Saturday, August 30, 2008

Kickin' My Ass

For the past few weeks the Hubster and I have been picking one morning and biking together.

The first week, we loaded the bikes into his car and headed to the beach. We found a nearby parking place and rode about 8 miles (round trip) along the beach. It was nice, relaxing, and just a bit of a workout.

The second week we parked further away, then did 14 miles at a faster pace. Not a problem, it was a good workout and we got to spend some time together.

I need to add, by the way, that we (okay, I) can't ride from our house, even though it is only two miles from the beach. We live in a hilly area, and there is a steep hill between us and the beach.....and I KNOW there is no way I can bike that hill (yet)!

So, we drive to a point past the hill, park and ride.

This morning, week three, we loaded up the bikes, grabbed some water and headed off to our pre-determined parking spot.

Somewhere between our house and the parking spot, I actually said, "You know, you don't have to take it easy because of me. Last week I kept having to brake because you were slowing down for me."

Big mistake.

Ninety minutes, eighteen miles, and numerous steep hills later I almost collapsed as we loaded the bikes back into the car. It was a killer workout and I wanted to vomit.

(That's how I knew it was a good thing.)



Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pop!!!!

Did you hear it?

That was the sound of the Wildcard's end-of-summer bubble bursting.

I've always given the kids one day at the end of summer, just before school starts again, to have an official Kids' Day.

They have 24 hours to do any/everything they choose (within reason and the law, of course). In the past it has included water parks, bowling, favorite restaurants, tons of junk food, and marathon all-night slumber parties involving video games and more junk food. There is no bed time, they choose the activities, and meals are at their discretion.

This year, since the Diva and the Blonde One are both in college, the Wildcard was on his own. He planned an all-night meeting on the Wii with two of his friends in Hawaii and one friend in Vegas. He would stay up all night, eat Barbecue Baked Lays, drink root beer until he vomits, then sleep it off the next morning.

The Vegas/SoCal/Hawaii logistics were all worked out - the marathon video game session would be two nights before school started, giving him an entire day to recover before starting at his new school.

Then, the Phone Call.

It was the Wildcard's school, the afternoon before the all-night gaming session.

Did I know that there was an orientation for new students beginning at 8 a.m. the following day? And that all new students were encouraged to attend? And, by the way, the Wildcard's shot record didn't show that he had received a varicella vaccine. I would need to show proof of that before school started.

(His shot record had been transcribed from other records a few years ago, and I knew he had been given the varicella vaccine...it was just a matter of correcting the records.)

So......the all-night gaming was cancelled.

The Wildcard was up at 7 a.m. for orientation (which turned out to be a total disaster, possibly blogworthy on another day).

After orientation I took him to medical to have his shot record properly transcribed. In the process they informed me that a varicella booster was overdue. It was ugly, but we chased him down and the immunization was given.

Poor kid. I feel like I owe him something after all that......

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Head Scratchers

Last week we received an e-mail from the Wildcard's old school in Hawaii. It seems that he is failing all of his classes this year, mostly due to non-attendance and not turning in his assignments.

I e-mailed the school and each of his teachers to let them know we have moved and he wouldn't be attending this year. Most replied, thanking me for making them aware of this.

On Thursday the Hubster received a call from the Marine who had replaced him in Hawaii.

They were looking for the Hubster, and wanted to let him know that his child (the Wildcard) was truant.

The Replacement informed the caller than we had moved to California over the summer.

The caller then asked if the Wildcard would still be attending the school.

Ummmmm.......the daily commute is a bit much, eh?

..........................

E-mail from our bank, exactly as received:

"Subject: Account has an NSF Check or ACH Debit

Your account, ending in , has a non-sufficient funds , in the amount of $. This item was presented for payment on , and subsequently returned for non-sufficient funds. A non-sufficient funds fee of $20.00 will be debited from your account."

Seven hours later, we received this follow-up:

"This is to advise you that an E-mail notification was sent to you in error. The E-mail subject states, “Account has an NSF Check or ACH Debit”. Please note this E-mail did not accurately reflect your account status. Please disregard it. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Really???? The missing information in the original e-mail never would have clued me in...

......................................

The Blonde One erupts into a serious case of the giggles as he is filling out a job application.

Mom!! Come and look at this question!!

