Friday, February 27, 2009

Ramblings: Catchin' up Part 1



Now that I got that outta the way, I can finally justify plopping down at the computer to add some pictures from last week to the blog.  And yes, I am aware that my picture reveals that I watch that ridiculously caddy and brainless show on Bravo.  Anyone recognize this episode? There's nothing like fake nails, gargantuan silicone implants, and nasty cat fights to make the workout fly by.  Looking at that picture, it seems like the tv is mounted on the elliptical. It's not--we didn't spring for the pimped out model--it's about four feet away on a dresser. Paying for that extra satellite hookup in there was soooo worth it. I'm still deciding what color to repaint the exercise room--I'm open to suggestions. Any ideas on what camouflages a giant machine?

I feel like these pictures were from a month ago. It's been a long week. The little crazies AND the big crazies have conspired to be completely cranky and unruly all week long--about everything and anything.  I've had it up to here (picture me flailing my hand as high as physically possible above my head) with all the fighting, teasing, whining, crying, tattling, and general kid drama. I might just start wearing my ipod around the house so I can selectively listen and tune out the rest with much happier noises. Even as I type this, Aidan is crying and pulling on my legs screaming that he wants to go to Target. I don't know why exactly, but he has it in his head that he has GOT to get there right now or he will burst into flames right here by my desk. Maybe they're having a good sale on fruit snacks or basketballs or something. 

Back to last week. Before the wedding, all the ladies (me, mom, grandma, my other brother's wife Dee, the bride-to-be, and the maid of honor) all went to the spa to pamper our phalanges.   Luckily, the appointments happened to coincide with Sonic's happy hour. Pure joy. 

See--much prettier. And yes, I even went to dinner wearing those styrofoam bad boys because I forgot to bring my own non-toe-smooshing shoes. 
And maybe those ladies from my show aren't surgically "enhanced" after all---perhaps they just used ALOT of this stuff.  Maybe like gallons. And someone should tell the model that the only reason her bust appears more lush is because she's arching her back in such an extremely awkward and exaggerated position. Dee was brave enough to stand with me in the middle of the swanky spa lobby while I whipped out my giant camera to take a shot of this stuff. She said I looked like a tourist. That's what I'm going to tell people from now on when they give me weird looks for taking pictures of random stuff. "I'm just visiting. I'm from outta town. Back off."

The rehearsal and dinner was the perfect opportunity to prove the rest of the family wrong about the reality of my crazies' craziness. Unfortunately, they did not. They were in FULL crazy Friday night. However, Grandpa is responsible for instigating and provoking the shenanigans after the rehearsal while we were waiting to leave for the restaurant. He had all the grandkids riled up and was giving them foot rides all over the place. The foot rides just led to generally wild behavior, complete with wrestling and tag.  
And the proof regarding who takes the genetic blame for my freakishly flat hiney has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt with this photo documentation. The girls thought it would be funny to pants grandpa--so did I. 

The girl cousins fought the entire time over who got to hold the "bouquet" and prance around with it. 















My nephew James kickin' it with his great-granny. You can tell he's really scared of new people. 
About two hours after we started dinner, it was finally the time the kids had been waiting for the entire night--dessert. Chocolate thunder from down under---which is super delicious, but could not possibly have a more poo-poo sounding name. 

Aidan and Avery were "sharing" with me--which basically meant I was defending myself from the chocolate syrup and ice cream that they were flinging off of their spoons while fighting over bites. I think I managed to sneak in two bites.  And that's Alex's "hey--that's not fair!" face when he saw that Jeremy scored a slice of Nutter Butter Cheesecake all to himself.  

