Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Penny-Watch: Day Five

Well, Penny is five days old now, and Laura and I are beginning to learn the critical lessons of parenthood (with some help, of course—THANK YOU JUDY AND ROSIE!!). Here’s a list of some of the basics, so far:

1. It is not okay to repeatedly refer to your daughter’s “Cradle ‘n Swing” as “The Imperial Scout Walker”…no matter HOW similar they look.

2. If you think that the amount one feeds a child must be equal to how much she poops, you have never been a parent. Newborns are immune to 98% of the Laws of Physics. Just like Kid ‘n Play’s hair and Michael Bolton’s career.
3. If there is any doubt that your child is yours, just wait until she farts. You’ll know.
4. No matter how tempting it may be, it is never, EVER acceptable to giggle at the following terms:
a. “Breast(insert suffix)” – any form or use of this word is WAY outside giggle-allowable territory.
b. “Poopy”
c. “Mucus Plug”
d. “Booger”

5. Don’t worry about dogs being upset by baby’s arrival. As soon as the pooches discover the endless river of poop and dropped food that is produced by your new “hairless puppy,” dog and child will be inseparable pals.
6. Baby stuff has gotten WAY crazier since I was a kid. I had a box and a stick. I would play a game called “Hit the Box with the Stick.” It was pretty sweet. But the rules were pretty complicated.

7. It is okay to let babies cry occasionally. They tire themselves out this way. Moms: your job is to freak out while your baby cries. Dads: your job is to bungee down your wife (to something bolted down! Chairs/dressers will not work! Learned this the hard way…) and be prepared to administer a mild sedative as necessary. Be sure to check out the following sites 3-4 weeks before your due date.

8. No matter how hard you try, your daughter will not be able to tell the difference between and Boeing 737-400 from a Boeing 737-800. Kids are stupid this way. Expect them to be at LEAST two weeks old before they can tell the difference.

9. Puke. Get used to it.

10. I don’t care if your kid is an honors student. Mine can poop WAY more often than yours.

I’m sure there will be more lessons to come (like “Boyfriends will consent to full searches and polygraphs before transiting the front porch”), but this should get us through the first week or two. More soon!

TJ, Laura, Penny, Gus and Blue

Monday, March 9, 2009

Blog Resurrection!! Let there be BLATHER!!!


Hey everyone! Due to a profound desire to spout nonsense (that, and it's snowing outside), Laura and I have decided to resurrect our long-neglected blog.

By the way, you can thank 4 years of Catholic high school for my ability to unflinchingly use and spell the word "resurrect." Thank you... thank you... ::bows graciously::

Okay... now for an quick item-by-item update on the last two years:

1. Move away from Altus - Hurray!
2. Move into the World's Coolest House in Tacoma, WA - Housing bubbles rule! Hey, wait.
3. TJ goes back to Altus - I just threw up in my mouth a little.
4. We lose a little four-legged family member - No more Dr. Teeth... :-(
5. We adopt a new four-legged cuddle monster - Cabbage patch eyes!
6. TJ goes back to Altus - more mouth throw-up
7. Laura's preggos! - "I NEED SOME LEMONS!"
8. TJ deploys - Again! Lucky Number Three! But no convoys this time, suckas!!
9. TJ comes home - See, that was quick!
10. TJ and Laura type on their blog.
11. TJ takes a sip of his coffee.
12. Laura blows her nose.

Well, that about brings us up to date. See! That wasn't so bad! Actually, when one can summarize two years in twelve lines, it's a little depressing.


Anyway, on a lighter note, I was summoned for jury duty. Which is fair because it's been at least, like, twenty minutes since I served my country last. I suppose I'm due.

So living with a pregnant lady is WAY cooler than I thought it would be. First, it's a fascinating look into the mother-daughter prenatal bonding sociology... second, Laura can smell my farts from, like, two rooms away. It's AWESOME.

What's more, Laura's gained a fine appreciation for sleeping in; a family tradition I hold near and dear to my heart. It's also cool that the Fat Tire lasts twice as long.

We'll add more later. We've got a long day of trying to figure out what we're going to do today to look forward to. Sweet.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Altus - Land of Romance?

Paris... Venice... New York...

