Wednesday, June 18, 2014

This and that

Trying to stay caught up...

We let Lizzie the lizard go after a few days... 

 This little ruffle suit is one of my fave things of Ps ever! 

We went to the new aquarium...
Doing the high rope bridge. Brave boys! 

Hit bearlake and broke in the kayaks. And I didn't get any pics of the boys kayaking. Darn. But we love it!!!

Loving my flowers and enjoying A LOT of yard work...

We went to How to train a dragon 2- it was super cute. Got out of the theater to this... 
June 17th!!!! 

Unreal. Covered as many of my plants as I could and moved my pots into the garage. It's melting slowly... 

Brody is finishing the last few days of science camp, we have been digging out the toy room and basement and sorting and tossing- waiting (impatiently!) for the contractor to come and do some remodel work. Pretty sure contractors are the most frustrating people on earth!!! Holy smokes. 

That's all. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Lincoln Years

Independent driving was a big deal for me. At about 14 I started daydreaming about transportation freedom. A cute car, a bit sporty, with my mix tapes of songs I recorded off the radio, blaring from the stereo, driving with the windows down and the car full of pals, fuzzy pink dice hanging from the rear view mirror. I was ready. Except there was one major obstacle- my Father. I jumped on the train of proving my responsibility and enrolled in drivers ed with my BFF.  (And then asked Dad to pay the bill) I remember absolutely nothing about it, except spending large quantities of time getting ready for the classes because they were co-ed. But I passed!!! And was the proudest owner of a drivers license!!  My 16th birthday was fast approaching and I was fully expecting to be greeted with a cute little car,all ribbon tied and perched on the driveway. Preferably a convertible, even though I lived in Canada, and top down weather was about 3 weeks a year. I think this just proves a little more , my completely dillusional, teenage state of mind. Anyways- it didn't happen. In fact, even though I had proved to some paid, professional driving expert that I was more then equipped to be trusted with a vehicle solo, my Dad had other ideas. He was 'old school' and under the mindset that everyone should have the ability to drive a standard. What?! Why?!! Do they even make those!!? Well yes, in fact, my Dad was a frugal owner of a 1971 yellow Datsun pickup. It was actually more brown then yellow because of the rust. It was a diesel, and a standard. Lucky me. I have very clear memories of that truck. One driving lesson took place in my elementary school parking lot- of which I nearly shot that truck thru the wall of my third grade classroom. The process of clutch, gas, shift was ridiculous, and on top of that, Dad is well known for his true talent of profanity and crazy expressions all rolled into one frustrated yell. I recall a "bleep bleepity-bleep- A monkey with a shotgun has a better chance at this then you! " Although completely true, it was distracting and I always found myself contemplating the literal image of a monkey and shotgun.  I improved enough, that given a life or death situation, I would be able to successfully start, stall, rev, jerk, stall, rev, rev, stall-  my way to safety in a standard vehicle. Mission accomplished. A side note- that little Datsun is a true marvel, it withstood the ultimate force of nature. Me. 
Anyways, now that that was out of the way I was really ready for my car. 
Drum roll please- I was presented with limited access, on a permission only basis, to a 1981 Lincoln Continetal. It was blue. With velvet interior, and bigger then any car I had ever seen. My Dad pronounced it was "Safe" I was pretty sure he picked it out with visions of it going thru the brick wall of the elementary school driven by a monkey. The school wouldn't stand a chance against this thing! I was convinced that he was out to ruin my teenage life. This car was humiliating.  I would park in front of the catholic school instead of my high school and walk, in a state of panic that I might be seen. And it was not safe. In fact, I argued more then once that it was unsafe. I found myself many a time, sitting in the very middle of an intersection being honked at because I had no clue I was in the intersection. That's what happens when you are 7 feet from the front end of the car. Like a boat  on the ocean, I often found myself sailing down the hiway, completely unaware of how fast I was going. That car sucked out all perspective of real time. It was also rear wheel drive- I mastered the art of spinning cookies in the snow and correcting a fishtail at hiway speeds thanks to that dandy. In the winter months I contemplated wearing a helmet while driving just to up my chances of survival. Parking it was an adventure of it's own. I would have enrolled in CDL training had I known what I was going to be driving. I had a job that only had parallel parking within a 4 block radius. It couldn't be done. I think I was in the best shape of my life AFTER I got my license thanks to all the walking I was doing to accommodate the circumstances of the beast with wheels. I was missing the days of door side drop off. Logan, my brother, who is 15 months my junior, had great appreciation for the 'stinkin'Lincoln" once on the way to school, he decided to roll down the window and use his megaphone siren and demand all other drivers to pull to the right. And they did!!! It is so so hard to try and duck so you aren't seen, and be a safe driver,all at the same time. Logan, who I will admit, was blessed with common sense beyond his years, was also with me the day the Lincoln completely betrayed me. We were downtown, and needed to go to the bank. The bank parking was a tiered underground parking garage. I started to make my way down and Logan proclaimed "this isn't going to work" well too late now!!! Where was that wisdom before I was already committed?? It wasn't too much after that, that we were full on assaulted by a concrete pillar in the parking garage. It smashed right into the right side of the Lincoln, I tried to escape by going reverse, no luck, forward, nothing except a grinding scream and the odd crunch. That pillar was attached to us. I gunned it. And successfully escaped, after dragging the Lincoln's full 11ft length across the pillar. Logan was super helpful and offered tips of wisdom like "I told you so" and "Dad is going to kill you" We arrived home and announced thru my tears, that despite a very very tragic accident, we were alive and well- and that's really what mattered. Dad seemed to find absolutely no comfort in that, and instead wanted to focus on the car, and why on earth I would have thought it would be a good idea to take his beloved Lincoln into a parking garage, and had I ever seen he, or my Mom go into that garage? My punishment was a really long lecture, and his refusal to get me a new, normal sized car, and to top it all off, he also wasn't going to be fixing the Lincoln. So now my misfourtune was going to be on display for all to see!! Unjust. This wasn't the last of the Lincoln trying to detroy my life, it once seeked out the newest, most exspensive SUV in another parking lot, and clipped it's rear end, smashing taillights and a bumper that cost more than all of my Christmases combined. And to avoid insurance we took the owner of that fancy car to lunch to settle things out. After the meal I pointed out that at least Dad met a new friend. He didn't see that as a positive. Such an anti-social. My Lincoln years did end happily. The day I bought my own compact car, with only 2 doors, with 5 speed manual transmission, paid for with my own hard earned money, I hung my fuzzy dice in the mirror and was thankful for the Lincoln for treating me so poorly, it taught me a lot. Thanks Dad. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014


