Monday, June 29, 2009

That Would be a Great Trick

Our dog, Indy, has learned to come and alert us to the fact that he is going to be sick (vomit) so we can let him outside quickly.

Our last dog, Shasta, didn't need to learn this trick because she had an early warning sign that sounded like a camel coughing up an elephant and lasted for about 15 seconds before her present actually arrived.

But Indy is a silent gift giver, so his attempts to alert us to the onslaught are much appreciated. And I think he really, really does not want to be sick in the house. I think he feels guilty and sad when he does that, like he is creating more work for us and would like to avoid that if at all possible. You can see it on his face if he doesn't make it outside. He appears embarrassed and apologetic, even though it is not his fault - although he could have not eaten the rubber ball, piece of bed sheet, and OMG what is that? that caused him to vomit in the first place.

So the other night when I was getting the boys ready for bed, I was distracted and didn't notice the early warning signs. Luke's mattress was on the floor of Jack's room for a sleepover when Indy came in. Luke was delighted when Indy hopped onto his mattress, expecting Indy to snuggle for awhile. Luke quickly became mortified when Indy barfed on his blankets. Luke burst into tears. I'm lucky that's all he did. Had it been me at that age (and right up until I had kids) I would have followed up Indy's deposit with one of my own.

Luke was devastated. How could Indy do that? What did Luke ever do to Indy to deserve that kind of treatment? To Luke it was as if Indy saved up his stomach contents, sought Luke out and purposely puked on his blankets.

I said to Luke, "He didn't do it on purpose or to hurt your feelings. He was trying to get our attention to tell us he needed to be sick, but we weren't fast enough. You know how sometimes you are going to be sick and you try to make it to the toilet but you don't and you get sick on the floor instead?"

"But my bed is nowhere near the toilet," he said.

And we started laughing, the image of a dog trying to get sick in the toilet instead of outside fresh in our minds as we went on an Indy present hunt through the house and loaded Luke's blankets into the washing machine.

Friday, June 26, 2009

My Vacation Lessons

Vacation advice for those getting ready for summer trips to beach areas:

Stay hydrated and eat lots of fruit. This helps in the 90 degree heat and non-stop playing in the ocean and on the beach. I recommend Baileys Banana Coladas - fruit, liquid, and ice!

Bailey's Banana Colada Recipe

Banana Liqueur
Dark Rum
Bailey's Irish Cream
1 oz Banana
Pina Colada Mix
Put the banana and banana liqueur into a blender until it becomes a thick paste. Add Bailey's to taste; pina colada mix and rum to taste as well. Blend well, add ice, and blend again until smooth.

If you go on vacation with lots of kids, make sure a few of those kids are teens willing to babysit one night so you can get a break and go out with the 21 and up group. Here's the babysitters and babysittees with Grandma Sue.

If you want fresh seafood, go to a reputable fish market. Don't try to get a bargain by paying $2.00 to catch a lobster from a child's nightmare version of the Crane Game.

Yes, we were at a bar and had been drinking if you can't tell from our yelling, giggling and over excitement at trying to catch a lobster with a giant claw. The famous Florabama. We went to the Florabama after leaving a bar with "entertainment." We asked the waitress if the "entertainment" was Karaoke night. She looked at us a little funny and replied, "No, that's enter singer's name here." I have video of the singer, who read the words to songs from his computer screen and kept bringing an endless supply of people from the small crowd, including his brother, up to help him sing. Come to mention it, the supply was endless. Including our group of 6 there were only about 12 people at the bar. We were driven away to the Florabama. So my advice is, make sure the entertainment is entertaining in a "Man that guy can sing" way and not a "This is great material for my blog" way. I will not post the video as that just feels wrong somehow.

When you're on vacation, remember to have fun but don't fall back into your old wild ways of smoking and drinking.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

To Dive In or Not to Dive In

The great thing about night swimming in Florida is that the pool water is so warm and it washes all the beach sand and ocean salt water off so you don't even have to take a bath when you come in.

