Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Winter Time

So many things to blog about, like....

First Subject: How we got all dressed up

M and I got dressed up twice in the past week for two pretty fancy dinners for my work. The first was at the country club her in town (it's on a lake and pretty, but not as fancy as those big city country clubs). We had a nice time -- great food, that's for sure. It was nice that M knew some of my friends and even their spouses because he's played poker with them a couple of times. By the way, M looked pretty nice that night :> (see above).

Second Subject: How we've all been sick for the past week.
First, R got it...he woke up in the middle of the night with a "tummy pain" -- he pointed alternately to his stomach and then later to his chest, and then to his stomach. It was quite frustrating at 3:00 in the morning not to really know what was hurting him. Sometimes he would moan in pain and curl up his legs (like when you have a stomach ache) then later he would cough and cough and say that his chest hurt. Hmm...what's a mother to do. Do I give cough medicine that will help the cough, but might hurt his tummy? Do I think that it's his chest that hurts, but not his tummy? But, those moans and that fetal position thing look like a stomach ache. In the end, I gave him no medicine, but sat with him for three hours until he fell back asleep. Then I crawled back into bed for an hour nap before I had to get up. We kept him home from school on Thurs and Friday, then he seemed fine, so we let him go to Cub Scouts (but not hockey because of his cough). Next thing I know, it's Sunday night and he's vomiting. I stay with him for awhile, leave him a big bowl, and go back to bed because I'm soooo tired. On Monday morning, I felt horrible. I've got it too. Fever of 100, nasea, vomiting, and aches and pains. R and I were out for two more days. We were back at school and work on Wed.

On Thursday, M calls me in the morning saying that he feels like he's "been hit by a truck". He called me in the afternoon telling me that T had vomited. I came home a bit early to care for the sickies, walked in the house to M moaning and T throwing up red jello (through his nose) and saying sadly "I'll NEVER be healthy again!" I took care of those two very pale looking, high fever guys Thursday night and went to work on Friday. M felt better on Friday night (or pretended to for my sake) and we went to the big company Holiday party. Saturday was good - all healthy. We went to hockey, a birthday party, and I fixed dinner for the family and Uncle Dan (who was visiting for a great Christmas present for me -- story to come later).

After dinner on Saturday night, I felt LOUSY. The worst I've felt in FOREVER. My stomach hurt, my legs hurt, I was freezing (or hot!), my nose was stuffed up. I felt TERRIBLE. I was up all night with nasea, vomiting, and a general feeling of ickiness. My fever was over 102. I was lethargic and slightly delirious (and example of said delirium was when I was so cold that I tried to take a hot bath to warm myself up, but couldn't get the water hot enough to feel warm at all to me.) Anyway, I was sick in bed all day on Sunday -- couldn't even lift my head up off the bed. I missed work yesterday, sleeping most of the day. Thankfully, Iam MUCH better today. I hope that I'm the last of this cycle. We've sprayed lysol everywhere, changed the sheets, thrown out the toothbrushes and are washing our hands like crazy. Oh yeah, did I mention that this flu is closing down schools around here because of how contageous it is? Crazy nasty thing!

Third Subject: The weather
It is definitely not "way down in the fall" anymore. We are talking full-on winter!! Since the first snow in mid-November, we've gotten 24 inches. Yep, you read that right. That's two feet of snow so far. Some of it melted, but I'd say that we have about and 12-18" base out in our yard right now. Amazing. It's been so cold that it hasn't melted much. It was 12 degrees on my way to work today and 21 degrees on my way home. Last Wednesday, it was 4 degrees.....4. Here's a picture that M took for me to show you some of the beauty of the cold. As R said, we have REAL icecicles mixed with our FAKE icecicles. The really long one there is about 14" long. Cool.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

This is NOT an Announcement

Tonight at dinnertime, R said "I think we should have a baby girl." T agreed, "Yeah, I think that's a good idea."

Oh, I said. I'm not sure about that. Daddy and I like the family that we have now and we think that God is happy with our family as it is now too. But, if God wants us to have a baby girl, we will have one.

R said, "Well, we don't have to have it right away. Maybe in January or something...some time this winter would be good."

I explained to him that it takes about 9 months for a baby to grow in a mommy's tummy. So, the earliest we'd be able to have one is around his birthday, if that's what God wanted.

He thought that's okay...as long as it's not really on his birthday. T agreed.

As I say in the title, THIS IS NOT AN ANNOUNCEMENT OF ANY KIND. It's simply a re-creation of a dinnertime discussion.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Kids Tell All

Today we were taking a friend of R's to McDonald's with us and M was asking the kids what they wanted to eat and drink. After the kids told us what they wanted, M and I said what we wanted. M said he'd have Diet Coke. Zach, R's friend aked why he drank Diet Coke and not regular Coke. M replied that he had diabetes and couldn't have a lot of sugar.

"Oh, you have diabetes? My dad has diarrhea!" said Zach.

M and I are still laughing about it five hours later.

Monday, November 28, 2005

So Many Things To Be Thankful For

I have so many things to be thankful for. Here's just a few iin no particular order:
  • Two beautiful boys that make me smile
  • A great husband that I love so much
  • A job that pays enough for M to stay home, but doesn't stress me out
  • Diet coke in the morning
  • Warm blankets on my bed
  • Hair scrunchies to hold my hair out of my eyes
  • A calm between two snow storms that allowed us to drive to M's parents house for Thanksgiving
  • People who read my blog and make comments
  • A safe car to drive in the snow
  • Hot chocolate with little marshmellows
  • A son who loves to do crafts with me (T)
  • A son who loves to watch airplane shows with M (R)
  • A great elementary school that teaches R music, art, and art appreciation, language arts, gym, Spanish, as well as the three R's
  • Family all across the country
  • 8:00 bedtime for the boys, which gives me a couple of hours before I go to bed
  • Songs, singing, and a family who loves to sing
  • Dolly Parton, who gave us "A Coat of Many Colors" -- the current bedtime favorite"
  • "Too many kisses" - a game both boys play with me in which they compete with each other on who can give me the most kisses
  • Books, libraries, and Scholastic book orders
  • My comfy red chair
  • God who loves me even when I haven't even started looking for a church yet
  • The boys' prayers at dinner time -- T usually thanks God for "having a wonderful day" and R asks that God "make sure our family gets home safely"
  • M's love for me and all the sweet things he does to show me he loves me

I hope every one had a great Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2005

You Can Infer It

R, T, and I were reading a new-to-us book by Eric Carle (a wonderful children's author) called "Slowly, Slowly, the Sloth" about animals from the rain forest. We came across an animal that was hard for me to identify, so I asked the kids, "what animal is this?"

R answered, "well, the author doesn't tell us with his words, so we have to infer what the animal is. I think it's an anteater."

I said, "'infer' is a new word for you. What does that mean?"

R said, "well, authors use words and sometimes drawings to explain what they're trying to tell you. Sometimes they don't tell you exactly what they mean, so you have to infer it from the clues they give you."

