Friday, July 30, 2010

$2 Afternoon

Look what I found on clearance at Target today:

Ye Olde Slip n' Slide.

Honestly, not as great as I remembered from days of yore.

But the kids still had fun. Sort of.

There was a lot of arguing, squabbling, and all-around bickering.

But the {bad} pictures make it look like we had a ball.

Part of me is glad that when I am old and wearing elastic pants, I won't remember the details of today's arguments. Because they were 100% ridiculous.

I'll see pictures of late summer tans, spraying waterfalls, and sunshine, and remember when the kids didn't have a care in the world beyond which ice cream flavor to have for dessert.

And maybe which swim suit to wear next.

But I'll just remember good times with cousins...even if tempers occasionally flare and their favorite part of the night was playing Jail.

I'm just not ready for all this summertime fun to end.

School starts next week. Do we have to go?

Mister Chubs is not going anywhere.

Maybe we'll just skip out ourselves...

...but the arguing might convince me otherwise.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Adventure Day, Yee Haw!

Every Friday 'round these very exciting parts is Adventure Day! {For some reason, I picture myself saying that in a kind of cowboy drawl dressed like Goofy in Frontier Land.}

Adventure Day, of course, is the catch-all for doing activities other than going to the pool or Costco.

After making the Summer Fun List, I thought it would be nice to have a day where we could take our wild and crazy selves around town for some...summer fun. The great thing about kids is that it doesn't take much to constitute an adventure.

Heck, an empty Costco box and a Sharpie kept Lilly entertained for 3 hours today.

But a few weeks ago, Brad and I loaded up Tiger and Tigress to hit the driving range.

I'm sure these are everywhere, but our local range has an upper deck that allows even the worst shots to get some air and make 8 year-olds feel like John Daly at Augusta.

J is actually developing a nice little swing and regularly hits shots longer than mine.

I take that moment to picture myself caddying for him in juniors tournaments...handing him the wrong clubs, but getting a tan while wearing cute clothes.

{I'd have to think twice if they made me wear those Masters-y jumpsuits.}

But J clearly has some Sport Confusion going on with his wardrobe.

That's ok, I'm sure Michael Jordan wears an old Bulls jersey every now and then when he plays a round of golf.

And then there's the Bean:

As you could probably tell from her setup, striking the ball is still a worthy goal.

But DANG, she looks cute barely dribbling the ball to the end of the safety net.

The only downside to the driving range is that it lacks two of my favorite golf components: the cart and the pro shop.

Luckily, I recently had the chance to be the... {you might want to swallow your cereal before you read on}... OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHER for a charity golf event.

Other than taking incredibly marginal pictures with a borrowed fancy camera, the best part was driving the golf cart. {As if I had to mention that.}

My friend and I toured the entire course and pretended to live in the amazing homes that lined the back greens. We also off-roaded (just a little) to take some shortcuts through some questionable "rough."

I should probably mention that Cari's back was sore and she had to go to the chiropractor the day after...which she blamed on the excessive jostling of the cart. {It was more of a shocks issue than the chauffeur/photographer.}

After wrapping up a few hours of photography and some possible breaches of golf course etiquette, we hit the pro shop.

They have the coolest stuff...outfits that I only dream of having a place to wear, saddle oxford golf shoes, and so many technical wicking fabrics that your skin starts to spontaneously dry out upon entering.

That said, even if I had a spare $70 for a these golf shorts, I'm just not sure I could drop the cash on one item for a sport in which I have a minimal hope and future. {But I stand by the fact that the first step to success in any venture is the right outfit.}

Oh, Brad wanted me to point out one last thing...

...the photo his blurry because of his amazing club speed and fabulous new driver.


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

A Giant Leap for Momkind

It's no secret that so far, this is the summer of my dreams. Even without a trip to somewhere lizardy and exotic, this is probably the most relaxation I've had since 2001.

For the sensitive and mathematically savvy out there, it feels downright mean to hint at the fact that summer has been a little non-fun since I had kids, but it's slightly (cough cough) true.

