wish you were here

I’ve “borrowed” Tom’s Crackberry while drives. Heh. We’re on our way to the shuttle launch. Actually, we’re just arriving. Plenty early, too. Will sleep in the car as long we can.
It’s hot here. Really, really hot. Sell your favorite child for a cold beer hot. And sweat through your clothes humid. I am such a weather wuss.
Damn, this rocks. Tom is like a little kid right now. The boys have been fantastic on rhis trip.
Enough typing. The launch awaits! And we’re here. :)

Blog party!

It’s difficult to admit, but many of my friends live in my computer, not in my neighborhood. It’s hard to get together when you live in different time zones, different countries. So I’m hosting a Blog Party, where I can gather my peeps together.

I’d have Robin come and hang out. We’d eat biscotti and drink red wine and toast the progress our children have made over the last two years. We’d toast ourselves, for making it this far and for everything we’ve done for our kids. And then we’d watch our kids play together, creating new bonds and friendships.

Melissa and Christina would be there. Beyond all we have in common with our children, the three of us are musicians. We’d play George Crumb’s Vox Balaenae (Voice of the Whale) (1971), for electric flute, electric cello, and amplified piano, complete with blue lights, mics, and masks. I played it at my final graduate school recital; today I look at the music and am amazed I could play it once upon a time.

Dawn and her partner Laura are invited. They’d bring their sweet little dog Quinn to play with Rosie, and great stories to share. We’d keep the grownup stories for after the kids are in bed.

Jen and I would play “Name That Band Piece,” and I suspect she’d kick my butt, since she was a band director for considerably longer than I was. But I’d hold my own, because dang I know a lot of band music.

Lisa would tend bar, ’cause she has the best drinks. And the best “I teach in an inner-city school, don’t mess with me” stories.

Cursing Mama would bring snicker-doodles and teach me to knit. And curse.

Denise and Jennie would come early and stay late (benefit of living so close). We’d go for a hike first, just because we can. And because, when the weather cooperates, summer out here rocks.

Karin will write and perform a beautiful sacred piece that will touch our hearts and souls.

RC, Tendrils, Michelle, Cathy, Lynn and I will sit and stare at the beauty that is the Rocky Mountains. And drink wine. And laugh and have a great time. Because we can.

I want Angie and her boys to come, because I just want to give her a huge hug. My boys will take her boys off to the side of the house and teach them armpit farts. I apologize in advance.

Kelley totally needs to come, seeing as how she broke her brain and everything. Sorry about the 24 hour flight from Australia; I’ll make it up to her with a brand new pair of orange Crocs.

Chelle will come and teach me all I need to know about hosting a great porch night. And we’ll drool over Jamie Bamber together.

Jamie and I will sit and laugh and cry and rock in the corner. Only another parent of a precocious ADHD kid knows that sometimes you have to laugh to keep from screaming your everlovin’ head off.

Kate and I will sit and reminisce over the “good old days.” The days when we didn’t have kids, but went to college and thought we knew what stress was. And then want to bitch-slap our old selves.

At the end of the night, we’d have one last toast. We’d toast ourselves, for being ourselves, for the honesty we pour out onto these virtual pages. A toast to the future, to friends we have but may never meet in person, to our dreams.

A Blog Party to end all Blog Parties.

Prepping for a trip=Jen needs more wine

I hate planning for trips. No, strike that. I like planning for trips, it’s the pre-trip prep that is murder. Usually because I’m the one running around like a mad-woman, getting everything together while Tom works. At least that’s not the case this time, in no small part to me threatening to smother him in his sleep if he did.

Yesterday we lost power for a solid hour due to a storm that blew up out of nowhere. We weren’t supposed to get rain. Well, we didn’t get just rain. We got rain…hail…bigger hail…wind…power outage…tornado. No power=no idea there was a tornado. No storm sirens in town=no idea there was a tornado. Husband who is tornado obsessed (lost his house at age 12 while he was in the basement) and would love to actually see one but looked out the wrong window=no idea there was a tornado.