Wedding day pics to come later. I have been inundated with neighborhood kids and Aidan just dumped a dish of red jello 0n the carpet. Fun times. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ramblings: Confessions ; Rant: I Fly SWA

I lied. Alright? I admit it. I told you I'd be back yesterday to finish up putting on the pictures from the weekend and I didn't. And when I sat down to do it today, I realized that the camera bag containing the camera, containing the memory card, containing the millions of pictures I need to download is presently contained in the trunk of Jeremy's car.  And that car is apparently parked at the airport. A fact that I learned only because on his way to the airport, he called and wanted me to find his flight confirmation number on the computer. 

"Confirmation number? Flight? What are you talking about?"
"I'm on my way to the airport."
"What? Where are you going and why didn't I know you were traveling today?"
"I'm only going for the day. I'll be back by this afternoon. It's no big deal."

Doesn't he remember that instead of watching the Oscars last night, we tuned in to the 2 hour Dateline special about the horrible plane crash of the Air France plane in 2000? And how they showed that even little, weird things can all combine to cause catastrophic problems that could end with tires and fuel tanks bursting into flames and HOLES. IN. THE. WINGS. Yeah, I know---holes in the wings. The wings that are supposed to help keep you up in the air. And then, like really vital fluids and wires get sucked out of the busted up wings and go flying right past the passengers' windows. 

And if he did remember watching all this, doesn't he think twice about perhaps saying, "See ya. I may or may not be home tonight. Just depends if the airplane tires hold up under pressure. Nice knowing ya. My life insurance policy is all paid up and should be enough to cover the cost of boarding school for the kids and your stay in the mental hospital."? 

I mean, at least a quick mention that his workday commute will be slightly riskier than the norm. You know, so I can worry and stress about horrible airplane malfunctions or random flocks of birds until he calls after he lands. OH WAIT. He didn't do that either. Good thing I can use my mad computer hacking skills to bust into his work email and make sure that he's still alive by seeing whether or not he's been checking his email. 

Sadly, he is traveling for work and was NOT on his way to fly home a specially ordered ice machine that makes those little tiny balls of ice like Sonic. But that's definitely going to be a part of our next kitchen. And there will be a soda dispenser that automatically mixes Diet Coke and Diet Dr. Pepper so I don't have to do it by hand. Ahhh, one day my plan will come together. 
 
And I really do intend to get to that camera bag as soon as I can. Alot sooner than I'll be seeing my custom ice maker sittin' next to my Diet Coke tap. 

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ramblings: Wedding Bells

Too much to write + too tired to write=
a short post and promise to write more tomorrow.


(That is one pimp sweater...)

My little brother finally tied the knot (noose? hehe ) today with his long-time girlfriend Brooke, whose real first name is Randi. We only found that out about 5 years after they started dating when it was discovered that when they met, Greg didn't like calling her Randi (a "dude's name"), so he started calling her by her middle name. So now he and my family are the only ones in the entire universe that call her Brooke. And after today she'll be changing her name again for him. Sheesh. He's so high maintenance. 

It's hard to believe the same kid I helped potty train (yup--wiping and all. I should get the award for sister of the freaking century) and let sleep on my floor for about six years straight, is now officially a married man.  I'll willingly let Brooke take care of both those things now. 

Maybe I can persuade her to hide a pair of scissors under her pillow and give him that awesome side-spike hairdo again while he's asleep.  And while she's got the scissors out, she can cut about 18 inches off his shorts so he can have a set of daisy-dukes like these blue bad boys. (I'll admit to wiping his hiney--but my mom gets all the credit for the tiny shorts ensemble.)

We are even lucky enough to have my Grandma R.  in town from Washington for the festivities. My kids don't quite believe that even I have Grandmas, and that their Grandma has a mommy. It's messing with their minds a little. The boys warmed up to her fast and even shared some grapes with her, so she's got the in with them. 

I've got lots of fun photos to post of our pre-wedding girls spa outing and dinner, the rehearsal, and the big day. I'm dead tired now and still have to prepare a lesson for my church class tomorrow, so I'll have to add more later. 

And even though Alex begged him at the reception, he will NOT be having a sleepover at Greg's house tonight. And I promise that we did NOT bribe Alex to ask him. 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ramblings: I Heart Toilets

Get ready--here comes all the junk from the past few days...

