My Little Swinger

Not that kinda swinger, you sicko!Β  πŸ˜€

Everyone knows that I frequent Craigslist and find free stuff, like mowers…Β  I’ve been called “The King Of FREE Stuff!” by some friends.Β  Not sure that is a good thing, but I have found some good deals.Β  πŸ˜€

Recently I came across another killer deal (AKA FREE)…a swingset!

Free Swingset From FreeCycle

I found this gem on FreeCycle. (Thanks Sara for being so generous and giving away such a wonderful swing set!)

Momma and I went over to Sara’s house and had to tear the swing set apart far enough that it would fit into the back of my truck.Β  It had not been used in years.Β  It was covered with dirt and moss…but that did not discourage us.Β  We brought the swing set home anyways…

Momma and Grandma S cleaned this swing set up with a little bleach and some elbow grease to like-new condition.Β  πŸ˜€

After a few hours of cleaning and reassembling the swing set it was ready to go.

Ace seems to like free stuff too!Β  Here’s proof…Β  πŸ˜€

Dad’s Can Do Anything!

Part of being a Dad, at least for me, is getting to fix things and put things together.Β  Sometimes it can be fun!Β  For example, putting together your kids first bike, easy bake oven, or something else that you know they will love.

However, sometimes it can be not so much fun.Β  For example, crawling through fiberglass insulation in a 120 degree attic to install an attic fan. (I think I sweat about 10 gallons that day.)Β  πŸ˜€

A few posts ago I told you about our good deal on the pool.Β  Well, who gets to put this pool up?Β  Dad, of course. (Momma helped too. I can’t take all of the credit.)

One of the important things about putting in an above ground pool is having the ground level.Β  If it is not level the pool will be deeper on one side than the other.Β  A few inches is no big deal, but much over that and you start to have major problems.

Our back yard already had a big dip in it where the people that lived here before us had a pool and took it with them. We figured our pool would go right there…because it is the most level spot in our back yard…so I thought.

It took us three days to till up the dirt and level it out with garden rakes to our satisfaction.Β  While not perfect, it is close enough.Β  Then we put down 18 bags of play sand.Β  (The dude at Home Depot probably thought we built the biggest sand box EVER!)

Next the pool liner, support frame, pump and hoses, and finally the water…6000 gallons of it. (I’m dreading the water bill next month) πŸ˜€

After all of that we were left with a functioning above ground pool filled with water so cold that my nipples almost popped right off my body when I jumped in.Β  πŸ˜†

After a few days the water temp is tolerable…about 76 degrees…and my nips are much happier now.

Looks like we have a summer full of fun in the sun ahead of us!Β  πŸ˜€

The Intex Pool Put Together

Play Ball!

The other night we packed up and headed down to the local minor league baseball stadium for Ace’s first baseball game! We were greeted by swarms of fans, the smell of hot dogs and popcorn, and a night full of the All American Past Time…Baseball!

Ace, of course, could care less about the actual game, but was too busy eating Goldfish and smiling at the old ladies. πŸ˜€

We actually went for one of our friend’s kid’s birthday party, so after the second inning all the kids there for the party got to go out into left field and do the chicken dance with the cheerleaders. So there I am, out in left field with Ace (and the cheerleaders πŸ˜€ ) helping him flap his wings, shake his butt, and clap like a drugged up chicken.

Here are some pics of Ace’s first baseball game…

The Coop
“The Coop”

Ace Figuring Out His Cow Bell
Ace figuring out his new cow bell…

Ace Has Figured Out The Cow Bell
I think he’s got it figured out…anyone have any Tylenol?

Dad And Ace Enjoying A Hot Dog
Gotta teach this boy right…any babseball game requires the consumption of at least one hot dog. πŸ˜€

Mascots Are Scary
What the hell is that thing?

Ace Paying Attention To The Game
It was an exciting game…

The Chicken Dance
The Chicken Dance (I’m the one squatted down using Ace as a puppet, cause I don;t do the chicken dance, but I sure can make Ace do a killer rendition of it. πŸ˜€ )

After The Chicken Dance
Ace and I walking off the field after getting our groove on…

Grandpa’s Glory – Part II

Back in October, I wrote a post about Ace’s Grandpa, my Dad.Β  Ace and his Grandpa didn’t get a long too good at first.Β  Grandpa would say “Hi!” and Ace would scream like a banshee!

