27 April 2007
If the Mites on Ice is covered at all, look for Ross in goal, White #35 and Lars skating (probably defense), White #00. If NBC isn't savvy enough to pick up the Mites game, you'll be able to catch some clips on YouTube next week.
With that, we're off to Lake Placid where I'm playing in a CHE Women's Hockey Tournament this weekend. I get to play on the 1980 Olympic rink at Herb Brooks Arena!
Who needs lotto when you get to skate at MSG and the 1980 rink in the same week?
26 April 2007
24 April 2007
My fashion sense developed (or didn't, if you ask my mom) when I was a teen in the '80's. Our neighborhood trended toward preppy, which means that my mom could have hated my clothes a whole lot more than she actually did (we didn't have MTV so she might not have been entirely aware of how lucky she was).
I think Mom was least offended (although still probably baffled) by my shoe collection. What on earth would inspire a person to wear Converse with map of the world prints or dusty rose suede pan boots? If not for the cost, she might have liked the white Nikes with the gel-rainbow swooshes and I'm pretty sure my Camp Mocs were pure torture for her. THAT much?!? For SHOES? They weren't even good tie-oxfords! They had no support! I was clearly insane. Somehow or other, I managed to get a pair despite the financial and physical downfall they would obviously cause. I wore that first pair (pictured here in 1987) regularly until they fell apart in 2004. By good planning, LLBean's delivered the successor pair a few weeks before the bitter end and I was able to wear them for the small throwing-out ceremony I forced Chris and the kids to endure.
Shoes aside, I was otherwise never as preppy as I would have liked. Our town featured a few upscale boutiques that I would browse in on my way to or from the library or the Y to get ideas. For years after I moved out of town, I reminisced about window shopping in those boutiques and looked forward to a day when I'd be able to go in with some buying power...but, alas, now there are different shops in the storefronts so those special items I always thought I'd go back for will remain in my memories.
...or will they? Enter 2004, a year when many things I'd had forever simply decided it was time to quit - the Camp Mocs were only the start of it! You'd think the opportunity to shop with good reason would be thrilling, unless you realized that we had two kids and had just moved houses. Either situation should scream, "NO POCKET MONEY!" but, especially taken together, they don't bode well for being happy about having shopped when the AmEx bill arrives. Still, a girl must have something to wear to work.
Here's where my mom will be proud: over the years, I've become a shopper she might be proud of. I don't (usually) buy the first thing that comes to hand. I research my purchases. I go try on sizes and then hunt around for better pricing online. I've grown quite fond of eBay for bargains you can surf for while wearing comfy pj's (and Hut Boots which are also from LLBean but mom used to have a pair herself, they're deliciously warm, so she can't point out how much I spent on slippers).
Then, one fateful day, Mom and I were actually wandering in the shopping mall near my house. This never happens. Mom doesn't care much for malls. She also lives 2,366 miles away so we don't get to visit very often. Also? As much as I love the mall, I try not to go in too often. AmEx would prefer that I showed less restraint but I'm learning not to buckle to such pressure. Anyway, on this day? We pass the window of Brooks Brothers and THERE THEY ARE! The pants I've wanted since I saw them in Pappagallo in 1987! With embroidered sailboats and whales! And I was with my mother, who might actually implode if I went in to Brooks Brothers, let alone bought something from there.
Long story short? Mom did not implode when I went in (she didn't even make any comments out loud). They had the pants in my size (shocking) and they were on sale (can you say PROVIDENCE?)! They are worth every penny I paid, every time I wear them and I've since bought two pairs of shoes to go with them - don't tell my mom.
