The Day I Lost My Wall

Sunday, August 30, 2009 | | 2 comments |

One of the key features of our home that we’ve been in here for 6 months is a huge family room wall, which I’ve cleverly nicknamed “The Wall.”  I bought one of those LCD projectors shortly after we moved in to take advantage of The Wall.  We’ve had some great movie nights on there, but my dreams of watching sports are usually overruled by the latest animal cartoon adventure or Barbie flicks.  That’s when I find myself banished to some dark corner of the house to watch “TV” on my laptop.  (this was literally how I “enjoyed” all of March Madness)  But The Wall is pretty huge and makes the room feel more like a gymnasium than a family room.  So we decided to buy an equally massive entertainment center to consume some of that wall space.  This was also necessary because our entire book library hasn’t been super-accessible since we moved in, because the books are all still in tightly-packed boxes.

Well, the great team of the Mrs. HTF and Mr. Craigslist took care of that problem.  She found a steal of a deal (lame phrase I know) on there for a 5-piece entertainment center that weighs slightly more than the state of Rhode Island.  It’s also roughly the size of a fully-grown elephant.  I mention this because we moved the thing in this weekend.  It looks great now, but furniture moving is definitely for, well, furniture movers.

These are my professional mover dudes.  They are way stronger with “bunny ears.”:

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Now I sit here without The Wall.  Thankful she has a smaller twin on the other side of the room.  Here it is (We all look better hiding behind our favorite blanket AND check out the firepower!):

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So while we now have real live “grown-up” furniture in our family room, we can still safely watch Dora the Explorer (the 10 foot tall version) whenever my 3 year old lets me.

Moldy Cheese and Jedi Training Camp in the back of the Mini-van

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 | | 6 comments |

surrender1eg.jpgThis morning I received a great e-mail from alert reader Ken in Paris.  (In his honor I won’t make any jokes about French Generals surrendering to my daughter’s preschool class on the battlefield)  He sent me a link to an article that really hit home.  And if you’ve ever taken a long drive (meaning anything over 3.5 minutes) with children, you’ll love this piece as well.  Seriously, go read it.  It’s about what items are banned in the author’s (a father of multiple children named Brad Moon) truck.  One my favorite sections said:

“Generally speaking, I agree with the TSA when it comes to sharp objects such as meat cleavers, ice picks and scissors, and I’ll also stick with their decision to ban firearms, cattle prods, drills, blasting caps, hand grenades, plastic explosives, pepper spray and tear gas. My kids don’t have access to most of those items, but it works for me as a common-sense baseline. The last thing I need 10hours into a 12-hour drive is an accidental blast of pepper spray to the face or a cattle prod duel breaking out between the occupants of rows two and three.”

So I have a few items to add to Brad’s list of things the little people shouldn’t be allowed to have in the car:

1. Granola Bars of any kind – these are guaranteed to instantly transform from potential healthy food into crumbly mess that will meld molecularly to the seats and floor mats.

2. Ice Cream – Just a couple years into parenthood my wife gave our little man ice cream while in the car.  I was stunned – she had to be joking, right?  She wasn’t.  Predictably every part of the car within throwing distance of our happy eater was quite sticky by the time we got home.  I pretty much had to power wash the inside of the car.

3. Balloons – Oh they seem innocent enough.  That is until one gets pushed right in front of your face while you’re trying to carefully change lanes on the interstate.  They will also explode loudly at random times, creating a unnecessary distraction and ensuring that one or more of the handlers in the back seat will certainly be crying for the next several days.  One other thing – that noise they make when kid’s hands touch ‘em kinda grates on the nerves.

4. Light Sabers (either real or otherwise) – Pretty sure you don’t need a paragraph of explanation on this one, but it is a problem with my miniature Jedi Knights who are trying to complete their training while harnessed to their booster seats.

5. Cheese Sticks (aka String Cheese - The Natural Food) – We may be unique here, but these handy snacks are almost never eaten in their entirety and it would be WAY too hard for the kids to get the leftovers into a trashcan.  Instead they are simply dropped, but more often they are “stored” somewhere “for later.”  We often find moldy remnants stuffed in dark mini-van crevasses.

Those are just a few of the items that I’d like to ban.  What would you prohibit?

