Monday, July 24, 2006

Black Monster

Goofy Junior & I went to the movie store to get a movie (for him, not me). After making a toddler-approved selection, we checked out and headed home. We were showing the new movie to Daddy Goofy, when the following exchange happened.

Me: GJ got a cool new movie!
GJ: Yeah, Daddy, I got a new movie at the movie store.
Daddy: Really?! (playing along with the faux excitment)
Me: Yep, we went to Blockbuster and GJ picked out the movie himself.
GJ: Nuh-uh!* We didn't go to Black Monster...we went to the movie store!

(cue the laugh track...)

* His favorite new term. ARG!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Shoe is on the Other...Paw?

Recently, we've been gathering up the family and taking road trips. It gets us out of the house, Goofy Junior gets New Experiences*, and we all have a fun time. After some reflection, I've realized that the weekends we just hang around the house and do nothing are also the Weekends of No Naps, Weekends of Recurring Meltdowns and Not Relaxing Weekends At All. So...road trips!

Road trips are even more fun when we stay overnight. Our Omaha trip was so much fun, and we didn't have to rush home since we had a hotel room. Okay, actually we did have to rush home, but that's another story.

One snag in this plan...our two beloved Siberian Huskies. We can't leave them alone this long. Well, we could, except if we left them 2 days' worth of dog food, they would eat it within seconds of us leaving, vomit, then....well, I'll spare you the details about their digusting dog nature. And there's also the pooping aspect of the whole situation. Basically, they need to be fed twice a day and need to be let out a few times too. Or go to the kennel.

They love the kennel. We love the kennel. Many (many!) folks in our area love the kennel. Thus...the kennel is very often full. Especially for folks like The Goofys that plan Saturday trips on Wednesday night (we are a tad spur-of-the-moment sometimes).

I had trips planned for this coming weekend (Lindsborg, KS) and the following weekend (possibly Omaha again), but kennel.

Even for Omaha, we didn't have a kennel. We begged and pleaded asked our Dog-Loving Friend** if she could check on them a few times and feed them.

So, instead of being a family with a 3-year-old that makes it difficult to travel, we are a family with a 3-year-old that loves to travel, but our dogs are keeping us home.

Instead of having Mommy Guilt, I have Puppy Parent Guilt, when I think that Casey (who turns 14 this year, which is like being the Buck O'Neil of dogs) will not be with us much longer. We've had her since she was about 6 months old, so there will be a big hole in our family when she goes. Even GJ is very attached to Casey. She is his favorite. Shhhh, don't tell Murphy!

So for the moment, we are grounded. I should be planning our trip to Lindsborg for three weeks' out (kennel is available), but it's hard for me to plan that far ahead.***

We are making do. I think this weekend will involve a trip to Deanna Rose Farmstead (horses! goats! chickens! oh my!) and/or Powell Gardens.

...and a call to the kennel to make some reservations!

*One of my Mommy Goals is to give GJ lots of new experiences. That way, when he gets old enough, we can go exploring together, instead of sitting in front of the TV together (aka the way I grew up).

**Everyone should have a Dog-Loving Friend...they are such good people. And they never mind when you talk about poop.

***This is why I never get good rates on airplane travel...sigh.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

You asked for it...

You got it! Pics of the GATOR POOL! Are you jealous, or what?

Goofy Junior's first look:

The Gator Pool, in all its glory:

I didn't get an action shot of the sprinkler going...I was too worried about ruining the camera. :-)

Monday, July 17, 2006

$14.99 Worth of Fun

Starting this past weekend, it's been blazing hot in good ole KC. Like 100 degrees, no wind and about 90% humidity. I really don't think I'm exaggerating either. So Friday night, Goofy Junior and I decided that we wanted a pool.

Not the in-ground, pain-in-the-neck-because-of-all-the-upkeep pools...just a simple, shallow pool that we could splash around in. And I do mean SPLASH. That's all toddlers seem to want to do in a pool.