He points to Question #12:

Have you had any felony convictions within the past seven years? (please select only one)

0 Decline to answer.
0 Yes. (please explain)
0 No.
0 Hawaii applicant.

Gotta love the Islands!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Good Gouge

"Sir, you drive until you see a traffic cone on top of a post. Turn on the dirt road just past the cone, and drive for a while. It'll turn to asphalt, then back to dirt. After ten or fifteen miles it comes to a 'T" and you turn left. Follow it to the end. Oh, and wear sneakers because you may step in fresh bison poop. And by the way, tell your wife there are lots of rattlesnakes up there."

With those directions, we ditched the kids and headed off.

Getting there was half the battle (okay, more like 90% of the battle). The dirt road was narrow and filled with rocks and ruts. As we drove on, the dirt turned to powder. Each stop left us sweaty, coughing and covered in dirt/powder.

Once we reached the top, the terrain completely changed. We were surrounded by rolling hills, trees, and ponds. It was like a different world up there, so quiet and peaceful.

I'm sure that's what the bison thought too.....quiet and peaceful until we pulled up and I started snapping pictures. This one was a bit ticked off. A few seconds later his friend stood up and they took a few steps in my direction.

I made a quick exit.

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This is one of the ponds we found. The Hubster was wishing he had brought fishing poles because it was filled with huge fish. (If I was a fisherperson, I would remember what type of fish they were.)

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The scenery at the top was breathtaking....

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This is my favorite photo from the trip - it is the view looking back down the mountain. You can see all the narrow, dirt roads winding across the hills.

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It's certainly not Hawaii, but it'll do!

(Oh, and we didn't see a single rattlesnake!)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Blah, Blah, Blah, Right? Right?? RIGHT??!!??

Destructo has been taking swim lessons this month.

His first two-week session was great, from my perspective.

I was able to plop him into the pool with Miss Kara, then retreat to the sidelines and have intelligent conversation with the other moms. Destructo often emerged from his 30-minute lesson with dry hair, but it was okay as long as I was able to have a few minutes of intellectual stimulation.

The second session was totally opposite.

Destructo cried when he discovered that he had a new teacher, but quickly fell in love with Miss Alexa. He obediently did his head dunks, jumped into deep water, and practiced his front crawl.

For me, it was not so much fun.

The only other mom there was......well, annoying as Hell.

Not only was she constantly telling Miss Alexa how to teach the class, but she NEVER shut up about her kid.

A typical conversation went like this:

Annoying as Hell Mom: Oh, look!! They are going to do back floats now! Go Jakie, go!!! Good job, Jakie!

Me: Shut the Hell up. (Okay, that was just inside my head.)

Annoying as Hell Mom: (to me) Did you see Jakie? He is so cute! Isn't he cute?

Me: Shut the Hell up. (Again inside my head, but I can feel my lips resisting the urge to move....)

Annoying as Hell Mom: (looking at me now, making sure there is eye contact) Isn't he cute? Isn't Jakie the CUTEST THING EVER??!!??

So now I'm sitting there, trying to find a way to politely tell her that her kid really isn't that cute, at least not compared to the blue-eyed kid with the blonde curls, and by the way could you just Shut-the-Hell-Up?

And just then it happened.

Destructo, in an effort to impress Miss Alexa, popped out of his turtle float too quickly, too close to the edge, and cracked his head on the lip of the pool. There was blood, there was crying, and there was an exit.

Thank God for head wounds.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Reality

So I'm puttering around in the kitchen, trying to avoid the chaos and mess that the Hubster just dumped all over the living room floor.

Suddenly Destructo comes running around the corner, carrying a drab brown pouch, excited out of his mind by his new discovery.

Destructo: Mom!! Look what Dad has!! You open it up and it transforms into a shovel! Just like my Transformers movie!

Me: Ummmmmhmmm.....that's super cool!

He trots off to rummage through the increasing pile of crap on the living room floor.

A few minutes later he returns, wearing goggles.

Destructo: Mom!! Do I look cool? These aren't for swimming though, Dad said they are sand goggles.

And he's off before I can respond.

By this time I've scrubbed the granite several times and the stainless steel is spotless. I'm working on organizing my spice cupboard when Destructo returns.

He's giggling as he tries to maneuver the corner in a desert cammo flack jacket. The Hubster is holding the jacket to keep Destructo's 35-pound self from collapsing into a heap on the floor.

Destructo: Mom, you should come out here and see all the cool stuff Dad brought home!

I shoot the Hubster a look, then go back to alphabetizing my spices.

Denial works well until you start tripping over it in your living room.

(sigh)