Our Own Criminal Mastermind . . . but not really

Monday, August 24, 2009 | | 5 comments |

Our oldest son has long relished his role as the greatest criminal mastermind of all time. At 10 years old, he thinks he’s Lex Luthor.  Since he started to drool effectively he’s always trying to sneak, steal, and swindle.  And while he may not yet be an investment banker or a third-world dictator, we keep trying to get him to follow a few rules.  His most frequent offense is the sneaking of forbidden food.  This would be a bigger problem if it wasn’t for the fact that he’s too lazy to hide the evidence and he’s a horrific liar, despite great efforts.  We’ve caught him with a dozen granola bar wrappers under his pillow and he’s denied he had anything to do with them – he even challenged the existence of granola bars in the house at all (probably because he ate them all one afternoon).  He’ll blame things on siblings and even act totally confused when the evidence is utterly conclusive that he’s the disobeyer of the parents.  We always know when he’s out of sight for a couple minutes to assume that something is being eaten that shouldn’t be. 

Tonight we sent him to dump the trash, and after a few minutes the Mrs HTF and I decided it was time to catch him doing whatever raccoon-like scavenging he was doing.  Just as she went to the garage, he walked in.  She confronted him asking if he’d been eating anything.  His answer was the predictable “no,” uttered while looking away at a nearby wall.  Then she said, “open your mouth.”  (There are no procedures or illegal searches when it comes to parents, . . . thank goodness.)  He opened wide.  There was no visual evidence there, so, with his mouth still open, she STUCK HER NOSE IN and after pondering for a moment declared triumphantly and with a disconcerting grin, “. . . Beef Jerky!”  The super-sniffer never lies.  He’d been defeated and he knew it.  His lowered head told us that his surrender flag was up – he’d been munching the forbidden jerky that’s supposed to be for camping trips and emergencies like when mom is gone for a several hours at a time. 

Oh, he’ll keep trying.  And he’ll get away with plenty, but because of his super-sleuth mommy, he’ll probably be grounded well into his 30s so we’re hoping that will limit his life of crime a bit.

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Be sure to cast your votes in the entrance music poll!  It’s just a couple clicks and you could be sending a lucky HTF reader on to the coveted first position in the Fantasy Football League draft!  At the very least the list will make you chuckle…  come on, go vote!

The Self-Answering Question and Questionable Words

Friday, August 21, 2009 | | 4 comments |

You know how some questions kinda answer themselves.  Well, I found one recently in the HTF mailbox that literally does just that (none of the words between the two lines are actually mine . . . they were all part of the “question” (air quotes intended))  Yep, I just did a parenthetical INSIDE of another parenthetical, DO NOT try this at home, kidz.  Now, on to the question:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dear HTF,

Just wondering if there were any words that you loved or hated to say or write.  Now, if I were guest blogging, your blog would probably end up looking something like this:

Dear HTF,

Just wondering if there were any words that you loved or hated to say or write.

Keep on dancin’!

The SPAGM!

Dear SPAGM,

What a coincidence that you sent in that note – I just discovered that I love to say “sugar gliders.”  SUGAR GLIDERS! SUGAR GLIDERS!! SUGAR GLIDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Admit it – it’s way less fun to say “small marsupials” than it is to say SUGAR GLIDERS!!!!!!!!!!

As a general rule, I also love food related words:

Wasabi, Adobo, Guacamole

Some of my other favorite words are travel and/or television related:

Mahalo, Honu Dr. Spaceman – (Must be pronounced as Spa-cheem-in.)

Aloha!--(Exclamation point is mandatory!)

Note:  It's even more fun to say the above words with a Southern accent!

Words generally only make my Don’t Like List because I have a hard time pronouncing and/or spelling them.  The No. 1 word on my Don’t Like List?

RURAL – Wow, who made that word up???!  Can anyone actually pronounce that word?  I'm thinking no after viewing the Rural Juror episode of 30 Rock.  Try saying that three times in a row.  30 Rock 30 Rock 30 Rock.  Wow, totally gets me tongue twisted every single time! 

Well, thanks for your question, but we back-up dancers were just taught some new choreography for the JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE WORLD TOUR 2009, & I have to go practice!!

Aloha!