Yep, he's six and knows what "infer" means. Some adults I know get "infer" confused with "imply."

I love his school :>

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Two Happy Boys

R and T are having a nice weekend. R had a playdate yesterday with a boy from his class (who is also on his hockey team.) They had a blast. They even played with T, which is great. R had hockey this morning and made a goal playing "D" (defense). He says that he likes playing "D" because he can stop the other team. Just for the record, there isn't a position that he doesn't like at this point. He just loves the game. He said, "I'm just so happy when I'm out there on the ice!" Gotta love that.

T and I read some books and did puzzles during our "mommy and T time." I'm giving him some special time because he's been feeling a bit left out with all of the activities that we do with/for R (scouts and hockey). He likes having this time together -- he's such a lover (when he's not being a snit -- there's no inbetween with him!)

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Good Fall Fun

T is dressed for winter even though it's just fall(dressed himself, of course) to show grammie and papa the "nature trail" that M blazed with his lawn tractor through the field just past our woods. The boys love to go out and get "lost," each with a walkie talkie in hand. They communicate with each other to find thier way. Good fun.

Below, you see a proud R. He designed this vampire jack-o-lantern, which M drew and grammie helped cut out. Notice the sharp fangs, which every good vampire must have.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Trick or Treat

What a fun Halloween! I took the day off because my mom and dad were in town and I had a lot of fun doing the mom thang all day (with the help of grammie!) Here's my day:

  • 7:00 up and at'em - get R and T dressed and breakfasted
  • 8:00 send R off to the bus (with costume in backpack)
  • 8:30 leave to take T to preschool
  • 9:00 to the grocery store to get eggs
  • 9:30 bake two batches of brownies with newly purchased eggs
  • 11:15 pick up T from preschool
  • 12:00 make lunch for mom, dad, T, and M
  • 1:30 go to R's school (with newly baked brownies) to do the room-mother thing (Grammie went to) -- Halloween bingo, costume parade for the whole school, and a party with many sugar-laden treats
  • 3:40 Take R to the doctor for his annual check-up (I know, I know, M made the appointment on Halloween)
  • 5:00 Go home and make two boxes of mac n cheese for kids' dinner to go with M's homemade and delicious chili
  • 5:15 the H's arrive for chili and trick or treating (they live in the country and have no homes near by to go to for trick or treating)
  • 5:45 Get kids in their costumes and apply appropriate make up
  • 6:00 trick or treating around the neighborhood (grammie and papa stayed home to give out candy)
  • 7:00 Back home where the kids got to eat two pieces of candy each
  • 7:30 H's go home
  • 8:00 Kids in bed
  • 8:30 three games of Pegs and Jokers (a perfect ending for a busy, but fun day!)

T loved his dog costume. He was also a dog last year, but wanted to be a different dog this year. He's a golden retriever, just like Mackinaw (he even let people call him Mackinaw for that one night.)

R LOVED being a vampire. He got to wear this costume three times this "season." He was especially excited to use the "real" fake blood on Halloween night (the other two times we used a red make up crayon for the blood.) The "real" fake blood was drippy and never dried -- he loved it!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

So Proud, Man!

Tonight was R's parent-teacher conference at school. It's such a fun experience when your child is doing well -- and he is doing well. She even called him "profound" in how he answers questions. He's curious and loves to learn -- you couldn't ask for much more. R always wants to do his best, which leads to a bit of perfectionism (I really don't know where he gets this -- not from me nor M.) Anyway, sometimes he gets so caught up in doing things exactly right, that he gets a bit paralyzed and can't go on until it's perfect. This is primarily the case in spelling words. They have a journaling exercise in which the children write about whatever subject they're given. Spelling doesn't matter. The idea is to get thier thoughts down on paper. Evidently he has a hard time with the "spelling doesn't matter" part because he really wants to spell it right. I'll work on not being so perfect at home -- I certainly don't want his idea of perfectionism to hinder his creativity.

All in all, he's doing a great job and you can tell that the teacher just loves him. She asked him some questions about what he's learning and the proud and caring look on her face was precious as she was looking at him while he answered.

It warms a mom's heart :>

As we were leaving R's classroom, we saw Mrs Edwards, his kindergarten teacher from last year. Wanting to give T some attention in this R-filled night, I told Mrs Edwards that T would be in her class next year. She looked pleased and bent down to talk to T -- who immediately turned his back to her and refused to talk. Oh well, he'll learn...right??

Conversations from the bath tub:

The boys are in the tub right now. I just overheard R say "oh, careful T, I just tooted and it smells really bad!" T said, "that's okay, sometimes that happens."

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Way Down in the Fall

The boys and I just had a discussion about the seasons. Around here, the leaves are definitely changing, the air is crisper (56 degrees crisp), and the squirrels are gathering nuts for the winter. In a Dolly Parton song, she sings about being cold when it is "way down in the fall." T says that it's not that late in the year yet and R says that he was cold at school, so maybe it is way down in the fall. We compromised and agreed that, right now, it's way in the middle of the fall.

We just went to a Fall Fest party at the home of one of R's classmates. Totally fun for the kids. Totally insane for the parents. They played a bunch of games with prizes for everybody for each game; they ate hotdogs; they decorated pumpkins; they had a pinata; and they wore costumes. Oh yeah, and there were 46 kids. 46. Kids. Yikes!

I had to go to the grocery store after the party and R said that he was embarassed to go in his costume. He's a vampire. Black pants, white shirt, red cumberbund, black cape, white face make up, red blood dripping from his mouth, hair slicked back, fang teeth. He wanted to take the cape off to go in the grocery store. I convinced him that he'd look better with the cape because then his face make up made sense. I don't think he really got what I meant, but he went in full-costumed anyway. He got lots of smiles. So did T, who was wearing a dog costume -- a different dog costume than the one he wore last year because he didn't want to be that dog, but he wanted to be a golden retreiver like Mackinaw. Too cute.

It's been a full on busy day. M and R had hockey team pictures at 8:00 am this morning. This means that they had to be at the rink by 7:40 or so to get suited up. M suggested -- and I quickly agreed -- that I stay home with T :> I took a long bath and read a lot of a great book (Julie and Julia) for an hour. Then, I cooked up some bacon and had a great breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast for them when they got back.

After our late breakfast, we all worked in the yard. M had tilled out a bigger area in the front yard for a flower bed. We got some tulips in the mail last week that I ordered from Holland, MI. Sixty bulbs in all. T and R helped me plant them six inches deep. They'll be so beautiful in the spring! T asked me to read the names of the flowers as we planted them. At the end of the morning, he said, "I can't WAIT to see the Pink Imaginations come up, can you mommy?" I didn't tell him, but I, actually, am most excited about the Red Cashmir and the White Trumpets...but I'm sure the Pink Imaginations that we put around the mailbox will be divine.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Fun with Uncle Dan in Our Second Corn Maze

We had a great weekend with Uncle Dan last weekend at another corn maze. In my quest to see all of the corn mazes within 50 miles of our house before the month was over, we discovered a really fun place. We all had a great time. I tried to post these pictures earlier in the week, but Blogger wasn't cooporating -- it still isn't cooperating, but I posted them the old school way. Enjoy!

