Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Vegas, Baby!

On occasion, my work travels take me to a fun city perfect for piggy-backing a family or parents-only vacation. Such an opportunity has come up for a work trip to Vegas to turn into a weekend vacation for John and me (with a couple of our good friends coming along as well).

With the details still very sketchy and the trip itself up in the air, the boys heard John and me talking about it. They were VERY upset. They reported that they have ALWAYS wanted to go to Vegas.

How do you explain that a place with moving and talking statues, erupting volcanoes, pirate ship battles, roller coasters, circuses, tigers, dancing fountains, water parks, and on and on is not a place for children?

Luke crumpled when I told him sometimes parents need a kid-free vacation. He cried and cried that he was in bad need of a vacation. "How many days are in a year?" he asked. I answered 365 days. Through his tears, he espoused the unfairness of getting only one vacation a year when there are so many days in a year.

Reminding him that he gets the ENTIRE summer off, that we spend at least one week a year either in Florida or Colorado with other one to two day mini-trips in between, and that his life is pretty much one giant vacation did not help calm him down. Rather, he began packing his suit case to run away to a family that would take him to Vegas.

To Luke, it's not a vacation unless air travel is involved.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Career Talk

Jack and Luke like to talk about what they want to be when they grow up. Their thoughts on future careers have stayed fairly constant through the years, with Jack doing something related to fish and the ocean and Luke doing something related to animals.

Jack has started to branch out a little bit, realizing the range of possibilities for someone with his talents and interests. He talks about cartoonists, video game designers, and other outlets for his creativeness.

While Jack talks often about what he wants to be, he rarely names things that he does not want to be. Except for one thing. He does not want to be a police officer. His reason?

"My goal is to go my whole life without ever getting shot."

It's nice when your kids goals are in line with your own.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Our Own Indiana Jones-Style Booby Trap

We really dislike our basement ceiling. It is too low. It is made in such a way that you can't remove the tiles to access what is above and then put the tiles back in place. It is full of holes from cable running projects. This is what I see when I look at our ceiling:

We are in the process of planning to tear the whole thing down. We will either put up a new drop ceiling or leave it open, depending on what we find and how bad it looks. The previous owner tended to stuff things up in there, so it should be an interesting project.

But, in the meantime, we have found a use for the mess of a ceiling.
Thanks to a willing Daddy and his persistent children, my kids finally have their own Indiana Jones arena.

Before long, they had us reenacting scenes from the various Indiana Jones movies. Luckily, they did not want me swinging on the rope. I don't think I could have pulled that off.

Friday, January 8, 2010


The time it took for school to be canceled for a snow day from when Jack and Luke started asking for one: 68 days

The time it took them to decide they were ready to play in the snow from when they woke up: 4 hours

The time it took me to find the snow gear: 20 minutes

The time it took to find alternative snow boots when I realized the ones that fit were in John's car still covered in mud and cow poop from New Year's Eve: 15 minutes

The time it took me to convince Jack that it was o.k. to wear women's boots to play in the snow because he couldn't go out in tennis shoes and it was my old boots or nothing: 8 minutes

The time it took Luke and me to get dressed in all of our layers of snow gear: 10 minutes

The time it took Jack to get dressed in all of his layers of snow gear: 22 minutes (he is my slow child, taking after my Grandpa Kirby)

Once outside, the time it took Jack to hit Luke in the face with a snowball, successfully ending our outside time: 20 minutes

The time it took to doff all our gear it took so long to put on, shove it into the dryer so it would be ready to put back on when they decided to go back out in 15 minutes, and clean up the floor from the melting, muddy mess: 18 minutes

The time it took for me to remember snow days are not all they're cracked up to be: 0.5 seconds

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year, New Old Traditions

Since at least 1993, John and I have been ringing in the New Year with our friends Angie and Brian with few exceptions. Our celebrations have run the gamut, from attending a ritzy banquet at a hotel to me going to bed at 11:00 with the flu. No matter the venue, the night together always started the New Year right.

This year we continued the tradition, only Brian was not physically a part of it. Brian lost his battle with cancer on March 17, 2009. The holidays hit his wife, children, family and friends hard drawing more attention to the void because of the special time of year and the traditions that will never be the same.

Although not physically there, Brian's influence was all around. From the bonfire and cigars to the heated games of Euchre to the stories and laughter, it was a night that I think Brian would have enjoyed immensely. I even stayed up until after 1:00 rather than the 12:02 I am famous for.

Angie and Brian's boys, our boys, and Angie's sister's son spent the day climbing hay stacks, traversing fallen tree jungle gyms, riding four wheelers, and playing DS and Wii. They even found an old (or new - who knows?) pair of underwear in a broke down pickup truck, and if you know boys you know that was a hilarious find that made the day.

By nightfall, the adults were exhausted and declared kid new year at 9:30. After about one minute of horn blowing, stick clacking, yelling, and drinking sparkling grape juice outside in the cold, the kids unanimously declared kid new year boring, loud and cold. That is all but Luke who fell asleep at 8:30 and missed the whole thing though we tried to wake him many times. Jack was especially sad he did not get to wish Happy New Year with his brother at his side, but quickly forgot this sadness the next morning bright and early when the New Year kicked in with a bang and the boys started their traditional brotherly bickering.

And I'm happy to report that the New Year has not diminished my boys' effect on the ladies. Angie's adorable niece had them smitten. I asked Luke if he likes babies and he said, "You mean hot babies?" I asked him what a hot baby was. He replied, "You know - hot chicks." I said I didn't mean hot babies. I meant real babies. With diapers and drool. He said, "I'll stick with the other." I guess I don't blame him. He changed his tune though when she started dancing to the music from his MP3 and saying his name.

Jack liked her right away and informed me that, "I am going to make her fall in love with me so she becomes my slave." To this I laughed and he said, "What? That works on babies." To which I replied, "And on women." I am proof enough of that.