The HTF

Okay, so that’s what I would write if I were guest blogging and responding to my own question that I sent in to . . . The HTF?  Myself? Blogger?  Me acting like The HTF on Blogger?  Me acting like me while pretending to be The HTF on Blogger?  Okay, I'm totally confusing myself again -- anyway, I guess that's your cue to respond!  Mahalo!!

Keep on dancin’!

The SPAGM!

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Now I leaned pretty heavily towards not responding at all, since the SPAGM’s response was way more than sufficient, and I do mean WAY MORE.  But I couldn’t resist the urge to throw a few random words out there to ponder.  (caveat- these may or may not be actual words, and you should just assume that the spelling is questionable at best):

Protuberance – This is what you call someone who’s REALLY good at inner-tube sledding

Nuclear/molecular – These words mean the same thing, and that’s pretty much all I remember from high school chemistry class.  “W” reminded us often of how difficult they are to pronounce, particularly if you’re from Texas.  The pronunciation is the only thing stopping the Iranians from having The Bomb.

Phlegm – this word is always spelled wrong in the dictionary, but we all know what it means.  We should totally be using that silent G more often.  For example, “Would you please wipe that snogt off my chair?”

Thanks for the question/answer SPAGM. 

Send in your questions/comments/feedback to henrythefrog@gmail.com.  You’ll get a response, and you’ll be able to show it to your mom on the internets.  (whether or not your comfortable with that is your call)

The Dangers of Rock-Skipping

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 | | 4 comments |

Over the weekend we did a little camping with other families in our ward (church congregation).  The clear highlight of this for both kids and adults is that from the moment we arrive the kids disappear and turn into roving mobs of excitement-seekers far from the gaze of the parental units.  This works well with the parental units as well, who assume that the kids will be self-policing, in much the same way that we stupidly blindly assume that Middle-Eastern governments and beauty-pageant-contestants will be self-policing.  It’s just easier not to get in the middle of all that action.

The sudden lack of kids gave the Mrs HTF and I the chance to go for a stroll by the nearby river.  Being near water it’s hard to resist the urge to throw rocks.  Near this particular river were numerous skipable (a word not recognized by my spell-checking-software) stones.  (aside – if “Rolling Stones” was a good rock band name, “Skipable Stones” would be better)  Traci decided she’d try to show her stuff by causing some excellent skippage.  As we were about to keep walking she found the “perfect” rock for skipping.  She even told me to get the camera ready, cuz it was gonna be awesome.  So I positioned myself about 15 feet down the shore from her, ready to get great photos of her rock-chucking-prowess.  She cocked her arm and I knew she was going to really going for it…

As the rock flew through the air at high velocity it never got wet, instead it smashed into my innocent hand that was in front of my chest at the time.  Yep, my wife threw a rock at me . . . as hard as she could.  You can speculate on why she did that.  (believe me, I have been)

As I held my bruised hand and looked at her in confusion/anger she came running and made the definitive statement of the moment - “I’m not really good at aiming when I throw small things.”

So if Traci ever invites you to go rock throwing, tell her you have to water the dog or that throwing stones is against your religion or something.  But if you do go I suggest you frolic on the shore while wearing quarter inch body armor.

A Final Ask, A Presidential Candidate, and a Pro Wrestler

Friday, August 14, 2009 | | 4 comments |

Today the ranks of those brave enough to join the Inaugural HTF Fantasy Football league swelled to 9!!  That puts us only one short of the needed (hoped for) 10.  I know the rest of you have thought about it!  It’s gonna be awesome.  You’ll be given multiple shout outs on the blog, you’ll get to know other awesome people through head to head competition, and you may even be interviewed!  (Of course some of you may view all three of those as negative in which case you can opt oCAPTAIN CHARISMAut.)

As a preview of what we’ll do next I’m going to ask each of the league participants to pick the song they’d like playing on the loud speakers if they were about to make their grand entrance as a Presidential Candidate or if they were entering the ring as a Pro Wrestler.  I’ll post the songs as a poll on the blog and ask you, the stunningly attractive HTF readers, the vote for your favorite.  The result of your votes will determine the order of our Fantasy Football draft later this month.

See, don’t you wanna play along?  Send an e-mail to henrythefrog@gmail.com today!

Even if you’re not in the league, which entrance music would you choose?

UPDATE: We just got our 10th person so the league is a go!

Earl and Dumbledore are in Cahoots!

