Friday, October 31, 2008

Gutting pumpkins...

Yesterday, my wife, Laura, called me to let me know we had been invited over to her sister’s house to carve pumpkins. Now, I, myself, used to carve a pumpkin every year, that is, until I moved from home. Then I soon discovered why my mom and dad always wanted me to carve my pumpkin… outside. It is really messy!

Anyway, fast forward, Laura and I have been together four years, this past October 29th, and have never, ever carved a pumpkin together! How sad… I know…

Anyway, we went over to Jenn and Paul’s last night to carve pumpkins with our adorable niece, Annagrace. That being said, here are some pictures of last night’s pumpkin carving festivities.

So, we now have started a tradition... we will not miss another year of carving a pumpkin! Espsically with Baby Skates!

Enjoy and have a fun and safe Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween is upon us...

Halloween is almost here… the night of All Hallows Eve...this weekend, infact, and I am so excited!

And, this year it lands on a FRIDAY!

Laura’s cousin, Jeremy, and brother-in-law, Paul, are taking off Friday to get ready for our Halloween Fright Fest that evening.

I wish I could!!!! But, alas, I will be at work all day... I am meeting Laura over at Jeremy and Tori's where I will change and we will all have dinner before we scare the witts outta the lil' kiddies. However, this year we will try and be more dilligent about running children into the street! LOL! Okay, I know that isn't funny, but to see their faces when they run away in fright... warms my heart! HAHAHA Okay, that sounded a little off balance didn't it...?

This will be the 4th year we have gotten together, ever since I have been dating Laura, in 2005, to scare the neighborhood kids before they could get to the door to receive their Halloween treat from one of the girls: Laura, my wife; Tori (Jeremy’s wife); Britton (Jeremy’s sister) or Jenn (my sister-in-law and Paul’s wife). This year Amy, Laura’s, eldest sister, has been pulled into the mix! She has agreed to walk around the premises wearing her scary zombie garb. I, am as always, a werewolf; Jeremy, Michael Myers, Paul the Zombie Vampire; Laura is the good witch instead of lil' Red b/c this year she doesn't fit into her lil' Red costume... Baby Skates has caused her to make a switch to a Witch! Britton, Jeremy's sister, and her fiance’, Chris, are scheduled to come and take part in the festivities as well but that is all dependent on their flight in from NJ.

Every year the group grows... however, last year Paul couldn't make it b/c he was sick so I'm sure he will make up for it this year!

Lets hope they can make it!

I will be sure to post a detailed blog of the evening!!!

Muwhahahahahaha! -

"A muck, A muck, Amuck"- "Hocus Pocus"

A Friendly Boo...

This past Saturday my wife, Laura, and I were sitting on the couch watching a movie, I will not mention the movie because it would seriously impair my masculinity, but, it was for nostalgic and educational purposes, if you ever do find out what film it was. We received a phone call, on Laura’s cell phone; it was her cousin, Tori.

I reached over lazily and picked up Laura’s silver razor phone and flipped it open, nonchalantly, and said…

“House of insanity!”

HAHAHA,” Tori roared with laughter, “what are you doin?” she said.

“Oh nothing,” I said, making sure to hide the fact that we were watching a movie of questionable nature. “what are you up to?”

“Well, I was wondering if you two would be willing to be my partners in crime?” she said “I wanna go knock on some doors and run away before they answer!”

HAHAHAHA,” I, in turn, roared with laughter, “hold on a sec.” I passed the phone to Laura; I wasn’t sure how serious Tori was. Tori it such a sweet person, she is not the kind of person who follows the stereotype of redneck cultural acts as running up to someone’s door, knocking, and running away. When I was younger there was quite a derogatory term for this, but I will let you Google for it because my wife, mother and mother-in-law would probably skin my hide as well as possibly tar and feather me if I said what this is normally called.

Jeremy, Tori's husband, was watching a Georgia football game, so he did not want to go and participate, however, Laura happily obliged,

"it seems like a lot of fun!" she said. "Comon' over, we will see you in a little bit!"