Anyway, in my efforts to qwell* my inner Control Freak nature, I sent Mr. Goofy off in search of a pool. I believe my directive was, "just buy a pool". So proud of my delegation, I am. :-)

And he ROCKED THE HOUSE. GJ and I came home from grocery shopping (our task of the day) to find an ALLIGATOR POOL! With LEGS! And a TAIL! And (drumroll, please) A WATER SPRINKLER ON THE TOP OF THE GATOR'S HEAD!! Okay, so maybe not genetically correct for a gator to have a whale spout, but it's SO f-ing** cool.

NOTE: I SO wanted to post a picture of the Alligator Pool, but I can't seem to find one on the 'net. Maybe it's more fun to imagine, anyway...

We rushed around, getting swimsuits on, sunscreen, finding our shades, then went and jumped into the 4-inch deep pool. What fun! Then Mr. G turned the sprinkler on. Giggles ensued. Damn, the water was cold! We kept having to get out to warm up.

Mr. G went inside for a while and I decided to turn the sprinkler off. I accidentally turned the knob the wrong way and doused our entire deck. That gator spouts water like 50 feet in the air! I ain't kiddin', folks. Oh course, Junior demanded, "do it again, Mommy!". He likes big action.

I found out later that Mr. G had gotten been to TWO stores looking for a pool. He scored the Rockin' Gator Pool at Wal-mart. It was the last one they had. The last pool in the entire store. And it was only $14.99.

Who says you gotta spend big to have big fun?

Cagey - this note's for you!***

* I get 10 Scrabble points for using that word in a post. Ha!
** That one's for you, Michael.
***I'm posting this without proofreading at ALL. It's killing me! DAMN!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Perfect Holiday Weekend

Ah! My perfect holiday weekend. I nearly killed Mr. Goofy from all the scheduled activities, but I had a blast.

9:00am: Leave for Omaha.
12:00noon: Arrive at Omaha Zoo. Entire town of Omaha already there. Must park about 1 mile away. Have picnic lunch under a tree in the parking lot. Already 95 degrees in shade.
12:30pm: Go into Zoo. Goofy Junior (GJ) becomes obsessed with a freaking peacock, instead of the much cooler monkeys, lemurs and otters.
1:00pm: Stand in line for zoo train with 300 people. In the sun. After 5 minutes, decide walking is better. See bears. See cats. GJ wants to to "touch the tiger". Becomes very frustrated with the glass between him and the giant tiger with very large teeth.
2:45pm: Enter Kingdom of the Night exhibit.'s cool in here. But very dark. It's a 'things that live in caves' theme. GJ decides to meltdown in the Kindom of the Night. Mr. Goofy & I rush from room to room, in the dark, with crowds of people we can't really see, with a toddler screaming "I WANNA WALK!", looking for an exit. I think it was a cool exhibit, but I saw it at light speed.
3:00pm: Head off to hotel. Mr. Goofy pulls out sofabed for GJ, who decides that it makes an excellent trampoline. Mr. Goofy lays down for nap.
3:01pm: Mr. Goofy asleep. GJ playing jungle gym on the sofabed.
4:30pm: Mr. Goofy awakes. GJ and I are still entertaining ourselves. We take showers (GJ takes a bath) and we head out in search of dinner.
5:30pm: We find ourselves in the Old Market area of Omaha. Very cool. We quickly realize that we are much too casual for some of the places and with our toddler "accessory", probably not welcome in some. We end up an a nice microbrewery that appears kid-friendly.
7:30pm: Head back to hotel. Jammies for all, book for GJ, and everyone to bed. GJ will not sleep while he can see us (no separate rooms, dammit, just one large one..note to self to not do this again). I want to read, so I make a comforter "tent" so GJ cannot see me.
10:30pm: GJ finally falls asleep. We all do.

