups just looked happy to be in each others’ company.

I realize inanimate objects don’t care where they are or what they are doing… I get that, I’m not completely crazy… but they looked happy.

Don't They Look Happy?

Obviously the one on the left is mine and the other is Kate’s.  I took this after they had been washed, dried and were ready for their close up.

Normally these two cups wouldn’t last 3 minutes on the coffee table with Short Stack running around causing havoc.  What got me thinking was the fact that mine says “The Best Dad Ever.”  A bold statement to be sure, but I realized that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to try to be that Dad if it wasn’t for Kate being a Mom… and a damn fine one at that.

I know she goes through her days sometimes wanting to be home with Short Stack and me being the one at work… I know she feels like she is missing all the growing up time while she is away bringing home the bacon.  We have made this arrangement work, and it has worked for a reason.  I just hope she knows that even when she isn’t here, E and I think of her often and can’t wait for her to come home.

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

Ask and you shall receive… today’s post topic comes via Twitter from Lins610.  Lins610 asks “I’d like to know if you have always had the “stay at home dad” in you or did you adapt?”

Great question because during my days leading up to the arrival of E, I had wondered what my feelings would be on the subject.  I’ve always been able to get along with younger kids, not sure what it was but I’ve either been able to relate to them and they never really were scared of me.  In fact, back in my middle school days I would volunteer to help with nursery during Sunday service at church.  Obviously most of the girls would want to help, but I was one of the few boys that would want to as well.  Those 3 and 4-year-old kids were a lot of fun.

Even into my high school years, while my nursery volunteering went away in order to give other kids a chance, I still found that I had an uncanny ability to get along with the younger crowd.  When friends / cousins started having babies, I was never afraid or slow to want to hold or play with them.  So I suppose it would just be a natural progression to enjoy a child of my own.

Now, getting back to the question at hand… have I always had the “stay at home dad” attitude or did I adapt?  Well, leading up to E’s arrival, Kate and I had talked about it and I know I had made the statement that if we could swing it financially, I would be all about staying home and being a full-time house husband.  Then, when being laid off back in October of 2009, I was essentially thrown into that role and I think I embraced it as much as I could thinking that it was only temporary until I could find new employment.  Fast forward almost a year and a half and I’m still at home, raising E, doing my best to keep a little house, maintain my grades as a part-time college student, and still be as supportive of Kate as I can.

Ultimately, yes, I think I’ve had the stay at home dad mentality since becoming a dad.  While I miss adult interaction on a regular basis, I wouldn’t trade the time I’ve been able to spend with E for anything.  I suppose if there was a positive to come from losing my job it would be that.

I suppose this was the long answer to Lins610’s question… the short being, yes, I think I had it in me all along and was just waiting for the opportunity to show off my “Molly Homemaker” skills.  Thank you to Lins610 for her question… If you have any other ideas or questions that you’d like my thoughts / opinion on, please feel free to comment here or shoot me a tweet.

Lookin’ Out My Back Door

I’m not a fan of the big city.  Have never really been a fan of all the traffic, the hustle and bustle of the daily grind.  The uneasy need to always lock your doors when you run in for a soda at the gas station.  Finding it unnecessary to even have a car because of all the public transportation that is readily available.  No, not for me.  I love my car, I enjoy the ability to wake up in the morning and spot a mother deer with her fawn in my back yard.

This was the scene out our back door yesterday morning.  A light rain had just started to fall and I thought the clouds with the sun looked pretty neat against the fall colors of the trees.  I’ve never professed to be a semi amateur photographer so forgive me if some of the settings could have been improved by using a different mode on the camera.  All I know is that this picture is way better in my book than concrete buildings or looking into my neighbors window because we share a backyard.

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