Monday, June 28, 2010

Junior League

Sheesh!  It's June 28th already! 

Summer accelerates once it's out of the gate, I swear... 

People moan that summer is half over on the 4th of July, but in all actuality, Summer begins on the solstice, June 21rst. 

So....summer just started!  Yippee!! 

We are deep into Junior League baseball...  

You thought the title meant Ladies Junior League, didn't you? 

When I hear that it reminds me of the days when my mom was a Junior Leaguer, in the Quad Cities, in the 70's.  Her mode of volunteerism was filling the candy striper's cart at the hospital.  I used to go with her to score an Almond Joy. 

The only catch was that the cart was stored in the hospital basement.  We had to walk past the morgue to get there...

I would always shut my eyes and run past the morgue doors. I
 remember it being cold and it smelled strange, like formaldehyde or something.  Ewww! 

But I digress.....

 A plethora of summer storms have cause a log jam of makeup games.  We have 4games in a row this week.  That's a LOT of baseball! 

Jack earned the "game ball" yesterday for a triple and some great defensive plays.  He was longing for that recognition and it was timed well, given that he had a few "challenges" the first part of the game, what with a huge bug flying directly into his eye and all... 

Tonight is another game, that is if my son makes it back from a quick overnight run in the big rig with his pop to Ohio. 

Had to deliver a chassis and pick up some armor plate...

you know.....guy stuff..... 

I am sure the highlight was sleeping in the truckstop with his dad.....

To me that is one half step up from camping at the KOA.....  No thanks! 

Kate and I stayed behind...........

in our air conditioned digs back home....

painting our toes and eating sorbet......

Monday, June 21, 2010

Capitalism & Sorcery

As all kids eventually do, the lemonade stand was born yesterday on our block. 

This one was a little different, thanks to a Harry Potter obsessed neighbor girl. 

Instead of lemonade, the kids sold iced tea, tinted green with food coloring. 

 Hmmm...that explains the green trail of droplets staining our front porch.... 

and loads of hand painted "wands". 

You have to admire their unique items for sale, although I believe most of the beverages for sale made it into the seller's tummies....check out my son's greenish tongue! 

 Sales were slow, but the tree swing provided entertainment during the lulls in business. 

Oh, to be a kid in the summer!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Survive Alive...

School ends tomorrow in a one-hour anticlimatic rush. 

The whole summer stretches before my kids....will I survive? 

Yep, it will be full of camps, popcicles and sweaty foreheads. 

 I'll make do between working, brushing ants from camp bags and sneaking a chilled glass of wine or three...

Yep, I'll be fine....

Speaking of survival, Jack and I went to a cool little session run by the Chicago FireDepartment called "Survive Alive". (  It's this short and sweet seminar geared toward teaching kids how to survive a house fire.  They have a mock up of a real house and they "smoke" it out.  Kids have to demonstrate how to get out of the house, cross the street to a meeting place and get help. 
It was fun and interesting.

So where is the fun and interesting MOM seminar that teaches how to survive summer around, say
August 3rd? 

 "I'm bored, Mom!" 

 "What are we going to do today, Mom?" 

 In the words of my sage mother,

 "I am NOT the entertainment committee!!" 

I need to stash away a few kits of Shrinky Dinks for the REAL emergencies........

Monday, June 14, 2010

Herding Cats....

Just like a housecat who has tasted his first night of summer freedom, my son is impossible to lure back into the house. 

I can't blame him....

the air is sweet,

the breeze is warm

and there are kids to play with. 

There is a newly installed tree swing across the street.  It is a kid magnet and it scares me because it is across the street (fast cars and kids don't mix) and there is not much room to swing between the wrought iron fence, metal mailbox and the parked cars. 

The kids love it, though. 

They don't know the joy of real tree swings that sail so high into the air or splash into a creek. 

These city kids race their scooters with their helmets on, they run up and down the sidewalks to play, not like the deep ravines and woods we explored when we were kids. 

Parents keep a close eye in the city, and kids can't run off to play like we did.  My mom had a cowbell she rang when it was ABSOLUTELY time to come in. 

I could hear it from blocks away. 

It's okay, though... 

Our kids don't miss what they don't know and all they know is that similar joy of twilight play,

when the lightning bugs come callin',

the bats streak across the evening sky

and the moms begin the gentle coaxing to bring their dirty, skinned knees, sun-tired kids in for a meal and a bath. 

It's a tug of war and sometimes the kids win.....just a few minutes more...

Friday, June 11, 2010


Blood, Sweat & Tears,

"Don't Sweat the Small Stuff",

"Don't Let 'Em See You Sweat",

"Sweating like a June Bride"

 ......they all come to mind after this week. 

Tom and the guys at our company, Heat Armor have been working crazy hours to complete our first SWAT truck for delivery today in Texas. 

The height of manic fire drill peaked when the whole crew worked from Wednesday until late last night with no breaks. I mean, no going home, no sleep, no changing the utes..... 

The guys resembled a bunch of weary miners,

all dusty


super smelly

and exhausted. 

I was amazed they could even crack smiles at that point.  One guy fell asleep with a grinder in his hands! 

After all that work, this beautiful creation, in all its SWAT testosterone glory,

would not start.  OMG!!!!!!

As I write the truck is on a flatbed, bound for Waco, TX, even though it is silent.  Tom is driving it down there via Blu. 

Blood, Sweat & Tears...

Today it is wicked humid and hot. 

Kate's class had a PreK farewell party in the school playground.  The kids ran around, rode bicycles and jumped under the  parachute. 

Kate looked pretty wilted, so we bolted that popcicle stand for the A/C at home.

My head aches from the heat and humidity. 

Rain clouds are stalking the neighborhood. 

Oh, please rain at 6 o'clock.....just in time for Jack's baseball practice! 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"Whew! Glad It Wasn't Me..."

Today was one of those moments where I have to be the parent who means business. 

Push me too far and I gotta level the punishment....

Jack is now in the sassy habit....little snorts, grunts, evil eyes when he doesn't get his way.  Even the occasional elbow nudge into my side if, perchance I say no to treats 30 seconds before dinner is served.

 Apparently previous punishments or threats haven't lifted his brows,

until that is,

this afternoon... 

I got one sass too many and down came the gauntlet. 

So came the decree;

no TV,

no playing outside..

grounded in his room for....gasp! 

The rest of the day. 

Oh the injustice, cruelty and abject humiliation in front of his sister.  You'd have thought I'd beaten his hide and instituted waterboarding..... 

Oh the crying, pleading, negotiation that took place...! 

I tell ya, my kid will be a great salesman or labor lawyer someday. 

But I held my ground... 

Jack dislikes me very much right now,

but maybe,

just maybe he will thank me 20 years hence for teaching him to be a nice boy...


And the little one....

she's grateful to be on the right side of the law........this time......