Thursday, June 28, 2007

Family Vacation

If I don't write for a time in the near future it's because we are FINALLY taking a real vacation! We are taking the kids to Southern California for the typical tourist things. None of them are into rides, so Disneyland isn't going to fly too well, but we felt that Mr. 17 should at least get to go there before he graduates from High School. We figure a day at Disney will be enough for all of us. Then we'll move on to other things. We have about 2 days unscheduled, with hopes of hitting the beach. We do have to drive 3.5 hours to get on a plane to leave, but that's not too bad. The worst part being our plane leaves at 6 a.m. so we have to be up really early, and if you haven't tried that experiment with teens you are in for a treat.
Miss 9 will enjoy the trip the most. Everything will be new and exciting for her. The teens will pretend not to be enchanted with everything, but I have a feeling that won't be able to hide all of their excitement. Mr. 17 is hoping to try surfing and Miss 14 is just excited to see the ocean.
Hubby and I have both been to CA twice, and we had hopes of going somewhere new, but it will be fun to take the kids there. My biggest hope is for decent hotel rooms, nothing ruins a trip for me faster than having to stay in a dive. I researched the hotels online, and from there things look promising. We'll see though. Happy Summer all!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Stop the World!

It's crazy how fast time flies by. I wished away the young days of the kids thinking that I would have more time to do things with them when they got a little older. How I wish I could go back in time now. Time literally flies by once you have children. They grow and they grow and they grow, and pretty soon you have a senior in high school, and you are really, really old! Mr. 17 just got his ACT scores back and was pleased with them. Phew! I was a little worried about that, he's not exactly a stellar test taker. Tests are his downfall in every class: straight A's in labs and daily work (mostly), discussions and project, but tests... not so much. So the above average ACT score was pleasing to all of us.
Monday Miss 13 became Miss 14. That is also so hard to take. She's taller than I am by several inches now, and I'm not short! When I take her out in public BOYS LOOK AT HER! I hope her father never notices that! She's a substitute swim coach with the local swim club and a volunteer at the hospital. She's comfortable talking to adults and uses multi syllable words. When did she grow up?
On a plus side, Miss 9 is at the moment, despite all the physical development, still my little girl. She still likes to go for bike rides with me, sit on my lap, have me read to her, play games together and just generally know right where I am all the time.
"Mom, MOM? mo-o-o-o-o-m? M-O-O-O-O-O-O-M-M-M-M??"
"Oh, just wondered where you were."
Never far sweetie, never far.

Friday, June 22, 2007

18 Years

When I was in college I had an image in my head of what my life was going to be like in the future. At the time it didn't include a husband or children. In fact, I wasn't really sure I ever wanted to get married. My life changed on a fateful day while I worked at a toy store. I wasn't thrilled with my job, but it payed my bills and I was at the mall which was a bonus. One afternoon a young man walked by in tight jeans and cowboy boots, a mullet and a scruffy face. I actually walked out of the store to watch him walk away. Several weeks later while walking to my car after classes the same guy was walking in front of me and climbed into a seriously hot car: IROC Z-28, black, t-tops, personalized plates, you get the picture. I followed him. (Oh the shame, this wasn't really my personality!) Unfortunately he turned to a dead end street, and that would have been a give away had I kept going. I was nothing if not subtle. I few more weeks passed and I saw this young man occasionally. Later at a party at a friends house, after perhaps a few too many JD Coke's, I mentioned what a great rear view this guy I had seen had. The party was at a pair of my male friends house and much to my surprise they knew him! What luck, huh? The sad part was that the next time I saw the young gentleman in the hall, I was with one of these male friends, who oh so annoyingly stopped him to tell him I thought he had a cute butt! What class, huh? I kept going, I wasn't about to stick around for that humiliation.
Did I mention I was dating someone else at this point in my life? Oh, sorry, guess it wasn't worth writing about. But later, when I was at work one evening, my friends brought this young gentleman to the toy store. They introduced us, and that was it. From the moment he said, "Hi" and smiled, I've been hooked. The thoughts of marriage, and children and life alone flew right out of my head along with thoughts of the current boyfriend. When people tell you that you just know when someone is perfect for you, that it just hits you, they are right. It does happen, just like that. Hubby was a gentleman though and waited a few weeks for me to lose the loser I was dating and then asked me out.
Hubby and I will celebrate our 18th anniversary this weekend. When we got married I was pregnant, and I'm sure no one gave us a shot at 2 years, let alone 18. Our lives aren't perfect, we fight, we annoy each other and we disagree. Sometimes I disagree with him just to argue about something. But in the end, we are happy and we love each other. Although we'd die for a few nights alone together, anyone want to babysit?
Hubby is the best. He's a wonderful father and husband. He would stand up for anyone of us for any reason. He works his ass off to feed, clothe and entertain us. Hubby doesn't take any time or anything for himself. He helps with laundry, cleaning, cooking, childcare, yardwork. In fact there are days when I wish he would just not work so hard and he would sit down so that I could sit down. I don't tell him as often as I should, but when it comes to feeling loved, secure and taken care of, I am the luckiest woman in the world.
Sappy, isn't it? But true. We are lucky in many, many ways. Happy Anniversary Hubby!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Back home with picnics and migraines

