Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Mom/son bonding time

No pictures in this post.  No shots of us hanging out at a sporting event or catching a movie.  Maybe working on a project for school. Nope, none of those.  Our bonding time today involved the two of us, two couches, a few cans of sprite, one tv and one bad case of the stomach flu, which Will shared so generously with me. This blog features a few instances where both kids were home sick at the same time, one memorable weekend when 3 of the 4 of us were barfing, but it's been a while since we had a day like we had today. 

Will and I did go to the UW football game on Saturday which had an 8:15 p.m. start time.  We didn't make it through the whole game because sleeeeeep and by the time we got home, Will had a bad stomachache.  The longest night in recent memory followed with him getting up every hour or so to head to the bathroom and yelling for my company.  By Sunday afternoon, however, he was perking up and watching some football and nibbling on dinner.  He went to school on Monday and played in a flag football game. More on that sport later.  I felt fine, I had a volleyball game last night and had fun and came home to a concerned Glenn and a super sick Will, again.  Earlier in the day, I had foolishly told my co-workers that I was pretty sure that Will had food poisoning because I felt FINE.  Really!

So I sat with Will for a little while and tried to get him to do some homework, thinking he'd wake up feeling fine.  I had something unmentionable for dinner (unmentionable to me because I'd see it again later in the evening) and then noticed that my stomach was starting to make weird noises.  Will went to bed early, I went to bed early but long story short, we saw each other in the hallway a lot last night.  It was rough. 

So today, we camped out on the couches, watched some tv and frantically tried to change the channel if any commercials with food came on.  We nibbled on toast later in the day and started to get our feet back underneath us. It's not my favorite way to hang out with my kid, but if I had to be home trying not to barf, he was pretty good company.

So far, Reina and Glenn are fine.  Here's hoping they stay that way. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Reina's writing assignment

I'm so far behind on my blogging goals.  September is flying by and our free time is crammed full of football and dance and piano and more football to watch and a garden to harvest and man do I need live-in help, but until I can catch up, here's a brief glimpse in to the mind of a third grader.

Reina has a journal at school that she writes in every day.  She brought it home so we could talk about her writing goals (she has writing goals!) and I got to peek at some of her assignments.  On the first page, she wrote about her dad.

My dad.  
*loves to hunt
*loves me and my brother
*is really funny
*loves meat
*loves veggies
*wants to eat healthy
*loves running

My dad is really good at shooting a bow.  He was shooting his bow he shot it so well it broke.  And he kept breaking the bows.  So let me tell you my dad is a really good shooter.

My mom.
*loves running
*loves cats
*loves all of my family
*good at cooking
*loves sports
*is really sweet/funny

My brother (spelled bother...)
*loves sports
*good at sports
*loves to play games
*loves phone/DS/Kindle
*In 4th grade

I think she described us pretty well, except for Will's grade.  And she thinks I'm a good cook!!

Monday, September 4, 2017

First day of school 2017

Remember when it was easy to snap a few pictures on the first day of school where everyone smiled and looked halfway happy to be there?  Yah, me neither.  Last Tuesday morning, I hustled everybody out there door a few minutes early to get pictures of a FIFTH grader and a THIRD grader.  How did that happen?  And who are these big kids standing on my front porch?  
I said "smile" and got 1 1/2 smiles and the chin model thing.  

Can you tell from this picture who was excited about the first day of school and who was lukewarm?  
And.... picture taking time comes to an end.  I have a strict no-wrestling-on-the-lawn-the-first-morning-of-school rule.  I'm such a party pooper.  
So we survived the first week of school.  Both kids like their teachers. Reina has the same teacher from second grade (we think she is great!) and Will's teacher seems really nice, despite being a Patriots fan.  Will told me that he'll miss studying Wyoming history like he did in fourth grade so we talked about all of the interesting US history he'll learn in 5th grade.  The fifth graders used to do a Revolutionary War reenactment but we're not sure if he'll get to do it this year (budget cuts.)  While Will was describing the battle reenactments, he made a machine gun noise.  Yep, there's still a lot to learn about US history buddy.

Bring on the school year!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Great American Eclipse 2017

On Sunday, we packed up the camper and headed northwest with a bunch of friends to a ranch near Casper, WY for the eclipse on Monday.  Full disclosure, I was lukewarm about the idea. I was worried about leaving the pets at home (they couldn't come to the ranch but they had Aunt Vicky checking on them frequently). I was also concerned about traffic because news reports indicated that Wyoming's population could possibly double from all of the people coming to see the eclipse.  I just felt uneasy but we headed out of town.  Spoiler alert?  I'm so very glad we got to see the eclipse.

After we unpacked and set up the camper, we headed to Miracle Mile, a great fishing spot on the North Platte. Some of the kiddos fished.  Our two just stuck their feet in the water.  

It was a little chilly.  

Glenn offered Will $20 if he'd submerge himself.  Pay up Dad.  

Reina preferred a submerge-less experience. 

Will warming up in the truck afterward.  