Maddie has been giving me SERIOUS guilt trips this whole school year because I haven't been able to come to the school and each lunch with her. So I finally bit the bullet and told her that because I wasn't going to be able to come to her Valentine's Day party (it was during the boys' naptime), that I'd bring her lunch and we'd come eat with her. 

We had to run some errands first and I let the boys help pick out some helium Valentines balloons at the store. Have you ever wondered how hysterical two kids can get as they watch four mylar helium balloons that were chosen ever-so-carefully float out of the car and up, up, up and away into the sky? Pretty freaking hysterical. 

I was tying them in the back of the car when I felt Aidan's cart moving--it had been parked next to me almost against my legs kinda. So I look up and see him rolling down the incline that we parked on and straight towards a shiny new Cadillac with a look of sheer terror on his face. Needless to say, I had to abandon the still untied balloons to race after his runaway cart. FREAKOUT is the only word to describe the next 3 minutes as they watched them go higher and higher until I got them pushed back in the store and let them pick out more balloons. A lady passed us that was checking out at the time of the balloon launch and said, "OH NO! I saw the whole thing and it was like slow motion! Don't worry--I'm sure they'll just give you more and won't make you pay for them." Hey lady, you are dead WRONG. 

Those turned into some pretty pricey balloons after paying the second time. The boys death-gripped them until I got them secured in the back. They still talk about the balloons that went way up in the sky to the clouds and how the birdies are playing with them now. It must have really traumatized them. 

But it didn't take long for them to all end up here: {insert sound of constant freakout for the past five days}

After that we hit the drive thru to get Maddie's requested lunch--Chick-fil-a. Except that Maddie eats so dang early that they were still only serving breakfast at 10:25 when I got there to order. Her lunch is at 10:45 but I still had to drive there, haul everyone and the food in, and sign in at the office. She didn't seem to notice that her nuggets were little biscuit/nugget sandwiches and that I got her fruit instead of the side order of hash browns--which really would've freaked her out when she was expecting waffle fries.
 
The boys were pretty ok--Aidan acted like an old pro and just chatted up all her classmates but Avery was a wandering wiggleworm after about 10 minutes. He kept whispering to me, "I'll be riiiight back," and then he'd try to take off running somewhere, dodging kids that were already having a hard enough time balancing their lunches on their trays. 
That's Aidan with a classmate of Maddie's that also happens to be in her ballet class. He thought he was so cool because he already knew her. Big man on campus. 

Luckily Alex's class comes in right as her class is leaving so I could slip him his food. I think he was a little unsure if it was still cool to have your mom come and eat with you when you're in 2nd grade. 

He was nice enough to at least pose with the boys once before giving me the "this is really mortifying and what are the girls going to think of this?" face. And since the boys were bored with the whole cafetorium scene, we hit the road. Or at least we tried. It took me 15 minutes to get both of them removed from the gym where the open doors were showing rows and rows of basketballs waiting for the next class. I'd get one waiting by the door and then I'd chase down the other one, just to find the first one running back in past me.  We won't be regular lunch visitors, to say the least.

On Valentine's Day, Alex had his final basketball game and the end of season party. Pizza. Playground. another Trophy. Big fun. Hmm...I wonder if the coach picked the team name?? They finished the season UNDEFEATED--even after a very competitive final game where we all thought for a bit that they were about to experience a very tragic loss. Jeremy's head, despite violent attempts at screaming loud and hard enough to blow it completely off of his neck, remained attached throughout the game to witness the victory in the final seconds. I, however, had to leave during the most exciting final five minutes to go pick up a 10 foot high stack of pizzas.  I really should quit my side job as a pizza delivery girl. At least on the weekends. 


Now on to less exciting news. Due to this stupid decorative three inch moss ball, the hall bathroom has been minus a functioning toilet for the last week and a half.
 