It was tough on Grandpa, but things have been getting better…

Ace, Momma, and I spent all weekend at Grandpa’s just hanging out and swimming in the pool!Β  We had a blast and got some nice tan lines as a result. πŸ˜€

As you probably know, Ace loves to ride on the mower, and when Grandpa started his up Ace wasn’t going to quit until he was taken for a ride.Β  It wasn’t hard for Ace to convince his Grandpa for a quick ride on the mower, but a quick ride turned into 20-30 minutes of lapping the yard.Β  πŸ˜€

Grandpa and Ace Riding On The Mower

And after a long day in the sun, nothing is better than a nap in the recliner…

Grandpa and Ace Napping In The Recliner

It makes me think back to when my Grandpa took me for rides on his mower.Β  Something I will never forget!Β  I’m going to have to dig up some pictures of me riding on my Grandpa’s mower and napping in his recliner…and post them here of course.Β  πŸ˜€

Sometimes it’s scary how much Ace and I are alike… πŸ˜€

Vacation to Iowa!

Vacation to Iowa was great! It was nice to get away from the daily grind for once. No rush hour traffic. No cell phone. No worries!

We left at about 3 AM on Thursday night.Β  It took us about 14 hours and two tanks of gas to get from Ohio to Storm Lake, IA. (Can you say “Empty wallet and pooped?”) Have you ever driven across the Midwest? It is sooo exciting!!! Here’s a picture I took through the rear view mirror with my camera phone to show you just how much fun we were all having… πŸ˜†

Momma and Ace sleeping in the car on the way to Iowa

We stayed at a hotel in Storm Lake called King’s Pointe. We reserved a double queen suite with a crib and a lake view a few weeks before hand, but when we arrived we got a handicap double queen room with a parking lot view. πŸ™

The handicap room would not work because it had no bath tub for Ace, and we really wanted the lake view with a balcony (the hotel was non-smoking and the balcony would be our smoking area πŸ˜† )

After a bit of persistence they gave us the room we reserved and all was well.

Dad and Momma on the balcony at Kings Pointe in Storm Lake Iowa

The hotel had an indoor and outdoor water park! (I was so excited…I’m just like a little boy when it comes to this kinda stuff πŸ˜† )

King’s Pointe Indoor Water Park Resort

The closest Ace has been to going swimming was splashing around in the bath tub, so I was very curious to how he would react to the swimming pool. After a few minutes of scared-shitless-ness accompanied by a white-knuckled-death-grip on Dad, Ace started to relax and enjoy himself!

We had so much fun being in the water with him that we really didn’t get out to take many pictures of his first time swimming! Here is one that I managed to snap of Ace and Momma lounging in the pool…

Momma and Ace In The Pool

Even though he thoroughly enjoyed the swimming pool, he was utterly amazed by the fountain…

Ace Staring At The Fountain

…or was it the Bud Light sign? πŸ˜†

One reason we went to Iowa was to visit some old friends who’s daughter was graduating from high school. We went to the graduation, which was in a small non-air-conditioned (Can you say “Hot As Balls?”) gymnasium.

Ace has been self-propelled for a while now and really likes it that way. Ever since he has learned to move under his own power, he absolutely forbids to sit still. It was hot in the gymnasium… sweaty, and smelled like the locker room after football practice! So, I took off Ace’s restraints (joking!) and took him outside to play in the shade while Momma stayed inside to watch the graduation ceremony.

We get outside and there is no shade! So I’m chasing after Ace in the burning sunlight on concrete hot enough to fry an egg when I smell something a bit different than the sweaty smell I had become accustomed to in the gymnasium… You guessed it…I smelled a baby biscuit getting baked in Ace’s diaper!

Luckily I grabbed the diaper bag on the way outside, but there was no where to change him.Β  So, Ace and I head off on a two mile trek to the car where we enjoyed a fresh diaper, a drink, and 45 minutes worth of gas wasting air-conditioned heaven! πŸ˜†

The drive back to Ohio was not so nice. Ace had some of his molars breaking through the skin, and he was not enjoying the car ride a single bit.Β  So, we stopped half way and grabbed a hotel room in Illinois.Β  Luckily, I travel a lot for work and earn TONS of hotel points, so we got a room for free for the night. The hotel had a pool where we spent most of the evening splashing around…

After a good swim and getting a good nights sleep we headed out in the morning to finish the last half of our journey home. We took our time. We stopped for a packed lunch at a rest stop with Mr. Smarty Pants himself…

Smarty pants eating his lunch at a rest stop

…and then Ace napped most of the rest of the way home…

Ace relaxing in the car on the way home from Iowa

Despite the sore rear ends from sitting in the car for over 28 hours, the mix up with the hotel room, the incredibly hot gymnasium, the fried diaper biscuit, and the crying restlessness of a teething child strapped into the back seat of a gas guzzling SUV…we had a very good time and enjoyed the visit with our old friends!

Back to the grind… Ughhh… πŸ˜†