A juvenile pelican that didn't get that close - thanks zoom lens.  Glenn said he was a juvenile and I usually believe everything he says that's bird related.  

Shorts drying on the fenceline because someone (me) only packed Will one extra set of clothes. I forgot about the water factor.  No swimsuits either.  

The view from our camper.  We were camping on a ranch that's now owned by a corporation and all of the buildings except the main house are currently unused.  It was a peaceful place.  

Boys exploring a little creek that ran through the ranch yard.  We'd been warned about rattlesnakes but luckily we didn't see or hear any all weekend.  
I got to see an owl!  Two of them actually but I couldn't get them both to pose for the picture.  Glenn says this is a juvenile great horned owl.  All I know is that its giving me a very judgmental look.  And I'd like to snuggle it.  

Kids and parents fishing and catching crawdads.  

Day #2 and it's time for the eclipse!  We had to travel a few miles from the camping spot to completely be in the path of totality.  We pulled off the road on some BLM land and set up a temporary viewing area.  I took this picture right as the moon touched a sliver of the sun.  It would be another 80 minutes until totality.  

Smile!  With those glasses on, you can't see a thing except for the sun. 

Will passed the time playing a little football.   
Reina got comfortable.  

After we stopped,more cars and trucks started pulling in.  You can see some cows enjoying the spectacle too.  

The kids would take a break, put their glasses on, check out the sun and then go back to their game.  This one involved a soccer ball, points and a lot of yelling.  

A herd of horses were in the pasture we picked and that resulted in the Great Stampede of 2017.  Some of the kids jogged down the road to check out the horses, the horses decided to come up and see why the small humans were running, the small humans got scared of the horses running towards them and then chaos ensued.  No one was stampeded, there were lots of giggles and one barefoot kid.  Reina was just happy to have all of the horses hanging out.  
Getting closer to totality. It's a little hard to tell in this picture but the light was starting to change.  As the eclipse got closer, the light became more diffused and almost green. It was a weird thing to watch.  

Totality!  I didn't try to take any pictures of the sun with my camera until this point because I was worried about the lens.  It was such a strange sensation to peer through the glasses and see the fun partially covered, mostly covered and then this.  

Here's my zoomed in shot.  
Where we parked, totality lasted about a minute and a half.  All of the stress leading up to that weekend, the worries about traffic, etc., evaporated in that 90 seconds.  I keep using words like strange and weird but it so eerie to be standing outside at 11:42 a.m. on a Monday in the middle of August and have the temperature drop 10 degrees, the crickets start chirping and the world go silent for just a minute.  Glenn said later that it looked like dusk, except the sun was still high in the sky.  We all marveled at those few seconds, waited for the sun to come peeking back out, piled everyone back in the car and headed home.  We lucked out.  No traffic to speak of on our drive home, pets and house waiting for us and a great way to wrap up Summer 2017. I just might have to go see another eclipse in my lifetime.  

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Softball and baseball

Well.  I started this post almost three weeks ago now and still haven't finished it.  This summer! Blogging has been scarce this summer mostly due to softball and baseball and gardening and Reina's drama camp (more on that later!) and a list of fun stuff that's kept me off of the computer.  So these pictures are starting to be a little outdated and I'd better get them blogged before football starts (it started two weeks ago....)  

We loved watching Reina play softball.  I posted about this last month, but she had a great coach and a really nice group of girls and parents.  She learned a lot and it was fun to see her progress throughout the season.  I thought my girl wasn't competitive - in previous sports she was usually happy to run alongside teammates with a smile on her face - but during softball, I started to notice some serious looks in the dugout and dare I say.... frustration when the game wasn't going the way she wanted.  Turns out our Reina-iac really wants to win and if she thinks her team isn't going to win, she'd rather just call the game off.  

Then there was Will's baseball season.  It overlapped with Reina's softball season for a few weeks so we had to divide and conquer and meet up on fields after one game was done but before the one started.  Luckily, the fields were just down the road from each other.

Will had a really fun baseball season.  He had a good coach, good assistant coaches (including Glenn), good friends on the team and I had a great group of moms and grandparents to cheer with.  Will's team ended up fourth in the tournament but they made it a lot farther than was anticipated.

Will developed a lot as a player this year.  He was a solid hitter and had some good plays on defense.  He also pitched!  I was a bundle of nerves when he was on the pitching mound but he showed such strength and tenacity up there.  He never let his nerves get the best of him and he was a joy to watch.  And he struck some kids out!

I don't have any pictures of him on the pitching mound because let's face it... I was usually pacing back and forth behind the bleachers when he was up.  Or I was sitting directly behind home plate and willing the other team to swing at the ball.  No, I wasn't too wrapped up in 5th grade baseball, why do you ask?