Thursday, August 13, 2009 | | 6 comments |

I realized tonight that it’s been a while since I did much about current events here.  The biggest news of the last few weeks was of course the important White House beer-fest that fixed race relations in the country.  I sure wish they’d have figured that out about 100 years ago.  But one story that I think got a lot of press, but wasn’t as well understood as it should’ve been was the “election” (air quotes intended) in Iran.  So let me give you the HTF spin on that.

First, our characters:

1.  The current President of Iran, Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD, whom I will call Earl, for obvious reasons.

2.  The current Supreme Leader of Iran, who’s abbreviated name is: Islamic Revolution Leader Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei.  I will call him Dumbledore, for obvious reasons

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3.   The millions of actual Iranians who actually voted. 

Basically the story is this – a few weeks ago there was an election in Iran where people voted for President.  I can only assume that there were super-boring debates and non-stop cable news coverage about things the candidates may or may not have done 30 years ago leading up to the election.  Our friend, Earl, is the incumbent, which means the people running the elections technically work for him.  Since becoming president he’s succeeded in making loud offensive speeches and creating a national holiday for goats.  However, the economy has gone backwards faster than my hairline, we’ll call that a recession.  (get it – hairline . . . recession . . . nevermind)  So the Iranian people, who are in favor of a good economy and are generally anti-goat-holidays, were widely expected to vote Earl out.  Then they went and voted.

Less than two hours after the polls closed the results went public.  I guess those manual ballot counters have some serious game.  Earl had won in a landslide.  The voters found this a bit of a surprise, and demanded a recount of the Broward County ballots in Florida.  They were quite certain the results were as questionable as a John Edwards speech on fidelity in marriage.  So they took to the streets with signs.  The government, run by Earl and Dumbledore quickly realized that the protests wouldn’t look good on CNN OR FoxNews, so they banished all of the reporters who hadn’t personally attended Earl’s last birthday party.  Apparently our dynamic duo forgot about this new thing called the internets.  Tweets were posted to YouTube (or something like that) and the Facebook status of most Iranians was either “downtown holding a green sign and yelling at police” or “chillaxin’ with my honeys.”

Of course Dumbledore knew just how to calm the protestors, he would order that they be beat with batons and if they still weren’t totally happy with the “results” of the election they could be shot.  In spite of this excellent strategy (codename: “They’ll Love Us Or Else!”) the people kept on protesting.  The world watched on the interweb as most of this went down.  And the Iranian government fought back there too, by publishing super-believable articles like this one I found on Dumbledore’s personal web site:

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So there’s your little update on the wacky goings-on and shenanigans in Iran.  If you’re planning your next vacation I’d suggest you chose Toledo instead of Tehran.  But if you do go, be ready to get your tweet on, color-up some green signs, and be sure to wear your seasonal body armor.

TV Austerity and a Plea for Playas

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 | | 1 comments |

I strolled by a TV today at the gym that was playing ESPN.  Which for me was like a recently declared vegetarian walking through a BBQ contest.  You see since we moved to Seattle we haven’t had cable or dish or anything.  We have a TV, but it’s mostly just good for the Wii and to stack stuff on.  I’ve been pretty good about not missing TV, but wow, lately it’s been an issue.  This happens to correspond with approachment (a new word I made up that totally rocks, it’s a cross between apples, roaches and parchment) of football season.  So, not sure I can hold out for much longer.  I’m pretty sure I have the Mrs. HTF talked into starting up the dish/cable again.  It’s been a cool experiment and all, but might be for other people…

On a not-really-related note we have 6 AWESOME people (plus me) who have signed up for the Inaugural HTF Fantasy Football League.  We need AT LEAST one more, and 3 more would be ideal.  I know you’ve thought about . . . come on . . . just give it a shot.  I’ve got some fun ideas for the season including maybe recording some interviews with the league members and certainly making fun of profiling them.  So drop me a note if you' wanna play along (henrythefrog@gmail.com).  Please.

So What’s With The Sushi?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 | | 4 comments |

I grew up in Kansas City, which, based on geography alone, is about as far as you can get from the ocean.  I’m pretty sure that for that reason I pretty much viewed seafood as something that other people do.  Don’t get me wrong, we did fish sticks in the oven and other natural delicacies from the sea like that, but that was about as far as I went, unless you count catfish or trout, which you shouldn’t.  If it doesn’t moo, oink or cluck, it didn’t speak my language.

