Wednesday, August 27, 2008

No, It Wasn't Weed.

If you read the comment from Sarah in my last post you may be wondering about “the package” she was talking about. I guess Chris is the only one wondering since he was the only other commenter.

When I got back from vacation there was a plain brown package waiting for me in the mail. Usually when I get these kinds of packages they have a Columbian postmark. But it didn’t. This package came from the lovely state of Maine.

Cool, this package came from Sarah!

Sarah is a blogger I came across while clicking on that “next blog” button on Blogger. I left a comment, that I’m sure was rude, and now I bug her on a regular basis.

Sarah likes to knit. I try, but I can’t even pull off a basic purl stitch.

Frustrated, I e-mailed her. I wanted to make something cute for Alissa and needed help. Sarah said, “Step away from those circular needles rookie. I’ll make something special for that red haired princess of yours!”

So she did. And here it is.

Look at how clean that room is!

I think a few of my readers already visit her blog. But if you haven’t, do it! And ask her to knit you something!

Thanks Sarah! Now that I have your address you should be looking for that package from Columbia.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Orville Would Not Approve

It is always a good idea to take an extra day of vacation just for putting things back together after the trip. And I did just that. We got home late yesterday and just chilled the rest of the day. Today we emptied and returned the rental car. We also did a ton of laundry and unpacking. It has taken most of the day and I don’t have too much time to compose one of my normally brilliant posts. But I do have time to share a little snippet from the vacation courtesy of Austin.

One of the hard things to arrange on our trip was a motel that allowed pets. We decided to bring Ernie along for the ride. We only needed the room for one night. The rest of the trip will be spent at our friends cabin at Donner Lake. You can probably guess what kind of place we had to stay at. Mandalay Bay? Nope. Holliday Inn? Nice try. How about the Vagabond Inn? YES!

This place was nnniiiicce. Austin thought the Vagabond Inn was very cool. As he was checking out the bathroom he declared his love for the place, “Dad! Check out the toilet paper! It’s folded like a fan! Hey look, they even left us bags for our popcorn!”

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Road Trip

I think the title explains It all. Making that annual trip to Truckee. We know someone who lets us use their cabin for free, SO WE USE IT! Bringing the laptop, don't know if I'll use it much. Someone might make a post for me, but they are pretty busy. So don't expect too much action around here the next week. Gotta go, I'm getting the stink eye from my better half.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Like a Good Neighbor, Malathionman is There.

Ernie has a friend that lives across the street. Her name is Shasta. She is also a Labrador retriever. We have known Shasta’s mommy and daddy for a couple of years, but really didn’t talk much until we got our Labrador retriever. We wish we had taken the time to get to know them when they first moved into the neighborhood; they are a really nice couple.

About six weeks ago RNC started their family the Malathionman way, with three. The difference is they didn’t adopt. They had triplets instead.

They have had family and friends over to help out most of the last six weeks. We figured that they were getting hammered with visitors so we didn’t want to go over and sneak a peek at the babies until most of that was over.

One thing I had noticed over the last few weeks was that they weren’t able to get any work done on their yard. I thought it would be nice if someone took care of that for them until things got a little more normal for them. Yeah right, like anything will be normal in that house again. But I wasn’t sure how it would be received. I didn’t want them to think I didn’t like looking at the long grass in their front yard. I just wanted to surprise them with something nice. I thought about it for a few days and finally decided to go for it. The next morning after finishing my yard, I grabbed my stuff and Austin and walked across the street and cleaned up their front yard.

I was very proud of Austin. He was very into this random act of kindness. And so was RNC. They were very thankful. They tried to pay us but I would take the money. I told them this was on me. I did tell them that Austin might consider doing their yard on a regular basis. They offered him $20 a week. I told them he would take $10; diapers are going to be expensive. Austin is happy too, he only gets $5 a week from me for the work he does around the house.

It has been about 3 weeks since we became better friends with our neighbors. And it has really paid off. They have had to leave town a couple of times and needed someone to take care of Shasta. They came over and asked, something they have never done before. We were happy to do it cause guess who will take care the frog, lizard, fish, and two weenie dogs while we are on vacation next week? RNC.

Here is the baby announcement that they made themselves. I thought it was pretty cool.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I Could Just Lock the Door

My youngest Alissa has been spending too many nights sleeping in my room. She will start in her room, but usually ends up finishing the night on the floor next our bed.