And all I could think as the minutes ticked by and there was still no power was: HOLY CRAP I HAVE TOO MUCH TO DO BEFORE THE TRIP AND THAT LAUNDRY ISN’T GOING TO DO ITSELF AND GOOD GOD EVERYTHING I NEED TO DO INVOLVES ELECTRICITY. And then my head stopped working and fell off, because apparently it too needs power to function. Note to self: getting an iPhone can’t come soon enough. Verizon, c’mon, offer the iPhone…soon.

When Tom and I went to Disney World three years ago for our 10th anniversary (and really, I highly recommend adults go without kids at least once), it was a piece of cake. Pack bags, leave notes on the feeding and watering of the cherubs, and get the hell outta town. Not so this trip. We must plan rests, contingency plans, Secret Service plans (grab the kid, keep low to the ground, and run like hell), and how to get J to eat anything other than mac ‘n cheese (one severely constipated kid is plenty, thankyouverymuch). Must make info cards to stick in the boys’ lanyards with “I’m lost” information. Must make date cards for the boys to hold when I take their pictures every morning. Yes, I could do without that, but it makes it tons easier to keep track of pictures for scrapbooking, and terrible as it sounds, a picture of the boys (and what they’re wearing)  every morning will help with finding them if they got lost.

Can’t forget medicines, supplements, earplugs, sunscreen (trying to find sunscreen north of Denver? Sorry, it’s in my bedroom…I tire of the lobster look). Remember the iPod, the Leapsters, the ponchos. Can’t leave without the laundry sheets (’cause inevitably someone will have a toileting accident and need to do laundry), the cell phone chargers (my cell is dying…Verizon…please! Offer the iPhone…please!), reading material for the flights.

On the bright side…don’t need a stroller or 50 pound carseat. Two lightweight boosters and that’s it.

We’re off to The Happiest Place On Earth and I couldn’t be happier. The full moon is waning (craziness will begin to cease), we’ll have backup (my parents are meeting us there and we’re going to surprise the boys), and they’re old enough to remember this trip. A’s sensory issues and ADHD are better understood. J is coming out of his shell and actually talks to people, and dude, we get to see a shuttle launch.

Family time doesn’t get any better than this.

Summer Stock Sunday

Summer Stock Sunday

Robin at Around the Island has started Summer Stock Sunday, where we can showcase our summer photos. Stunner of stunner, I actually have photos. Are they pics of the tornado that touched down a mile from your house this afternoon while your power was out? No! Amazingly not.

Last weekend we went up to Estes Park to meet with my friend Kate and her family. Kate is a fanfreakingtastic nature photographer, and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll go check out her website (the last three photos under recent work are from her trip). We went hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park and took pictures. She has the really, really good ones (you know, the ones by a person who knows what the heck she’s doing as opposed to making it up and hoping for the best), and I don’t have those yet. I do have the ones Tom took on our little pocket camera…because the batteries in the good camera died ten steps into the hike (banging head).

Hiking boys

These two had such a great time on this hike. Exuberant yet cautious, unusual for them. We can’t wait to go back.

view from the top

This was taken at the top of Alberta Falls. A hike. Then a climb up to the top (over and through snow). And worth every step.

pretty lady and son

Kate and her sweet son. Isn’t she beautiful? I miss her so much. We’ve been friends since freshman year of high school; we’re like sisters. I keep trying to convince her to move out here, but it seems there’s the small detail of her husband finding a job. Bleh.

familyA rare family shot. Even rarer that there was no one butting in at this prime photo location outside Estes Park.

Summer usually means gardening, or putzing around the house, enjoying the warmth. But sometimes it also means hiking. Can’t wait to go again.

Friday Fragments 6/5/09

Ok, this is a total ripoff from Melissa at Colorful Metaphors. Totally random snippets. This I could use today. Useless and random.