T and R goofing around in the hay bale maze. Posted by Picasa
R, pretending he's a farmer and chewing on a piece of corn straw (he saw his daddy doing it earlier and thought that it was pretty funny.) Posted by Picasa
A rare picture with me in it. I know, it's not the best of the boys -- but I don't look too bad! Posted by Picasa
Uncle Dan with R and T -- all ready for the corn maze. (Yes, T picked out his own outfit, bandana and all.) Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Sleep is Good

I got a GREAT night's sleep on Friday night and last night. I'm such a happier person (and wife and mom) when I've had over five hours of sleep in a night :>

Uncle Dan came over this weekend and we had a really nice visit. He and M went skeet shooting yesterday, and last night we played 3-way pegs and jokers (after a tasty dinner of chicken, spinach casserol, and tomatoes with mozerella). Today, the boys took Mackie for a walk in the woods while I finished up some work and then we went to our second corn maze of the season. Lots of fun there -- I'll have pictures for you later this week.

I'm off for my last(!) business trip tomorrow at 4:00AM. Wish me luck!

Friday, October 07, 2005

So Tired...

I don't know how I'm awake right now... I don't think I've gotten more than 4-5 hours of sleep each night for the past three weeks with all this traveling. On Wednesday, I was up at 4:30 and in bed after midnight. That's a long day, especially when it included six hours of driving to Chicago and back. The crazy thing is that I was so wired, despite being exhausted, that I couldn't sleep that night. And the same thing happened last night. I didn't get to sleep until after three in the morning. Arghh! Tonight, Tylonal PM will be my friend....I better take it now so that I can be awake at 7:00 to get the boys ready for hockey.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I'm back from my third (out of four) business trips in so many weeks. I'm pooped! The boys made "welcome home" posters for me -- so cute. R wasn't feeling well today and had a fever -- that poor boy has been getting sick a lot. He still has a bit of a fever now (don't ask me how high it is; I dropped the thermometer in the toilet and threw it away and haven't replaced it yet). His only other symptom is a headache. Bummer.

M is at the Tiger Cubs meeting right now. I was supposed to help him, but I'm home with the kids since R is sick. The theme is Health and Safety. I organized the meeting and got most of the stuff together, with M's help. They will be making first aid kids and talk about safety. They'll also make firefighter hats and play a firefighter relay (they'll have to put on their hats and some big boots, run across the floor, blow out a candle, and run back to give the boots to the next boy.) Should be fun.

Meanwhile, I worked with R on his vocabulary words because he has a test on Friday. I'm impressed with his sight reading skills. Funny, though, they don't teach phonics at his school. When I asked him to sound out a word, he looked at me like I was weird and named the letters in the word instead of sounding it out. So, I taught him how to sound out words. I did this because he saw the word "car" and quickly said that it was "color". I guess that he just saw the first letter and quessed....strange. But, all in all, he got more than 90% of the words right on the first try, so I told him how proud I was of him.

I have a long day tomorrow. I have to drive to Chicago, leaving at 6:00am and I won't get home until about midnight. Some folks are spending the night, but I don't want to be away more than I already am. Then I'm home until Monday, when I'll fly to Cincinnati for one night. Then I'll be done traveling for awhile. Whew! By the way, M is being quite a trooper about all this traveling, which makes it so much easier for me. He says "well, it's your job" and "I know you're not doing this because you want to." He also appreciates all my efforts to get home quickly. I sure love that man!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Breakfast Conversation

I made eggs, toast, and bacon for breakfast this morning. R polished everything on his plate pretty quickly. T ate his eggs (and then some) and most of his toast. R, upon seeing that T was slowing down, said to T "can I have that piece of toast with honey on it?" T said, "sure you can. here you go." R got it and said, "Honey toast! Prepare for your doom!" and quickly took a bite.

Life with boys...such testoserone-driven drama.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Share and Tell

We got a note from T's preschool last Monday letting us know that they were going to start doing Share and Tell, one child at a time. When they sent a bag home, we were to help our child pick out a non-toy to share. The kids would be asked to say three things about what they were sharing. So, last Friday, T brought home a pillow case with a drawstring in it, and proudly told me that he was going to be the first one to share....

Fast forward to Monday at lunch time, when M and T took me on a "lunch date" and M whispered to me "ask T about Share and Tell." YIKES! I immediately remembered that we completely forgot about it!! So, I said to T:

Me: T, what happened at share and tell?
T: I shared; I told.
Me: Oh...what did you share and tell about?
T: Air.
Me: Air?
T: Yeah, I talked about air.
Me: Wow. What did you say about air?
T: I said, 'This is air. You need it to breathe. It's air. The end."

Me: That's great.
T: Yeah, I know.

I was so impressed with his flexability and improv on the spot! Most four year-olds would cry or pitch a fit or say that they forgot! Not my creative T! No way...he shared about air.

Later on in the lunch, I spotted on T's wrist the friendship bracelet that he made over the weekend. I said, Hey, you could have shared the friendship bracelet. He said, "Why? I shared air?"


Saturday, September 24, 2005

A Day At The Farm and Corn Maze

When my sis was in town last weekend, we went to a local farm for a day. It's fun to see how these farmers are creating profitable attractions for visitors. I know farming isn't an easy vocation and I like to see the creativity they each have. Anyway, this one has a u-pick apples (which we're going to go back to do), a corn maze, a cute barn store full of tasty and cute items, a wagon ride, and a little kids playground area. We went mainly for the maze (my quest is to do all corn mazes within a 70 mile radius of our house this fall -- I think there are three of them). Last year when we went to a corn maze, there were triva questions at each juncture. If you answered it correctly, it told you the correct way to go. If you answered it incorrectly, it told you the wrong way to go.

At this maze, there was nothing. No questions, no hints, not even a clue as to where you were supposed to exit! It was ridiculious!! But we had fun.

R and T didn't know which way to go...

M, with his boy scout training and smart brain, began droping kernels of corn to mark our way (how hansel and gretle of him!) so we would know if we were just walking in circles. The boys had fun, we had to keep telling R to wait for us because he would run ahead to see what was around the bend and we couldn't see him. Once I realized that we might be there awhile, I stopped drinking my tasty fresh apple cider in case M would need some glucose out there...I was a bit worried. But, never fear, with M's leadership, we made it out! And we were so proud, man!!

And now for laughs, here's me and my sis as scarecrows...kinda scary!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Queen for a Day

I'm back in town.

I was supposed to leave my conference at 1 pm and get home at 6 pm, but after missing my family and checking the agenda for the conference, I decided that I didn't need to attend this morning's sessions. So, I woke up at 4:15 (ugh!) and headed to the airport to catch an earlier flight. I had checked online last night and saw that the 6 am flight was wide open, and that there was a 6:50 flight only half full. I figured that I could get on one of those.