The highlights of Will's baseball season where an in-the -park home run, a few three-up, three-down innings as a pitcher, getting a base runner out in a pickle as a first baseman (it was glorious!) and many RBI's.  We really had fun watching him play.  Bring on football season!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Glenn and Reina's Camping Trip

A few weeks ago, Glenn took Reina on her annual Dad/Daughter camping trip.  We finally had a weekend without baseball or any planned events so they scooted up to the mountains for a mini-backpacking trip. Glenn took a bunch of photos to document their adventure.  
Sword? Wand?  Softball bat? Who knows, but her form sure looks good.  

Taking a hiking break.  Tootsie was invited along on the trip because she does a good job off leash.  Trigger would've ended up in Idaho before Glenn could blink an eye.  Tootsie's off-leash skills don't always translate to her ability to pose for the camera.  

A close-up of our Outdoor Girl.  

Reina loves to fish, a fact that has been regularly documented on this blog.  This time around, she was miffed because Dad was the only one to catch anything.

Annual commemorative camping picture.  

Post-camping breakfast at a little diner in Centennial.  The pancakes were decorated with a face, Reina happily reported when she came home.  
So what did Will and I do while the other half of the family was camping?  We ran some errands, watched baseball, had dinner with grandparents and then grabbed ice cream cones on the way home, went to church and then watched some more baseball.  We also babysit my first nephew, Bailey the pug.  Bailey is a little old man dog but he had fun at our house.  Trigger was sulking because he didn't get to go camping and Coco was concerned by the addition of a senior pug just about her size.  Bailey lives with a cat so he'd wag his tail at Coco but she was having none of it.  I tried to get a few pictures of her giant puffiness and hissing whenever Bailey got too close but she usually scampered out of the room before I could snap a shot.

The summer marches on!

Sunday, July 16, 2017


The kiddos had enrolled in a bunch of different camps this summer.  While the parents are missing the ease of one drop-off and pick-up every day, the kids are having fun trying new things and hanging out with grandparents when camp isn't in session.

The first week of summer, Will did a three-day football camp and Reina had a three-day basketball camp.  Will's camp was from 8-11 and Reina's was 9-12 which made for some complicated shuttling but thanks to Pop-Pop, it was a little easier than I thought it would be.  The next week, both were at a program called SEEK at our community college.  Will's had a Fantastic Beasts class in the morning and Star Wars in the afternoon.  Reina was in a different age group but she had Star Wars in the morning and made hats in the afternoon.  Our sideboard is currently covered in everything from a chef's hat to a top hat, a fleece winter hat and a kicky beret and more!  Those camps were a big success.

After that, Will participated in an outdoor camp and Reina was at a sports camp all week.  At Reina's camp, she got to try a variety of events including tennis, volleyball, fitness, softball, equestrian and rodeo.  Yep, rodeo!  She loved learning about how to take care of a horse (her's was a pretty bay named Cespa).  They got to brush the horse, clean her feet, look at her teeth and they even painted the horses one day.  I'm not sure how much the horses enjoyed that activity.  When I picked Reina up the first afternoon, she proudly told me that her teacher in the rodeo class told her she was a natural...at bull riding.

The next week, Will was at the same sports camp that Reina had been in but he participated in basketball, soccer, baseball, swimming, rock climbing and fitness.  He had a few friends in his class and liked that.  His favorite activity was lunch in the cafeteria - all you can eat pizza, sandwiches and ice cream cones.  What's not to love about that?  While Will was at sports camp, Reina had mornings at baking camp and afternoons with me or the grandparents.  She learned how to bake new items every day and brought the samples home.  The second day, she had made banana bread and was very proud of it.  She insisted that we save it for breakfast the next morning which we did.  I woke up and went jogging.  When I came back, I asked her if we could slice the bread which I did, into enough pieces for everyone.  I took a slice, Will grabbed one, I told Reina to come get hers and then I hopped into the shower.  When I came downstairs a few minutes later, all of the bread was gone.  I asked the kiddos if they'd eaten all of it and before my sentence was completely out, Reina started hollering.  It turns out that Will enjoyed the first slice so much, he went ahead and finished off the mini-loaf before Reina came upstairs.  His only defense was, "Reina, that was really delicious."  A compliment from the brother slightly soothed her indignation but the cupcakes she brought home later that day were watched like a hawk.

After baking camp, Reina started in Youth Summer Stock, a three-week drama camp which culminates next weekend in a grand production of Lion King Jr.  She is loving it.  Love, love, loving it.  She's playing a lioness, a wildebeest and the mouse that Scar chases in the opening scene.  She sings in almost every song and dances and I can't wait to see it! If anyone is interested in knowing any of the songs, just call me.  They are all floating around my brain right now.

Will had a few days off and then another week of the Seek classes.  This time around, he learned about electricity in one session and another version of Star Wars in the afternoon.  He also had a few one-day baseball camps to work on his skills.  While Reina finishes drama camp, he has football camp right around the corner and then holy cow, it'll almost be August.

Glenn and I are working, watching lots of 10-yr old baseball games (more on that next time), fishing (Glenn), gardening, jogging and trying to squeeze as much as we can out of these nice warm days. Summer can slow down anytime now.