Saturday, April 12, 2008

Boys will be Boys

We have a few teenage boys in our neighborhood who, on Friday nights, get a little bored. And, like generations before them, they immediately think that doorbell ditching is a unique and exciting way to pass the time.

Is it bad that tonight I ignored the first couple of rings, but opened the window a crack and when they came back for the third try, I released the dog? Because I thought it was pretty funny to watch them run down the street, kicking at the dog.

I knew she wouldn't bite them.

Friday, April 11, 2008

A few pictures from the ride

None of these pictures do justice to how grubby these three are. By the time of the topmost picture, they had ridden somewhere close to 200 miles. . . except for Evan who overshot their camp one night and added on a few extra miles. Poor kid!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Two more things today

Rebi reminded me that the last time Nate got a cast, he and I had this conversation.

And my friend Kelly has an awesome, although I'm sure completely made up, post on her blog today.

The child every mother fears she will have. . .

This is broken bone number 8- unless you count the nose which is technically cartilage and therefore Nate believes it should be disqualified from the count. It's a frightening thing when the orthopedic specialists welcome him with a smile- and then start discussing bones with him, because they know by now that it really is a passion of his.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I am Charlie Brown's Mom

I am awake because:
1) I am the very lucky winner of a massive head cold and
2) I am still very angry.

On Saturday, I found out that the 287.5 mile Ride Across California which Dave and the 2 children were packing for would not have an official photographer this year. The year Rebi went, someone took their RV and a big nice camera and rode along, sometimes even on a bike, and we have 993 photos, give or take a few, to commemorate the event. All for one low price of $20. Knowing that the only camera we own is my big nice Canon (which I barely know how to use), I had planned to shell out the $20 again. Cheaper than one of the kids breaking my very big nice Canon.

Upon finding out that was not an option, I wrestled with myself. I could go to Walmart and spend $200 we can't spare, I can send the big camera, I can call a friend and beg to borrow a smaller camera, or we can just not have photos.

(Does everyone see where this is going now?)

I went to Walmart. I looked at the specs of every camera in the store, finally finding a little Nikon which was not displayed yet. It was a nice little camera and would handle well for the trip. I even picked out the one with the aluminum frame versus the plastic frame, so that in the event of a bike topple, the camera would have some extra durability. And then I came home.

Being as this is the 3rd portable camera I have bought in the last 18 months, I proceeded to forbid all children from touching it. (Waaaawaaa wa waaa wa. Waa waaa wa wa waaaa.)
I clearly told Dave that the children were not to touch it under any circumstances. The only one taking pictures with that camera should be him. Because he has a job and he paid for it.
(Waa waaawa wawaaaaaa. Waaaawaaa wa waaa wa. Waa waaa wa wa waaaa.)

Naturally, they got settled into their campground last night and one of the children requested the camera to take pictures of her friends. And Dave gave it to her. And I'm sure she promised to be careful and I'm sure, by the way she called me- sobbing hysterically- that she had absolutely no idea that cameras could get broken on a MERRY-GO-ROUND!

WHAT?!?!?!? Yes, you read right. "I will be so careful with the camera" and "I'm going to put this on my wrist and let someone spin me on the merry-go-round until my eyes bleed" were one and the same thing. But of course, I can only hear the word "broken" and much sobbing, and I'm wondering why, if she has broken something on her body, there isn't an adult explaining to me what happened as they are reassuring me that they are coordinating care for her. I'm picturing another broken femur, but on a much larger child than Nate was when he broke his at 3. So I beg her to calm down and take a deep breath and speak slower. Except I don't think I really wanted to know. Because it just confirms that they (and please feel free to include Dave in that they, who had the cajones to say to me, "I figured she was old enough to be careful" which, of course, is exactly why I had specified to him that no children were to touch that camera. . .) either don't listen to me, or they think that Mom can't possibly predict consequences. In spite of my uncannily accurate track record.

All I'm saying is a broken bone would have been cheaper. And I wouldn't still be angry.
(But I would still have this crappy head cold)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


It turns out that the decision to cancel gym was a good call on Ty's part.

Why? Because today started with this little nugget from the company Dave works for:

Don't feel like reading the entire thing? Here's the nutshell.
Layoffs. Before Apr 17th. And possible selling of divisions, Dave's being a primary target.

The tech industry really sucks sometimes. Then again, after 2 years of no bonuses and raises, and one year of really bad benefits, I will be glad to see the backside of AMD.


There are times for every parent when you allow a child to make their own choices. And then you wonder if that was a great choice on your part.

Last night, I allowed Tyler to quit gymnastics. I called the gym and canceled his enrollment and even emailed his coach. Who was shocked. After all, Tyler was a strong competitor, always has a great attitude towards workout, seems to love gymnastics, and was just talking about next season. He hasn't ever really voiced the desire to quit. Plus, he's adorable in his uniform.

But, yesterday, he was not at all interested in going to gym. He barely went at all over spring break, and I knew that summer would also be a problem because ultimately, he doesn't want to quit playing outside in order to get ready and go to gymnastics. I think that's the biggest factor.

But it makes me sad. And I'm not really sure why. I didn't expect him to go to the Olympics. I didn't really expect him to compete much past level 5. But I guess I didn't expect him to suddenly be done either.

So, am I making the right choice? Am I allowing him to just be lazy? Or am I allowing him to be in control of himself and learn different lessons than gymnastics can teach him? And, did I try hard enough to explain some of the obvious consequences? Although it isn't too late now to return him to class, in about a week they will shift new kids to team spots and then it will be too late. His spot will be gone. And after a month or so, he will no longer have the strength required for spinning madly around the high bar or laying his body parallel between the rings. He has worked so hard for the skills he has.

But, then part of me is thrilled to not put out the cash that gymnastics requires. Not to mention I will no longer drive back and forth to the gym 4 days a week, sometimes staying to watch because he wants me to. I get a lot of time, money, and gas back. It's times like these that I wish for a crystal ball. Because if he's going to be a couch potato and try to live at home until he's 30, I'm gonna need to know.

Monday, April 7, 2008

More Orlando Photos

In each hotel room, there was a mural of Nick characters. We were in the Timmy Turner room.

Tyler got caught in a pretty strong riptide. He wasn't very happy once he finally started swimming sideways and made it to shore.

I had the telephoto lens, so the girls didn't have time to pose.

If you look closely, you can see the gun sticking up out of the police helicopter. We have no idea what they were doing, but the kids couldn't decide if it was cool or frightening.

A little GQ. Sorry, but I couldn't resist showing off how handsome this kid is getting! And look at those muscles!

The joy of it all- clearly not bothered by the arm at all. . .

Yes, there are 9 kids there. And 2 adults, not pictured. A little crazy at times, but fun! Their dads could not have pulled it off! They got a week of quiet instead. This was after we ate lunch. We only spilled 2 drinks, which might be a record.

Entertainment while waiting for our next flight at JFK.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I sure did buy gas today

And I sure did cry.

This was in the middle of nowhere California, somewhere in between Yuma Arizona and civilization. And no, there was not a cheaper place. And yes, I did have to purchase enough to get me 130 more miles up the road. And to add insult to injury, I went to finish filling up at home and it was $3.65 per gallon. I never look. I know better than to look. Now, I'm going to have to be depressed all day.

(and yes, I will eventually post more Orlando pics, although it's such old news already. I just forgot I was driving 10 hours in order to get Ellie, Evan and Dave to their 287.5 mile bike ride. I always feel a little sorry for them, as they labor off into a week straight from hell, on a bike. But in the end, we just honked and waved and drove on home. It builds character. . .)