I did, but barely.

The 6:50 was cancelled and those passengers were called the night before and told to come get on the 6:00 flight. I waited in a terribly long line (especially for 5:00 in the morning!) and was told that there was only one seat left. Great! I said, I only need one seat. Well, in order to hold it, the ticket agent said, you'll have to pay a fee. She said this with a sad look on her face. Uh oh...so I quietly asked, what's the fee?? (praying that it wasn't the difference between my ticket and the current price...which would be an unachievable $400 and also praying that it wasn't the $100 fee they charge for changing your flight on the phone.) I held my breath....She said, 25 dollars. $25! :> :> :> no problem, $25 to get on a plane and not have to wait for 7 hours in the airport...why that's less than four bucks an hour. Count me in!

So I got home at noon instead of six tonight, much to the delight of M and T (who were home at the time) and R (who got home a few hours later). T decided that I should be a queen and proceeded to get out paper, scissors, tape, and markers (the necessary requirements of all good art projects.)

He asked me what name I wanted on a royal name tag that he was making and I said "S....". He said I couldn't use my real name and I needed to pick another. So I picked "Sue", my middle name. He didn't like that either, so he said, I'll pick a beautiful name for me. So he made me a name tag that reads...

Queen Rowala Diamond

He got help on the spelling, but the name is all his. I don't know where he got that name, but he is very proud of it. "Isn't it beautiful?" he said. Yes it is, I said, proudly wearing the paper crown and nametag, with a very warm feeling in my heart.

It's nice to be home....and it's nice to be queen :>

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Biz Trip

I'm getting ready for four weeks of business trips -- 2 nights this week, one night next, and two nights away the next two weeks. YIKES. I shouldn't complain becuase I haven't traveled since June, and February before that. M is gearing up for it and has babysitters lined up one night each trip so he gets a break. Smart man. R is fine -- "it's only two nights mom, that's not bad at all." T tears up and gave me hundreds of kisses when I put him to bed. Awwwhhh...

My sister visited me this weekend and we had a BLAST. I'll post more on that when I get back (with pics). Here's some catch-up thoughts.
  • I've only made half of the medical appointments I need to...but HEY, that's four appointments I made. Not Bad.
  • T is liking ice skating now. He's still on buckets, but should be off soon. He can shuffle half way across the ice without the buckets. I think he likes the snacks afterward the best. The one day he quit after 15 minutes, he didn't get snacks. He's played ever since...might be a correlation!
  • R is doing amazingly well at skating. In addition to the skating drills, he's even playing hockey a bit...and made a goal once! His heart is in it and he's a coaches dream. What an attitude that boy has. You would not believe how red, hot and sweaty he is after practice...his shirt is drenched and he has sweat rolling down his face, accompanied by a huge smile! He sure doesn't take after his mom there!
  • M took T to Michaels to get his very own paint and art supplies today. He's in heaven!
  • I thought of two more sayings in the biz world that drive me crazy: "Reach out" as in "I'll reach out to Brenda and ask her to take care of that." What ever happened to the word "call?" The other one is "Have a dialogue" What ever happened to simple "talk"???? Crazy world I work in!
  • My allergies are under control. As of three days ago, my ears, eyes, nose, and throat are all A-OK. Remember, I'll be taking a nasal spray twice a day until the first hard frost!
  • R seems much better until he's overtired, then he says that he feels sick. He goes to the doctor in November for a check up. We'll ask about allergies.
  • We haven't taken out Yankee Doodle since THE EVENT.....timing just hasn't been right. M and I agreed that we need to take it out before we put it away for the winter. Stay tuned on that front.

That's it for now! If you feel like it, reach out to me so we can have a dialogue.

Friday, September 16, 2005

A Sign of the Season

T walked into our bedroom this morning and said, "Mom, my clock in my room says that it's seven o'clock, but the sun outside doesn't say that it's seven o'clock." I looked outside and saw that the sun was barely peeking out -- it was pretty dark. I said, "T, that's becuase summer is about over and it's time for fall. " T replied without a beat..."ohhh, that's why I saw the leaf falling down yesterday!"

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Surfer Boy

R had a great time "surfing" on the lake when we were at the cottage. The "surfboard" is the board of a wind sufboard. My friend, Kevin, spent some time with R, helping him get up and then giving him a gentle push. R figured that he was a pro because of all of his practice in the creek with Uncle Rick back in California. Needless to say, he had a great time -- and provided some entertainment to those of us on the beach in the peanut gallery.

Note: R just came in and saw this blog entry and broke into a huge grin. He said, "Mom, next time we got there, I'm gonna do this move" and started to wiggle his hips, with his arms out and his knees bent (one in front of each other.) And then he said, "you should bring your video camera next year because I'm going to be great."

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Ear Update

Whaddaya know....it's allergies and not a cold.

I went to the Urgent care ( yes, that place that I hate) but actually had a good experience! I was seen by a nurse practitioner (I love nurse practitioners -- much more realistic and down to earth than doctors, in general). He said are you allergic to ragweed? I said that I was (as you all remember!) but that these symptoms were completely different. I told him that my eyes weren't itchy and watery...and besides, R has an ear infection and we've been sick with the same cold for two weeks.

Hmmmm...he said as he was looking in all of the orifices on my head. Well, he said, your nasal passage looks like you have allergies.....and your ears look like you have allergies....and your throat looks like you have allergies....I'm fairly confident that you have allergies. Then, he said, do you also have spring allergies? Nope, I told him, I didn't have any spring allergies...But wait, I said...there was that cold that lasted for five weeks last April.

He just smiled.

Evidently, I have allergies.

Why am I surprised? I was allergic to pollen growing up, so why not these midwestern plants too?
(Note: When he asked me if I had any Fall allergies and I said 'no', T corrected me and said, "you're allergic to cats, mom!"

He prescribed what he calls the "triple whammy" -- steroids (Prednizone) for five days to block any new ragweed and golden rod from getting into my system, a "turbo sudifed" and nasal spray. He said that after two weeks, I'll be under control and will only need the nasal spray until the first hard frost (now that's not something you hear in California.)

Anyway, I feel alot better. I'm just a little stuffed up and my ear is just a little bit clogged.

I'm beggining to think that R has allergies too and it turned into an ear infection. His nose runs evertime he's outside (it has all his life -- since he could run around a playground.) But, we'll deal with that later at his annual exam with our new pediatrician.

By the way, we finally do have a pediatrician. And we have appointments for both boys (thanks to the deadline given by T's preschool -- ya gotta love deadlines.}

Now on my doctor To Do list, I need appointments for:
  • Eye doctor for me (no, I still haven't gone)
  • Eye doctor for M (to check on that thing that was not intrusive but needs to be watched)
  • General check up for me
  • General check up for M
  • Dentist for all four of us
  • Gynee for me (unless I do the general check up first, then all can be covered there)
  • Endocronologist for M

Whew! If I just get two of those checked off my list this week I'll be happy.