Watch out. A NEW contender has entered the competition for Most Romantic City (tm): ALTUS, OKLAHOMA! Screw the Eiffel Tower! Screw the Empire State Building! WE have a place where you can watch 3,000 cows poop SIMULTANEOUSLY!

Being the cutsie romatic couple we are, LL and I still occassionaly try to go on "dates" (without the four-leggers). While living in Altus has given us a run for our creative money, we've prevailed on many occasions.

So here it is. Your Altus Lovers' Guide - 2007.

Date Option #1: How about a movie? (or, "Johnny Depp! What happened?!")

Altus sports one of the swankiest movin'-pitcher thee-aters! On all five screens, you can look forward to enjoying some of the worst movies that Hollywood's got to offer! If it has Jean Claude Van Damme or one of the guys from the "Blue Collar Comedy Tour," you can bet we're playin' it here! Just watch out for that last theater on the left. The two-foot hole in the screen is a little distracting. (Poor Johnny Depp looked like he either had some serious acne, or had contracted a rather distrubing case of leprosy). Oh yeah... all of our screens are smaller than projected movie - so don't plan on catching any action during those subtle "Slightly-to-the-right-of-center" moments.

Yarrr... that looks painful, matey... You don't even want to know what that hole did to Geoffrey Rush...

Date Option #2: Fine dining! (or, "Sneeze guards-R-us")

You can pick from many fine establishments here. Both of them! Seriously, though... there are several cuisines from which to choose! There's Chinese buffet, Thai buffet, Mexican buffet, steak buffet, catfish buffet, pasta buffet, or just plain-old SUPER buffet! Ever wanted to scoop your dinner from a Sam's Club size tub-o-chicken? Now's your chance! And don't worry. We know what you're thinking. Of course it comes with gravy! (editor's note: LL found this out the hard way this afternoon at lunch. I can't get my picture to transfer, so until then, you'll have to enjoy my hand-drawn -copywrighted- artwork...)

Date Option #3: Get outdoors! (or, "You want me to do WHAT?")

We have more wildlife and places to put your boat than anywhere in the Southwest! Need to shoot something? We're your place! Tromp around our acres and acres of dirt. It stretches farther than the eye can see? And top it all off with a close encounter with one of Oklahoma's most beloved tiny pets: the tick! What says love better than, "Honey can you pull a bug off my blankety-blank?"

Tickus Grossicus (or, as it's referred to in France, "La Tique." Thank you Wikipedia! Why does everything sound so much nicer in French?)

I'd much rather hang out with THIS Tick (and Arthur-the-moth):

Tee hee... is anyone else dying for Kellogg to start making "Drama Flakes?"

You see? Altus is the new City of Lights. Except here, those lights are tire fires! Neato!

So, c'mon gang! Let's head over to the Boll Weevil Festival! (not a joke).

-TJ and LL

Saturday, May 19, 2007

In our continuing quest to explore Oklahoma one campsite at a time, Laura and I have taken a step forward in our outdoorsyness... kind of.

After passionately using our old tent, a tried and true Eureka pack-it-in-pack-it-out backcountry tent (only 2 lbs!!), we made the command descision that our expanding family (reads G-U-S) requires a little more... eh... space. "What ever shall we do?" we asked.

Enter, stage left, REI.

A quick side-note: As a shining beacon of hope in the blackness of outdoors equipment, REI serves as a flame to the geeky moth of mountaineering. REI is one of those stores where you go in for a caribiner, and come out with a stainless steel camp grill, three GPSs, a helmet, climbing shoes, and an eight volume set of "Vern's Best Hiking Trails of Guatemala." It sucks you in, and you're helplessly spit out with an armload of crap (in a good way, like Barnes and Noble or Target).
I digress.
Our current little backpacker tent is supposed to sleep two people. So a four or six person tent should suit, right? Right. (For those of you who don't know, tents only come in person-sets of two... like hot dogs or toilet paper rolls). So we finally decide on the "Trailhead 6." (Sleeps six, or, as we figured, two people and two dogs.) Problem solved, right?
The tent arrived in the mail the other day, and we were totally jonesin' to set it up. We started to set-'er-up in our living room.
We only got half way there.
"Why, oh why? Tell us!" I hear you ask.
Because our new "we're really roughing it" tent is BIGGER than our living room.