22 April 2007
Allowing an elongated pause, I considered my options and decided that saying yes was probably the fastest path to his getting interested in something else. I dolloped polish remover on two cotton balls and showed Lars how to use one to take the color off my toes. He worked on one foot while I worked on the other. After, he carefully examined the color choices and decided which one he'd use. Ok, he decided on four different colors (he was planning a pattern) but I narrowed him down to only one. It was a painful elimination at the last but I've promised there will be other chances to use the color that did not win this time. At several points, Ross called out for Lars to come play but Lars remained interested in my toes, so I showed him how to apply the color. He stuck with the task for all ten toes (go figure).
Not bad, you say? Well...the color he chose is a Del Sol polish, which changes color in sunlight:
Thank goodness the indoor shade is clear!
21 April 2007
All three colors come in regular size and a dwarf size. Colors mix in the same clump, but size is strictly segregated. This year we have several yellow dwarf clumps in the middle of the lawn, where we haven't seen them before. They're too far away from all the other clumps for me to believe they're the product of bulb spreading...I wonder who's been working on the plantings? No matter, really, any flower the deer won't eat is a treasure around here.
Chris swept off the front porch and raked some of the yard. The kids have a friend over for the afternoon and have been alternately playing hockey and in the woods. I made rice krispy treats, next weeks' menu and a shopping list. There's not much on the list since but I haven't decided if I'll try to shop this afternoon or wait until the evening. I have to go before tomorrow - we're nearly out of milk.
After hockey this morning and lunch, the kids dashed out to the yard in shirtsleeves and have only been in for snack since. Lars immediately scaled the cottage roof, something he's been doing for years. This is the first year I have not been secretly terrified that he'd fall off, and I'm not yet worried that he'll collapse it. This peaceful feeling is strange and I hope it's the start of feeling like a mother of "kids" instead of "small kids" (rather than a calm-before-the-storm sort of warning omen). Between the cottage and climbing the trees, we'll be lucky to get through the summer without any broken bones. We do issue warnings and plead for caution but are not silly enough to think our requests mean the kids will not climb around. We keep the Bactine and band-aids handy and make sure our health insurance is up-to-date. If today is any indication, it's going to be a great spring (finally!).
19 April 2007
- 6am train. Ugh.
- Starbucks not open on time; no latte or breakfast. UGH!
- Suddenly raining! Did not wear raincoat, but did have umbrella (nobody is more shocked about the umbrella than I was). Argh.
- Useful but interminable lecture on inverters (might have been better if I'd had coffee).
- Good news that a job I've been working on came through!
- Surprise meeting for my least favorite job.
- Site visit revealing contractor lost 2/3 of his control stations. Job turns on Tuesday.
- Surprise meeting with one of my favorite engineers.
- Uncomfortable phone call, making me wonder if I've somehow gotten mixed up with the mob.
- Shockingly sunny and mild, open tables in Bryant Park, twenty or so minutes before I must head to next appointment...so I'm enjoying the slanty afternoon sun hitting the NY Public Library and blogging outside. Wheee!
At first glance, the purple scrawls might seem like useless graffiti...but look closely - it's an argument:
A written dialogue between the kids! How clever! IN PURPLE MARKER ON MY WALL, which completely voids any hope of my praising their cleverness. Questioning reveals that neither boy had anything at all to do with the writing on the wall. Nothing! Not one thing! Punishments were still handed out, because we're just mean that way. And no, in case you were also wondering, they may not help repaint the wall.
17 April 2007
I hope he'll get another loose tooth soon because anything that can keep him quiet and in one spot for twenty minutes is something to cultivate.
16 April 2007
Ross and Lars each have a friend over and Chris has been supervising assorted activities all morning. Snippets of the conversation overheard while they were building with Legos:
"No, that's a toilet plunger!"
"...because sharing is for BABIES!"
"A toilet plunger. A thing you get the water on the floor with?"
"...this guy has no head"
"He still could plunger something"
When they all get too rambunctious to sit around the table any longer, Chris herds them downstairs so they can romp around in the (DRY!) basement. We're doing mac'n'cheese with fruit for lunch and will show a movie after. I'm about done with the work I'd planned to do today (I did a slew of it last night, in anticipation of being in the city all day) and wondering if I'd get in a little or a lot of trouble if I continue hiding in the den and fire up Civ IV or NWN2...