I'll be even more happy on Friday night when my SISTER COMES TO VISIT :> :> :> :> :>

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Of Colds and Ear Aches


R and I got a cold two weeks ago. We both felt pretty lousy for a week. I would sneek home to take a nap in the middle of the day (the beauty of living 12 minutes from work) and R stayed home from school for a day. After about 5 days, we felt better, albeit still stuffed up. M and T, in the meantime, got a weaker version of this cold. Anyway, between Sudafed, Dayquil, Children's Triamenic, and Tylanol, we were all feeling a bit better. So we went to the cottage. And had a great time. By the end of that trip, we didn't need the drugs any more and were'nt blowing our noses every three seconds.

But R and I still had some stuffy (me) or runny (him) noses. And then, on Wednesday night, R woke up at 12:30 and came to my bedside. I asked why he was up and he said that he didn't know. So, I had him go tinkle, get a sip of water, and took him back to bed. Then, he was up again at 3:30, with his ear feeling like "it has a huge metal ball in it, trying to push out." I thought that was a great description of an earache (much better than his very vague decriptions from when he had a "soft tummy." So, I gave him some decongestant and ibuprofin and stayed up with him whimpering until 5:30, when he fell asleep,

Took him to the doctor on Thursday and yep, he has an ear infection. I wanted the doc to check my ear too (since we have been on the same path with this illness) but didn't ask because my ear really didn't hurt, it just felt plugged up. R stayed home from school yesterday (after another night of being up with mommy around 2-4 am) and he seems a lot better today (the wonders of antibiotics!)

Now it's Saturday and we're waiting until 9:30 for the Urgent Care to open because I have a large metal ball in my right ear trying to get out.


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Cottage Life

Welcome to Shady Shores! What a great place...a place where we hope to return to next year :>

Here's our cute little cottage on the beach where we spent a lovely Labor Day weekend. All of us had such a great time.

R and T had fun playing shuffle board. They don't know how to play, but had a good time making up their own rules. As usual, wrestling was involved (I know, I know...but they are boys.)

T loved playing in the sand. If it were up to him, he would have stayed in the sand all day. As a matter of fact, his favorite way of warming up after getting cold in the water was to lay down in the prone position in the sand. He looked like a sand monster, but he was warm.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Fun Times at Shady Shores

A friend of my from California has relatives in the Midwest who own a group of seven cottages on a lake. We just got back from a fun trip visiting with them. I'm too pooped to blog much, but I'll think of a few highlights:
  • Great food! BBQs to the max - burgers, dogs, steak, Greek Chicken, corn -- yum!
  • The boys body surfing on the lake because the wind was so high that it made waves.
  • Flying a kite and tying it to the chair on the beach to float in the breeze as it wanted to.
  • Being served breakfast by all the kids; giving them tips; and taking them to get ice cream cones (doubles!) with the tip money.
  • Watching the boys learn how to play poker with the other kids.
  • Bonfires every night.
  • Looking for shooting stars - and admiring the Miky Way every night.
  • Drinking great wine and tasty coolers.
  • Walking out as far as you could and still be on the sand bar, with the water only up to my knees.
  • Sleeping in the adorable two-bedroom cabin with the family.
  • Playing fooz-ball with R in the main cabin (and him beating me each time!)

That gives you a good taste of the weekend for now. Photos to come later...

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

He's Got a Big Heart

At our wedding reception, Uncle B told my parents that M has a big heart. And he sure is right...

We, like you I'm sure, have been watching the devastation of that darn hurricane on New Orleans. It's a terrible, horrible, really bad mess (to quote a kids' book). All those people without houses, water, clothes, and food.

Last night M asked me if it was okay if we took in some hurricane victims who needed a place to stay. He figured that we could turn over our office and guest room to a family in need. Sure, I said. Of course.

Today he called me at work and asked if it was okay with me if we donated our tent trailer to a family who was suddenly homeless. Well, we were hoping to keep the camper one more summer, but how could I say no to a family that is suddenly homeless....Sure, I said.

Now, I know that neither of these ideas will come to fruition -- there are a lot of logistical issues to deal with. So, our donation to Red Cross will probably be it for us. But I LOVE that he thinks this way.

Uncle B hit the nail on the head.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Size Matters

While T was skating last Saturday (for that brief amount of time that he was on the ice) M noticed that the blades on his skates looked too big for him. He was "pushing buckets" (see my blog from last January about R on buckets) and had a hard time getting close enough to the buckets to be effective.
You see, T couldn't fit in his skates from last year, so we had him in R's old skates (with two pairs of socks). His wide feet seemed to fit okay in them, but they were a bit long at the toes -- and the blade was even longer. M checked online to no avail for wider skates, so he took the little tike to a hockey store in the next town over. Now, I questioned this since I didn't think that there was a chance in heaven that T was going to get back on the ice, but M said that he saw how much fun T had during free skate last year and thought that it was worth a go.

Well, fifty bucks later we had the most adorable pair of little hockey skates that you've ever seen. They look to be about five inches long and about three and a half inches wide. Too cute! M billed them as "magic skates" to T and T was buying it. M also got an amazing deal on a teeny tiny shoulder/chest pad thingy that is smaller than the size XS that we had for T (which was too big.) This all happened during the day yesterday and M said that they were going to hockey practice and I should meet them there after work. I wished him luck.

Fully expecting to see little T sitting on the sidelines when I arrived, I was surprised to see him out on the ice, pushing buckets around the rink. He was fully participating in the class and seemed to be having a good time. I arrived at minute 32 through the lesson and he stuck it out for the next 28 minutes. When he got off the ice, he said "mom, we played a new game called 'catch the coach' and I was really good at it" with a big smile on his sweaty face. I asked if he had a good time and he said, "oh yeah, it was great with my magic skates."

Give M another point for knowing how to work it with our sons :>

R, by the way, also had a great lesson. He did all sorts of drills between cones and is looking really good out there.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

I'll Skate, But I Won't Play Hockey...

Believe it or not, today was the first practice of the ice hockey season. R was so excited that he had a "fuzzy stomach" last night and couldn't sleep. T wasn't quite as excited....as a matter of fact, he wasn't sure if he wanted to participate at all. He said, "okay, I'll learn to skate, but I'm not going to play hockey." Okay, we thought, at least he would go for it....

Until he had been on the ice for 20 minutes and was hot.

"Mom, I'm so hot I have water dripping down my back." He yelled to me from the ice with his little head bobbing up and down in his hockey helmet and face mask (and the rest of his body hidden in full hockey gear, including a teeny tiny cup to "protect my boys.")

"That's okay, honey. That's what happens when you play a sport. You'll cool off when you're all done. Now go back out there for another 15 minutes and then you can have juice and animal crackers," I said as a teeny tiny bribe.