We didn't know for sure what was clogging it, but after trying everything to fix it and giving the boys the 3rd degree under bright heat lights, we determined that there was some sort of toy lodged in the curvy part under the toilet bowl. After waiting all day for a plumber to come and tell me he had to charge me almost $300 to get it working again (and that was only if he didn't have to take the toilet off to unclog it), he walked away and I still had a broken toilet. I was so ticked because I had quizzed the person when I made the appointment about a ballpark figure on how much they charge for basic repairs without getting any answers. Luckily he was nice enough to work out some way that I didn't have to pay the $90 service call, which I was supposed to pay whether he did any work or not. He said it'd be cheaper just to get a new, nicer toilet that had a more powerful flush.  We've always had problems with this el cheapo toilet clogging so we opted to get a new one. 

And that's how we ended up toilet shopping on Valentine's Day. Nothing says romance quite like the row of floating toilets at a home improvement warehouse. With four hyper kids along. Throwing tater tots. Running in and out of all the bathroom displays.  Trying to leap from cart to cart. 

But we knew we had found THE one when we saw it labeled with signs that said: "Can flush a whole bucket of golf balls" and "Flushes up to 150 ft of toilet paper." SWEET. Music to my ears. 

Jeremy wanted this one--there was an electronic panel of buttons that raised and lowered the lid, flushed the thing, and heated the seat. I think it probably even wipes you. Whoa. When you need a user manual for your toilet or you can't use it when the power's out, it's probably time to examine what you're spending your money on. 
***And because Jeremy thinks this V Day activity makes him look unromantic and like the poopiest husband ever--I have to add a disclaimer that we DID get to go out the night before for an early V Day dinner and shopping. Without any automatic toilets. Or kids. Or tater tots. Or our cutest little old toilet salesguy ever--who said he only went back to work after retiring when his wife finally decided to retire. He needed a break. HA!***

The installation guys came today to put the new one in and I had to break it to them that there may or may not be something stuck either in the old toilet (hopefully) or in the plumbing line (hopefully not). After they sucked all the water out, they found the culprit wedged really far back in the toilet opening. One guy said that he couldn't get it out because it was wedged in there so tight. I told him don't worry about it--I didn't want it back anyway. But he was freakishly determined to remove it, and he finally brought it to me just to prove how awesome he was. It was that dang little moss ball that had been in a decorative basket in there. How dumb am I to leave something like that so close to an open hole that could be used as a "shoot-it" in times of boredom or desperation. 

So now, poor new toilet, I have to apologize. In the next few months,  you will be exposed to an unnatural and inordinate amount of kid pee flowing all over your shiny porcelain whiteness as I finally attempt to potty train the twins. And you will, at some point, probably have to prove your golf ball and toilet paper flushing abilities.  And I won't blame you--it's not your fault. But please, please, please--if my pretty red cell phone ever ends up in your shiny bowl, resist the urge to choke it down. I will repay you with frequent and thorough scrub downs and lemony-fresh Lysol treatments upon request. Thank you. May the force be with you. 

Monday, February 16, 2009

Ramblings: Blogging Hiatus

Sorry y'all--I've been taking a little break from the "puter," as the kids call it. But when I get a free minute, I'll download all the pictures filling up my camera and post some from the crazy busy last few days. Including highlights of Alex's end of season basketball party, our freakshow's appearance at Maddie's lunchtime at school, sexy Valentine's Day toilet shopping to replace one that repeatedly gets clogged with whatever the twins throw in it, and all that fun stuff. 

