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April, 2010:

OK – I Get It

So I have these friends, quite a few actually, whose kids play hockey.

I never understood why they would have their kids spend so much time playing one sport, which meant they also had to spend all that time watching their kid play that sport.

I always said “There is no way my kid is playing hockey. Spending all those hours at the rink each week so one person in our family of four can play hockey while the rest of us freeze to death – no thank you. And all the equipment – bluck. No thank you. And the weekend travel to tournaments – not gonna do it. Too much other fun stuff we could do as a family. And it’s so EXPENSIVE! No thank you.”

I now understand why you do it, because I’m doing it. Baseball is my hockey.

You do it because your kids love to play, and you love to watch them do what they love.

You do it because you actually love the game as much as they do.

You do it because if you weren’t spending that money on them, you’d probably be spending it on something less important anyway.

You do it because it’s still family time, even though it’s not hiking or camping or whatever.

You do it because you can still do all that family stuff anyway – hiking, camping, biking, hanging out.

You do it because it’s so fun to see them improving.

You do it because the coaches still understand the kids are kids and should get to act like kids.

You do it because it’s so awesome to see how happy they are when they learn something new or make a great play.

You do it because they still think you know things and come to lean on you when they made a mistake or couldn’t do what they were trying to do.

You do it because they still love having you around.

You do it because you know that at some point in the too-near future, they won’t be kids anymore.

You do it because you wouldn’t miss this part of their life for anything in the world.

So ya – I get it.

Dear Mother Nature

Seriously? WTH? I will admit that I am a lover of the white fluffy flakes that fall from the sky; however, when it’s the end of April, I’m kind of done with it. This is how much snow you ended up dumping at my house on April 23rd:

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Yes, that’s pretty much a foot of snow. My kids were so excited that you gave them a snow day, and I was actually OK with it. They had a blast playing outside building snow forts and everything else they could think of to do with shovels and a shitload of snow. But when you make it snow like this in April, it’s heavy wet snow. And when it’s this much heavy wet snow, the trees bend and touch the electrical lines, and the electricity goes out. For hours. I’m not faulting you for that. It was actually quite nice to relocate to the basement by the fireplace and not be able to use my computer; so I thank you for that. But after 6 hours, it starts to get a bit chilly in the house even with a fire burning.

So you owe me $40 that we spent going to see How To Train Your Dragon so we could warm up a bit. You also owe a big apology to all the kids who got their prom cancelled! And to Dave the Horn Guy whose show got cancelled at the school. And to the kids who lost all that fundraising money for their playground when the show got cancelled.

The next day it was so snowy and wet that all of our activities got cancelled – a Girl Scout nature hike, a soccer game, a baseball game, and a Boy Scout overnight camping trip – boo hoo :-( Thank you for the awesome unexpected free day. No thank you for sad kids who were so excited for all their stuff that got cancelled. You also made it so friggin’ warm out that I had to snowblow the driveway 3 times to get all the snow off! The snow was so wet and heavy that I couldn’t possibly shovel it all, and the snowblower just spit it about a foot out of the chute. 3 times I had to do the driveway to get the snush off my driveway!

And the next day? You bring along a sunny 55 degree day so the kiddos were wearing shorts and t-shirts and riding bikes and rollerblading outside.

After that, we finally get a 74 degree day and what do you do? You add 70 mph wind gusts! My kids are tiny – they almost blew away waiting for the bus! We get excited for the awesome warm weather and you blast us with so much wind people had to tie down little dogs!

Your plan for this weekend apparently includes a cold front – one that quite possibly will include more snow. I have a news flash for you – Saturday is May. MAY! April showers are supposed to bring May flowers . . . it doesn’t say anything about April blizzards . . . I know it’s the 25th anniversary of the DQ Blizzard and all, but I think you’ve taken it a bit too far.

So please, oh Dear Mother Nature, snap out of it. My daughter wants to play soccer and wear shorts and flip flops. My son wants to play baseball without hand warmers inside his baseball glove. I want to go hiking. Hubby wants to go camping. We want to wash the snow gear for the last time (again) and put it away.

It is afterall, almost MAY. A foot of snow is just unacceptable at this point.

Sincerely,

She-who-loves-snow-but-is-ready-for-summer-activities-since-did-I-mention-it’s-almost-May

A Snow Day In April

So ya – they cancelled school today. Not so sure this is worthy of a cancellation, but we do have qutie a bit of snow, and it is still falling . . .

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Maybe I’ll get to learn how to train a dragon today. 

Pong Party

So we were at Sports Authority yesterday killing time before dinner (***I should not be allowed to kill time in any sporting goods store, or Target or scrapbooking store for that matter.) Right next to the ping pong table, we saw this:

pongparty

Portable Pong Party? Really? Because to me it looks like once you open the package those 24 regulation sized ping pong balls would roll all over the place, making them decidedly unportable.