Big tears start rolling down his face and major crying ensued. Hmmm... If he had wanted to do this to begin with I would give him the you've-got-to-finish-what-you-start speech. But, he didn't even want this so much. So, we took him off the ice, took off his pads and equipment, and he sat with me in the stands for the rest of the lesson.

R, in the mean time, had a blast.

He was graduated from the Learn to Skate class into the Learn to Play class. This means that he's going to actually play 3-on-3 hockey at some point in the season. He's the wobbliest out there, but has an awesome I Can Do It and Put Me In Coach attitude. The coach complimented him afterwards and says that he's going to be a great hockey player some day. With a big, sweaty grin, R took a sip of his apple juice and said, "thanks coach."

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Jargon of the Modern Business World

There's always new sayings in the corporate world that don't exist anywhere else. Here's a sample of my current favorites:
  • Visibility - as in "I need to have visibility of the situation." What happened to saying something like, "I need to know about that situation"? Since when are budget gaps something that you need to have "visibility" into or about?
  • Net - this has been around for a long time, but it kills me. "Net" means "in summary" or "the bottom line" as in "Net, we need to find $2 million to pay for that project."
  • Learnings - this is one that I've always sworn to never use, but I've given into peer pressure and use it. As in, "what are the learnings from that project?" What happened to saying, "what did we learn on that project?" I don't know, but I'm now guilty of using the word, "learnings".
  • Against - As in "we are working against a 12-24 year-old target." Doesn't that sound like we are anti 12-24 year-olds?? WRONG, quite the opposite. That statement means that we are targeting 12-24 year-olds, which means that we like them and want them to like us!
  • Transparancy - Related very much to visibility above. Used today in a meeting: "I need this to be transparent to the team."

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Less is More

Me: R, what is your favorite part of first grade?

R: The three recesses, for sure....But there's one problem, mom.

Me: What's the problem?

R: Two of the recesses are really short because of the food thing.

Me: The food thing?

R: Yeah, in recess #1 we have our snack, then we get to play after. And at the middle recess, we have lunch first, then we play. Uhhh, mom?

Me: Yeah, R?

R: I don't mean to complain or anything, but you gave me too much food for lunch. I barely had time to play with Sammy 'cause I had to eat my whole lunch!

Me: I understand. I'll try to put less in tomorrow.

R: Yeah, that's a good idea.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

In Theory...

I went into the kitchen this morning and the boys were eating breakfast. T was having oatmeal (one of his faves) and R was eating Corn Pops. When I entered, T said, "Mom, dad says that oatmeal isn't cereal and you told me it is cereal. So I need to know, is oatmeal cereal?" I said that oatmeal was hot cereal and Corn Pops was cold cereal -- so there were different kinds of cereal. T said to M, "Dad is that what you think too?" M wasn't paying attention at the moment and asked T to repeat what he said. T said, "Dad, mom says in theory, oatmeal is a kind of cereal. Do you agree?"

M and I looked at each other...did he just say "in theory"? Yep, he did. Amazing. He's only four.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Random Thoughts

  • T got a new stuffed animal - a bear that he named "mashed potatoes" :>
  • We made pizza tonight with store-bought dough that we had to roll and shape ourselves (I refrained from throwing into the air, much to the boys disappointment. Half was with red pizza sauce and half was with alfredo "white" sauce. Added tomatoes and basil picked from our garden. Comments around the table included "we're the masters" from R, and "this is the best pizza in the world" from T, followed by another memorable quote from T "This is sooo good that it's not even good!" Gotta love 'em.
  • Bought school supplies for R today. The teacher gave us a list: 24 crayola crayons, 8 sharpened #2 pencils, box or kleenix to share with the class, elmers glue, two glue sticks, two erasers, pencil sharpener with a thingy to catch the shavings (we still have to get that one)
  • I made pancakes for breakfast (boys' request). When asked if they wanted syrup or butter and sugar, both wanted butter and sugar (just like their mamma likes them)
  • Picked three cucumbers and one bell pepper from the garden
  • Spent an hour by myself in the red adirondack chair -- a little piece of heaven. Then I was joined by the boys and we blew bubbles for a loong time. Another piece of heaven. By the way, Mackinaw is very good at jumping in the air and popping the bubbles.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Shaping Up

R starts first grade on Monday. Last night was a "meet the teacher" night at school. M took R to meet his teacher before I got home from work (I encouraged this because I knew that parking would be a NIGHTMARE after 5:30 when I'd get home.) R was telling me all about it and he was describing a girl who was there with her parents:

"Mom, you know those really mean girls from my kindergarten class year? And you remember there was the one girl who was beginning to shape up at the end of the year? Well, she'll be in my first grade class. Don't worry, it's okay, because she was the one that was shaping up."

Gardening Lessons Learned

Most of you know that I am new to gardening. And if you've been reading my blog all year, you know that I only survived the winter by thinking about all of the beautiful plants that I would have in the Spring and Summer and hopefully, Fall. I drooled over gardening catelogs, bought three books on Midwestern gardening and anxiously waited for the plants to come. I planned and replanned what I would plant and where they would go. I also ordered some bareroot plants from a catalog.

The beautiful plant above is a variety of phlox, which I love.

We also have an amazing butterfly bush that attracts the most beautiful butterflies (I *have* to get a picture of them!) We have a variety of hostas, which I had never seen before, but are prevelant in the MidWest. I've planted daisies, marigolds, pansies, petunias, snap dragons, ivy, and a bunch of other things.

I've even planted things that I've forgotten about! Some of the dryroots that I planted started coming up and I couldn't remember what they were. One was a plant that I put infront of a hibiscus bush by the front entry way. I remember that the plant is supposed to be 18" tall. Well, the darn thing keeps growing and growing and now it's as tall as I am! Taller than the hibiscus bush! I've been intrigued about this mystery plant. What is it? How pretty will it be? Will I be able to put the flowers in an arrangement in a vase? A few weeks ago, it started to grow skinny pine-cone shaped flowers. Cool! It's almost time for it to bloom. M wanted to cut it back, but I told him not to -- we have to see what this thing wants to do. I don't know what it is, but it looks like it's going to be great, I told him.
Okay, he said, let's see what this thing is.

foreshadowing side note: My allergies have been extremely bad lately. My eyes have been dry, itchy, and watery. My nose has been itching so much that I nearly rub it off each day when I try to "scratch" it by rubbing it. I've been taking Alerest lately to combat this crazy allergy.

Back to the story....

We had our friends, the H's over last Sunday. He grew up on a farm and she does flower arranging sometimes for the grocery store. They've helped me identify my unidentified midwestern flora and fauna in the past. As they were leaving, I asked them what this very large mystery plant is. They both kind of chuckled and Mrs H said, "Oh, Sandra, let's just get out your shears now and get this out. It's a weed. You don't really want it. It can't be what you ordered from the catalog. It just took over and what ever you planted didn't have a chance. You don't want it." Hmmm.... But she also told me that Queen Anne's Lace is a weed last week and I love Queen Anne's Lace. So, I didn't think anything of it.

