Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Checking the P-Mail

With temperatures over 100 degrees here lately, we've been taking our dog to the dog park late at night when it's actually almost cool enough for her to run around (as I biked home from work at 7:45 on Monday, the thermometer read a toasty 97 degrees!). Mackenzie keeps up a running dog impersonation as Callie runs around sniffing "Yep, I'm just checking my pee-mail. 328 messages! Some of these are from two months ago. I'm getting behind on my pee-mail, must check the inbox more often." The kid cracks me up, it's like living with a full-time comedian (when it's not like living with the bouncing ball of hormonal emotions, that is).

Friday, July 24, 2009

Score One For The Mom

Mackenzie had his phone stolen yesterday out of his locker at the pool yesterday (no it was not locked, yes this is definitely a lesson on how to protect one's more important possessions.) Normally he doesn't leave it in his pocket, but going in with friends he got distracted and, well, that's usually when a thief will get you.

How did I discover his phone was stolen? When the creep who stole it texted me something really nasty that for your sake I won't repeat here. So, given the content of the text message, I figured it was a kid or teen who nabbed the phone and I texted this back:

I have put GPS trace on the phone. Turn in to pool desk or I will prosecute u 4 theft!

Guess what? The phone got returned last night.

Just an FYI for those of you whose kids have cell phones, you can turn the GPS tracking on full time (my own phone I only have on for 911).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Summer's Symphony Synergy

Have you ever seen an almost teenaged boy just begging to go to the coolest concert in town, the one act he HAS to see this summer.... and it's .... Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. I'm LOL because at this age my parents would DRAG me to the symphony but I would've killed to have gone to, say, an Eagle's concert. I'm so glad we all ended up going though. We are so lucky to have this beautiful outdoor venue here, right next to the river and the symphony gave a free evening concert with many gorgeous works from Bizet to Gershwin, culminating in Tchaikovsky. Said boy was wiggling out of his skin with excitement as the climactic moment approached (especially when he spied them wheeling cannons behind the stage to the right of the amphitheatre - there had been just a wee hint of disappointment when no cannons were spied on the stage).

It was a perfect summer's eve and it seemed like the whole town had turned out to fill the amphiteatre. A heron did several lazy circles above the audience (garnering some applause, but luckily departing before the cannons made their grand entrance), the clouds above turned orange then pink, and the beautiful early strains of the Overture wafted over us in time with a warm breeze that set all of the leaves on the tall cottonwood trees in motion. Sometimes life achieves a simple perfection, a synergy of every element from the people you're with to your surroundings to sights, sounds, textures, smells, touch. Goosebumps pucker up on your arms and tears leak out of the corners of your eyes from the sheer joy of it all. Such was our evening with Tchaikovsky. As the band lit into Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever for the encore, we decided to march our way out of the amphitheatre (Mackenzie discoursing on the similarities to ancient Roman amphitheatres and me singing something about being kind to web-footed friends) and down the trail along the waterway.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Joyful Joyful

There is something indelibly sweet about the strains of Beethoven's Ode to Joy emitting from under a door frame, with this perfectly angelic voice singing the words to the hymn Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee....

....coming from the bathroom of course. I will definitely miss these days when my littlest angel still sings in the bathroom.

She's still on a Beethoven kick. Big bro sent her the Ode to Joy ringtone for her phone, and within minutes she was sitting at the piano and picking it out, playing the cellphone version then hitting the keys until she got the right notes, over and over. So I brought out my hymnal and since then she has been chipping away at learning the full chorded version. And of course singing it on the bike, at the pool, over dinner, in the bathroom.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Genetic Hoo-Haw

First of all, a pic of my great big gargantuan huge-looking kids. Gosh, does the summer weather make them sprout up like my dandelions?? I have to chuckle because someone commented the other day on how much the kids looked alike and Mackenzie (individuating himself as required in the Big Brother Code, section 1.3.c.) replied that they looked nothing alike. Ummmmm, yeah. Take a look at this photo, big bro.

Secondly, some totally cute stuff from the kids lately. The first is related to this growing-huge phenomenon. One day he just started doing it, Mackenzie in his now-much-deeper voice began to answer the phone like this... "Mmnnnnnyellow". This is EXACTLY how my dad has always said "hello" when answering the phone. But I don't think Mackenzie has ever heard that since I'm always the one to call my dad. It's just plain eerie, but at the same time it never fails to bring a smile to my face. Talk about a chip off the ol' grand-block. It sure makes you wonder exactly how many things are genetic. I mean, phone answering??? On a not-so fun note, both of the kids tend to get a painful knot in the muscle that lies just under the left shoulder blade.... Exactly where I have a killer knot that flares up from time to time and even travels up my neck until I can't turn my head to the left. So Mackenzie quips "Great, I inherited the family knot!"

My Asa funny for the week comes from her first swim meet of the season, where she won her freestyle and backstroke heats. Afterwards, she remarked langorously "I love breathing to the side in freestyle. That way I can just watch all the other swimmers slipping away behind me." LOL! Maybe that swimming thing is just a wee bit inherited also...

Monday, July 06, 2009

Increasing Traffic Safety With Spelling Lessons

What's the best way to teach spelling AND increase your safety while driving at the same time? Get your daughter a cell phone and let her do all the texting instead of talking to people on your phone (an insist like a Luddite that she actually spell words out instead of using u and r). Yes, the last member of our family finally has her own phone, and our home phone has now gone by the wayside.

I think I was the last holdout who really loved having a home phone in our family. I know it's a completely mental construct, the notion of having a phone attached to your house -- I can still remember with great affection the exact ring of the black rotary-dial number at my grandma's house (a ring which is, somewhat ironically, duplicated as a ringtone on my cell phone), and the way the numbers went clickity-click as the dial rewound itself. I remember hating numbers that had too many eights and nines in them since they took so much longer (and one of our local prefixes was 899, so those friends were the slow-dialers on my list). Dammit the home phone was MY mental construct and I didn't want to give it up. But for thirty extra useless dollars a month, it went bye-bye.

You'll notice that instead of the basic jobbie that Wayne had promised Asa she'd be getting, when they returned from the Verizon store he was practically tied in knots from being wrapped around her little finger as she was sporting this flip-out keyboard number in a shiny dark maroon shade. Can you say Daddy's Girl faster than you can say Big Softie???

Now if there's one thing worse than being a technophile whose daughter has a better phone than yours (mine is YEARS old and battered from being dropped from my bike more than a couple of times) it's being a big brother whose little sister has a better phone than yours. Mackenzie is adapting well, but I was wondering if we were going to have to invest in counseling there for a little bit.

And speaking of Mackenzie, at least Asa didn't break her arm jumping around from the sheer joy of getting a cell phone (remember that was Mackenzie's little stunt last summer??) but if she's not careful, she may strain her texting thumbs.