Back home after a wonderful trip with Miss 13. We didn't argue, not once, hard to believe I know. We had a great time and ate at some fun new restaurants. We shopped and shopped until we were worn out. Miss 13 tried on so many swimsuits that I couldn't tell the difference between all of them by the end. She finally found one that suits her. Notice I said suits her, it doesn't suit me. I never wanted my little girl in a bikini, but with her long body, and the limited sizes left, that's what we ended up with. Sigh, they grow up too fast!
The day after we got home, which was Father's Day, I frantically cleaned house and yard because in my stupidity I had somehow agreed to host a family picnic on Monday afternoon. My sister and her husband were passing through from Minneapolis on their way to Canada. They are "on tour" at the moment, so we don't see them much. My parents, his parents, my brother, sister in law and nephew were all here as well. The weather was crap, so we had to stay inside my smallish house. 40 mph wind gusts don't do much for picnic weather. We had a nice visit, although it was way too fast and it really feels like they weren't even here. On a happy note my sister is pregnant, and I am finally allowed to tell people! I've known for a while now. Sis even has a little bump already, so cute!
Miss 9 had an art class this morning, and came home with a migraine. She's never had one before, but it was all the classic symptoms. I gave her some Motrin, a cold compress, a dark room and quiet. She felt sick for a while, so didn't really eat anything, but has since moved out to the living room and asked for an apple and a potato. I think she is recovering, plus she is playing the kazoo as a "signal" for me to come and see if she needs anything. That's usually a good sign.

Not in Kansas

A picture of what Hubby caught on film just before Miss 13 and I left on our Girl's Only Trip. He's never seen one, but always wanted to. Most of us who live where we do have seen a tornado several times in our lives, but where hubby grew up, only 120 miles from where I did, he never saw one. He was so thrilled by the sight of this one that he called me practically screaming about it. He assured me it was moving in the opposite direction of where he was and I assured him that I would still feel better if he hopped back in his vehicle and just drove home. Still, it's a pretty cool picture, don't you think?

Monday, June 11, 2007


Miss 13 and I are going to take a trip. For her 8th grade "graduation" she gets to take a trip with just Mom. Mr 17 and his dad got to head to Kansas City for a Nascar race for his trip. They loved it. Miss 13's wishes weren't quite as lofty. She only wished to head off about 300 miles to the hometown of her best friend from elementary school to see him and do some shopping. I think, other than a few times to Grandma and Grandpa's house before Miss 9 was born, this will be the first trip we have taken alone together. Strangely enough, in spite of all her recent emotional, irrational and annoyingly scathing outbursts, I am looking forward to spending some time with just her. Secretly I am hoping to forge a bit more of a bond. We are actually quite close, especially if no one else is around. When others are around she tends to behave as though I'm a bit of a dolt. Hopefully we'll relax and have fun. Mostly we are nasty, awful people and we get a kick out of poking fun at the way we see some people behave, so if nothing else, people watching will be on our list. I know she is hoping for some serious clothes shopping as well. There's where our biggest bond lies: she LOVES to shop for clothes and I LOVE to shop for shoes. Luckily, we wear the same size shoe, so she gets to share. Unfortunately, I am no longer a size 1 or a size small, so we don't get to share the clothes. We leave Wednesday. I can't wait!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Beauty and the Beast