I mentioned to M that it looked like those skinny pine-cone shaped buds were going to get yellow blooms and it would be so pretty. Oh yeah, M said. I meant to tell you, I was talking to a neighbor yesterday and at some point he asked us why we have that plant so prominantly in our front entry way. Guess what it is ?


The most harmful pollen producer of all plants. The plant that 90% of people who suffer allergies are allergic to!


After telling me that, M, with my permission, went out front and pulled out every darn leaf, stem, and flower from that darn plant!!!

We now have a big gap in the front entry way...and that's just fine with me :>

Thursday, August 11, 2005

One for The Bucket, Three for Me

Last week I mentioned all the blueberries we have in the house. They are a result of going blueberry picking last week. It was a pretty hot day - high 80's and lots of humidity. I found a farm 15 minutes from our house that ran a u-pick business, so we headed on out to the farm. I was motivated to get LOTS of blueberries -- for muffins, cobbler, and to freeze. We explained to the boys to only pick the ripe ones -- the dark ones. There were lots of pinkish ones on the bushes and I didn't want any of those in my cobbler!

Well, R took those instructions very seriously and looked for the darkest ones possible. After determining which berry on the plant was the darkest, R would pick it gingerly and come over to show me what a great job they did. T, on the other hand, had a fabulous time picking and eating as many berries as he could.

Here is R showing "the perfect blueberry" and T in the background (probably with three berries in his mouth."

Like I said, I was motivated, and I was a powerhouse picker. We got seven pounds in total. I think that I picked 4, M picked 2 1/2 and the boys picked about half between them. Here are our buckets at the end of the morning:

All in all, it was a fun time. They put all of our berries into two bags - the picture at the top shows T with the 5 lb bag and R with the 2 lb bag...yummers :>

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Here's to my Sistah...

Years ago, my sister and I declared that August 10th is "sister's day". We decided that we needed a day to celebrate each other. Often one of us forgets the holday and feels horrible about it, but we always find a way to aknowledge each other. That day is here. So here's to my sister...

She's an amazing person because she:

  • Has an incredible ability to make you laugh. She can take any situation and find something knee-slapping funny in it. Even if she's making fun of herself. I can't have a conversation with her without laughing....and I love that!
  • Has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I know. She gives of herself not only with her husband and three children, but with shut-ins at her church, her friends, and her extended family.
  • Can whip up a tasty meal in no-time for a crowd without any stress or worry.
  • Is a stay-at-home mom who is always on the run doing fun and educational things with her kids.
  • Keeps up her spiritual life through church groups and Bible studies.
  • Will dance with her kids in the living room just for fun.
  • Gave me and our mom a foot massage and pedicure on Mother's Day to show us she loves us (and it felt wonderful!)
  • Teaches Sunday school at church and an "Art from the Masters" class at her son's elementary school.

She's just really great and I miss her the most of anything or anyone in California. I love her so much!

By the way, I must say that I'm so thankful for the reasonable prices of the telephone and internet, which makes communication so much easier and quicker than the snail mail and prices of yesteryear.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Harvest Time

Gardens and freezers are full here in the midwest, as they are in most of the country. Berries are ripe for pickin'. Our little vegtable patch is chock full of peppers, zuchini, crook-neck squash, and tomatoes (not ripe yet.) Here is what I have in my freezer from this year's harvest (either picked from our garden or u-picked from a local farm:
  • 4 bags of sliced strawberries
  • 6 bags of blueberries
  • 3 loaves of zuchini bread
  • 4 bags of sliced banana peppers
  • 3 bags of blueberry muffins (8 muffins in each bag)
  • 1 jar of strawberry freezer jam from our neighbor(we've already eaten 2 jars)

We've also had strawberry shortcake, strawberries on pancakes, blueberry crisp, blueberry cobbler. Yum! Here's a picture of a recent harvest.

Friday, August 05, 2005

And We Could Have Gone Camping...

We were sitting at home, after just deciding that we weren't going to go to the local campground for the weekend because we were worn out. We were trying to get the energy up to do something fun with the family, when M looked out the window and said, "there's a nice breeze out." I said, "good, let's open the windows." M looked at me again and said, "there's a nice breeze out for sailing." Oh, that's what he meant!

We headed out for the boat after changing into our swim suits (the kids like to swim at the beach while M docks and cleans the boat. I get the good end of the deal because I play with the kids while M does the grunt work.) But we didn't get that far.

After eating our Subway sandwiches as we were sailing around the lake, the wind picked up and we were "honking" (going really fast!) and having a great time. The kids were cracking up and I was mostly having fun and kind of worried about the kids as we were heeling. The kids and I were on the high side and M came over too because we were doing so great and he wanted to balance the boat out. Everybody was having a great time, until.

The wind completely shifed.

With all of us on the same side of the boat....YIKES.

The next thing I knew, M said, "we're going over". And we did. We went over. Capsized. Got wet. In the water. Boat on it's side. YIKES.

I helped T fall in the water so he wouldn't hurt himself on the side of the boat. After falling in and under the water and coming back up to the surface, I grabbed the kids. They had their life vests on (safety first, M always says). The three of us were under the sail. I've never capsized before, but I didn't think it was a good idea to be under the sail. Would it push us back into the water? Would it squish out all of the air? So, I pushed the boys about three feet to where I saw light -- right by the boat, which was on its side. Once we were there, we could breathe, but I knew right away that it wasn't a good place to be. What if the boat turned more on its side, right on top of us? So I started telling/yelling to the boys to get out of there, we're going out away from the sail.

I realized two things at this point 1)T was screaming and crying his head off and 2) I didn't know where M was or if he was okay. I yelled for M, but no answer. I figured I'd get the boys out safe and then figure out where M was. By now I could focus on T's crying and realized that he was upset that his Bug Juice, which was in his hand still!, was geting "ruined". I yanked the plastic bottle out of his hand and told him we'd get more later, which increased the crying.

I kept trying to get the boys out from under the sail (all this has taken about 2-3 minutes, but seemed like 30 minutes) but found out that their bodies and legs were tangled in the lines. I yelled to M again. This time he answered that he was trying to right the boat. I yelled not to right the boat yet because the boys were tangled. M swam under the boat to get to our side and helped me untangle the boys.

We got to clear water and I had the boys float on their backs to rest in their life jackets. I looked up and a family in a cushy boat came over to save us. I pushed the boys up into their boat and they warmed them up with towels. The family was a mom and dad, a 2-yr old girl, and a golden retriever. They threw me a life jacket, which was great timing because now that I had the kids safe I realized that I was really tired from guiding them along and treading water!

We watched in the safety of the boat as M tried over and over to right the boat. Meanwhile, we'd see a variety of boat equipment (oars, life vests, buoys) and Subway trash float by, all refuse from our capsized boat. A guy on a jet ski came by and helped M get the boat up. It was full of water and they had a hard time keeping it up. Finally, success.