The freakin' think wouldn't FIT in our living room. Disturbing, but AWESOME.
We're going camping tomorrow.
Photo proof to follow.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy (dog) Mother's Day!

Laura and I celebrated her Dog-Mother-ness yesterday at the Witchita Mountain National Wildlife Preserve. Knowing how much we're both suckers for the wilderness, I thought it would be perfect. What says "Happy Mother's Day" better than a bison leaving nose-slime on your car window, right?

The dogs had a blast, too.

Oatmeal did her "Oatser of the Savannah" act, while Gus explored the world via his mouth.

While exploring, Gus made a series of discoveries.

Discovery 1: Water is fun to play in, but it's really hard to sniff stuff at the bottom of a stream. To do so only results in bubbles and lots of sneezing. (And my humans laughing hysterically at me)

Discovery 2: No matter how much I want it to be true, mud is not food.

Discovery 3: If I pull hard enough on my leash, dad will stop saying "Gus, heel!" and start saying "Holy livin' crap, honey, I'm gonna kill him."

Discovery 4: Even though I don't SEE any teeth, some plants do, indeed, bite back.

Discovery 5: I'm really cute, and my GOD I know it.

Needless to say, a good time was had by all. And Dog-Mom-Laura had a Mother's Day to Remember....

Everybody together, now: "Awwwwwww"


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Explore Oklahoma! (Half a mile at a time!)

So Laura and I have been making an effort to get out and explore our far-from-native Oklahoma whilst we're here. Being outdoorsy-types, we thought we'd take the opportunity to hike some of the area's trails and parks. Bright idea, right? Upon reciecving a free "Outdoors Oklahoma!" (exclamation point included) brochure, the following conversation ensued:

LL: "Alrighty! Which trail do you want to hit first?"
TJ: "Oooh... what about this one? It looks squiggly!"
::Gus wiggles in excitement::
LL: "Hrm... I think that's actually an "ATVs Only" trail."
::Gus wiggles in disappointment::
TJ: "Crap. Okay, what about that one?"
LL: "Sweetie, that's a highway."
TJ: ::re-assembles cartographic pride:: "Yeah, totally, I mean... right. Um... what about that one?"
LL: "Read the notes for that one."
TJ: "Who even rides a three-wheeler anymore?"
LL: "I think you need a mullet to ride one... it's the law here."
TJ: ::silently considers growing a mullet::

Okay, so that's not exactly how the conversation went, but it's pretty damn close.

Needless to say, we found a trail and we gave it a shot. Now, for you Okie-lovers out there, feel free to defend your dusty homeland... 'cause we gotta tell 'ya... we were not impressed.

Grievances are as follows:

1) Oklahoma: why must you incessantly combine your state parks (usually written in really tiny text in brochures) with your "RECREATION AREAS!!!!!" (Usually written in flashing neon blinky-bulbs in every brochure, newspaper, and website in Oklahoma.) Nature does exist without speed boats and RV hookups.

2) No trail looked as though it had been walked for months. While it inspired the Lewis and Clark in LL and I (we got to argue about who got to be which explorer. I totally called Merriweather first...), we don't appreciate not being sure if we're actually on a trail.

3) Not one trail was more than a mile long. And they all went in a straight line. They'd go up a hill for a half mile, then stop. Trail over. We even hit a sign that essentially said, "Trail done. You go home now."

You can probably guess what I'm saying in this picture...

4) What's up with no trail markers? No signs, no spraypainted rocks, no ribbon tied to branches... The only way Laura and I knew we weren't stepping into the TOTAL wilderness was the constant trail of beer bottles and cigarette butts.

All griping aside, though, we really did have a blast. If even if it was bizarre.

And, naturally, we'll go back. :-)

The dogs had a pretty good time getting dirty, too. (Gus "cleaned" himself off in the lake)

All in all, another successful adventure!

More to come.

Merriweather and William

Saturday, April 21, 2007


I just watched gus body-slam Laura Wrestlemania-Style.

He no kidding took a Superman leap off the couch straight onto Laura's back.

"No Gus!" ::snort chuckle chuckle:: "Bad boy" ::tee hee snort snort::

Oatmeal was not amused.