"Wait, I said," Laura, hand me the phone... "Tori, are you for real?" I had no idea the extent of what Laura had heard her say about what we were about to do.

"Yes, but this isn't just knock-and-run," Tori said. "You have to leave a Halloween treat at the door!"

"Ooooooh," I said with a sigh of relief! Although, if we were going to just knock on the door and run, it would be quite out of both Tori and Laura's character. However, you didn't really have to sell me on it, I was just shocked Tori wanted to do it! LOL!

It all made sense and was coming together. Tori was the kind of person who would 'knock-n-run' if you were actually leaving something 'nice' behind. It wasn't like we were pulling a "Can't buy me love," (movie reference)where you knock on the door and throw a bag of poop at the door. I mean, first of all, that is kind of gross, secondly, this was in broad daylight and we were going to be doing this to her "friends!" Obviously, she would be anonymously leaving "cookies and candy" in the treat bags. How very Tori of her! LOL!

We only went by two houses, but honestly it was a lot of fun because the thrill of being caught we still there! And, trying to do all this safely with Tori's 15-month old son, Grant, in the back seat was a little unnerving, but we made it through. Grant loved it, he got a chance to see all the Halloween decor throughout the neighborhood. "Weeech!" he would say.

"Yeah, Grant, that's a witch!" I said.


So, lesson learned! Knocking and running at someone's house isn't always a bad thing!!!

Happy Halloween!

-Side note: Laura requested she not have her photo taken!-

Friday, October 24, 2008

Email and nicknames...

With our 20 week ultrasound right on the horizon, of two weeks from now, my mind has been toying with many different things.... (My undiagnosed Adult ADD has severely kicked itself into high gear!) One thing I have been contemplating is… when the baby is born, should we register him or her for their own email address? How fun would it be to say our kid actually had their email since birth!? I know, a little crazy, but just think about it! I’m sure there are geekier people out there than I am who have done this. Or am I just eccentric that way?

Another thing, nick names? If we are having a boy we have decided to call him Mauldin. Mauldin James Skates. So, this is the issue, my nick name for my wife is Mauldin, due to this being her maiden name. There are times when I only can get her to answer to this name, especially when we are out in public.

“Laura? Laura? LAURA?” I say in a determined voice. Still there is no response,


“Yes?” says Laura, as if this is the first time she has heard me trying to get her attention, in Target.

This is my query, my quandary, my dilemma, my question…

If our child ends up being a boy, despite the poll to the right of you located on my blog, what if we called him “M.J?” I know, how Spider-man of us, but it wouldn’t be for “Mary Jane Watson,” but instead for “Mauldin James!” Kinda cool! If you ask me. My wife, Laura, and I had thought about this waaaaay back when we were first dicussing names, but it kind of got lost in the shuffle! So, I thought we’d re-open the floor to see if it would be a determent to our child’s well-being…

With that being said, all this will be null and void if in two weeks we find out we are having a girl. If this is so, this will be open for discussion at a later time, for the next child.

Still, in the meantime, let us know your thoughts and opinions! Thanks!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What's that smell?

The past week my wife, Laura, and I have been putting up with our dog’s pungent stench. The disgusting odor is because we have not taken our Westie, Andy, to get groomed in the past few months due to two things, scheduling and budget cuts on the home front. Logan, our regal beagle, stinks just as much as Andy does, however, Andy, being white, causes his dirtyness to stick out like a smelly thumb. I have tried to mask their odor with febreeze pet spray, but to no avail, and under much protest to my wife for spraying the pups, I was stuck with finding another way to get this disgusting odor from our home. Not only does Andy stink, but he looks terrible too. We have weeds down the hill of our backyard and Andy insists on going through them and coming back into the house covered in sticky thorns that are close to impossible to get out of his fur, hair, what do dogs have? I don’t care he is nasty! Picture a cute white puppy with black thorns all stuck in his fur, face, butt, tail, legs, etc… So, last night, at about 6:30pm, Laura and I just started watching our recent Net-flix rental “X-men,” and were talkin' to Baby Skates my nose turned and I knew what it was...