Long story short, we got our boat, Yankee Doodle, attached to the ski boat and we pulled her into the beach area. M hung onto Yankee Doodle's stern while we towed her to keep her upright. About 90 minutes of bailing later, we all got in and got her to the dock. Surprisingly, we didn't lose the motor or battery during this adventure. M thought that they both had come up missing, but the were actually dragged behind the boat the whole time, gathering pounds and pounds of lake grass as we went.

The "net takeaway" (as they say at work) from this adventure is to never have both M and me on the same side of the boat.

Final words? T said that he had wanted to go on an adventure, but not that kind of adventure. R said he thought we were never going to see the boat again. M said if only he got the boat up before it "turtled" we'd all have been right back in the boat right away, but he said he's glad we're all safe and wants to go sailing again tomorrow. I said let's thank God for keeping us safe and maybe we can splash on the beach tomorrow and think about sailing another time.

Monday, August 01, 2005

R is six years old! Posted by Picasa

Six Years Old

Each time your "baby" has a birthday, a mom can't help but think about the day he was born. R will be six years old tomorrow.

I know it doesn't sound old to all of you been-there-done-that moms, but to me, he's old!

This is the boy who...

... took over 72 hours of pitocin-induced labor to get into this world.

... knew over 50 baby sign language by the time he was 16 months old.

... always wants to please and gets terribly upset if he's disappointed me.

... gets so excited some times that he can't help jumping up and down and up and down with pure joy.

... wants to be a pilot, a soldier, a firefighter, a policeman, and a stay-at-home dad when he grows up.

... has the sweetest smile a mom could ever want to see.

... says, "I'm not trying to complain or anything" before he says anything that might be taken as an insult so he won't hurt your feelings.

... loves to teach his younger brother anything at any time.

... loves to learn anything at any time (and then explain it to you ad nauseam once he's learned it)

This is my first born, and he's six tomorrow...

Saturday, July 30, 2005

A Summer of Sailing

After five races, M's season of sailing is over. I'm happy that I wasn't a sailing widow all summer. Some guys race EVERY weekend of the summer. He's done A LOT of sailing this past month! Four overnight races in three weeks. (No wonder he's walking around the house like an old man -- I'm sure he'll recover soon.) Here are a few pictures of the Mackinac finish....

Here is T looking for Daddy sailing to the finish line. T's binoculars aren't the best, but he sure had fun looking out towards the Mackinac bridge to be the first one to spot the boat.

The boat is crossing the finish line!!! That's the Round Island lighthouse, which is just passed the finished line. Every boat that finished got a "canon" -- a loud gun-like noise precisely at the crossing of the finish line. We were so proud, man!

This is the boys posing with dad, UD, UB, and cousins Aand M. The four older ones just got finished with the 41 hour race. They are posing wit a blow-up "old goat." UB is a member of the "Old Goat" club -- meaning that he has finished more than 25 races from Chicago to Mackinac island -- actually, this one was his 39th Mac race! (R has a "bite light" in his mouth. It's a mini flashlight that sailors use when they go down below and don't want to wake up the crew that is on the sleep shift.)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Like Auntie, Like Nephew

Twice this summer R has reminded me of my sister:

1) We'll all be outside and he'll be the only one that gets bitten by mosquitos. I remember that Jen used to work better for me than OFF Bug Spray. As long as she was near me, I wouldn't get bitten, but she would. Poor girl. I told R this and he thought that the two of them should have a game to see who gets the most bites in a timed competition, "as long as we have a lot of Calimine Lotion and Itch-X in the house, we'll be fine." Are you up for it sistah???

2) I let each boy take seven bucks on our vacation. T's strategy was to spend it all at once on whatever he could (he chose polished rocks and a toy airplane -- neither of which is really a souvinere (sp) of where we were.) R, however, would ONLY buy something if he got change back.

Does this sound familiar, Sis??

The first thing that he bought cost two dollars. He had a five dollar bill and two singles. I told him he could give the clerk the two singles and he's still have his fiver to spend later. No, he said that he'd rather give her the five dollar bill so that he'd buy the toy AND get change back. "It's better this way, mom. I get more money and the toys." Okay.

Then, he chose not to buy this really cool thing at the fort that he wanted because he wouldn't get change back from his five dollars that he had left. As much as he wanted it, "it's not worth it, you know mom? Because I don't get any money back." He bought something little somewhere else and came home with three bucks and change.

You Don't Know What You Have Till It's Gone

Yesterday and today rivaled the heat records in my neck of the woods. It was 94 degrees yesterday, but *felt* like 108 due to the humidity -- that's what the weatherman said. I remember this "heat index" thing now from living in Chicago -- it feels hotter than it is because it's so darn sticky, sweaty, and sweltering. (It's just like the wind factor in the winter, but exactly the opposite -- ya know?)

Anyway, while all this heatness is going on, our central AC has been a workin' and a workin'. M has always said that our unit is too small for our house because it Never Stops. It's always running -- none of that on-for-awhile, off-for-awhile stuff for our little guy, nope. Once it's on, it's off and running.

Until yesterday at 4:00 pm. When it stopped. Completely.

I noticed that it was feeling a bit warm in the house. I wandered over to the thermastat to see if I had accidently turned it off for some reason or if it was set for "leave" -- which is what we do when we're out of town. Nope. It wasn't on "leave"...

and what was that temperature again, oh yeah EIGHTY degrees. Arghh! No wonder I was hot! Once I knew it was 80, it was really hot!

By the time night fell, it was 86 degrees inside. That's because it gets hotter here in the evening. What's up with that? At least in California, even when it was 100 during the day, it would COOL DOWN AT NIGHT. Not here, nope. It gets hotter...and stays humid. Yuck.

I checked the filter and it looked fine. I checked the breaker and it was fine. That's all I knew how to do. M was still out of town finishing the Port Huron to Mackinac race. So, I employed the two fans that we have in strategic positions and put the boys in a cool bath for an hour. By the time I went to bed at midnight, it was DOWN to 83 degrees in the house and 87 degrees outside.

I woke up at 5 in the morning and ran around opening the windows -- I was thrilled to get the temperature back down to 80 degrees (one degree short of my goal -- the 70's sound so much more tolerable than the 80's, ya know?)

Poor Emily the babysitter. She didn't bargain for what she got today. I gave her twenty bucks extra for hazard pay. I told her to get the kids wet every hour or so -- cool bath, water gun fight, running in the sprinklers, whatever it took. Then I told her to hold out in the basement where it was at least 15 degrees cooler. Finally, as a last resort, she could take them to her house if she wanted to. She's such a sweetheart and said that it was no problem :>

When I came home from work it was 88 degrees in the house and 85 degrees outside with not an inkling of a breeze in the air...and the air was thick with 80% humidity. Gross. Emily and the kids were melting in the living room watching a DVD, all with smiles on thier faces. Bless their hearts. Emily took her money and rushed out the door, promising that the day went along great.

Anyone for a leisurely dinner in air conditioned Red Lobster? Both boys said it sounded like a great idea. So we ran out the door too.