We have beautiful flowers outside right now. They are just getting to the point where they make the yard shine. I braved the beasts out in the yard to go pick this bouquet. Normally I would leave the peonies on the bush, so I could enjoy them outside, but this year, I don't get to be outside. We have "the beasts" already here. What you ask are the beasts~ mosquitoes! They are horrible! We have done everything possible in our yard: no standing water, a mosquito magnet, hubby sprays (don't comment about how awful that is for the environment, we know already, but without it, there is no chance at all for us to be outside) We live in mosquito heaven here. It is a place where Lewis and Clark even wrote in their journals about the horrific nature of the mosquitoes. There are about 3 weeks out of the year, where we can't be outside past 5:00 in the evening or outside during the day if the sun isn't shining and the wind isn't blowing. If we are lucky, they get better after that time frame. But for the time being we suffer: scratch, itch, swat, bite. It's actually quite funny to watch people walk to their vehicle or try to spend time outside. It's like a dance almost with flailing arms and slapping hands. Personally my favorite part is when one lands on Hubby, and I get to smack him, hard, with the excuse that he had a mosquito on him! Heh!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Teen Attitude

I love my kids, I swear I do, but sometimes teens are the most trying thing ever. They have the wonderful ability to make you feel like a worthless parent, when really, you are the good parent and their friends parents, who set no curfews or limits are the worthless parents. Make sense?
Do you set limits for your teens? Mr 17 has a friend whose parents regularly leave him home alone for the weekend, in charge of his 10 year old brother. To me this doesn't make much sense.
Hubby and I argued with Miss 13 about her attitude last night. Her response was, "It's not my fault! It's my bodies fault!" OK, guess I can somewhat relate to that, PMS and all that fun stuff. But really, is it my fault there isn't cut up fruit in the refrigerator? Because she seems to think it is.
This morning Mr. 17 informed me that after his big ACT test on Saturday morning he is going fishing, all day, then to the late night drive-in double feature. Um, No! He works early Sunday morning, and is thinking it will be perfectly fine to be out until 2 a.m. then get up early for work. Plus I know for a fact that his friends parents are out of town for the weekend, so I'm pretty sure the plans for the boys aren't exactly what they say they are. Think late night or all day parties. That makes me the most worthless parent ever for saying no to that plan.
In my current mood let me say this, the Terrible Two's really are trying, but The Terrible Teens are the biggest challenge! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Sometimes I forget

Warning Warning Warning~ Sappy stuff ahead!

Sometimes I forget how really lucky I am. At the moment Miss 9 and a friend are downstairs playing. They have drug out all the old "baby" toys and found a Fisher Price tape player/microphone. It belonged to Mr. 17, so you know it has seen better days. Amazingly the thing still works and so do the batteries. They are sharing the microphone and singing songs that they learned in Music class this year in school. It has to be the sweetest sound and the best music I have heard in ages. Totally adorable. Neither of them is being self conscious of their voice or how they sound, they are simply singing, loud and beautiful and off key. They are putting a big grin on my face.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Hooray for Sun

It's been so long since the sun was out here. Actually it's been kind of depressing. Yesterday the sun finally came out, it felt like heaven. I tried to be outside quite a bit, but duty calls and I had lots of other things to do that required me to be indoors.
One of the things we did was plan and book our vacation. We are taking the kids to southern California to do the typical tourist things for a week. They are sort of excited. They have never really been on a real vacation. We have spent the last family vacations at a lakeside resort. We have gone for the last 12 out of 14 years. It was wonderful! The kids always looked forward to it, and so did I. We got to hang with each other and sometimes with Hubby's sister and family. It was incredibly relaxing. This year however we have decided since Mr. 17 isn't to be with us much longer, we would do a real vacation. All the kids have an aversion to Disney for some reason though. We finally convinced them to let us take them there for 1 day. Yup, one day only. I am sure they will enjoy it in spite of their protests.
Do you have any great tourist ideas for us while we are in southern Cali? Places to go, see, eat, visit? Comment and let me know!