(Please note: Picture was taken after said Bath)

"I'm mean really?" I said, "Could they stink anymore?"

I made the executive decision, we have to give them BOTH a bath.

“Well, you know I can’t,” said Laura with a you-know-what-that-means look.

Laura, being pregnant has caused her to not only be extremely tired, but her immunity is lowered and has contracted a virus. No, not like a horrible stomach bug, just a virus that makes her very congested and stick to her stomach. So, it was up to me and me alone to clean our dogs and free us from the pungent stench that has been plaguing our home for the past couple o’weeks.

“Andy! Lets go buddy, you know what is about to happen don’t you?” I said while leaning over the couch to find him snuggled up comfortably on the bed next to Logan. His face speckled with little briars that had fallen onto the hardwood floor to look like little dead black bugs… gross… I know.

“I will wash their bedding while you give them baths,” said Laura lovingly.

Oh how I would love to trade with her, but when I think about it, washing dogs and washing their bedding, makes me sneeze equal amounts.

“Okay,” I said while I trudged up with stairs with Andy in my arms stretched out so to make sure no stickers ended up on me.

After I had him washed, de-stickered and dried it was Logan’s turn. Logan wasn’t nearly as bad, but she is just a little big larger than Andy, so while bending over the tub and washing her with the personal shower my back started to feel a wrenching pain. A pain that would not end, “how am I gonna finish this,” I thought. “Man, I need to work out more, this is sad.”

The one thing about bathing dogs that I despise is when they decide to shake with water and soap all over them. You smell the wet dog smell and then it is sprayed all over your guest bathroom walls. Logan has officially made herself the queen of, wash me. She will stand and look at your like, “you missed a spot.”

Finally, after all the washing I covered her with a dry towel and held her next just to ensure she wouldn’t shake and spray her “so-called” clean body all over me and the newly cleaned bathroom. I got out Laura’s hair dryer and after about 10 minutes of puppy pampering we had two clean puppies with flea treatment included. Although, after they were cleaned, I had to go and take a shower myself, I think they transferred their stink to me! But, as you know, both Andy and Logan immediately returned outside where the stink originated. They love to roll around in the, sometimes, wet grass and weeds on our hill. (I have since called to have them cut by our yard guy, Jim.) Ugh… Well, atleast they don’t smell as bad as they did before!!! Makes you wonder what all the people on Survivor smell like?

Side note: Is it bad that we bathe the dogs in the same tub where the baby will take a bath????


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Quick update!

Our gender determination ultrasound is scheduled for November 6th!

'Bout 3 weeks to go to find out if Baby Skates is a boy or girl.

If November 6th doesn't yield results... we have another chance at 22 weeks on November 22nd when we go for our 4D Ultrasound!

Stay tuned...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Chicken & Dumplins

This past weekend was, of course, eventful…

We actually had to bow out of a couple events due to how event-FULL we were! (Notice the play on words…)

October has taken off and honestly not yielded us anytime to just stay home and sleep. Everyone seems to give us the whole “sleep now, while you can!” Warning. Like they are some cheesy, scary pseudo-villian from one of those Verizon commercials. “It’s a dead zone…” hahaha

However, we have not taken their advice because, oh we haven’t had time.

Moving on, this Sunday my wife, Laura, and I had some company over for dinner.

The Peacocks and the Mauldins.

Note: Laura’s sister and cousins all live in the same subdivision as we do, so we get together quite often!

Jenn & Paul, Laura’s older sister and brother-in-law came with their spunky daughter, Annagrace in tow. As well as, Tori & Jeremy, Laura’s cousins, who had their I’m- gonna-run-into-this-and-see-what-happens son, Grant, along as well. They all came over at 6 o’clock sharp for some of Laura’s oh-so-good Chicken & Dumplins. Annagrace is on the peak of age two and Grant just turned one. They both go to the same daycare and are so fun to watch.

“Hey” said Annagrace.

“Hey Annagrace, how are you?” I said while bending down to give her a hug.

“Dad-deeeeee!” she screamed while grasping onto Paul’s leg with quite a death grip.

