Friday, September 26, 2008

Creation of a shop: Week 1

Every man needs a shop, right? After months of dreaming, I actually started moving ground to put in a big shop for our crap this week. It's been a process just to get to this point. First, I bought a ton of toys over the years, then I parked them all in the driveway and told Monica that I need somewhere to put all said toys. My plan worked perfectly.

I got a permit, researched some shops and went with the cheapest building I could build myself. It's called a pole barn. Basically it consists of huge poles with metal siding. Doesn't sound too hard, does it?
The week started by tearing down an existing car port and cutting down a few trees. I really enjoy tearing down stuff.

My life as a lumberjack got off to a bad start. It wasn't exactly as climantic as I had hoped. But we got it done.

Of course nothing is easy in my life and I was reminded of this little fact when I started digging out the side of the hill to create a level pad. You see, I live on a rock. That little biblical story about the man who built his house on a rock sounds good when it rains, but if the man wants to build a shop, he's screwed. They seem to have left that part out.

To tackle the rock-problem we hired a back-hoe guy to use a huge jack hammer and cut into the hill side. $1,000 later, we also needed to remove two 50 ft pine trees. Though, I had offers from friends to cut down the trees on our own, I just couldn't stomach the site of a tree falling on to my house. So we hired a professional. And it took all of about 20 minutes for the man of all men to climb, cut-down, and cut up two huge trees. I felt like a teenage girl watching this guy swing his chainsaw around like it was toy. Why didn't I become a lumberjack? Maybe it had something to do with my max chest press of 90 lbs. Anyway it was cool to watch.
I have been able to put my Kubota to the test though. She's working hard and holding her own. She may not be the biggest tractor, but she has tries hard and looks great in leather pants...sound familiar?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Down Goes Caleb!

Caleb's athletic career has hit a bump in the road, you could say. He fell on his elbow during his second soccer game and broke his arm. He got tripped from behind and fell directly on his left arm. His first words were, "I broke my arm, I broke my arm". And he was right. I immediately noted his arm was slightly deformed and knew we were heading to the ER. For the most part everything went as well as possible. I used my shirt to splint his arm, Monica went for the car and we headed to an Urgent Care just a couple miles away. Caleb was screaming and yelling some very serious thoughts; "I'm going to let my teammates down", "How can I fold my arms for prayers with a broken arm?", "Can I still play with my Lego's?", "Did Abby cry when she broke her arm?". It was a long couple miles.

Caleb was treated like royalty the first few days after the accident. Any food, any movie, no bed time, he had all he ever wanted. The only problem for our smart little boy? It didn't take him long to starting making some bold requests. Such a cutie though.

The first sign we noticed in the urgent care said, "The approximate current wait time is: 1.5 hrs"....Are you kidding me?...I won't go into a tangent about idiots going the ER/Urgent Care with stupid problems with and without insurance. Can you imagine if we had national health care? A guy ahead of my screaming son was there because a cat bit him...FIVE days earlier. Yeah, seriously. Enough of my tangent.

Caleb waiting for surgery in the Pediatric OR. They gave him a game-boy to ease the some drugs.

Being the angry man I can be, we started to get moved up in line. X-rays proved correct Caleb's self diagnosis and a call was put out to the on-call Orthopedist. The orthopedic doctor punted Caleb's case to a pediatric ED on the other side of town (in the hospital where I work). We were about head to another 2-hour wait, when we decided to call the pediatric-ER and ask if we could skip the waiting part and be admitted. The pediatric surgeon was called and told us to go home and come to the pediatric operating room on Monday for surgery. Thus, the second waiting room was averted, thank goodness.

It was one of the toughest days of my life. Caleb has never been one to whine about pain, and he was as tough a kid as he could be. But he was in a lot of pain and there was nothing I could do. I felt as hopeless as I ever have, it was awful. I can recall my Dad crying twice in my life and I've cried twice in two weeks...I'm such a wuss!!

Caleb was crying on and off before surgery telling us how scared he was.The only problem was that every time he looked to his parents for strength, we were crying too.

The next few days, we've managed well as a family. Mon and I have provided to Caleb's every need. We loaded up on movies, made his favorite foods, and played with him as much as possible. Abby's been very supportive too.

The surgery went as well as possible. Another day of pain, but Caleb was tricked into taking more pain medicine. He's gotten better each day. He went back to school four days later and was very upset when we insisted on him not taking the bus.

Caleb woke up from surgery spouting out random thoughts, but the one that did make sense was that he wanted a Popsicle.

We have received lots of support from family and friends. Caleb's friends, soccer teammates and primary teacher have sent all cards and gifts. The Medford Gang has sent Caleb and Abby care packages, which were a huge hit. And we thank you for all the phone calls. We'll keep you posted on his condition. Don't give up on Caleb's athletic career (or at least him NOT going to jail).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Turkey Time

When we first moved to our current home, we would see this flock of turkeys once a month or so. But lately the turkeys are taking over our yard, deck and driveway. They were kind of cute at first, but along with the cute big birds has come the cute big turds. Our lawn looks like we have 15 dogs.
The biggest upside has got to be Abby's yelling at the wild birds when she's outside. She charges up to them and has they run away she yells with her meanest voice "Hey turkey's, get out of our yard!"