The bad thing about night swimming in Florida is it's so dark that you can't tell if your kids are doing underwater tricks or going into convulsions.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What a Way to Spend a Birthday

John turned 38 yesterday. So in celebration we went to Florida. OK. Not really. But since we were in Florida anyway, we celebrated.

His day started with breakfast in bed made by his mom and sister Julie and served by his two best buddies.

It then continued with opening packable presents (glow-in-the-dark beach Frisbee), and when I say opening, I mean taking out of the packaging because packing for the trip was enough - I could not actually get his presents wrapped.

The celebration continued with a day spent at the pool and beach, hunting for shells, building sand castles, and body surfing.

Immediately after this face plant, Luke declared, "I'm done."

We then had a birthday party for him in our condo with his whole family (minus his dad who is back in Jeff City - Hi Frank! We miss you!) with great food and more presents. How about that hat? That will protect his shaved head from the sun.

I think we will do the same thing today, without the presents. It is vacation after all.

Friday, June 12, 2009

It Might Be Time To Simplify When... have to leave your house sitter instructions like this:

My sister is house and dog sitting while we are in Florida. I wish we could bring Indy, but he will be happy being here with his Aunt Nanny. He will miss the ocean, but at least he has the waterfall in the backyard.

Our lives may be complicated, but he wallows in simple pleasures.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bad Timing

New car


Quarter-sized hail


Flimsy sheet and tarp


Rethinking that $1,000 insurance deductible and use of garage as toy storage and overall clutter festival.

Friday, June 5, 2009


Sweaty palms.

Racing heart.

Clenched teeth.

Playing the best team in the league.

Everyone's watching.

So much pressure.

Blood pounding loud in the ears.

Block out the crowd.

Bases are loaded.

Two outs.

Two strikes.

Get a hit.

Keep your eye on the ball.

Strike three.

Charlie Browned it. Oh well. Better luck next time.

Time to pitch for the first time ever.

This team is loaded with power hitters.

Best hitters we've seen yet.

Wish it was an easier team.

Batter's ready.


Ball one.


Strike. Yes.

You can do it. Just relax. Focus. Don't worry. It will be ok. Teammates will help. They will help get the outs. Don't worry about Number 12. He is a power hitter. It's ok if he gets a big hit. Almost struck out Number 12. Yes! Keep up the good work. Arm's getting tired. It's ok. Hang in there. Doing great. Relax. Just playing a game of catch. Don't listen to the crowd. Over the top. Throw some strikes. Focus. Relax. Sling it in there. You can do it. It'll be alright.

I wonder what was going through Jack's mind during the game. This is why I never played organized sports. I can't handle the pressure.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


When do children become desensitized? How much talk of "Don't talk to strangers" is too much?

We have tried to strike a balance between informing our children with the information they need to keep them safe in a way that will not make them so terrified they will not want to leave the house.

One of the things that was hard for me to do was let them go to the restroom alone in public places. If it was just Luke and me, we would go into the ladies' room. If it was Jack and Luke and me and no family restroom, I would send Jack and Luke into the men's room together and stand outside until they came out, listening at the door for any suspicious noises.

So the other night when we were out to dinner and Luke had to go number 2, John did the honors and took him to the men's room. He was taking really long and we were close to the restroom so John left him in there. My line of sight only allowed me to see the top of the door opening and closing, though John could see who was coming in and out.

I gave John the "Are you sure?" look. He replied he was giving Luke 2 minutes and then would go check on him. Jack was seemingly oblivious playing his Nintendo DS.

I stared at the little piece of doorway, waiting for it to open and bring my boy safely back to me. It opened. I looked at John. "Just an old man going in," he said.

"Probably someone looking for children to steal," said Jack, never looking up from his DS.

I didn't know whether to bust out laughing or run for the restroom. Did Jack really think every person heading for the restroom was a potential kidnapper? But he didn't seem too worried about his brother, never missing a beat of gameplay. So had we desensitized him to the potential dangers of strangers, or had we made him afraid of everyone?

The old man came out and I sent John to get Luke. He was fine and felt like a big man having done the deed alone. He went back to playing DS, and I went back to praying I will be able to keep my children safe.