15 April 2007
14 April 2007
12 April 2007
08 April 2007
06 April 2007
Here's a video of the start of their game, with the announcer introducing the team:
04 April 2007
Over dinner that night, Lars announced that his radish hurt. Chris and I locked gazes over the table, each glad to be chewing something and therefore unable to attempt an immediate answer. By sheer luck, neither of us choked. Chris finished chewing first and managed to croak out, "Your radish?" without cracking a grin (his eyebrows were on the ceiling, however, I think in an attempt to tighten his face so that a smile wouldn't be able to sneak out). I chose the safer path and took another bite of my dinner.
"Yes, Daddy. My," pause. "Well, you know, this...," pause. "HERE! What I got from sitting on the hockey stick!"
"Oh! Your bruise! Yes, that's bound to hurt a bit but you'll be ok," finished Chris before jamming another bite into his own mouth and flashing me a distinct 'your-turn-next' look.
03 April 2007
When Chris does per-diem work, I keep Lars for the few hours until the afternoon Kindergarten bus comes. Usually, we hang out at home and play Memory or he helps me do take-offs for work (he’s very good at matching and counting and loves to use different highlighter colors). Once a month, I bring him with me to the blood lab. He leads the way from the parking lot, knows which floor to select in the elevator, sits patiently with me in the waiting room and then stands quietly near me while the tech draws my blood. He usually watches and will sometimes talk to the tech about why there are different colored tubes or if I can have the Incredibles band-aid. He’s never seemed disturbed or frightened by the experience.
This is Spring Break week, so I had both of them today, while Chris worked. In keeping with the Nothing Is Easy theme of the last couple weeks, it was also lab day. On the way over, I asked Lars to fill Ross in on the lab routine. I started him off with the parking and elevator and Lars leading me to the lab. Lars thought a minute and then added, very matter-of-factly, “Then we sign in and wait quietly until they call us and then we go into the room and they do BAD THINGS to Mama. They take her blood out and they KEEP it!” There was an uncomfortable pause and then, “But after that we go home to Starbucks if I’m good and I’m ALWAYS good there.” On reflection, he IS always good there! I never thought much of it before, but now I wonder if it’s because he’s worried about the bad things or because he likes going to Sbux?
02 April 2007
While he’d agreed to the spikes in concept, I’m not really sure he understood what he’d get until I was done. The look of pure terror on his face pretty much sums up how he felt about the ‘do until he got to the bus stop and discovered the other kids thought it looked cool. After the bus, I worked a couple of hours and then made Spätzle (German noodles) for his class’ International Lunch, which Chris ran up to the school while I went back to work.
In the midst of all this fun, we endured a minor electrical fire in the circuit breaker box, the fault of poor insulation and a badly tightened wire on the neutral bus. After determining the damage limited to the box and not requiring help from the fire department, we simply pulled the breaker from use and ran an extension cord into the kitchen to power coffee and toaster. Thankfully, we have a gas stove, so matches are all we need for stovetop use.
Yesterday was full of hockey and a birthday party. Today started again with hockey, followed this time by a trip to Home Depot for new breakers. On the advice of a knowledgeable friend, I got an AFCI breaker to replace the damaged one. An Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) will trip if arcing is detected anywhere along the circuit wires. The AFCI is nearly twice as big as a standard breaker but does fit in the same box. I rewired several circuits in the box in order to keep things neat while making room for the monster AFCI.
Even though I’d cut the main power to do the work, Chris stood nearby with my sturdiest Aeroflex wooden hockey stick, poised to bat my arm in case current somehow snuck through the disengaged main. As we cleaned up, I thanked him for his help. Chris grinned, “Stand by, ready to smack my wife with a hockey stick? No problem! What husband wouldn’t do that?”