She has been asking us if we would let her do a sleep over at her friend Kylie’s house. We have been reluctant to give her our blessing because she has had such a hard time getting through the entire night without our company.

Alissa is also very concerned that Austin has got to sleep over at his friend’s house a lot this summer. She doesn’t think it is fair that he should have more fun than her.

This is a discussion I had with her in the car last week.

Daddy can I talk to you about something?
Sure, what’s up?
I really want to spend the night a Kylie’s house.
You know how your mother and I feel about that.
Yeah but I don’t think you guys have thought this out.
If Austin stays at Jake’s tonight and I stay at Kylie’s, you and mommy can have privacy.
What do you mean privacy?
You know...
No I don’t. Yes I do, but this is too much fun.
...You can kiss!
Awww man that’s gross!
Honey, I have a cold. Mom won’t kiss me. Maybe next week.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Why I Kiss My Wife Goodbye Everyday

3-year-old Lennon came into the play station room (Sarah’s vacant room) and asked,
“ Can I play with you?”
“You know who Tiger Woods is Lennon?” I asked.
“Best Golfer,” he smiled.
“You want to play Tiger?” like I didn’t know the answer.
Bigger smile.
“OK, you be Tiger and I’ll be Natalie Gulbis, she’s hot.”
“Hey Tom,” Lennon’s 6-year-old brother Lux enters the room. Today he sounded older.
“You want to play or just watch me thump your brother with a girl?”
“I’ll play but I don’t want to be a girl.”
“That’s cool. Is John Daly manly enough for you?”
“I don’t know.”
Daly it is. ”

I’ve known Lux before there was a Lennon. My kids love these boys like brothers. It has been a couple months since I’ve seen them. They are usually with their mother Jen when she comes to baby-sit for Sherri and me. But Jen hasn’t worked for us this summer.

Back in June, Jen’s husband Jeremy was killed in a car accident. His car was hit head-on by a drunk driver.

Of course the drunk driver was able to walk away.

Jen had to ID her husband’s body on the side of road at 3:00 am while Lennon was asleep in the car.

Jeremy worked at a local casino. He was car-pooling home with some other workers. One of these workers called the casino from the accident. The casino called Jen and said he was going the local hospital. When she called the hospital they said he wasn’t there yet. So she packed up Lennon and headed to the hospital. Lux was in Colorado with his grandmother.

She had no idea it was this kind of accident. The casino didn’t give her any details.

The only way to the hospital from Jen’s house was highway 62. The same highway Jeremy takes home. Arriving at the accident was unintentional.

She pulled over to ask if Jeremy was on his way. The CHP asked her to wait in the car. She did, for almost an hour. They finally did come back to tell her that Jeremy had died at the scene and that he was still there. She chose to ID him there. They drove her home.

A week later she drove by the accident site and found personal things from the car still lying around on the ground. She picked it all up.

Jen wasn’t just our babysitter. She is Sherri’s best friend in the desert. I had met Jeremy a couple of times through the years, but wouldn’t really say we were friends. I knew him more from stories that Sherri had told me; stories Jen had shared about Jeremy that weren’t that great. They are about 10 years younger than Sherri and me. So we would hear these stories and shake our heads, “You’ve totally done that!” “ No way, I’m not that dumb.” “Uh yeah, you are.”

Tonight was the first time I had scene her since the last time she had babysat for us. It was awkward. I had to acknowledge the death of her husband. I tried to give her a hug, but it didn’t feel welcome, so I think it came off weak, like a limp handshake. I hate limp handshakes.

So I let the girls talk and bond and do what girls supposedly do best, communicate!

I would then focus my attention on something I can deal with, her sons. We played Tiger Woods and Ape Escape 3. I even let them win. We talked about kids stuff. Dexter’s Laboratory or SpongeBob. Does Lux like Alissa? Or does Alissa like Lux? We didn’t talk about their dad.

I’m sure they are going to have lots of guys trying to be father figures. I’ll just be the same silly guy they are used to. If they ever want to talk about dad it will be their choice.

I wondered what they were thinking while they played with me. Dad and me used to play video games. We don’t have fun like this at home anymore. God I miss dad. Tom sucks at Tiger Woods.

You hear about these kinds of tragedies all the time, but it really doesn’t hit home until it happens to someone you know, not even family, just someone you know. I may have to let Austin beat me occasionally with his new golfer, Caroline. :)