Friday, July 31, 2009

Housecation

No single word defines it. At least I couldn't find one with a quick google search, or a search of urbandictionary.com.

I did find 'Homecation': With the high cost of travel, people are opting to stay at home. In many cases, they are transforming their homes into a resort, which entertains their local family and friends in the comfort and security of their "personal resort".

Last year around this time, I posted about our Staycation. It was a great time to vacation in our own beautiful city, which has so many terrific things to offer. We had an absolute blast. But this doesn't define our upcoming time away from work either.

Next Friday afternoon begins for Mrs. LIAYF and I once again, a couple of weeks away from work in our fair city. However, there is one big difference this year compared to last. These two weeks can't be described as a staycation, though we will attempt to infuse a few fun activities into the time.

Rather, because of a tight budget and our past experiences as Weekend Warriors, we are using the time to take on certain aspects of our basement remodel ourselves. Most notably we are installing the sub flooring and flooring, as well as purchasing and putting together cabinets. We will also be working on the fencing around our house, which is in such sad repair that if some climbing roses were trimmed away from it, it would be in danger of imminent collapse.

Lukas will be in his comfortable, air-conditioned daycare during this time, giving Mrs. LIAYF and I ample time to gripe at each other after too much work and not enough sleep or food bond as a married couple and get these projects completed.

It's not a homecation either. Resort like, this will not be.

It's more of a Housecation. A vacation to work on your house. That word doesn't exist in the Urban Dictionary but perhaps it should. We can't be the only people using their valuable vacation time to do major house improvements. Therefore, I signed up to be an editor for Urban Dictionary and submitted housecation as an entry. I'll let you know when and if it gets added.

How about you, readers? What words have you made up that should be included in a reference guide such as the Urban Dictionary?

P.S. That was quick. I have already received word that housecation has been approved and is now published on Urban Dictionary.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Random Tuesday: Hot Edition


It is flippin HOT in Seattle today, and is supposed to top 100 Fahrenheit tomorrow. Worse yet, no one here has AC, including us, so it makes attempting to sleep dreadful. I can hear some of you now, talking about what wimps we are in the Northwest because you deal with hotter weather all Summer long. Well, to all those people, all I can say is....good point. But, it will cool down here in a couple of days.

Mrs. LIAYF found a cool Flickr spelling tool the other day. So, I played around with it and showed her this:


letter s letter E A t letter T L é
D letter A D

Her response : "You know that spells Seattle-ay, don't you?"

Whenever we see a squirrel at the park these days, I yell "Squirrel for dinner!" and Lukas takes out after it. Not sure what I would do if he actually caught one. Maybe grilled, with some veggies on the side?

Speaking of the park, as we were the last family leaving a local playground the other day, Mrs. LIAYF looked down to find this bobble head toy abandoned in the sand:


I like to think Lukas was meant to find him. So, rather than directing him to Dagobah, we adopted him.

New Alice in Chains trailer! I can't wait for the Album to be released in September.




And finally, Lukas has been demonstrating his dictatorial skills of late. We are hearing a lot of "Daddy do this", "Daddy sit here", "Daddy, I want that! " We keep working on "Please", which to our sons credit he does use quite frequently. Even without prompting at times. Those are the occasions which are sweet indeed.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Chosen One

I'm calling the book vote. My readers seem to have spoken...or more accurately, clicked. Plus, I finally finished my previous book, so it's time to move on. When I asked my readers to help me decide which of my vast pile of unread books I should turn to after slowly approaching the finish of Agincourt, you overwhelmingly opted for the shortest, and most humorous of the given choices.

Short and funny. Were you trying to tell me something there? Is this like matching a pet to a potential owner, where the best fit might posses similar traits? If you must know, I am 5'10'' tall. That is average height people. Spell it with me: A-V-E-R-A-G-E. Not short. I am choosing to ignore the fact that most of the dads in the 2 year old circuit I now run in are taller than me. Passing it off as mere coincidence.

So, if matching the chosen book to how you perceive me was what you were thinking, thanks for the funny part. I appreciate that.

Where was I? Right, the winner was The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.


