Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Cooking with Gas.

Ellie started oceanography camp this week, which is coming at the perfect time.  We've had a great summer so far, but she definitely complains every step of the way. Oh, we went out to lunch? Why can't we have ice cream? Spent the afternoon with friends? Heavy sigh, why can't we do something fun! That sort of nonsense, so it's good that she's out and about to do her own thing. She's had a good week so far, though she mentioned that it's a lot of LEARNING. And Monday was a little lackluster because Gigi picked her up for an afternoon of fun, and then we spent two hours crying (her) and searching for a lost Spike (the rest of us, including Adam canvassing the neighborhood on his big wheel, yelling "Spikey DOODLE! Where ARE you!") Turns out, that fluffy bastard was upstairs, hiding in a super secret location. 

Ellie's favorite part of camp, of course, is getting to go with Lexi. Those two are quite the pair, and surprise surprise, are each other's buddy at camp. They even get to use the bathroom together! (which they would do anyways, please.)

Meanwhile, Adam and I are sticking to our usual routine of going to the YMCA, farting around, and going swimming in Grizz's pool. He did offer this beautiful song on the drive this morning (I was parked when I recorded)

The other thing both kids have been doing is watching American Ninja Warrior, nonstop. They LOVE it. The best part is that then they go and play American Ninja Warrior, bouncing around Ellie's room in their costumes. American Ninja Warrior boy wears no shirt, American Ninja Warrior girl wears no pants. Sometimes she even changes into her bathing suit in case she falls off the obstacle and into the water!

We also had some real big fun this weekend doing cooking class with Don and Eileen, Jake and Karen. It was the Christmas present for all of us, having the experience of making and sharing a meal. I recommended the cooking school down in San Juan, TSpoons, and we had a great time. We had a French chef who yelled at all of us and goofed around ("eat the pan! Eat the pan to eye!" - heat the pan to high, yelled at us "what are you doing!?" and told me to shut up, at which point I took my name tag off, turned it around and wrote Beyonce on the other side, so if he was going to tell me off, he had to call me Beyonce.) And the food was great! It was bacon night, so we made carbonara, fried chicken with a bacon gravy and bacon buttermilk biscuits, a flatbread with caramelized onions and bacon, and chocolate chip bacon brownies. YUM. 

The great part is they do all of the measuring and cutting and prep work and clean up, and while you cook the vast majority of the dishes, they do the finishing up - you don't have to watch the oven or check temperatures, while we sat down with our carbonara, they plated the last items and brought them to us. Sipped wine, all chatted together (the six of us crammed into a little table because they were short a seat at the big table, and by the time they brought over another chair, we would have been interspersed between a bunch of other patrons, instead of getting to talk to one another.) And then I made everyone go two step at the Swallows, because the best thing to do with a full stomach is swing around the dance floor!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Another Weekend Workout!

This weekend Ellie decided that she wanted to play soccer too, so we signed her up for the same soccer camp at the Y. Thank goodness for the YMCA. I mean, we already practically live there, but basically anything I think our family would be interested in, they offer, and I can just throw money at the problem and support a nonprofit!

I was already at bootcamp when the kids arrived, so I was surprised to see Ellie wearing a sparkly skirt instead of pants or shorts, and she'd taken her hair down and put in a clip. Oh, that glamorous little California girl, making sure everyone can admire her blonde locks and her long legs. Both kids immediately began crying about being asked to wear a jersey, but managed to get it together. Adam didn't accuse anyone of cheating this week, and is really improving with his footwork. Ellie is more tentative, but makes up for it by being fast. Together, they'd be a great soccer player, but they cry A LOT. Next week, hopefully more improvement. And I've already told Ellie, no dirt in the skirt.

We had a pretty relaxed weekend overall. Did a lot of swimming and laying around, and then last night went to see the concert in the park down in Dana Point. It was a Pat Benatar cover band, which was fun. The weather was perfect, there were plenty of snacks, and Ellie continued working on her physical skills.