In high school I first heard of sushi and I just assumed someone was yankin’ my chain.  A few years ago I actually tried some and survived, but still couldn’t understand the hype.  Fast forward to me now living in Seattle.  I have a great boss who’s taken it upon himself to help me get to know the area, including the local cuisine.  One day I found out that a nearby sushi place was going to be part of my Seattleization.  I was super apprehensive and debated stashing cooked meat (GNFARB) in a zip lock baggy to substitute when no one was looking.  But I went along and put on a happy face.

I expected lunch to be an endurance exercise where I just fought to hold things down.  My boss, thankfully, eased me into things.  I started with stuff that wasn’t really sushi at all, then graduated to chunks of tuna inside some ricey goodness.  Then I dared to do the big chunk of raw salmon/tuna on a little bit of rice.  AND IT WAS WORKIN’ FOR ME! 

Then I got a bit cocky, which is always the first sign of impending doom.  I went for the squid.  I took a bite and quickly realized that this slimy, pasty, chewy thing in my mouth was not something my body recognized as food.  The texture was real work for my teeth, and my stomach was not ready to “catch the pass” if you know what I mean.  My boss looked at me intently (while smirking broadly), and I tried to fake like it was good, but the face couldn’t lie…  He almost ended up with chunks of slightly-chewed, barely-dead, squid in his lap.  Thankfully it stayed put inside me (not always the case with me) as I swallowed with my eyes squeezed shut.

I have been back to the restaurant a few more times since then, and like it more and more.  I actually crave it (meaning sushi in general, NOT the squid) on occasion.  As a sign of change, I was in a restaurant in Atlanta a couple weeks ago and chose the sushi over KC Strip Steak…

Not to worry, we barbeque actual meat on the weekends!

Repost – Utensils and Best-Selling Novels

Monday, August 10, 2009 | | 4 comments |

This is a repost inspired by a recent viewing of yet another New Moon Trailer, which included a teenage boy ripping off his shirt and much screaming from the females in the crowd.

Originally posted Oct 9, 2008

Books are great. I've even been known to read one or two over the years. Even a few without pictures that required the use of an actual bookmark. I don't really keep track of what books are popular aside from I guess Harry Potter and the 976 versions of the Bible that seem to always be for sale at the Sam's Club. It is however, tough to escape the popularity of the "Twilight" series by J.K. Rowling or Stephanie Meyer, . . . it's one of those two. Not that long ago I got my first introduction to the series which is INCREDIBLY popular among women of all ages.


I literally thought my wife was playing an amazingly creative joke on me. She described a tale about a 17-year-old-girl named Bella who moves to Forks, (yes, I said forks) Washington and falls for a boy named Eddie or something who just happens to be a . . . (wait for it) . . .CANADIAN . . .!! Actually he and his family are real-life, fictional, VAMPIRES. But not to worry because, as wikipedia points out, this is not that big of a deal because his family has shunned drinking human blood and sticks with meals of animal blood instead.


So my wife, along with 86.7% of other literate females, is suddenly a HUGE fans of vampire books. There are four of them (the books, not the females), but you can ask the lady of your choice for the rest of the plot. And there's another one called The Host that's about aliens possessing people's bodies and taking over the world. (I'm not making that up) Suddenly my wife is into vampires and sci-fi novels?!!!


All that I know is that once the Mrs. HTF picks up one of these books she ceases to, you know, exist in this world. She tunes the rest of us out completely. Here's proof. Also, unless you're living under a rock and/or you're a guy, you'll know that there's also some movies based on the books coming out that will be like an estrogen convention I'm guessing. (not that there's anything wrong with that)


I was recently given an even better reason to be a Stephanie Meyer fan - two females, (my wife and alert-blog-reader, JJ) pointed out - at the end of Mrs. Meyer's last best-selling novel, the Mormon, BYU grad pointed out that she was inspired in her writing by my brother's rock band, Spoon. (if you're paying attention, that's the second utensil reference in this post, and I wasn't even trying!) So maybe, just maybe, I should put down my books about politics, current events, or business management and join the ladies in reading about blood-sucking, alien, body-snatchers who woo teenage girls in logging country.


Or maybe I'll just wait for the movie.