  • I have spent roughly 15 hours this week driving the boys to and from summer camp. I thought my planning for camps was foolproof…totally forgot drive time. Now I remember why I don’t miss carpool in the slightest.
  • Colorado is gorgeously green right now, courtesy of the OH MY FREAKING GOD TURN OFF THE MOTHER-LOVIN’ FAUCET rain we’ve been having. Please, join me in heartfelt prayer to the deity of your choice that this doesn’t cause all the weeds and grass to grow tall…then dry out…then become an extreme fire hazard later this summer.
  • Tom is home after four days in Boston. Glad to have him.
  • I had to go to WalMart today (motto: check your soul at the door, don’t bother asking for a claim check) for more stuff for our trip. I think I now have more sunscreen than God.
  • I am convinced I broke myself at my 2 hour yoga class yesterday. I’m sore in places I didn’t know I had. Still can’t lower my chin to my chest.
  • I came across a wonderful podcast called What Really Matters. I’ve been in the car so much this week I’ve had time to listen to longer podcasts. I really loved one I listened to today called Simple Self Care. It should have been titled Hey Jen, We’re Talking To You. Go listen to it, it’s all about moms taking care of themselves and why it’s important.
  • Got some way cool news this week, but have to wait until everything is settled before I can really know it’s going to happen.
  • Not.Enough.Ibuprofin. for these body pains. Yoga 1, Jen 0.

The joys of summertime…almost…and a request

It’s summer camp week. Ahhh…bliss… Delicious silence every day, content in the knowledge that my sons were having a great time and were being well cared for. Hubby out of town, returning tonight. I had fully planned to use this week to read, catch up on loose ends, get ready for our trip next week…

Best laid plans.

No reading. Loose ends better tied, but still a little loosey-goosey. Absolutely nothing ready for our trip.

BUT. Two posts written for Rocky Mountain Moms Blog, both are  up today. Please go and share your opinion on pregnancy weight gain; I’m sure you have an opinion. And if you have a dream request for a minivan (and if you drive one, you do), share that too.

Here’s where I need some help. I’m going to Disney World! On Tuesday, as a matter of fact. I fully intended to pre-write a bunch of posts, and will certainly try, but I’m looking for a few guest bloggers. Write anything that blows your skirt up. Let me know if you’re interested, and I’ll contact you with details.

Now. Where’s my Chinese delivery? I think I broke my back today, either during my 2 hour yoga class or the 3 hours I spent in the minivan driving the boys to and from camp. Food will help the wine I’m slurping work its magic.

Wine. Cures what ails ya.

Memories of marching band

A friend on Facebook posted an article today about the athleticism of marching band. Band members are so often regarded as geeks (and I even mockingly refer to myself as such), but in marching band, you’re every bit an athlete as the guys banging into each other before you march out. I am easily 30 pounds heavier now than I was when I marched in college marching band. I won’t see 150 again unless I’m marching four out of seven days again, walking to and from rehearsal, and missing dinner.

Ahhh, those were the days. My freshman year I was so unprepared for the rigors of marching band that I developed chronic calcium tendonitis in both feet. Tendonitis had gotten so bad that calcium deposits were forming in the tendons. Copious amounts of ibuprofin and rest did wonders, but I hobbled for awhile. That same year we all endured a three hour rehearsal in horizontal sleet (Kate, you remember that?); I’m still defrosting, nearly 18 years later. Uh…nearly half my life later…holy crap. I’m going to go sit in a corner and rock now, thanks mental math! Every year we marched the Hoopeston Corn Festival Parade, then ate sweet corn and ice cream until we fell over. I played five Bears games (a couple of years ago Tom and I snagged tickets to see a pre-season Broncos game and we both realized it was the first time either one of us had been to a football game where we weren’t the halftime entertainment). I met my husband in marching band. I met life-long friends in marching band. I discovered how fast I could move, stop, play a piccolo feature, and run like hell again. I played in rain, sleet, wind, snow, blazing heat, suffocating humidity, and the HoosierDome (may it rest in peace). I learned how to replace piccolo pads with a lighter as I walked into a stadium. I learned how to repair a snapped-in-half piccolo headjoint with electrical tape and a prayer. I learned how to hem God-awful wool marching pants with a stapler.

I had a love/hate relationship with marching band. I loved being out there with my friends, and doing some wicked awesome shows. But I hated being out there in the craptastic weather central Illinois would throw our way. I despise going out in bad weather now and will actively avoid it. Don’t bother asking me to an outdoor school or scout function if the weather is going to be bad.

Such great memories of those days. If you ever get a chance to see a state high school marching band finals (here in Colorado it’s usually mid-October), go. You will see an awesome display of athletic musicianship on the field, kids hauling ass and doing things that are MUCH harder than you think. Unless you’ve done it, you just don’t know.

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