Juddy, dancing king of the universe, obviously. Ellie has already said she wants to do gymnastics in the fall with Lexi, so we'll see how that goes as well (bet it will involve weeping!)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Sporting Life.

Little known fact about me, despite my sparkling social skills and ability to be an amazing teammate, I never played a team sport growing up. I was not that much into the sports, being more into being left alone with a book and my imagination. I know, hard to believe. And Tim did youth sports and then turned to running, which is just a thing that sickos do. And then abandoned all physical activity except the use of his valuable typing hands. Which also double as his video gaming hands.

So as expected, we have not been the parents who signed our kids up for tball and soccer and all of those activities. Partially because I don't want to talk to other parents on the sidelines, and also because I don't want to dedicate several hours a week to watching a bunch of little dweebs run around, missing the ball. And plus, the kids have never really expressed interest in team sports, though Ellie's liked dance and they both love swimming.

But lo, the other day there was a sign at the Y about a kids soccer camp on Saturday mornings - a half hour of practice and a half hour game, and I mentioned it to the kids, and Adam said he REALLY wanted to play soccer. First practice was this past weekend.

He wasn't sure if he should dress for football or futbol, but he was pretty thrilled about the whole thing, until the game got going, and then he cried when other kids stole the ball from them and accused them of cheating. So, still needs some review of the rules. The good news is that Ellie initially refused to sign up, but after watching Adam, she's going to join the group this week. So, team sports it is, we're trying.

Meanwhile, look at these two fish!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Knee High... the Fourth of July.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire, once I felt like we'd started to recover from our vacation hangover, it was time for the long holiday weekend! And lo, it was nuts. We had three pool parties in three days - a family birthday party out in Yorba Linda on Sunday, where Ellie tried to learn to dive and cried a lot, a big friends BBQ on the 3rd, where the kids again swam for several hours nonstop, and then a lunch time BBQ on the 4th at a different friend's house in the same neighborhood (most of the same crew, slightly more sunburnt and chlorinated this time) and then after that four hours stint in the pool, everyone took a nap, we ate a final round of hot dogs with our neighbors, and ended the evening with sparklers and fireworks in their driveway.

Suffice to say, everyone has been pooped. The good news is that Adam is really getting the hang of swimming on his own, seemingly overnight! And I love what swimmy fish the kids are, even if it can be tiring to make sure that they're not drowning in a huge scrum of other kids, while also trying to make sure no one is splashing water into my beer. I have also found that picking up one of my children when they're screeching in their crocodile tears fashion, and throwing them into the center of the pool really puts a damper on their ability to fake cry. And it's satisfying for me! Because I am truly Ursula the Sea Witch.

So now hopefully we can settle into a routine, since neither of them are going to day camp until the end of the month. We go to the YMCA in the morning, and every morning Ellie complains that she doesn't want to go, and I complain that I don't want to go either, but if I don't work out I'll have to yell at everyone all day, and then run some errands, come home and have lunch and nap, and then wait to go jump in Gigi and Grizz's pool and pick up their kittens all afternoon. Trying to keep things fun with craft projects, and the entire house is strewn with all of our toys. It's been great to watch them play Legos or trains with each other in the morning - they love building and using their imaginations, and it's always awesome when they play together.

We also went to the library last week and got their first library cards. They were really excited about filing out the forms and picking out the card they wanted, and then we had a great time choosing books. I'm the mom who doesn't let them buy junk at Target or the grocery store, so it was a fun reversal of fortune telling them yes to everything at the library. Adam got a bunch of truck books, Ellie got a cat book and a couple of new chapter books to try. She was beyond adorable - we couldn't find anything in the stacks ourselves, and I suggested she go ask the librarian for help, and tell her that she finished the Laura Ingalls Wilder series and was looking for some new chapter books. Ellie was so polite and grown up, answering all of the librarian's questions about what kind of books she likes, what she liked about the Little House series. We're halfway through our first chapter book, and planning lots of good library trips this summer. Air conditioning and quiet reading, two of my favorite summer things!