Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rafting 2.0

Last year, a group of friends and the boy and I went rafting.  It was a two day adventure down Cache Creek.  We had a great time.  I had a little too much fun the first day but doesn't that make for the best kinds of stories anyway.  I may or may not have accidentally set the husband's sandwich bread in the river instead of on the raft as I lovingly made his sandwich for him.  But don't worry, he ate it - soggy bread and all.  On day 2 of the trip, I may or may not have forgotten to take the wax paper off the cheese before I made the sandwich in an effort to make up for day 1 and soggy bread sandwiches. 
The rafting itself was a blast.  We only got dumped out of our raft 1 time and we scored a pretty nice double barrel super soaker.  It was the kind of trip where before we even got home and unpacked the truck everyone was talking about doing it again.

And so we did!  Hopefully it will become a yearly tradition.  This year, I solemnly swore that there would be rules!  Set up beforehand and followed accordingly.
Rule #1: Sunscreen, lots of it.  Applied more than once the whole trip.

Rule #2: Under no circumstances whatsoever should I drink anything handed to me by the boy's cousin.  He's the devil.

Rule #3: Do not set tent up on a ginormous rock that you will regret sleeping on the entire night.

Rule #4: No tandem puking.  For many reasons.  Some of them being: dinner, glow stick dancing, and so that I can enjoy the giant community bowl of oreos

We had an equally good time this year.  Fell out of the raft a few more times that I would have liked.  And once it happened at the top of one of the harder rapids.  A little bit of scary-ness later and it's back to all smiles and laughing.  Still a little bit sunburned and we really should have brought an air mattress to sleep on but I'm not complaining. 
I think I'll start my don't forget list for next year right now....

Friday, August 26, 2011

The first of many

Growing up, my mother used to look so forward to the first day of school and getting some piece and quiet from the 5 of us, that it was like Christmas.

There were made to order breakfasts and gifts under our pillows when we returned from school that day.  Even the kids looked forward to it.  Long into our college years we would remind our dear mother that school was starting and we should be rewarded for being such good studies.

This week, the girlchild started Kindergarten.  As excited for her as I am, I wish I still have a few more years of school-less children to take random middle of the year vacations with and not worry about what they are missing in school.  Soon she'll be reading and writing and doing complex math and I'll be saying, I don't remember how to do this or that, it's been soooo long.

A good friend told me how she took first day of school pictures with her boys so they could see how they grew and changed each year.  So, here is my first, first day of school with my kids picture, many, many more to follow:

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner

One more check mark for my bucket list this year.
In an unusual-for-me lucky streak, I won two tickets to Katy Perry from a local radio station.  Free!  And the second best part is that I didn't have to compete in anything on-air or embarrassing.

It took a little planning and a lot of driving (thanks Hubster!)  but we pulled it off in an already packed weekend.  Left work early, got to drive down with some of our favorite friends, oogled the Dutch Brothers coffee shops along the way. 

We sat behind a couple of teenage girls...it was entertaining.  Homemade outfits, ring pops, light up bracelets, dancing.  I told the boy to take good notes because soon those sorts of activities would be happening in our own house. 

The Finale...

As the husband observed while we were waiting for the show to start, it was overwhelming attended by women.  Hardly a man in sight.  Mostly Moms with daughter and friends in tow.  Someday that will be me with my girlchild....probably at Taylor Swift.  Or, maybe I'll let the Dad take her.

After the concert was over we high-tailed it back to Sacramento for the 2nd annual best-time-in-your-life-ever weekend rafting trip.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Only a Little Geeky

How cool is that?!

I don't even pretend to like transformers but I had to take a picture as I passed the Hasbro truck.  For the boychild of course.  Who loves Bumblebee and wouldn't mind a few more transformers to sleep with at night.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Worth Every Penny

$3 worth of face painting right there
Did you know that if you don't have children you can't enter Fairytale Town?  Don't ask me how I know that....
Fast forward a few years and two fairytale town tickets later and we are in like flynn.  The girlchild is now about the age that I can force her to do things that will remind me of the good, old days of my childhood.  Things like face painting, eating a whole bag of cotton candy, staying up late to make chocolate chip cookies.  It's a rough life for her I know.

The 2nd Happiest Place on Earth

Joe's Crab Shack just might be the 2nd happiest place on earth. 
Reasons why it makes me happy:
1. Crab, Duh!  And lots of it.
2. My children will willingly eat whatever they are served there
3. It is so boisterous inside that no one can tell that my monsters are being wild
4. Tasty and delicious drinks that come in mason jars
5. Dancing in aisles and if you poke the girlchild with a crab cracker long enough she will hop up and dance to Love Shack too
6. There's no crying at Joe's Crab Shack!

Friday, August 12, 2011

My Sister's Keeper

When I was in high school we had to write a paper on nuclear energy.  The pros and cons of using it as an energy source versus the hazards of storing the waste.  It's a tough debate, even today.   I was pro- Yucca Mountain at age 16...for the record.

When I was in college, we discussed the medical ethics of stem cells and bioengineering.  You can do great things with science.  But should you?  My Sister's Keeper would have fit in nicely as assigned reading. 

I honestly enjoyed every page of this book, it was the right mix of humor, family drama, and serious decisions.  In it, we meet a family that decides to bring a third child into their world in the hopes that her cord blood will save her sister's life.  Kate was diagnosed with leukemia at age 3.  Several relapses and marrow transplants later, Anna is encouraged to donate a kidney in hopes of again saving her sister.  But where do you draw the line?  How do you choose between two children that are both your own.  What would you do if you were the one choosing?

Naturally, after reading the book, I wanted to see the movie.  I can't believe how different the two are.  This is most definitely a don't judge the book by the movie situation.  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Polliwog's Tale

This is a story about a little girl who graduated from preschool a couple months ago and her pet polliwog.
Studying polliwogs was one of the last lessons they did before summer break.   And don't even think about calling it a tadpole....it will be a good ten minutes before you will be able to get a word in edgewise.
On the last day of school, the girlchild comes home with said new friend in a sandwich bag with strict instructions to feed it fresh boiled lettuce everyday. 

Boiled lettuce.  Everyday.

Oh, really.  Over the course of the next 6 weeks I meticulously boiled lettuce and fed it to the polliwog a grand total of zero times.  The tadpole managed to survive just fine on goldfish flakes.  We kept the creature on the kitchen window sill so that we could remember to feed it we could watch it's ever changing, and metamorphesing body.

As a free range child myself, we used to catch tadpoles...because back then they were called tadpoles....by the thousands and keep them in a mayo jar in some non-disclosed location.  I can't honestly remember if we ever really fed them or what, but every so often we'd take them out of the jar hold them in our little muddy hands and then put them back.  And then one day my favorite sister of all got sick.  Really sick.  Beaver fever sick.  And so tadpoles were banned from my childhood.  I can honestly say that they never captured our attention long enough to pay attention to their teenage-tadpole years.

Fast forward some uncalculated years and I have a polliwog sitting on my kitchen counter.  Turns out it was pretty fascinating to actually see the shrinking tail and emerging legs.  Did you know that they actually form their front and back legs under their amphibious skin and then one day they just pop out fully formed?  I did not.  And now you do too.

After the changing was done and the creature could be identified as a frog, the inevitable question came.  "Mom, can I keep him??  Please!"    And while it was pondered for a nanosecond it wasn't to be.  Because after all, where would he live?  He can't share a house with pinchy the crawdad. Because he is currently doing jail time for massacring the goldfish.  And Wally the welfare fish would eat him in a heartbeat.

But isn't he just the cutest little thing?

So we set him free to find his own way in the world.


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