I started it today, and have already LMAO a couple of times (sorry, I have been reading a lot of comments lately). It has to do with the demolition of our planet to build a inter-galactic freeway. Oh yeah, I think I am going to enjoy this one a lot. Great choice.

Stay tuned. I may even do this again in a year or two to chose my next book.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Art (Over) Appreciation

We got another one today. And a couple the day before that. So, while I'm typing this, I am also opening a Craigslist page. I'm looking for a bigger refrigerator. A much bigger refrigerator.

Why? Because I am not sure where else am I supposed to store the endless stream of 'artwork' that is shipped home from Luke's daycare on an almost daily basis.


Yes I know, these pieces are all precious, one of a kind, works of art created with love and affection by my talented 2 year old. But really, this is getting out of hand. Especially since it seems wrong to chuck any of them out.

Whenever I think about doing just that, I can't bring myself to do it. My logic ends with something like: "Awww, we created Lukas....and he created these. How amazing is that? I can totally see where he was going with those scribbles! "

Then back on the shelf they go.

So, for lack of a proper place to display them, these art pieces are beginning to pile up faster than the dust bunnies under Mrs. LIAYF and my bed. And it's like Watership Down under there.

Something needs to be done. I can see that people aren't giving away any big refrigerators. And honestly, I don't have the room for one anyway. However, I have heard about people getting animals to create art pieces, then selling them. Sometimes for big bucks.



Hmmm. The artwork would go to a good home where it would be loved like it deserves to be, and I might make a few bucks in the process. Now we're talking.

Seems like a Win Win scenario to me. While I'm at it I think I'll also sell ice to the Eskimos. I'll just have to get Lukas to carve it into fun shapes first.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Aged Longer for Extra Flavor

I have a young face. Relatively speaking, of course. I was often carded buying alcohol well after my 21st birthday, including on my 30th. It was annoying to me back then, when I took it as an indication that I still looked like a kid. It definitely wouldn't be annoying now as I have learned to take looking younger than my years as a compliment. I owe the young look to my parents, who have each always looked younger than their years. Doesn't hurt to have it in the genes.

This brings me to this past Sunday. I needed cash for a bus trip and ran up to the corner drug store to make change. Since I was required to purchase something in order to get cash back, and with the household surprisingly not in need of overnight diapers or anything womanly, I sacrificed and grabbed myself an attractive Alaskan named Amber.


Then, as I set Amber and five of her coolest friends on the counter for purchase I noticed the cashier, a guy probably in his early to mid thirties but older looking, glance at my beer then size me up with a discerning sort of stink eye. He literally gave me a look from head to toe with his finger on the register. I, of course, smirked to myself - wondering if I had actually brought my ID and if I was going to be denied my cool refreshment until I proffered proof of my advanced years.

My eyes glanced to the register where it flashed "BIRTHDATE?" Then, with subtle dexterity and still looking me over, the cashier typed in: 07/19/64.

"Hmmm, that ought to do it" he muttered as he finished ringing me up.

I just stood there for several seconds, unable to conjure up a suitable comeback to the stinging but unintentional blow this guy had just bestowed upon me. Apparently, I look 45 years old to at least one person out there. Could he be the only one? Ouch. Fatherhood might be taking a greater toll on me than I realized.

I guess I can officially leave my ID at home now when running out for beer. Sad, but at least I could console myself with a cold drink on a hot day.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Interact with me: Book Edition


If you have followed my blog for any stretch of time, you probably know that I like books. No? I'm sure I mentioned it at least a couple of times.

Anyway, I keep abreast (for some reason I like saying that) of many of the latest releases and book reviews, even though I understand there is realistically little chance that I will read any of those offerings. I just enjoy reading about them. I do eventually see some of these books at neighborhood yard sales or at our local used book store, and can't resist scoring them at a fraction of their original price. This is all well and good, except for one small detail.

I'm not a very fast reader. And I have a toddler who occupies much of my free time.

What results is shelves, drawers, and boxes of unread books sitting around with my name on them, waiting to be read. It seems I am accumulating books at an exponentially faster rate than I am reading them. But miraculously, after scores of 1 and 2 page reading days, I am actually close to finishing my current book - Bernard Cornwell's Agincourt - and need to decide which out of my accumulated piles of books I will read next. You can help me here.