7:00am: Wake up. Take shower. Not a peep from GJ, who is in the same position as when he fell asleep. Okay, so it takes a 3-hour drive and a zoo trip to wear him out. Good to know.
8:30am: Head over for hotel-provided breakfast. Not too shabby. GJ drops peach bit on floor, then steps on it, then complains that his Beloved Flip-Flops* are dirty. We ignore this.
10:00am: Packed. Back in the car. GJ doesn't want to leave the hotel. It seems he kinda liked it. Good to know!
11:00am: Decide to stop by Arbor Day Farms. It's an outdoor farm-exploratory-tour-celebration-o'-trees. Looks fun. Find out it's a two-hour walk. Too late to turn back now...
1:00pm: After much tree fun, we are starved. Stop at the overpriced and under-yummy cafe on premises. I buy a much-needed bird identification book (what! It was a trip highlight for me)
1:30pm: Back on the road... For about 20 minutes, GJ falls asleep. Then he's back up, entertaining us.
4:00pm: Back in KC, just in time to...prepare for a picnic! We unpack, I make some BBQ beans, we gather kid sports equipment, illegal wine for the park, etc. Change clothes and do cat baths so we don't smell like trees.
5:00pm: We need brots! Only ones available at the store are frozen solid. We figure we can leave in the freaking hot sun and they will thaw in time. We will see.
5:20pm: Arrive to picnic in park with friends. Much fun, food and frolicking done by all. With no park rangers in sight, we happily drink our illegal wine. Shhhhh...don't tell!
7:30pm: Picnic adjourns. Head home.
8:30pm: I went through the last month's worth of mail, sorting and shredding. Ugh.

8:30am: We are off work! Drop GJ off at daycare and head out for mountain bike ride. ** We decided to try a new trail. One closer to home.
9:30am: I am hating the new trail. It start out hard and gets harder. I always have this 'warm-up' period with single-track before I feel comfortable. Much complaining and huffing from me.
10:00am: It is hot. SO freaking hot. We are not in the sun, but in the woods, there is no breeze. It is like biking in a sauna. Gasp.
10:30am: Getting used to the trail finally. Kinda liking it.
11:00am: Done! We take the paved trail back to the car. Ah! The breeze is wonderful. We pack up bikes and head to Panera Bread for lunch.
12:00noon: Decide some errands are in order.
1:00pm: Back at home. We are tired, sweaty and have to pee. And...our maid is still there! We consider going away and coming back, but decide we are just too tired. We unpack the car while she is finishing up.
2:00pm: Cleanup and basically waste the rest of the day.
5:30pm: Pick up GJ from school and meet friends for a yummy Mexican dinner. Ole!
8:00pm: Watched "Chronicles of Narnia", while concurrently doing laundry. Very good (the movie, not the laundry). I remember reading "The Lion, the Witch and Wardrobe" and loving it...although I had forgotten the plot.

8:00am: Took dogs for a walk. It's still sauna-city outside. Yuk.
8:30am: Watched GJ's newest arrival from, "Monsters, Inc." What a great movie.
10:00am: Made a gooey butter cake *** for the July 4th party tonight.
12:00noon: Leftover Mexican food for lunch. Yum.
1:30pm: GJ actually takes a real nap! Without bribery, screaming or mayhem! We don't know what to do with ourselves! I watch a bit of my real estate investing DVD, which promptly puts Mr. Goofy to sleep.
3:00pm: Shower, pack up and head to July 4th celebration at friends' house.
5:00pm: Party! Pizza, beer, fireworks, friends. What fun! One of GJ's little friends is at the party, so he has a grand ole time.
6:00pm: Mr. Goofy complains to all that will listen that I have been running him ragged all weekend. Everyone reacts with a "well, you married her" type of answer. Ha-ha.
9:00pm: With much crying and sadness (mainly from GJ), we depart. We see many fireworks displays on the way home, all of which GJ points out to us, with the same expression of wonderment and glee.
10:00pm: We all pass out. I recount the wonderfulness of a long weekend, jam-packed with fun and new experiences, along with some good old traditions too. Man, it was hard to go to work today!

* Is anyone else's toddler simply OBSESSED with flip-flops? GJ wears these things to bed! And the smallest size of boy's flip-flips (read as: no pink, no glitter, no Dora) is 3 sizes too these things are like snowshoes on him. Flip, flop, flip, flop, flip, least we can hear him coming.
** We probably would have slept late this day, but our maid was coming at 9:00am and she hates it when we are still in bed when she shows up.
*** This link goes to the recipe I actually use. I get rave reviews everywhere I bring this cake. And it takes one bowl, no measurements. Easy, easy...