HTF Challenges the Readers – the Inaugural HTF FF League

Sunday, August 09, 2009 | | 5 comments |

So today I’m playing my little piano while the kids were singing at church in the primary and it was the 6th time through the same song so I was not having to focus too much and then a thought hit me -

It’s like almost football season!

(sorry about really bad english in sentence #1 . . . but not that sorry)

I’m not sure what has happened to me over time.  Football used to be a massive deal to the HTF.  But time (and 4 kids) has kinda eroded that.  At work I used to always hear people talk about this “Fantasy Football” thing.  Seemed like a weird concept, but one year, about 5 years ago, I decided to start up a league with some friends and totally loved it.  I didn’t really even have to watch games and the time commitment was minimal.  (and it’s free)  Still I was able to smack talk with friends and follow the game/players a bit.  Luckily I don’t care too much about winning/losing . . . which may be why I lose pretty often.  But it’s a fun way to bond with old friends all over the country.

Tonight I mentioned to Traci about how fun it could be to have an HTF Reader Fantasy Football League.  She didn’t really acknowledge the statement, which is probably a sign of my idea being a bad one.  But I’m gonna give it a shot to see if I can drum up any takers.  Here’s the pitch:

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If we get at least 8 takers, including me, we’ll have a league and you’ll get to read about the chicanery and smack-talk here on the blog.  I’m well aware of the “demographic make-up” of my readership – you’re mostly female.  (let’s be clear, I’m routinely crushed by the ladies in my current FF league)  What a great chance to SHOCK the men in your life!  Also, spouses are welcome to play along!

Anyway, there’s the challenge.  As Harry Truman used to say, “Try something you haven’t done before, and play fantasy football with HTF.”

The TSD (Temporarily-Single-Daddy) Update

Thursday, August 06, 2009 | | 5 comments |

We’ve completed Day 3 of the week without mommy around, and I’m happy to report the kids are breathing and the house is still standing (although it’s significantly messier than it’s ever been, but that’s what the hour before mommy gets home is for).  Here are a few of the recent highlights events:

  • I discovered that playing any Taylor Swift song at high volume will not only wake up my sleeping three year old, but also get her to jump out of bed and run down the hall and into my arms.  This approach has the opposite effect on my 10 year old boy who feigns deep sleep and then tries to punch me when I “wake him up.”IMAGE_017
  • I’ve let the kiddos dress themselves – this is a dicey proposition in much the same way as when Traci let’s me dress myself.  As an example, here’s a photo demonstrating Sydney’s fashion prowess today (brown t-shirt, yellow sweater thing, black dress shoes, and the socks pulled ALL the way up)  This photo may or may not have been taken in the McDonalds parking lot (apparently the kids need to eat.)
  • Today I noticed Braeden with the itchy eye thing going on.  I reminded him that he spent the day near a cat.  He denied it until I pulled a bunch of cat hairs off of his pants.  I did what every good parent would do faced with a minor medical issue – looked for drugs.  He did his dose of Benadryl and then we were off to the park for family fun.  However, Braeden, due to my skilled parenting, spent the entire park visit in a drug-induced coma in the backseat of the mini-van.
  • Today became an impromptu “Bring Your Fussy 10 Year Old To Work Day.”  Ethan refused to go to the babysitter because he was twice as old as the oldest kid at the house we arranged.  Fair point – I’d probably feel weird hanging out with 17 year olds all day… (and I might get arrested if I tried)  Anyway, I let him muddle around my office for 6 hours or so.  Three different people gave him candy and he took advantage of the free root beer in the fridge.  So I’m pretty sure he enjoyed work today a bit more than I did.  He also commandeered one of my white boards and on his own decided to do some HTF-Cyclops-ArtWork:

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So yeah, we’re getting by.

Daddy’s In Charge (sorta) and Racing for a Mountain

Wednesday, August 05, 2009 | | 6 comments |

This morning before I woke up, the Mrs HTF crept out the front door and was off for a week (which translates to 3 months in single-daddy-time) of girls camp up in the mountains.  She had thoroughly prepped me for the days ahead and I was ready, by which I mean I remember her mentioning something about kids and food or something, but that was about it.  Downstairs she’d left cryptic notes with phrases like “Go buy yogurt at QFC, it’s on sale” and “Free Taco night at Jack in the Box” and “The Kids shouldn’t really cook things, especially the 3 year old.”  These notes were super helpful.