“Do you wanna go see Logan and Andy?” I quickly interjected.

Annagrace loves our dogs and anything she was thinking about before will totally disappear out of her mind because her one and only goal is to see a puppy.

“Annnndeee” yells Annagrace.

“Okay, well we have to go out back to see them, they are outside.” I said.

“Outside” she says while running for the door.

Right then the doorbell rings and I know it has to be Jeremy, Tori and Grant.

“’xcuse me,” I said. “Paul, can you take her to see the dogs?”

“Sure.” said Paul while reaching down for Annagrace’s hand to lead her out the back door.

I ran over to open the door where I see Tori, Jeremy and little Grant, who seemed almost afraid to come inside.

“Ahhhh” yelled Grant, with an almost inaudible sound, while turning around to face Jeremy, with his arms stretched upwards.

“It’s okay son,” said Jeremy “walk on in.”

“Yah, Grant” I said “It will look more familiar when you get inside.”

Grant has come over to visit probably a total of four times, yet, he does have frequent visits to Jenn and Paul’s house, which, fate would have it, we have the almost exact floor plan as Laura’s older sister’s house, which is down the street.

“Hey! It’s so good to see you.” Said Tori while walking in and holding a basket of biscuits.

“Here I will take those.” I said quickly. “come in!”

“I hope those are okay” said Tori in a sort of a wisper, “they aren’t homemade!”

“That’s really okay,” I said with a smile of approval. “We appreciate you bringing them with you, even if you didn’t slave hours making them.”

Tori laughed and proceeded to walk into the kitchen where Jenn and Laura were working on finishing up dinner. I glanced to see Laura give Annagrace a quick kiss on the cheek. Jenn was holding her while pointing to a big watermelon they were planning on cutting for dinner. I stepped into the den where Jeremy and Paul were sitting mapping out the Halloween scare-fest that is to come in the next few weeks.

“I think we need atleast twenty tombstones” said Paul.

“Do you really think we need that many?” said Jeremy with a rasied eyebrow?

“Yes! We need to have a whole grave yard for the young’ins to walk through.”

“Well, you will be here, Eric will be here and I will be in the garage with a black light” Said Jeremy.

“Do you still have my fog machine?” I interjected.

“We have three fog machines” said Jeremy.

“What about my scary CD I made?” I said.

“Yep! Still got it.” confirmed Jeremy with a pen in hand.

Jeremy, Paul and I are forever bonded due to our love of all things Halloween. Halloween is a month we basically look forward to the entire year. Ever since the first year I dated Laura, in 2005, I have been going to Jeremy’s house on October 31st for our Haunted Trick-or-Treat night. Jeremy dresses up as Michael Myers, I dress up as a Werewolf and Paul is a zombie Vampire. Each and every year it is a little different and it seems the kids always remember us… it has become a tradition! However, with kids coming into the mix I am not sure how much longer we will be able to continue our trio of fright!

“I think we have plenty of spiders,” continued Jeremy, “but I think I want to get them put on the house somehow!”

As I was sitting in the floor I saw Grant come barreling into the den where we all sat. Little Grant is all boy and seems he isn’t afraid of anything. We have a little bit of a raise in the floor in-between the kitchen and the den and his little foot did not quite make it over, he stumbled and almost fell, but like the little trooper he is, he barreled straight ahead toward his goal, the dogs.

“Aahhhiickkk! Goggg” scream Grant.

“Yah, this is Andy and Logan, Grant.” I said with a huge smile on my face trying not to bust out in laughter due to how cute he was.

“Grant, that’s a dog, say dog.” Said Jeremy.


“Good!” I yelled in approval!

“Close enough…” said Jeremy and then he went back to talking to Paul, who was focused on all the costumes in a magazine they had found that said “Halloween Express 2008!”

“Food is ready,” said Jenn.

I was so hungry so I got up and headed to the kitchen where I left the other guys behind. I felt like I had abandoned by brotherhood, but I was starving. Laura and I had been up since 9am and cleaning almost all day. I think all I had to eat that day was a marble loaf from Starbucks. I was getting me some Chicken & Dumplins. Not to mention, Laura had made her sweet potato casserole.

