Monday, May 26, 2008

Long Overdue Update

Sorry for the lack of updates ... it's not that there hasn't been anything to write about. I've been working on finishing a few knit projects and found some really great books to read (see my list).

Last week Chris and I headed off to Ponte Vetra resort on the Alantic side of Florida. Chris hosted President's Club for all the top performing sales people in his organization. This was his first Presidents Club in his new role as President and he was REALLY busy. Chris left on Sunday and I joined him on Tuesday after we could get Juli in to stay with the boys. Juli comes every year from Minneapolis when we go on this junket and spends a week with Jet and Charlie. They love seeing Juli (she's known the boys since Charlie came home from Korea) and she kept them busy all week. In addition to preschool and therapy sessions, the week also entailed adventures to Chucky Cheese, parks, clay painting studio, Two Toots restaurant - food delivered on toy trains, and much more. I called home one day and Jet said, "Come home Mommy but not too soon." So on that note ... I hit the resort spa, beach and a tour of St. Augustine.

We flew home on Friday morning, Juli flew out Friday evening and Uncle Dave arrived Friday night. Uncle Dave was in town for a Stamp Show - he works for Boystown and was looking to unload some stamps for Boystown and raise some funds. Saturday we were able to sneak away and take Jet to his first Major League ballgame at US Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox. Why not the Cubs? We've sworn our allegience to the team that has the easiest stadium to get to and out of ... not only that but the Sox seem to have better odds at clinching championships. We couldn't have picked a prettier day and Jet lasted 6 innings before it became obvious that it was time to go.

Charlie stayed home with the sitter during the Sox Game but has some exciting news of his own. Charlie earned his third stripe on his white belt and now will get tested for a yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do. He broke his first board ... which he's showing to everyone and anyone. In addition, he got his first bike. Charlie is now a pedaling fool making the block lap several times this weekend. This is a great accomplishment since he just couldn't ever get the knack of pedaling the tricycle. Charlie has also figured out how to submerge his whole head underwater! The first step in swimming and couldn't be better timing since the pool opened this weekend. Way to go Charlie! Growing in so many ways this month.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Go Big Red!!!

As a Husker, Go Big Red! has so much meaning for me. Now the phrase has added a new dimension.

Background: coming off of Disney high, the boys have had a rough week re-adjusting. Chris in his new role is busy busy busy (see two blogs ago). He's pulling long hours and on the road again - it's where he needs to be and it keeps the lights on here.

So of course in front of Charlie's ABA therapist this afternoon, the boys decide to have a knock down, drag out. As my octave level peaked and as one last toy and fist sailed through the air, I proclaim: "THAT"S IT. No TV tonight, No super hero shows or Calliou for 3 days ( the boys favorite shows). No TV period!" At which point ... about 30 seconds later ... I'm thinking 'wow did I overreact ... it's 6 hours til bedtime. I'm solo (CTR is in Seattle). I'm going to need some creativity here. Wow who is really being punished here!'

So after dinner, I sent the boys to play outside on the swing set. While I was cleaning up the mess, the vision came to me. The boys came inside and here's how it came down:

Jet: I'm bored. I'm not playing with Charlie anymore.

Mom: Really. Sorry to hear that because I was just getting ready to pull out BIG RED.

Jet: What's big red?

Mom: I'm not sure that you boys are really ready to handle Big Red yet.

Jet: I'm 5! What's Big Red?

Charlie: I'm a big boy. I can handle red big.

Mom: I'm not sure guys. It can be pretty scary. Are you sure you can handle it?

Jet: Yes! Charlie: Yes!

Mom: OK, let me get Big Red out.

Jet: Where is he?

Mom: In the hall closet.

(we open the hall closet door)

Charlie: (holding broom and dust pan) Is this Big Red?

Mom: Oh no ... Big Red sucks everything off the floor. That's a broom ... and it's green.

Jet: Where is it mommy? Charlie: Is it in there mommy? (OK Big Red is the vacuum and it had been awhile since they had seen it)

Mom: Here you go boys, let me introduce you to Big Red. It comes in pieces ... and

Jet(before I can finish): I get to use Big Red first.

Charlie: I want to hold Big Red too.

Mom: Tell you what. You both can use Big Red. Whoever goes first can only feed Big Red stuff off the wood floor. He has a soft mouth for that. Whoever goes second ... watch out. We put the big mouth on big red and he sucks up everything around him. Better get your shoes and coat off the floor and in the mud room now boys.

(scramble, scramble)

Jet decided to take Big Red out first. I was surprised. I thought with all the super hero, power ranger, ninja stuff that he loves that Jet would go for power.

But we can't discount Jet's forward thinking. As soon as Big Red was powered up, Charlie went scrambling out of the room.

Mom: Charlie, where are you?

Charlie: muffled, Here I am.

Mom: Come here Charlie, don't you want to walk big red.

Charlie: No

Mom: Come on Charlie, Big Red is going to eat off the carpet now.

Jet fires up Big Red. Charlie Scrambles.

Where's Charlie?

Guess Big Red might be a bit much for the 4 year old crowd. Glad ol' Dusty is still around to keep us honest.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Jet earned his high brown belt!

He's 1/2 way to earning his black belt! We're so Proud!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Our Disney Experience - Reagan Style!

When I was in the throws of business travel, sitting at airports across the country ... I used to see these families tromping back from vacations at Disney World. Anybody whose spent anytime at an airport knows how to recognize them ... kids in mouse ears, amped up on disney 'magic' usually accessorized in face paint, mickey tshirts and carrying some stuffed creature from a disney/pixar movie. The parents, on the other hand, looked dazed, exhausted and in need of a vacation to recover from their 'disney experience' vacation! Well if you were at O'hare yesterday ... that family would have been us.

We had a whirlwind trip, leaving on Sunday and returning yesterday, Thursday. That gave us three solid days: morning at the parks and afternoons by the pools. It was the perfect amount of time. We did Magic Kingdom for 2 days and Animal Kingdom for 1 day. Actually all told, we didn't do a lot of rides - but what we did was a blast and the boys loved it, including a sword fight with Peter Pan and Wendy, breakfast with Goofy, Chip (the better 1/2 of Chip and Dale) and Minnie, dinner at Epcot China Resteraunt, and lots of rides on the roller coaster. So if you are ever thinking about going ... give me a buzz ... I've got lots of great tips!

One of the coolest park rides was the safari ride at Animal Kingdom. We got up close to so many cool animals in their enviroment. Charlie does a great hippo imitation now ... see picture to the left.

We made the mistake of going on the Kilamajaro water raft ride after the safari - early into our day - and getting absolutely soaked. It took a couple of new tshirts and the sun coming out to get us back into our festive mood. PS - Charlie has declared never to go on that ride again!

One luxury we - the adults of our group - did do was put the boys into Simba's camp at our hotel. I was worried because they were so exhausted after a long day at the park and pool. Chris and I enjoyed a nice bottle of South African wine and a South African meal at the upscale resteraunt at the hotel. We returned to get the boys only to be told that they weren't done yet (by the boys - not by their counslers) so off we went again for another glass of vino!
Now for that vacation to recover from our vacation ... we have another trip to Florida in the works, just Chris and I ... sans kids later this month for Chris's work. It will be welcomed!