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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hobby Husbands

It seems that if you are a husband, you have to have an obsession--something that you yearn to do every Saturday but your wife only lets you do it about one Saturday a month. When we lived in Texas a lot of husbands were into hunting. The wives would lament, "Mark is going dove hunting again."

"Didn't he go dove hunting last weekend?"

"No, that was scouting. He didn't actually shoot any doves. He was just..." (I lost interest here but I assume she said, "looking for potential dove victims")

And then when you talk to the guy, all he wants to talk about is his obsession: "I've got some venison in the freezer that me and my brother-in-law killed ourselves."


Here are some other common husband obsessions:

Video Games
Cars, life-size
Cars, remote control
Watching sports (I don't know that many who actually play sports, at least not on the level where I'd call it an obsession.)

All of these activities have one thing in common: they take up a lot of time. When husbands engage in these hobbies they are out of pocket for an entire Saturday. And in some cases, like with the beer and video games, their gear takes up lots of room in the house.

That's why I am proud to say that my husband is hobby-less. Now, he DOES play the guitar but he really only gets "obsessed" with it when he's in a band. In fact, he's been a member of two semi-famous groups--there was "Stain" from 1993-1995 which put out a tape--yes, tape--and the MBA cover band "Strictly Business." Haven't heard of either of them? Really? Hmmm, maybe they weren't all that successful. But he does have three guitars and an amp and they do take up some space.

Anyway, for purposes of this blog, Frank does not really have a hobby and it's wonderful. If he had a hobby then not only would I be annoyed that he worked so early and so late, I'd also be annoyed that he was gone all day Saturday, golfing or hunting or skateboarding. And on the days that he wasn't gone, I'd know that he'd really want to go and I'd feel resentful and he'd feel resentful and we'd get into arguments where I'd say, "I bet you wish you were deer hunting right now!" and he'd say, "Hell, yea, I'd rather be deer hunting! The deer don't nag at me like you do!"
Or if we weren't fighting about it, he'd want to TALK about it. "I shot a 83 over par with a handicap of 14...blah blah blah...sand trap...driver...blah blah blah...tee time."

In the evenings Frank is available to watch shows with me (and we pretty much agree on them although he rarely wants to watch House Hunters and I refuse to watch anymore episodes of True Blood). He's not holed up playing video games. On the weekends, I don't have to share Frank with a golf course or a deer lease or a basement brewery. He does, however, seem to need a hair cut every week: "I've gotta get my ears lowered," he always says. And I say, "AGAIN? You and your hair cuts!"

But if getting his hair cut is his obsession, now that's a hobby I can deal with.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Posing and Performing

Gus is such a ham when he crawls! Don't ask me why he has on shoes and no pants but it makes the whole thing even funnier.

Look how he poses on his side and even cheeses for the camera!

"What? You never seen a pantless dude crawl before?"

"I'm gonna get you...and when I do, I'll eat your shoes!"
And here's Leo performing a song he learned at school:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lots of Love

Here's the fun thing about Valentine's Day with a three-year-old: it's all about mommy. He makes Valentines for mommy, he gives hugs to mommy and he's super excited when mommy comes to school for his Valentine's Day party!

Here's Leo loving his pizza (but not his fruit)
All the cute kids in the "star class." I didn't realize that being one of the party moms would require so much nose wiping!

The kids playing freeze dance with their monkeys. Leo loves this monkey and sleeps with it.
So Leo gave me hugs, Frank gave me flowers and Gus gave me a new tooth (on top) which means lots of drool for Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Gus has been here eight months

He's on the loose! Gus is a full-fledged crawler now. The gate is up; our eyes are peeled and Leo is terrified that Gus is going to take his toys! (He should be, by the way. I let Gus play with his dump truck while he's at pre-school...shhhh.)

Gus is also into:
--Eating his shoe: He has tons of toys but his favorite thing to play with/eat is his shoe. I figure it's all right since he's never actually walked in those shoes. (Too loosey goosey?)

