Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Home again, home again, jiggety-jig

Amazing how quickly 5 days can pass by... we had a wonderful time on our short vacation to Southern California. We spent 2 days in La Jolla, enjoying the beaches of San Diego and the Scripps Aquarium (a first for me). The weather was perfect - I got to run both mornings - we lounged and played and enjoyed.

I meant to blog from the road - really - I had posts lolling around in my head as I ran. Cute, witty snippets with observations of life in general and how ones perspective can change when you take the time to look around...

Good intentions. That never came to fruition... oh, if I had a dime for every time that has happened...

We drove from La Jolla to Santa Monica on Friday with a quick detour through Orange, CA so that the boys could meet their future wives, the Domer girls. Ken and his family opened their home for a nice mid-trip visit, and I marvel at the ease with which children interact with other children. Only little Lilly, the youngest of the bunch, was overcome with the chaos that is the Jensen boys. Parker cracked me up - evidently, he felt that Molly really liked him, but he liked Cassie. In fact, his words were "I mean, really, what's NOT to like about Cassie". Sorry Ken - you might just need to lock her up if we come visit again!!

On Saturday, we spent the morning at the beach. Santa Monica beach is very wide, and very long, and surprisingly clean. The seaweed must prefer the surf further south because it was all bunched up in La Jolla, and practically absent up north. We had lunch with Greg, my friend from SC. I got to meet his wife and his new little baby... and again, the boys made themselves right at home. I was quite impressed with Greg's ability to handle the noise from the movie playing in the background, the music playing in the kitchen, the screams and shreiks of my children and still carry on a conversation. He also had some very exciting news (something about being nominated for an EMMY!!) and I am just tickled for him!!

When we left there, we went to USC for the obligatory picture of the kids in front of Tommy and a trip to the bookstore. The boys were in heaven surrounded by all the SC stuff - shirts, balls, helmets, sweatshirts, bags.... I was impressed that we left with as few things as we did! Parker would have purchased the store if he could!

Dinner that night was with Carrie - my roomie of 2 years - and her family. We dined outside in Malibu while the kids (*all 6 of them!) played... her dad joined us, and that was a real treat for me... She and I shared the "somewhat older dad" connection and I just adore her father. He reminds me very much of my own dad. After dinner, we spent some time on the beach and its wonderful how easy it is to be with her and how beautifully the rest of the family gets along!

We had a wonderful time. Makes coming home harder when you are not ready to leave, but it also gives us motivation to get back out there again. It was a time away that we all needed, and I am going to make sure we do it again soon! Friendships are too important to see each other once every 10 years. Now that the car knows the way, we may just find ourselves heading back West sometime again soon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

just a brief note

as my heart sloshes around inside my chest, currently soft as melted butter. We got 1 room with 2 queen beds. Right now, as I type this, all 3 of my children are snuggled down for the night. Chris is inbetween the older two, the are turned in, facing him, like 2 protective book ends. Could a mother's heart take any more??

It sure beats the yelling and screaming that occured periodically during the 7 hour drive from Scottsdale to La Jolla. (Where, it is currently a cool and foggy 71*)

Monday, July 21, 2008

21 days till school starts (repeat mantra as necessary)

Its not that it has been a bad summer - not at all. It is just that there is a bit too much of it, if you ask me. We've done the relaxing, we've done the swimming, we are about to do a bit of vacationing, and we are all ready to go back to school. I keep seeing the Staples ad in my head, where the dad is flying down the aisles on his shopping cart, his face full of glee, with the song "The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" blasting in the background.

I think everyone can agree - too much of a good thing can quickly become a bad thing. (unless its chocolate). We have hit that place - crossed the line between good and not-so-good-and-please-dear-lord-does-it-end-soon. The bickering, the messes, the same handfull of sentences coming from my mouth only to fall on the same deaf ears. Yes, my friends, it is time to put a fork in her and call Summer DONE.

Of course, getting out of town will help - a change of scenery and routine to toss things around a bit. I am somewhat terrified of the car ride, but then families have been shoving themselves in the family trucksters for generations now and I feel somewhat confident that we will survive. Being away from the heat, even if only for a short while, will do me a tremendous amount of good. Seeing the beach, feeling the sand under my feet and hearing the waves of the ocean will, no doubt, do what hours upon hours of therapy would never be able to: Renew me.