Until then, have a great day--MOO QUACK QUACK!
video
I apologize to my ranch-happy father for my pathetic attempt at a horse whinny. Also to anyone with musical talent or perfect pitch, sorry you have to hear my singing. And when you hear Avery's gut giggle--THAT is the giggle that makes me come running from wherever I am in the house because it usually means they have collaborated in their evildoing and/or are sitting in the middle of a giant, catastrophic mess. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rant: A Crystal Clear Threat

A little message for the Mr. (because he can rarely answer the phone when I call him at work):

As much as I love red and pink this Valentine time of year, if you EVER, EVER, EVER leave an entire box of Fruit Punch flavored Crystal Light To-Go packets out on the counter within reach of 4 snatching, flailing, grab-anything-within-reach Twin Arms, I will leave and never come back. I mean it--I keep a full tank of gas and a cooler full of diet coke in the car just in case. 

And now that the kitchen mess is finally cleaned up, I'm left to take two kids with me to run errands all morning with giant red mouths all the way up to their cheekbones that look like Joker rejects from the Batman movie auditions. Because of course THAT will help my freak show blend in a little better in public. 

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ramblings: Hunting Trip

Maddie's class takes turns bringing home "class books"--a book wherein everyone completes their own page and then the teacher compiles, binds, and laminates it so they can take turns reading it. She brought one home Friday that the class made around Thanksgiving called "What I Would Do..." The first page says "What would you do if you were a pilgrim?" and it's filled with similar looking pilgrim people and a sentence typed by the student using sound spelling.

They are really BIG on sound spelling--meaning the kids are to write words phonetically and parents are NOT allowed to intervene, instruct, correct, or give hints at ANY COST and no matter how much they beg. Or they rip off your nails and then dip your fingers in lemon juice. And if they suspect you helped your kid spell something on her homework, they send a note to your parents telling them what a bad parent you are because you refuse to respect the learning process and that now you deserve a good spanking. Or something like that...I'm too afraid to find out. "NO MADDIE--I will NOT tell you how to spell 'recess'---just sound it out even though it's a tricky one and there's not an ice cube's chance in heck that you will even get close to spelling it correctly. I CANNOT and WILL NOT aide you in your spelling needs at this point in your educational journey. You are on your own, sister. I will, however, repeat the word sllllllllooooooooooowwwlllly five or six thousand times so you can try to hear all the individual sounds and you can take a crack at spelling it the best you know how." (Which is probably a violation of the Sound Spelling Code, I don't know. I didn't read all the fine print.)

And regardless of how many panic attacks I have, I will NOT sneak back into your backpack, remove your homework from your red folder, frantically erase the misspelled words, and in my best attempt at forging crazy kindergarten handwriting, rewrite them so that they are spelled correctly. I won't do it--even though it drives me crazy knowing that a paper FULL of misspelled words is sitting in there, just waiting to be turned in. I will just take a bunch of deep breaths and conquer that tiny little part of my OCD.

(As a side note--Sound Spelling used to drive Alex CRAZY. He'd get so worked up wanting me to tell him how to spell something that he'd end up having a complete breakdown if I didn't. So I had to adapt the rules. I'd make him try and then I'd tell him how to correct any misspellings. He has always been a really good speller and he'd remember the correct spelling the next time he wrote the word, so I figured it would be ok. Just don't go rat me out to his kindergarten teacher. I can't take any more notes going home to my parents. Maddie is fine with the rules--it doesn't bother her at all that her spelling might not be perfect.)

Anyway, sound spelling leads to many funny looking words and sentences in the class books. The teacher usually writes the word that the kid was aiming for underneath the misspelled car wreck of the word. Most of the kids in the pilgrim book wrote about how they would cook or hunt or be soldiers. Some got more detailed, a few veered off the beaten course. But mostly there was cooking and hunting going on.