On the right navigation bar I have created a poll asking which book I should read next. There are 5 books that I have wanted to read for some time. If you have a couple seconds to spare, please choose one of them and then leave a comment indicating why you chose the book you did. I would consider you an alright person in my book.

The choices are:






If this experiment bombs and there are few or *gasp* no votes, I might just give up reading altogether.
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Ok, not really but I would probably post something else up quickly enough and hope you forget about this one. Happy reading to all.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Weaners


"Millllk?" Came the question last night.

"No, It's all gone. You drank it all." was the reply from Mrs. LIAYF as she prepared for her evening meeting as a mentor to new first-time parents. "Daddy is going to put you to sleep tonight."

"Noooo. Milk!" Came next in a whiney, 'I'm tired' tone.
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"No, Mommy's empty. You drank it all." my wife intoned.

"Lukas, how about I read you a few stories, then rock you to sleep?" I chimed in.

"Yeah!"

So, that is just what we did. Mrs. LIAYF went off to her meeting, I read Lukas 'Harold and the Purple Crayon', put him in his crib, and within a half an hour he was off to sleep without another word or fuss about missing his nightly nursing routine. Clearly, I hadn't been exposed to enough lavendar for it to be sucessful any other way.

It was always our (and by our I mean Mrs. LIAYF's as this was her decision alone) intention to nurse Lukas for at least 2 years which is the recommendation from the World Health Organization, then see what happened after that. However, it had become merely a comfort thing for Lukas of late as he was only nursing for a few short minutes once a day before bedtime.
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So, after hearing how our son fared without his nightly brain food, my wife had only two words to say. And they presaged yet another rite of passage for both Lukas, as well as the two of us.

"It's time".

Indeed.

Monday, July 13, 2009

What's Up Bro?

"We don't want to get this, because it has lavender in it" remarked Mrs. LIAYF as we perused the aisles of our local PCC natural market looking for a new brand of sunblock for Lukas.

"Yeah, I don't want him to smell girlie either"

"No, not because of that. You know, because exposure to lavender can cause boys to grow breast buds."

"....Huh?"

"Yeah, I read it somewhere that exposure to lavender can trigger that reaction in boys."

I was skeptical, so I looked it up. Turns out it's true. What a scary thought!

Now, I realize this may not be frightening to you, however this is what Lukas and I have to walk past several times a day when coming and going from my house:

It may be time to raze these plants for Luke's sake. Or at least keep him from playing with them.

Plus, I'm not sure what long term effect this exposure has on adult males, so it may be time for me to do a few extra push-ups each morning. Which is a much better alternative to, say, getting sized for a Manzier.

Or was that a Bro?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

With Sprinkles on Top

Why do I love being a dad so much?

Well, I could list a thousand reasons off the top of my head, take a deep breath, and list a thousand more. But for now I will present just one.

For the first time in much longer than I can remember (we're talking at least a decade here), I ran through a sprinkler just for the fun of it. I would say that it makes me feel young again, but no, I still feel old. Just happy.

video

And please spare me any cracks about my dead lawn. We live at the top of a sloping hill, it has been unnaturally dry here this Summer, and we're conservation friendly here in Seattle.

Plus, that just wouldn't be nice, and I know underneath it all you're really a nice person.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Not So Stunning Likeness

For his birthday, Mrs. LIAYF and I picked up a Doodle Pro for Lukas to play with during his car rides. I figure he will eventually scratch out some decent drawings. I give this modest prediction not without a certain amount of logic being factored in.

Sure, I could have donned the doting parent hat and suggested that, in addition to acing the SAT's, becoming the next great action film star, graduating summa cum-luade from Harvard Medical School and, of course, becoming PUSA, my son will also grow up to draw and paint amazingly beautiful portraits which will hang on the walls of the worlds premiere museums. Anyone heard of The Louvre?
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But I'm feeling a bit honest tonight.
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Sure, his mother can scribble out drawings on demand that bear a fairly solid likeness to what is being requested. On the long ride home from Grandma and Grandpa's farm the other day, expectations were raised when she was able to draw realistic versions of a kayak, a digger, a tugboat, a train engine, an airplane. The list goes on.