And 24 Official Sized Pong Target Cups? Um, not that I would know first hand, but these look an awful lot like keg cups to me; however, they do include a “wash cup” for rinsing the balls. I’m guessing there is no way you could actually rinse the balls in, oh I don’t know, a SINK! Na – it would be much more fun to rinse them one-at-a-time in a keg cup.

The price tag on this gem of a buy? $12.

I’m no math whiz, but really? Last time I checked, you could get 36 ping pong balls for around $15. 50 “Official Sized Pong Target Cups” are available, in red, at Target for a whoppin’ $3.49. So it looks like you’re spending $12 on a portable plastic package that isn’t portable.

I don’t know about you, but when I was in college, I didn’t have $12 to spend on “Portable Pong” – that’s why I sat home knitting Thursday-Saturday :-)

One one last thing . . . Portable Pong Party at a sporting goods store? Seriously? Pong Party is a sport? I know a hell of a lot of people who’d be headed to the olympics if it were indeed a sport . . .

I Don’t Like Missing Out

I don’t like missing out on stuff with the kids. I’m sitting here at work, one of the 2 days I have to go to my actual work office each week, and I’m annoyed. Annoyed that Hubby and the kids are headed to the Air Force Academy baseball game – without me – on their day off of school.

I know I know – I get to spend tons of alone time with them when Hubby is gone flying. I love that time as much as I love our time together as a family. And I REALLY do understand how important it is for the kids to do stuff alone with Dad, too.

But I don’t like to miss out on anything. Just ask Hubby. Whenever he and I have to split up to do kid events, there are a bazillion questions when he gets home. I want to know everything that happened!

Is it because I know that at some point Hubby will be gone flying and I’ll need to know all this stuff? Or is it because I just really hate to miss out on stuff?

If history is any indication, I just hate to miss out on stuff; however, the part about Hubby being gone and me needing to know without having to trust my 9 and 7 year old to tell me details is definitely a viable excuse for my control issues 😉

My Favorite Season Has Arrived!

Spring? Nope. BASEBALL! Oh how I love baseball . . . playing, watching, whatever. My Dude had his first game in the kid-pitch league last Saturday. His team did not win, not by a long shot, but they did have fun :-) Lots of nervous little boys for their first game, but they did well.

Dude was especially excited because he got to pitch in his first real game! He did pretty well . . . threw the ball close enough to the strike zone that the other team could actually swing the bat and hit the ball (there were LOTS of walks in the game by the pitchers!). The team did well fielding when the ball was actually put in play. Dude even fielded a ball flawlessly at 2nd and threw to 1st for the first out of the game – he was sooooo happy that he did well. I was actually surprised at his composure – he wasn’t too nervous and just played the game :-) I couldn’t let his first game, especially one that he got to pitch in, go by without some pictures, courtesy of my 7 year old Princess…

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My elbow hurts just looking at him pitching! After the game, he was already asking when we could practice pitching he could do better in the next game. I love that he loves to play :-)

 

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I love this picture. Boys playing baseball on a beautiful Saturday afternoon with a train track and pond right outside the outfield fence. It doesn’t get much better than that!

 

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Dude being choosy about a pitch. Good job, Buddy!

 

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Amazingly, he actually hit this ball and got on base! YAY!

 

Tonight is his 2nd game – he’s so excited! It’s also the home opener for our local minor league team, the AAA Sky Sox, affiliated with the Colorado Rockies. We’ve got tickets to that game after Dude’s game . . . we’ll miss most of the Sky Sox game, but who cares! The tickets were free, the hot dogs are cheap, the pretzels are salty, and the beer is good!

PLAY BALL!

Childhood Friends

Did you have a childhood friend that you spent all of your time with? A friend you walked to school with every day? A friend you played on the playground with at every recess? A friend that lived just a hop, ski, and a jump away from you? A friend that you quit hanging out with for some reason, and haven’t really thought about for years?

Kelly was that childhood friend for me. She was 2 years younger than I was, but we still played every day and every weekend. At some point, we quit hanging out. I don’t really remember why or exactly when it happened. I can only guess that it was because we were 2 years apart in school and it just happened as we grew older.

I hadn’t thought about Kelly in years – like 20 years. My Dad called me Sunday and talked about Kelly. It’s amazing how the mention of a name can bring back vivid memories.

Like all the times I ran across my backyard to her house to play.

I remember playing in the giant tractor tire that was painted red and filled with sand.

I remember playing in the awesome playroom she had in her basement.

I remember throwing a Barbie Doll at her because I was mad that she had the Barbie Doll that I wanted.

I remember the instant remorse I felt when it hit her in the eye and she cried.

I remember sitting in her basement eating fondu.

I remember rolling around her basement on the goofy brown shag chair shaped like a giant mushroom.

I remember hearing how Kelly weighed less than 2 pounds when she was born.

I remember sitting on her front porch teaching her how to tie her shoes.

I remember sitting in her bedroom, taking the braids out of all of her dolls’ hair.