“Annagrace, go tell daddy, it’s time to eat!” I said. “I am sure it will come out something totally different.” I went on under my breathe to Laura, Tori and Jenn.

As she trotted into the den we listened closely to hear the jarble of words that was to come out of her mouth.

“Time for food, daddy.” said Annagrace.

We were stunned! She did it! And in such a cute tone that made even the most hard-core Halloween enthusiast retire from planning to have dinner.

All in all it was a fun night and we also got yet another chance to see what it will be like when a little one is running around the house. One thing I do remember Jeremy saying to me as he walked in the house.

“Well, one thing is for sure, your house certainly won’t look this good with one of these running around!”

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Life Moves Pretty Fast...

“Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once and a while, you could miss it!” –Ferris Buller

It has been a couple of weeks since we moved all of the furniture out of one of our spare bedrooms, which is now our nursery. The nursery has been empty, for about three weeks, all except for some baby clothes in the closet, a vintage, antique dresser that was my great aunt Lillian’s and about 40 pieces of white computer paper taped together to show where the baby furniture is to be placed. However, this week we have gotten the baby furniture delivered, thanks to the coolest father-in-law a guy could have. Bill, Laura’s dad, picked up our baby furniture and drove it all the way to Canton. We are now proud owners of one convertible baby bed and dressing station. Not to mention, all the new baby accessories we have acquired throughout the last few months. All of Laura’s new wardrobe… and my wonderful mother, who has bought us our high chair! It seems we have all this new stuff and we haven’t even had one shower, yet!

It is amazing, we don’t even have photos from our wedding yet, but we have all this baby stuff!

Our next goal is to gain some storage in our home… one thing is for sure… if we don’t I may go a little crazy!

The other day Laura and I were riding in the car discussing what we were gonna do on our upcoming trip to Disney World.

“We need to make sure we put the deposit down on the ‘citi-mini’ at USA Baby.” I said

The citi-mini is a travel stroller we saw in a store and would love to have it for our upcoming trip to Disney.

“We will, but we have some time…” replied Laura.

“Hey- what would you have said if someone had pulled us aside and told us the next time we would be at Disney we would be parents?” I said in a hushed tone as if it were a secret.

“I would of not been surprised” replied Laura in such a matter-of-fact tone. “It was our plan, wasn’t it?”

“Yes” I said, “but our last trip was this past December! I mean we weren’t even married yet!!! Sometimes I just look around and think, wow, I’m gonna be a dad! It just makes you realize how fast life changes…” I said.

“Yep, but I think it’s for the better, don’t you?” said Laura and she reached over and kissed my cheek. “You are gonna be a wonderful father.”

If you are lost… let me tell you a little bit about what I am talking about! Laura’s family and my family are all going to Disney World this September. You can read more about this at: You know when you’re a fan…

Laura and I have been wanting a ‘citi-mini’ stroller ever since we saw it in the store.

“I love how it just compacts like that,” said Laura very enthusiastically. “It’s perfect, it won’t be that heavy for you, I mean us to carry on the buses.”

Notice how she said, you first? Freudian-slip if I ever heard one.

“Yes, it is nice…” I said in agreement. “I like the red… easier to pick out in a crowd.”

“Definitely!” said Laura.

It is perfect for traveling and it would be almost impossible to take our “travel system” with us on the trip, no-less, the plane! Although, I am sure parents do it every day. However, Laura and I want as little as stress as possible… considering we will be traveling with an infant. And, in my old age… I have begun to hate flying. (Not so much flying, as lift-off!)

Funny how your priorities change, isn’t it? About a year ago we were discussing wedding plans… and I was working on paying for our honeymoon and now the baby. It seems like no matter who you are you are always in a constant flux of change. Okay, sorry, didn’t mean to get so Confucius on you all.

I guess the days of being jet setters are behind us… although, one day, when we are retired… oh, no, nevermind! HAHAHA!

Stress... stress go away...