--Leo: He thinks Leo is the coolest person on the planet. When he sees his big brother, he breaks into a grin that usually evolves into laughter. He can no longer sleep in the car if Leo is there. I think he's going to get a crick in his neck from turning to gaze at him.

--STILL being angelic: His dislike list is short: having his diaper/clothes changed, getting in the car seat (but is fine after a few seconds) and waiting even a nano-second for food. People who meet him still say he's "content" but I'd say he's also jolly. When I go in to get him after a nap or in the morning he looks like he's posing for a picture: "CHEESE!"

--Eating: I love these pre-picky days. He'll eat anything right now. We give him a mix of finger foods (sweet potato, avocado, broccoli, bread, beans, Cheerios) and purees. I'm still making his purees and I'm really proud of this one I made called "Super Foods Puree." It contained ground turkey, spinach, sweet potatoes, shallots (!) and oatmeal. Of course, he just ate it up. Pretty sure it gave him super powers!

--Babbling: It's tough to write out what he's saying but there definitely are some "mama" sounds in there!

--Playing: We're full on into the toy stage now. He's truly delighted by His favorites are these soft bath toys that are shaped like buildings. I'm always saying, "Where's Gus' building?" Good thing we have plenty of them! He's also showing a preference for balls. Feels familiar.

Here's Gus doing one of his favorite things. You can tell he feeds himself because he has avocado in his hair.

And I like this one because you can see how progressive we are being with finger food--apples, black beans, maybe some Puffs on there.

Here's Gus saying "More" in baby sign language. I wasn't even demonstrating it. I was just holding the camera!

I LOVE this adorable thing Gus does: He poses on his side like he's doing a side plank in Yoga. He even crosses his legs for extra cuteness.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Things I wish I liked: Twitter

When I first heard about Twitter circa 2008 I thought it was right up my alley. See, my favorite thing about Facebook is how you can write short little updates. Like today, I was making something in the crock pot and I said out loud, "And then you stir all the ingredients so that they blend together." I realized that I was performing a cooking show with Gus as my audience. I then realized that I always do this when I'm cooking. So I giggled, went to my computer (which was open right there in the kitchen because I was getting a recipe off of Pinterest; I'm so tech-savvy!) and wrote on Facebook:

"Anybody else pretend they're on a cooking show when they're cooking and make their baby pretend to be in the audience? No? Just me?"

It wasn't really enough for a whole blog but I did want to say it. I often have fleeting thoughts like that that I'd like to share so Tweeting sounded like the perfect outlet for me. I even liked the name and the lingo--Tweet, Retweet, Tweeted.

I also loved the fact that there was a character limit. That totally trumps Facebook, where people can ramble on and on about politics, mundane details of their laundry or the amazingness that is their dachshund.

So I got a Twitter account. We got off to a bad start when the "handle" Writinggal was already taken. I decided to call myself "RealWritinggal." I used it mostly for my now-defunct Workout of the Week. I would Tweet about whatever topic I was covering that week and then put a link to my blog. The people who started following me were fitness people. I soon learned it was good Twitter etiquette to follow people back.

And perhaps that's why I got the feeling that Twitter was very sales-y. Seemed like everyone was pushing something (including myself). I didn't know who to follow or what to Tweet. And worse, I didn't care! I never thought to check it to see what my followers or followees were doing because I didn't know most of them.

Now, over at Facebook, I may not have seen you since high school but I still like to know what's going on in your life. But Trista Sutter of the Bachelorette? I can keep up with you in US Weekly. I don't need to read your Tweets.

So, for me, the RealWritinggal, Tweeting just wasn't fun. It was a chore. It was something I needed to put on my To Do list: Fold Laundry, Turn in Story Ideas, Make Revisions to Article, Think of Something Clever to Tweet, Blog about things I wish I liked, Cook dinner while pretending to be on a cooking show. You can see how it could get lost in the shuffle of my glamorous life.