This kid got creative and specified he'd be building a house. Nice. I like the eyelashes and the guy's one devious looking eyebrow.
This is Maddie's--she'll have to give me her bread recipe. Heaven knows I don't make any other kind than banana. **Note to self**teach Maddie where the spacebar is and address the medical impossibilities related to a fully-functioning floating head.
Now this last one is really my favorite. I may just print it and hang it on my fridge. I like that he really tried to get specific about what he would hunt...but I'm still cracking up. The teacher's translation is 'animals,' but I think that might be a stretch. Sheesh, pilgrims these days!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ramblings: I'll be spending alot on souvenirs

I haven't been trying to keep you all in suspense...really. I've just been swamped with all the daily to do's on my list.  Volunteering at Maddie's class library time, dentist appointments, cub scouts, making pinewood derby cars, ballet, tackling the endless pile of laundry, breaking in the new elliptical, cleaning all the black pinewood derby paint off of my floors and cupboards after Avery found it and decided to redecorate the kitchen, watching all my tivo'd American Idols--you know, all the important stuff. 

First, how we ended up at our decision after searching every major and not so major city in the US and Mexico (because we deemed any other flights far too long):
1. Cheap tickets. We had to find affordable airplane tickets if we were going to fly---there are six of us, which means to fly to some of the places we wanted to go, we would've had to remortgage the house. 
2. Family friendly. When we take our circus on the road, it helps us feel better if we are surrounded by other freak shows. Plus it means there are usually alot of activities nearby that we can do with the crazies without getting too many nasty glares.
3. Warmer weather. We wanted to go somewhere where the kids can be out of the house, preferably swimming to expend the greatest amount of energy possible. Plus, there's much less packing involved for hot destinations than for cold. I hate packing for snowy destinations. 
4. Affordable lodging. We typically rent houses wherever we go so we can have space for the kids to play and sleep and nap without being on top of each other. And it usually works out to be cheaper after a week than a hotel.  Plus, then we have a kitchen and we can go grocery shopping and eat most of our meals without having to haul the crazies to restaurants three times a day to pay for food that will most likely end up getting thrown at me or the pathetic server that was unlucky enough to get assigned to our table. 

Those were our major considerations which is how we ended up deciding on ...........FLORIDA! (San Diego was 2nd place).  The tickets were relatively cheap, there's a ton of fun stuff within an hour's drive, tons of rental houses to choose from, and there will be other freaky families everywhere. Our kids' Spring Break seems to be about a month before everyone else's across the country, which hopefully means it will be less crowded at all the touristy spots. 

I'm purposely not saying that we are "going to Disney World," because even though we are going to be staying in Orlando, I don't want all the pressure of having to "do Disney." With two almost three year olds that still nap, I would be stressed about having to fit in everything we want to do around their sleep schedules and mood swings to justify the expenses of Disney. There would be endless fighting as to what the big vs. the little kids wanted or were old enough to do everyday. And I want to relax not stress. 

We found a house to rent with a heated pool out back so we can go and do when we want to go and do, and when the boys are napping we can still take the big kids out to swim.  Jeremy's already started working out more so he'll be Speedo ready in a month for all the photos I'll be posting on here. And the house has a gameroom with a pool table, air hockey, and a basketball hoop game--it's sad that it was seriously the thing that we were most excited about. We knew the boys would love it. 

I figure we'll have time to hit the beach, the Kennedy Space Center, Busch gardens and/or Sea World, and we'll hit up our friends that live there (hint, hint Stacy) to point us to the best of the best of the Disney things to do while we're there.  

The bad thing for me is that pretty much everyone guessed kinda correctly except Greg, who was just being a turd anyway. So I think I'll be spending most of my time and money while we're there buying and mailing funny things to everyone. 

Florida here we come--hide all your breakables.  You've been given fair warning. 


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Rave: Surprise, it's Spring...break

Ok y'all. So after hours and hours pouring over different combinations of lodging and travel itineraries, weighing our possible activity options based on the varied ages of the four crazies, and deciding just how much of a security deposit we are willing to forfeit after the twins do their damage wherever we stay, we have finally made our Spring Break plans. This is a BIG deal for us since we always talk and talk for months about going and doing, but when it finally comes vacation time, we don't get to go and do because we didn't plan the going and doing enough in advance. 