I remember her crying when I didn’t know how to put the braids back in.

I remember when we wanted to look like twins, so I begged and begged my mom to let me give Kelly my red shorts jumper so I could wear the blue one and we’d match.

I remember the day Kelly’s brother, Scott, came home from the hospital.

I remember how Kelly’s mom cried and cried when Scott died of SIDS.

I remember sitting at her kitchen table, doing watercolors in those books where you get the paint brush wet and rub it on the tiny colored dots on the paper to make color.

I remember hunting for mushrooms in the woods with their family.

I remember frying the mushrooms and eating them and thinking they were the most wonderful thing ever.

I remember eating my first beet at her house, and swearing I’d never ever eat another one in my entire life.

I remember the day she promised to play with me on the playground at recess, then said she didn’t want to.

I remember crying and crying all day about it.

I remember playing with her after school that day.

It’s amazing how you don’t think about somebody for so long, then a mention of their name brings back lots of memories. A week ago, if you’d asked me about my summers camping, I would have told you all about the campground and walking beans with my cousins and friends and waterskiing and volleyball and playing softball and sitting by campfires every night and growing up with these people and feeling like I had 15 brothers and sisters instead of just one brother.

Sunday, I remembered the little yellow cabin that Kelly’s family rented on the same lake.

I remembered all the boat trips we took to their cabin to grill out and hang out.

I remembered Kelly and I jumping off the end of the dock into the weedy water.

I remembered when I cut my toe on her dock and she put an entire box of Band-Aids on it.

I remembered wishing I had all the blow up floaty toys that she had.

I remembered how she always let me play with all of her toys, even if they were her favorite.

I remembered thinking the houseboat they borrowed for a couple days was the coolest thing ever.

I remembered the day our boat floated away off their dock and I got to stay overnight because it was late by the time her Dad and my Dad found it floating around the lake.

I remembered thinking it was WAY cool to sleep in the cabin with her and eat a bowl of ice cream sitting on her bed.

I remembered how cool it was to have such an awesome childhood friend.

Kelly passed away Sunday, at the age of 35, leaving behind her parents, a sister, a husband, and young son. No young boy should have to grow up without his mom. No parent should have to bury a child . . . let alone 2.

Please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers.

Frequent Flyer Miles

The Tooth Fairy is getting some frequent flyer miles coming to our house lately! Princess lost her 2 teeth last weekend, and Dude lost his first molar yesterday! 3 trips to the Boedie Abode in one week.

And apprently the Tooth Fairy thinks that molars are worth $2 each. WTH?!?! I guess that’s what happens the Tooth Fairy sends a sub in to do the job.

The Bunny Fairy Made A House Call

My beautiful Princess lost another top tooth on Saturday, which meant that the Easter Bunny AND the Tooth Fairy made a visit to our house :-) Princess is convinced they met each other while they were here.

And THEN, on Sunday morning, she lost ANOTHER tooth – this time on the bottom! No pliers necessary to get these out – she did it all on her own. Now that her top two teeth are finally starting to grow in after 7 months, she has two more missing! And she wanted to make sure we could see that all of them were gone by grinning all goofy :-)

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I was a little concerned about how she was going to eat with so many teeth missing; however, my fears were put to rest when I saw her dig into the goodies the Easter Bunny brought. I figured, what the hell, eat all the candy you want! Not like you have any teeth to contaminate with that sugar anyway :-)

What I Learned Over Spring Break Part X – 03/26/10

I learned that . . .

. . . 7 year old girls will spend a lot of time picking out the perfect dress, shoes, and earrings to wear for special day with Grandma.

. . . a trip to Claires to get earrings results in one little girl coming home with earrings, flip flops, and a stuffed raccoon that sings Happy Birthday.

. . . stuffed raccoons that sing happy birthday are cute.

. . . Dude needs reading glasses.

. . . getting reading glasses during the early stages of distance vision loss can slow down the process.

. . . stuffed raccoons that sing happy birthday are not cute after the 10th time.

. . . I love sushi.

. . . my kids love to eat sushi with “tweasers” and fun chops.

. . . my Mom is not crazy for sushi.

. . . my Mom will try anything.

. . . my Mom is not afraid to take the car and some hand-written directions and head out for Ice Cream and a trip to Walmart to get another laser pointer.

. . . Princess and Grandma can find plenty of things to do when Hubby, Dude, and I run some errands and get home after they do.

. . . some special time with Grandma makes a Princess the happiest person on the planet.

. . . 60 degree days can be followed with cold temperatures and blowing snow.

. . . cold temperatures and blowing snow make for great family time in front of the fire place.

. . . Paul Blart: Mall Cop is still funny the 3rd time.

. . . it’s fun to hang out and play games with the family.

. . . these are days I will remember forever.

. . . I hope my kids remember the special family time as much as I do.

Stay tuned to see what I learned in Part XI of Spring Break!