Thursday, July 12, 2012

Nine days until the family vacation

Hello Readers.
 I thought I better blog this morning because I have a feeling there won't be much blogging for the next few weeks.  Tomorrow I have the day off and will spend it with my sister and her children.  Saturday is our neighborhood block party.  Sunday two of my Peace Corps friends are coming over and we're going to the Brewer Game.  Next week, all week is Youth Leadership Summit number two.  And then, on Saturday, July 29th, we are going on our family ROAD TRIP!!

is a rough sketch of our route.

I am beside myself with excitement. 
We will be going from our little home in Milwaukee to Cincinnati Ohio where we will stay in a hotel and go to see the Brewers play the Reds.  Next stop will be Twin Falls State Park in West Virginia. We'll stay in a cabin, and go swimming and hiking and play in the park.  Then we're on to Floyd, Virginia to go to Floyd Fest!  On our way back, we'll go through Ohio again and stay in the Fort Rapids Water park hotel where the kids get to sleep in a bunk bed!  From there we'll either drive straight through to home or stop one night. 

We don't do TV in the car so our kids will be coloring, crafting, talking, looking out the window, listening to music and stories on disc.  Good luck, us!

I hope you shan't miss me too much and I hope to have lots of funny and interesting things to tell you when we're back.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Beat boxing argument

Coen and Lucy are home with Tad this summer. And they are together. A lot.

Here they are in a finer moment of sibling togetherness:

But, as all parents know, lots of sibling togetherness can lead to sibling rivalry.  So there's been some fighting.  I'm hearing a lot of

"Stop it!"
"I'm telling!"

from the next room.

This morning the argument was that Lucy was trying to gross Coen out while he was eating breakfast.  He gets put off his meal a lot by his sister who likes to mash together unlikely food combinations and dip things into things into which one normally would not dip.  Today, she was dipping her pancakes in her milk. These kinds of things can lead Coen to say, "I've lost my appetite!" and push his plate away.  And so often whatever his reaction is, leads Lucy into (loud) tears and suddenly Coen's getting reprimanded for something Lucy started.

He was so frustrated this morning, so I brought him into the kitchen with me.  He ate his breakfast on a stool and asked me to tell him stories of me and Auntie Bethie fighting.

This morning I remembered one and told him:

Auntie Bethie and me were talking onto a tape recorder and pretending to do commercials.  I decided we would do a beat boxing commercial. (This was the 80s you see, and I had to have a quick digression, explaining to Coen what beat boxing is and how it sounded).  Now, I at age 10 felt like I could beat box pretty well--not nearly as well as whats-his-name from the Police Academy or the Fat Boys, but I could at least make it sound right.  My sister, in my opinion, sounded like someone pretending to fart when she did it.  So back to the story, we were making a beat boxing commercial and I was saying something like "Come to OUR beat boxing school! Where you can learn to beat box like the best!" and then my sister piped in with "Now for the beat boxing TEACHER!!!" and started making her fart noises.  Well this launched us into a huge argument because I told her she couldn't be the teacher because she couldn't even beat box and she was like "Yes I CAN!" and I was like "No you CAN'T!" and then a large argument extended from there which likely ended in my pushing her and her yelling "MOM!!!" and me getting in trouble. 

Coen was all ears and by the end of my story, all smiles too.  I hope I left him with a sense that all older siblings get frustrated with their younger counterpart.  I left myself with amusement that I'd once had a fight with my sister about beat boxing in 1985. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Growing up is not so tough, 'cept when you've had enough, Caillou is super bald, Caillou

 Caillou was a favorite show of Coen's when he was a smaller person. I remember sitting on the couch with him in our apartment on Astor street and watching it with together.  Tad loves to sing the Caillou song with different lyrics, always adding in, "Caillou is super bald!"  It's really inexplicable, his baldness.  I mean, do his parents shave his head on a regular basis?  Does he have Alopecia?  This is never explained to Caillou's fan base. 

Nowadays, Lucy's a fan.  She chooses it as her show on TV mornings.  Coen? Not so much. 

We watched an episode this morning and here's Coen expressing his opinion on the matter.

If you have seen this show and know the song, you can sing it with your own lyrics. It's really fun. 
We were watching this morning and in one scene, Caillou opened his mouth really wide in the bathroom mirror. It was really trippy.  I tried to find the scene on YouTube but to no avail.  There were however a couple homemade Caillou scenes involving poop.  I didn't watch.  Perhaps I should. 

Well, whether or not you and yours are Caillou fans, have a lovely Saturday. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Isn't once enough?

So last night was was the 3rd of July--as you know--my favorite day of the year. 

We went down to the lakefront around 3:30, got rock star parking, and set up the shade tent that Tad went to buy to block us from the 98 degree sun.  We ate, talked, played UNO, bought glow things, laughed, and hung around until the start of the fireworks display.  Which was long and lovely.

I got to be with some of my most favorite people for six straight hours in one spot, outside in the summer heat, and wait for a great show of light and sound. 

But here it is, the actual 4th, and I'm feeling a little down.  My kids, who were in bed at nearly midnight last night, are fast asleep in their beds.  Tad is with friends possibly braving the heat to see 311 at Summerfest.   And I, I am sitting in the dark, blown by fans, with my computer on my lap. 

And I know, I should be happy that I get to do this fun and exciting event each year, and that Tad-not always a fan of crowds and heat-is willing to do it.  But I want MORE! I want to go to the fireworks again tonight. 

Having said that.  My children have been asleep since 8.  I have an ice water in front of my and my pick of the Netflix choices.  Or I could just watch fireworks on YouTube.

It's hard for a person such as me to be satisfied.  Sometimes.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Good vibrations

It has been a whirlwind of a time.  And whirlwinds is how all my times would be had I the choice.

After my Youth Leadership Summit-55 hour work week-and my sister's birthday celebration on Friday, I got to have not one, but TWO date nights with Tad.

Saturday we went to the Brewer game with tickets from parents of one of Tad's student as an end-of-year gift.  We got BBQ sandwiches and pickles and watched the first two innings from our seats, my broken toe propped up on the cup holder in front of me.  When we went into the parking lot, we saw Tad's usual Brewer game partners, Matt and Randy, tailgating.  Matt got up immediately and gave me his chair.  "Hey!" He said, "Sit down! Get that broken toe off its foot!"

We even got to go into the exclusive NYCE club and have an enormously lovely ice cream sundae.  We enjoyed the exclusiveness and made monocle jokes and then were back in our seats for the 10-1 finish--the exciting Brewer win.

Sunday the kiddos stayed overnight at my parents house.  Tad and I went to Summerfest to see the Beach boys.   We had our usual double or something bet and Tad won.  We got fried eggplant, corn on the cob and chicken satay. Tad had a huge slushie (heavy on the syrup) and I had a chocolate malt for dessert.

 My toe wasn't even too sore at the end of the night from all the walking. 

The concert.  The concert was amazing. The Beach Boys were funny, brilliant, harmonious and beautiful.  When they launched into "Surfer Girl" I inexplicably began to cry. And Tad saw and just nodded.  I was crying for a million different reasons, but I knew that Tad just entirely understood.  That makes me a very lucky person indeed.

Tomorrow is July the 3rd. My very most favorite day of the year.  I will go to the lakefront with my family and some friends and see the fireworks.   I will sit in the heat, surrounded by a large portion of the population of Milwaukee and many of the people I love most.