 I hope you saw that and broke into song in a theatrical sense.. Like Olaf of course. 

Summer is here!!!!! 
And it's been grand already. 

I have been reading and digging and trying to search for some sort of inspiration to write some things for the writers league. I don't know why I'm having such a block- I'm never short of loud opinions and always happy to share- wanted or not- what is going on?! 

Super frustrating. 

I need to catch up!
Field day at school!
It was great!!! 

Field trip to the state park, and learning to play "the eagle game" 

I LOVED Brody's 2nd grade teacher. Mrs Moon. Nurse gone educator and a force to be reckoned with. She had high expectations, and was a pusher, she had zero tolerance for a lack of manners or disrespect, and she was old school. In the sense that learning needed hands in activities, that people teach better the. Computers or iPads, that human connection is required for development, and that sometimes you just need to do what you know is best and deal with the consequences. My kind of lady!!! It was such a good year, and I am genuinely sad that Brodys time with her is over. Can't thank her enough. 

Memorial Day weekend!!!
We went camping! 
So much stinking work- and had a few moments of total failure- but ended up being great. 

Loved it. Can't wait to go again!!! 

The last week of school was filled with more fun stuff- a walk to the cemetery to learn about Memorial Day, cemetery etiquette, learn some local Evanston history, then they walked over to the store and bought treats and learned about estimating taxes and looking at labels. 

The kids loved Pres! And she was pretty happy to be the center attention. They kept asking her to say their name and thought it was just the greatest thing.

Zane graduated TLC Preschool!!!!
I was pretty sure he wouldn't actually participate in the graduation- he has some serious stage fright (remember the Mother's Day program) and the morning of graduation was such a mess. With is teachers having to help me get him out of the car and me in tears of frustration by the end of it. He hates having people look at him or watch him. Hard thing to figure out how to parent. 
Anyways- thank goodness for great teachers who figured out how to make it work. It ended great.
Here he comes! In the cap and gown!!!! I was so so shocked that he was willing to do this!!!!!! 

Great teachers!!! 

His class
And then back to regular Zaney business of hating picture taking.

Poor Oscar!
About a month ago he had 8 teeth pulled. Well then last week his mouth was FULL of these nasty sores and he was drooling out the grossest smell ever and was just in pain. Back to the vet. First guess was he was in organ failure and I had a total meltdown. I don't even really like Oscar! (Cheeba is my perfect dog) but the thought of my poor kids losing Oscar was heart wrenching. Holy smokes. So forked out a fortune to run labs- good news. Liver and kidneys were fine. Forked out another fortune to have him put out and have the vet dog around and figure out what was going on. 
Jaw bone infection. Big time. So they pulled all his teeth on the left lower side, grafted back his gum and drained and scraped the infection out of the bone the best they could. Heavy duty antibiotics, and a mouth wash, with instructions to squirt in, then hold his mouth closed but don't cover his nose so he can breathe, for about 5 seconds. I really just broke into laughter. Ya. Totally do-able. Ya right!!! It's been more like pin him down, squirt the stuff in his general direction and have him spit and sputter it right back at me and then be ticked at me for the next few hours. It's gone real well. 
But he is getting better. I'm not putting another penny into this dog. I mean it. I think. 

Hard to say no- just die though. Zane really does have a connection with him. If your not a dog person I just sound crazy. 

I had a birthday!!! 
Had a fabulous park lunch party with one of my fave desserts from Allie! And some wonderful friends. And then that night had a suprise party!!! That was a first!! My friend Cynthia organized it and had Dev and the kids and Allie and Derek and kids all there. It was a total suprise!!! Didn't get a single pic. :(   Had cheesecake and a delish din. I have a big ol list of things I am so grateful for, and good, genuine friends is up there. It is definitely hard sometimes not having my mom or any fam right around the corner or in the same town- or state. But the fact that I have such wonderful friends enriches my life beyond measure. They are my 'sisters'-my support system, and such a help to me. There isn't drama or competition,  it is genuine love and kindness and concern for eachother. So grateful! 

That night Dad arrived!!! A really quick trip to get his rock hunting in- it was like a quick fix lol. They have a busy summer so he needed to get home, but we got out a few days and looked for rocks and went 4 wheeling. 

Waiting at the dentist- and 18 months no cavities for the family!!!! We celebrated with candy. Just kidding :) 

Lots of this happening...

And the boys caught a fence lizard...

First week of summer gone and we squeezed in craw fishing, rock hunting, science camp, kites, park dates, sprinklers, swimming, a lot of yard work and chores, reading, times table memorizing, walks, camping... 
We really love summer.