Of course there has been "fun"--the kind of excitement and thrills that are available when you take toddlers to the pool. And the thrills are multiplied when these toddlers love the water so incredibly much that they are FEARLESS and try to drown themselves regularly.

Both Jackson and Lilly discovered immense joy by catapulting off the side of the pool before they had the faintest clue that emerging from deep waters alive would be a nice follow-up to a canon ball. They didn't even gesture for me to "watch this!" or "catch me!"

{p.s. i cannot even tell you how many things i love about this photo}

NO. They waited until I blinked for one nanosecond or dared to pick my swimsuit out of my hiney to run to the other end of the pool and try some daring stunt (headfirst, if they were really plotting things out) into water far deeper than their toddler stature.

{they shunned flotation devices and the zero-depth section in infancy}

At this point, the lifeguards were whistling violently and clearing out the pool. While I hung my head in obligatory motherhood shame, the OTHER child, who I admittedly left unattended to rescue the co-conspirator, had pulled the same stunt at the other end of the pool, thus clearing out a 25 meter swimming radius.

If you aren't relaxed and thinking of strawberry daquiris and palm trees by now, then pull up a lounge chair (or DON'T since I hadn't sat poolside in nearly a decade) and get ready for Act 2: Adult Swim.

Step 1: Lifeguards blow whistle to get kids out of water.

Step 2: My kids dramatically sob and cry because paid teenage sunbathers force them to stop their near-drowning tactics for 10 minutes while they check to make sure no one has puked in the pool.

Step 3: I finally calm the kids down and bribe them with a snack.

Step 4: Approximately 2 minutes later, the lifeguard blows his whistle, signaling everyone to jump in.

Step 5: Kids start crying because they are TORN between wanting to eat and wanting to swim and they desperately want to take food in the pool.

Step 6: I cry behind my over-sized, under-priced sunglasses because I am exhausted and cannot win and there isn't even a Snack Shack to sell me a consolation prize ice cream bar.

{i cannot believe they used to fit in a chair together}

Of course, I quickly discovered the route to true happiness was the backyard pool with waterslide.

The greatest downside is that there is no dignified way for an overheated adult to get wet except to slink over the deflating sides of the starfish pool and curl up sideways in the fetal position.

Which, since I have no dignity, I did from time to time.

(I'll not even list the drawbacks to the backyard swimmer's paradise, except to mention the freezing water temperature, dead grass patch, obvious peeing in the pool, wide variety of bugs and their eggs, enough grass to support a small pasture, and entire popsicles submerged and then eaten.)

Clearly, this is all a distant memory as I read novels (yes, actual books, not just magazine headlines) from the sidelines now.

I do miss the sweet toddler smiles and daily language discovery, but the swim diapers gone awry and pre-naptime meltdowns are blessedly forgotten(ish).

All that drowning/swimming chaos aside, I thought it was wise to bring a teeny bit of structure to our summer. And it looks like this:

Nothing big, but a small daily goal to bring some rhythm to decidedly lazy days. We're a few weeks in and the kids and I are loving it.

What I didn't put on the schedule is "pool"...every single day.

Ah yes, the world is as it should be.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Largo Teal

I forgot to tell you...I painted my front door a lovely turquoise at the end of May.

It needed a little snazzing.

Don't get me wrong...I looooved the black door. Truly, it had been a dream of mine for quite some time.

But if you know me at all, my paint dreams change. Frequently.

So, for right now, I'm pretending I live in a beach house.

If it's a great summer, it will be "The Summer of the Blue Door!"

And if it's a crummy summer (which doesn't seem possible at this point), it will be "The Summer of the Blue Door!"

I also opened a cabana in the driveway. It serves frosted circus animal crackers and raspberry lemonade with straws.

(Melted waxy crayon all over new Costco beach towels is free!)

And our clientele is very exclusive:
I love summer.

(Almost as much as I love those pink buns on the right.)

Thursday, July 01, 2010