But alas, this year my deteriorating mental stability caused by the Duo of Destruction has triggered some initiative and "pull-the-trigger-ness" in me to do whatever it takes to get us outta the house for awhile.  And last night we booked all the necessaries for our Spring Break extravaganza (I threw that in for my brother who has rudely accused me of overusing the word 'extravaganza.' So take that and stick it in your hat). 

Any guesses on where our traveling freak-show/circus will be heading? I'm thinking whoever guesses correctly will receive a (perhaps humorous) little souvenir that I will personally purchase and send to you from our EXTRAVAGANZA. See now I can't get enough of it. extravaganza extravaganza extravaganza. Is your face melting off yet? Good. 

Let the guessing begin. And if I have talked to you and accidentally divulged where we are headed, but have forgotten due to blunt force trauma of the head caused by heavy flying objects hurled at me by two crazy two year olds who love catching me unaware and therefore causing as much bodily damage and uncontrollable bleeding from major orifices as possible, then please remove yourself from the guessing. 

And don't worry. The destination we have chosen fulfills Jeremy's one and only requirement: We will indeed be able to purchase the requisite number of body pillows for our stay. 

Monday, February 2, 2009

Ramblings: Dream Team

I finally got to attend one of Alex's  basketball games on Saturday because it wasn't scheduled smack dab in the midst of the twins' sacred naptime. It started at 12:30 and was flirting dangerously close to the danger zone of crankiness, but I hoped they would be enthralled by  all the 'shoot-it' going on. Plus, Alex was starting to feel like no one wants to go see him play so we were all loading up to head to the Y either way. 

He has definitely improved a bunch since last year--he and some friends play in the driveway alot. He's not afraid to play really aggressively, which I have to admit makes me a bit uncomfortable. I am typically not that competitive or in your face.  I just keep thinking that the mom of the kid he's fouling while trying to get the ball is probably thinking, "Man, someone tell that kid to take it down a notch. They are supposed to be playing for fun." He usually comes close to fouling out of every game. 
Needless to say, Jeremy LOVES IT. In all capitals--L-O-V-E-S  I T. Which is exactly why Alex plays that way. They had a ref threaten to throw Alex and another equally-aggressive kid out of a game last year because "they were playing each other too hard." Jeremy almost had a cow. Seriously. He almost gave birth to a live, kicking little brown calf right there on the shiny gym floor of our local YMCA. All I heard for the next 2 hours was "They want me to tell my players not to play hard? Not to give 100%? That's right guys--get out there and DON'T play your best. It's insane. Whatever. Now I'm going to tell them to play even harder." 
Jeremy has been teaching them plays this year and how to use their teammates instead of relying on that natural instinct to ball-hog it all the way to the basket. Alex and this other kid have gotten pretty good at finding and passing to each other, prompting Alex to proclaim that they "are like Kobe and Lebron."  We all got a pretty good kick out of that--I don't think he really even knows who those guys are other than basketball players. My shots weren't that good because I was fighting the three crazies that kept trying to take my camera and most of the action seemed to happen when all I could see was a group of bums. 

Avery enjoyed his front row seat--and by front row, I mean lying on his stomach as close as I'd let him get to the sideline.  He watched every move and shot--he knew when they had made one or missed it. PURE JOY. With about five minutes left in the game, he snuck across the court to the players' bench during a timeout while I was leaning down to put my camera away. He was in heaven.  Aidan watched for about the first 10 minutes and then spent the rest of the time sliding around on the metal bleachers. He liked watching everyone in the stands. Hmmm...I wonder who he gets that from? 
    
Someone needs to tell that crazy screaming coach that this is basketball, not football. No touchdowns here, coach. There are Kobe and Lebron in front of him congratulating each other on a well executed play. They triumphed in the end by 20 something points, which means they are still undefeated with about four games left.  At least until all of Jeremy's players get thrown out out of the game for playing too hard...

And I'm a little sad by a bad decision made by our favorite swimming Olympian....come on, Phelps. Your mom's going to be crying for a different reason today.