Friday, July 31, 2009

Cabin Clean-Up Style

Way back in the winter, I promised Shef we'd go camping just the two of us this summer. He'd just discovered I owned a tent and decided we should use it for some other purpose than as a prop in our Peter Pan 2 movie. That movie rocked, by the way. It starred Dan as Captain Hook.

Anyway, Shef and I went camping last night at a state park about an hour from here. It was pretty great - we cooked out, played cards, went on a little hike, and I let the kid have two s'mores.

"I love camping," he said.

And, yeah, I agree. It's really fun.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm Taking Him Camping for the First Time on Thursday

Shef seems to have realized in the last month or so that Mac is staying and requires our love and affection.

Frankly, it's taken longer than we thought it would for him to get to this place. We thought he'd have anxiety and display extreme attention-seeking behaviors last summer. But it turns out LAST summer, Mac was just an adorable little lump who came along with us in his little bucket seat and made little baby sounds and didn't really threaten Shef at all.

THIS summer, Mac is a toddler who paces the house, screams for things, bahGAHs, and generally wreaks havoc on all of our lives. And he wants toys and destroys everything and gets lots of attention for being cute.

So, Shef is displaying anxiety and extreme attention-seeking behavior.

Like the other night at dinner with Dan's parents when he told my mother-in-law that the best part of his day was "going commando."

And today, when he asked the baby-sitter to turn on "All the Single Ladies" so he could put on his sunglasses and show her his moves.

Monday, July 20, 2009

He Knows All, But Tells Only Some

Mac has one recognizable word. It's "uh oh," and he looks really cute saying it. Otherwise, he communicates pretty well with grunts and pointing. And also with screaming.

And occasionally, he'll do a drive-by, when he'll say a word clearly and recognizably, but only once. Then he'll laugh maniacally and put his pacifier back in his mouth. He's done it with please and quack and Shef.

And, finally, he says, "babGAH," which is what he says when he wants you to stop bothering him about saying things.

When he wants some food:

"Mac, say 'Please.'"


When we pick Shef up from camp:

"Say, 'Hi, Shef!'"


When we're looking at dogs (which is a lot - the kid loves dogs):

"What does a doggie say?"


He's sort the kind of kid that you can tell will mostly get his way. Probably for the rest of his life.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Only Nasty Thing I Like Is a Nasty Groove

Most nights, I cook delicious and nutritious meals for my family. I usually use fresh, organic produce. I make sure everyone has some protein and some vegetables and some starch. You know, a balanced diet for optimal health.

Believe me, I'm happy to do this, despite the considerable effort it requires. Because I love to enhance the quality of life of those most precious to me.

Tonight though, I was cleaning out the crisper. I decided to try throwing some two-week-old fennel on the grill pan with the main-dish salmon.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it ended up not tasting so great. I think mostly because the fennel was pretty old and because I didn't cook it long enough. Anyway, I advised Dan to leave it on his plate. He tried eating it anyway, and ended up exclaiming at its awfulness and spitting out the bite he'd taken.

"I told you not to eat it," I said, simply.

"Yeah," he said. "I think that was the worst thing I've ever tasted."

"Well," I allowed. "Just don't eat it."

"I guess I really don't like fennel," Dan replied, shaking his head.

"I think you probably DO like fennel," I said. "It's just that you probably like it fresh and crispy and not rotting."

He got up to get himself a fresh glass of water and said, and here's the real foul of the evening, I think you'll agree:

"That might be true, BUT I don't want you to take this as a metaphor for our marriage."

And I think he kept going, but I stopped listening right there. Because O.M.G.

He has likened me to old, flaccid, rotting fennel, ladies and gentlemen.


Some seven-year itch!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Whole World Has to Answer Right Now

I had track again this morning. When Tracy, the leader, sent out the workout via email last night, I could see right away it was going to be a doozie. Four full miles of speedwork! Beginning with all-out 200s! It would be the toughest track session yet, yes it would.

This morning, I figured all of my pertinent paces, and wrote them on a card so I'd remember from set to set.

"The only way I'm going to get through this," I told Dan, "is to stick to these paces and not go out too hard."

"Mmm hmmm," he said, not looking up from his computer.

"It's gonna be tough because those track ladies like to start fast," I said, shaking my head, "but I'm just going to run my own pace." I stood up from the computer. "Even if I have to go it alone." I waved my card in the air to demonstrate my commitment to those numbers. "Those ladies are going to get away from me," I continued, "but they're going to come back to me eventually."

"Mmm hmmm," Dan said.

"It's like I'm going to be the peloton," I declared, "and they're going to be the break-away. Before it's over, I'm just going to swallow them up!"

Dan raised his eyebrows. "I don't think you should tell that to the track ladies," he advised.

Probably a good tip. But, the peloton image did work for me during the intervals. That, and I started talking to myself in the voice of Mary Murphy: "You're going to finish this workout, YES YOU ARE!" "You can do it, YES YOU CAN! HAHAHAHAHA!"

Friday, July 10, 2009

Who's Bending Down to Give Me a Rainbow?

The boys and I went up to Foley for a few days. I was working on a new promotional video for Camp, and the kids were having the full camp experience. Shef did swimming, climbing, archery, crafts, tennis, and fishing. Plus, we went to campfire, had meals in the dining hall, and hung out with tons of super campers and staff.

Lots of things have changed since I was a counselor in the late nineties. For instance:

No cabin inspection!

No Spic 'N Span Award!

No locking of the staff lounge! (Ever! Not even for not cleaning it!)

Graces to the tunes of the Coke jingle and "We Will Rock You"!

And "11:30 Fun Time" is now just "Morning Fun"! And it's at ELEVEN!

That really blew my mind.

Thankfully, lots of things are still the same. For instance, Shef and I joined in with a younger girls cabin for their "WOW."

The counselor was wearing a floor-length, black "ninja dress," and they were on a "secret mission" to the shop to make "secret communication devices," aka jewelery out of bottle caps. Shef thought this was totally awesome, and so did the eleven-year-olds in Cabin Ishtakaba.