But me? I have trouble playing hangman. Stick figures often complain that I give them a bad name. If Lukas has inherited any of my artistic genes, then we should just scratch Famous Artist off the list of potential future careers for him now. Done.

So, when we arrived at daycare this morning and my son looked at me with his biggest smile, bright eyes, and outstretched Doodle Pro and asked with his sweetest voice "Draw Elmo Daddy?", I had no choice but to give it my best shot. Luckily he had his little stuffed pal there for me to focus on.


Personally, I think it looked like an albino Sleestak. But surprisingly, Lukas actually liked it!

Really, I won't be surprised if he wakes up from a nightmare tonight.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Into the 'Donate' Pile


Some people find it cute when couples who have been together for years start to think like each other, and even begin to finish each other's sentences. Me? Not so much.

Now that it is hot outside, I am wearing shorts late into the evening and my wife has been encouraging me to wear some which are more like 'pajamas' rather than street shorts. Always aiming to please, I looked and did find one pair hidden in a back drawer. However, after putting them on I realized there was a good reason I had to dig for these particular shorts.

Mrs. LIAYF: "Oh, I see you found a pair of pajama shorts."

SeattleDad: "Yeah, but they're not that comfortable."

Mrs. LIAYF: "What's wrong with them?"

SeattleDad: "For starters they have this heavy duty elastic waistband. It doesn't have much give, and cuts into my. . ." (searching for the right word here)

Mrs. LIAYF: "Tire?" (smiling)

SeattleDad: "Uh. . . . yeah that's exactly the word I was looking for. Thanks a lot Honey!"

Friday, July 3, 2009

Hot & Tacky

Leave it to Seattleites to complain all Winter and Spring about the dreary weather. Then, when the sun does finally show up in earnest, to complain even more about how HOT it is.

Ok, so it only reached 90 degrees Fahrenheit here today, but when you feed that into a normal temperature conversion translator (such a device must exist in a back room of some government warehouse somewhere) it would feel something like 140 degrees to a resident of, say, Arizona or perhaps Southern California. It might even feel slightly uncomfortable to a resident of Hell, but I suppose that would be the point.

Despite the heat, we were out this morning visiting Gas Works Park in Seattle. Even at 10 AM it was already uncomfortable and crowded with work crews. Not what we had hoped for. I'm not sure but I suspect the heat had something to do with the fate of one unfortunate family, the remains of whom are only seen in the photo below.




Bizarre. But the oddities did not end there. As we rounded one hill I was immediately sickened and shocked at what I viewed. All I could think to say was "Dam You! Dam you all to Hell!!"



Yes, it was true. As much as I didn't want to believe it, it turns out Seattle did have a tacky underbelly. Proven by this rather enormous inflatable Statue of Liberty Head overlooking the park and television platforms which were being erected to film the local Independence Day fireworks display.

In the end it was all just too hot, sticky, and "tacky" for our taste. We loaded up Lukas, kept a keen eye peeled out for any apes on horses (just in case) and made our way to the car to crank the AC and head home to find a cooler way to keep cool.

Happy 4th of July to all!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Other Cheek

It took my lovely wife to remind me of one of the longest standing rules which I adhear to. Just another reason why I love her so.

I rarely, and by rarely I mean NEVER, get worked up. Yet there I was last night with an itchy trigger finger sitting on the publish button. I felt I had been wronged. No, I had been wronged and my blood was boiling. So, I grabbed my laptop and penned a beautiful post. Ok, truthfully it was well written, but certainly not beautiful. Topics such as what I was covering never are.

She chimed in. "Give it a day, Sweets. Think about why you want to publish this, and if you still feel like it is necessary tomorrow, let it fly. Just think of the example we, as parents, want to set for Lukas."

As much as I wanted to ignore her, it was obvious that she was right. No surprise. She nearly always is. I decided that yes, I would sleep on it. Give it until today before deciding the fate of the post. Upon waking it was crystal clear that her advice was as valid for me as it is for those whom I often give it to. Though I hadn't writen anything I would later regret, this was not something I would have wanted my son to see some day.

So, just like that I deleted it without regret. And feel much better for not publishing. None of us are perfect. Therefore it is helpful, especially when the going gets tough, to have someone you love close by to remind you when to live by your very own values.