Another funny thing is when we're inside the house, we knock on the windows and the window tapping causes the turkeys to goggle in unison. It makes for great entertainment.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Caleb's 1st goal

Caleb's road to professional sports continued this weekend. He's playing on a under-7 soccer league this fall. They play 3 on 3 with no goalie. He's a real aggressive player, sometimes actually pushing over other players (and teammates). I'm torn between telling him to settle down or letting him stay aggressive. Most kids his age are pretty timid, so I like that he's at least going after the ball. I just feel bad for the other kids when they're lying on the ground crying after Caleb knocked them over.

Here's Caleb's first goal of his career. Unfortunately his team still lost 12-2, but that's not what's important......what's really important is that the pro scouts see that Caleb scored a goal.

My favorite part is after Caleb scored the goal, he turned to a kid on the other team and talked a little trash. That's my boy!


Sunday, September 14, 2008

All Powerful Moo-Moo

Before Caleb was born, we bought a small stuffed animal/stuffed blanket thing from Fred Meyer, mostly because it matched the colors Monica had decorated his room. We had no idea this thing would end up with more power than the president of the United States.
Caleb slept with the animal as an infant and immediately started to only sleep in his crib when the fuzzy animal was with him. For some strange reason, Monica and I thought it was a cow. Looking back we feel like idiots for thinking this since he is yellow (like a giraffe) ,has small pointy ears (like a giraffe), and he probably came with a tag that said he was a giraffe (like a giraffe). Thinking he was a cow though, we started to call him a sound that our little son could say at a young age, "moo-moo". It was cute a first, but now Moo-Moo has turned into an obsession with young Caleb. At 6 years old, I can't think of one day that Caleb hasn't slept with Moo-Moo. He's taken Moo-Moo on road trips, to strangers' homes for comfort, to grandmas' houses, etc. Everywhere Caleb sleeps, Moo-Moo goes.
As Caleb got older, we, as parents, have had less ammunition to threaten Caleb during times of discipline. Put him in time out, he doesn't care. Spank his little butt, no big deal. Ground him from the TV or computer, he goes outside. And I knew we were messing with holy ground one day last week, when I threatened a sassy Caleb that I'd take away Moo-Moo for the night. He kept on misbehaving though and you can guess where this story is going. I reluctantly told Caleb that Moo-Moo wasn't going sleep with him that night. I'm pretty sure Caleb's eruption rivaled Mt. St. Helen's. The first thing Caleb did was beg for forgiveness, literally. Then he ran to his room and hid Moo-Moo so we couldn't get him. And when bed-time came, all hell broke loose. The screaming, crying, and sobbing lasted for hours. Caleb wouldn't stay in his bed, he kept coming down to the living room begging to see Moo-Moo again.
I played along for awhile. I even took Caleb and we tucked Moo-Moo into my bed. Then Caleb came downstairs again and he wanted just to look at pictures on the computer of Moo-Moo. He came down again asking what time he could wake up to get Moo-Moo back. He even came down asking me if it was morning yet! I finally told him to sleep on the couch by me so we both could have some peace. He feel asleep within a few minutes which allowed me to finally finish my episode of 'Man Vs. Wild'.
When Mon and I went to bed, we found out that Caleb had snuck in our room and made sure Moo Moo was comfortable. He had placed Moo-Moo on the chair, with Caleb's blanket keeping him warm, and a book propped up for Moo-Moo to read. How cute is that! The kid really cares about his buddy Moo-Moo, that's for sure.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Abby's 1st Day of School

Abby's first day of pre-school was today. Like most parents with more than one child, her "firsts" are our "seconds" so they don't get as much hype.
There is no doubt in my mind that Abby will thrive in a school setting. She has been pretending to do school-work with her brother since age 2. She doesn't have to pretend anymore though, she's now going to a real school.
Mon and I are very proud of the angel Abby has turned out to be, though we are fully aware that there's a slight chance that her angel-like attributes may wear out the closer she comes to being a teenager. A friend of mine who's daughters are currenly teens, saw Abby jump in my lap a few days ago and said, "Enjoy it while she still likes you in the same room". We do enjoy Abby very much. She's our princess.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I May Be a Nurse, But I'm Still A Man

To say that Caleb was excited about school would be somewhat misleading, truth is he was estactic, but not about school as much as riding the bus. He woke up, put his clothes on and came into our bedroom at 6 AM stating he was ready and asking if we could take him to the bus stop. The bus doesn't come until 9. I worked the previous night, so I was pretty tired. I knew it was going to be an exciting time, but I wasn't really prepared for what happened. The bus came, Caleb gave Monica and me a hug and then ran to the bus, never looking back. He didn't even sit on our side of the bus to wave good-bye! Then I lost it, I dropped my man-hood and cried. He's all grown up. Monica was laughing at me. And I quickly snapped out of it. Hopefully I'll get over this sappy stuff now and get on with my life. I need to build something, chop up something, or maybe even kill an animal and drag it home....anything to regain my swagger.