And then we come home, and I will, no doubt, experience that adrenaline rush of "holy crap, we go back in 2 weeks and I have SO MUCH STUFF STILL TO DO!". Never fails...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Shameless bragging on all fronts

We all know I am biased, and think my kids are just the most fabulously amazing children on the planet (most of the time) But lately they have been doing things that are, empirically, impressive.

Parker had a swim meet (yes, another one - its a weekly occurrence) last week - this was focused on butterfly. This is one stroke I could never, in all my time swimming and working with the Bruni boys, ever master. 3 strokes was about all I could get. Never had the shoulders for it... So Parker had to swim in both a relay as well as individual meet, and again come home with a 1st (relay) and 2nd (individual) ribbon. Wow!

Matthew has mastered diving into the pool. May not seem quite as newsworthy as a 1st and 2nd place win, but he kicks his older brother in the tush when it comes to diving. We may have him do dive-team rather than swim team next year. He loves it. Called diving off the 5M springboard "exhilarating" - really... he did - he used that word!

Christopher has mastered something it took the older boys until Kindergarten to master - knowing our telephone number! So, you have probably seen the video, but add to that the fact that he also knows, by heart, both my cell phone and my mother's phone number. Steve can't even dial her number without double checking if he's got it right!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

More videos to share....

The monsoon storms have hit. For those who don't know what a monsoon is - its the time of year in the desert (well, in AZ) when the winds shift from north/south to south/north. What this means for us is lower temperatures, high humidity (or actually, dew point temperatures) and unpredictable rain storms. Here's what we had today...

And this...

And finally, this little gem of cuteness...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Another week, another meaningless blog...

I am stunned at how quickly doing nothing makes time fly. Really - when we are up to our ears in stuff to do, I expect to loose track of time and go to bed on Monday, only to wake up on Thursday and realize the week has flown by. I don't expect the same phenomena to happen when I am doing, really, nothing much at all.

Its Friday. I had the Saturn in for a check up on Saturday and was told to bring it back in this week. Evidently there was a mini leak somewhere, so they put some die in something or another and wanted me to come back this week so they could see where it went. Sort of like a Barium enema for a car.


What I have done this week is get my sorry butt to the gym! Today it ended up with me flat down with a migraine for 3 hours, but hey - I'm out there, I'm doing it, right?

We are planning to head out to CA for few days at the end of the month. 2 days in San Diego, 2 days in LA... my only requirement is sand, surf and a noticeable lack of heat. Originally we entertained thoughts of going to Lego Land or the Big D, but when I looked at ticket prices?? Yeah - Balboa park and Scripps Aquarium will do just fine, thank you.

Really $300 just to walk in the door for a family of 4? And that is without having to pay for Chris (yet) or buy food. Makes me feel downright extravagant when I had my annual pass in college...

We have gotten some rain lately. Evidently, our storm make the National News, because my mother called me from VA to ask if we were ok. WE are OK. The house is not. Leaks. Big leaks. Many big leaks.

Are you thinking what I am thinking? Can you spell M-O-N-E-Y-P-I-T? Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen- its time for a new roof!!


Saturday, July 05, 2008

Checklist completed...

I love it when I am productive. It doesn't happen often; mostly I feel like I just spin my wheels, running around like a mad person, getting little accomplished. Much like running on the treadmill. (Which I am getting better at again).

Today, my list of errands grew at a rapid clip from "get nails done" to: Take car in for service, get nails done, go to fabric store, re-upholster kitchen chairs {a task, might I add, that I have been meaning to do for over a YEAR!), go to Hallmark, to go Target to return stuff, order cake for Birthday boy.

And - I did it all!
*Car? CHECK 7am appointment to which I was 15 minutes EARLY!!
*Nails? Check - and toes...
*Fabric store? Check - hemmed and hawed between 3 fabric choices, but in the end went with the cheapest one, that was also a lovely French Paisley on the thought that it will hide a multitude of sins...
*Hallmark store? Check - found cute cards AND the Webkin P wants...
*Target? Check - returned bathing suit and did NOT BUY ANYTHING ELSE!
*Cake? Check - baseball themed, chocolate cake with creme filling, baseball themed.
*Re-Upholster kitchen chairs???


It feels OH SO GOOD to get that list out of the way!

Because as we all know - tomorrow brings another list!

Friday, July 04, 2008