Plus, it's all complicated with its @ symbols and #hash tagging. I really don't think it's for people born before 1980.

Then somewhere along the way I lost my Twitter password. So I must apologize to my hundreds (dozens?) of Twitter followers. I've been MIA on Twitter for months. It sounded like a great idea. I hear that people love it, can't live without it. But for me, all I can say is:

Twitter, I wish I liked you, but I don't.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Swinging and Silliness

Frank commented, "This was a big week of firsts for Gus." I asked, "What firsts?" He said, "Swinging and riding in the wagon."

Oops. Gus has been in the wagon before. Guess I forgot to tell Frank. I told everyone else, right?
But anyway, he was right on the swinging. Here he is, having a rootin' tootin' good time!

Leo loves that "bucket" swing at our neighborhood playlet but he let his baby brother use it while he practiced leg pumping on the big boy swing:
Prior to swinging, Leo made a chair train in the kitchen:
Here are the boys on Gus' second wagon ride. Sorry again, Frank!

Here you can see Gus swinging and hear his sweet giggles!

Christmas Slackers

Perhaps you're tired of my rants--via verbal communication as well as social networking--about people who keep their Christmas decorations up past the pointof polite. But I feel a blog on the topic is necessary. Here's why:
I notice that the feedback I get is sometimes favorable towards the accused. I hear things like, "Well, sometimes people leave their decorations up until after MLK Day because that's when the college kids go back after Christmas break" or "Maybe they really love Christmas!" or "What's the big deal?"

I would like to address each of these counterpoints to illustrate why they are all (pardon my bluntness) wrong.

1. People leave their decorations up until after...I've heard it all--Three Kings Day, Epiphany (okay, just learned those are the same), the first full weekend in January, Valentine's Day, etc.
So how long is too long? Personally, I like mine down on New Year's Day. However, I don't expect everyone to have theirs down by then: between December 26th and January 6th (Epiphany) is an acceptable window. (But I would like to add that I did not start ranting until January 14th so the Epiphany argument at that point was still wrong as Epiphany had passed.)

2. So is it possible they just love Christmas? No. It IS possible that they choose to leave their lights up and try to say they are festive. And some lights really do qualify as "party lights," like these:

These, however, are only festive for about 40 days.

The people I'm complaining about don't even have lights. They have wreaths. A wreathe on every window--four--and then a giant wreath hanging on the front of their house. Then they've got some yard decor plus a little mailbox panache. Oh, and some ribbons on a potted plant. They put it up about two weeks before Thanksgiving (early birds are annoying but not as bad as slackers) and somehow, they found the time, energy and equipment with which to display their Christmas spirit. Now why can they not seem to find that same gumption when it comes time to take them down? How do they not just rip that big red bow off the mailbox every time they go retrieve their letters? And what about the stuff in the potted plant? Can't untie it on your way in once? Sure, the wreaths are tough but that one on the top of the house is now tattered and tilted. Just one trip up the ladder and it would be gone.

But no, as I write this, that giant wreathe is STILL there! It is February 3rd!! These people don't like Christmas. They don't have a plan. They are just plain lazy. Lazy lazy lazy lazy lazy.

3. What's the big deal? It's kind of like when I went to that doctor's office and they had the August calendar up and it was, like, November. What does it say about them? How tuned out of life are they? If these people aren't taking down their Christmas decorations, what else aren't they doing? What does the inside of their home look like? Is the tree still up? Is it a mess? And what about their own personal hygiene? Are they bathing? Or do they just forget to bathe? Oh, I know: "some people only bathe after six days..." or "maybe they just love to stink" or "what's the big deal?"

If my ranting doesn't work then I have a new plan. I am going to keep all my Groundhog Day decorations up for as many days as they have kept their Christmas decorations. And I LOVE me some Puxatony Phil...even if I have to look at him in May!