Luckily she’d lined up awesome babysitters, since I have this job thing that I have to do during the day.  So I really just “prep” them in the morning (this refers to toaster waffles and letting the girls wear whatever they wanted including turquoise shorts with a very pink jacket and rain boots) and play with them at night.  When I got home it was confirmed that my wife was gone because, to my utter shock, the clothes I left on the floor of my room this morning were STILL THERE. 

Around 5 PM Ethan reminded me that The Race to Witch Mountain was out on DVD today.  The conversation went pretty much like this:

10 year old: “Dad, The Race to Witch Mountain is out today, can we go rent it?”

34 year old: “Which mountain?”

10 year old: (thoroughly confused) “Witch Mountain, Dad!  The Race to Witch Mountain”

34 year old: “That was my question to YOU, which mountain is it?”

10 year old: “When does mom get home?”

So after we got the whole mountain thing straightened out we jumped in the car and raced to our closest RedBox at the grocery store.  (if you don’t know what these are you must start using them – referring to the RedBox, not the grocery store)  When we arrived Ethan quickly discovered that the machine wasn’t working.  We stood there, dumbfounded, except for Allison (3) who was trying to run over her brother with a shopping cart.  Then a lady and her son came in and made the same sad discovery.  I asked if they were here for the Witchy Mountain too, and she confirmed that they were.  Then a store worker told us that another RedBox was just down the street.  At this point the mother and I made some serious eye-contact, knowing that quantities of the movie were limited.  No words were exchanged, we may even have smiled, but let’s be clear . . . It was ON.  I scooped up kids and walked briskly to the van, breaking into a full sprint once the lady was out of sight.  We raced down the road to the Walgreens, where the next RedBox was.  (Ethan pointed out the irony of “racing” to rent the “Race to Witch Mountain” – good kid)  And to my kids’ delight, WE WON, . . . except the movies were all rented out.  I ran into a friend there (she was going through the same witchy mountain search) and we chatted for a sec, just as the lady from RedBox #1 pulled up.  I humbly told her that the movie was gone here too.  I even called a friend to do an online search for the movie, but by this time the kids were hungry and I had a mini-van revolt on my hands.

We ravenously went to the Jack In The Box for the free tacos, but to my horror, you actually needed a coupon.  That was NOT on Traci’s handwritten note!!  We were successful in buying cheap yogurt, but I learned that 45 yogurt containers mixed with 2 cranky kids in a shopping cart will always equal a big yogurt fight (BYF).

Anyway, the little people are sleeping now, and it was a good day in spite of our movie-saga, but I just remembered that they should probably be wearing pajamas instead of rubber boots.  Oh well…

Not So Cool

Monday, August 03, 2009 | | 4 comments |

Isn’t it awesome and horrific how life kinda makes fun of you when you’re feeling a bit too cool and how it gives you a much needed chest bump when things aren’t so awesome.

But enough about that.

A few weeks ago I was thinking a lot about my friends back in KC.  Summertime was always the time of year when I would look for jobs in far away cities because leaving the office and finding my tires had melted into the parking lot got a little bit old.  Summer here in the northwest was amazing – never got too hot, but it was almost always sunny, so you kinda got the best of both worlds.  Ha ha to those people back home who needed a/c blasting at their faces in order to breathe!

Until last week.

As I mentioned in my last post, Seattle hit its all-time-record high temperature last week.  Roughly 5% of people here have a/c at their houses, and we’re unfortunately part of the majority on that one.  The upper floor of our house got so hot that after going up there for a couple minutes I was frantically searching for a sauna to cool off in.  We found ourselves spending nights on the family room floor surrounded by 5 fans that I wouldn’t have sold for less than $50,000 each.  One morning we woke up to find our 10 year old literally wrapped around one of the fans.  The image was troubling, but to us made complete sense.

The high temperature during that time in KC was around 75 – this was pointed out to me by numerous helpful friends back home.

Just as I was online checking out hotel rooms in the area, the temp finally started to drop – that night I actually had to close the windows because we were cold.

So I think I’ll kill my snarkiness about the weather here.  (and is the fact that I’m blogging about weather a sign that I’m getting really old?!  I’m gonna have to ponder that one . . .)

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