Summer is here and I love it.

Guys, I haven’t posted here in like crackamillion years.

Wanna know why?

I shall provide you with a neat graphic:

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Go ahead. Pin that graphic to your Pinterest boards. I dare you.

By the way, I don’t wear a bikini but I didn’t have the patience to try and draw anymore.

So, we have been busy, y’all. The calendar in the kitchen is so loaded down with stuff that I tried to add something to it the other day and it shrank away from me and started weeping. “Go away,” Calendar said, rocking back and forth. “I just want to be alone!”

On Tuesday, we were so busy that by the end of the day, after the boys were upstairs in bed, I found myself looking around in a panic, wondering where my keys were. It’s like when the cool army people jump out of planes, you see? You know… they’re all lined up, jumping out, all “Go GO GO GO!!” – that’s us. We are the army, people. We are being all that we can be.

I’m exhausted.

Ok, granted there has been pool time, and this is when I get to sit in one place for a prolonged period of minutes. I sit there, and then I slowly start to sweat into the plastic back of my chair and it imprints itself all over my white backside. So, then, of course, I go gingerly into the pool and swim around with my head above water, all old-lady paddling, and then get back out. And go sweat again. Sometimes I read. A lot of times I just stare at the blue water and try to remember where it is we are going to next.

By the way, I TOTALLY get it, Mom. You used to take us to the pool? I remember you had a leopard print one-piece swimsuit that was very Mrs. Robinson, except you weren’t really into seducing anyone. You were a good woman.* But the swimsuit still was so Anne Bancroft. ANYHOW… I totally get it. Sitting at the pool, watching your daughters prunitize themselves in the water for hours… You are a saint. We moms, we are SAINTS.

Plus that swimsuit was very cool.

Yesterday, I took Blonde and Red to the pool after some sort of thing they had (I think it was play practice? Because they are in the summer musical? I dunno anymore. I just drive them places and pick them up. I’m a Mom Uber. A MUber, if you will.)

So, we’re at the pool, and I have just head-outta-the-water paddled my sweat off, and plunked myself back down with a book. Red approaches. He’s all wet and drippy and has that peculiar wet-kid walk that is part waddle with his hands all clutched up under his chin. I don’t know why my children walk like this when they go to the pool. It’s like the water makes them all self-clutchy and I guess I should be happy they don’t clutch any other body parts. They look all wet and shrunken, like little wet rabbits, and it’s kind of cute.

ANYHOW.  (Didn’t you miss this? Momsie’s brain while writing is like watching Rocky and Bullwinkle, I tell you.)

So, Red approaches and stands by me, too close, as every seven year old must stand next to his mom, and drips all over my book. “Whatcha doin?” he asks and I bite my face off to not respond with sarcasm.

“I’m… reading. This. It’s a book.” (Ok, that did have a whiff of sarcasm but trust me, people, this was the softer, gentler version.)

Red nods and then asks, “Why aren’t you swimming? Why did you bring THAT *nods derisively towards the book* to HERE *gestures widely to the water.”

I see where he is going with this. His brain cannot understand that I am not in the water the entire time, until I get pruny.

Also, it was adult swim. This is pool-jail for little kids. And here I was NOT SWIMMING WHEN I SO COULD BE.

In other words, I was being glib. I was being all glib about the POOL. This was hard for him.

I tried to explain.

“Honey. I’m an adult. That’s what adults do. We bring books to the pool and we don’t like to get our hair wet.”

He dripped a moment, and nodded, staring off in the distance.

And that’s how my child learned that growing up is awful.

The end.

 

By the way, I took them home and fed them ice cream bars for dinner. This is because I am glib, but I am not crazy. It was necessary.

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*ARE. You ARE a good woman, Mom. The verb tense is important.

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TBT: I Got Your Polar Vortex Right Here

I Got Your Polar Vortex Right Here

This is the polar vortex. Is it just me, or does it seem to be giving us a saucy gesture? Maybe it's just me.

Is it just me, or does it look like Mr. Polar Vortex is giving us a saucy gesture? Maybe it’s just me.

It’s 6 pm. I am trying to make dinner, keep the cat out of my laundry (laundry is his enemy, and he must vanquish it), and head up the Toddler Peace Summit Summer 2014.  I quit the Summit after 5 minutes.  I’m not smart enough.  I started pretending that I was from Chechnya and needed a translator and nobody could find one.  That was kinda fun.

Hubs will be coming home from work soon.  He will be thrilled to be home, let me tell you.  It’s because it’s so peaceful here.  So… calm.  I’ll be greeting him with a big red-lipsticked smoocharooni, a martini, and a lovely pot roast.

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Hi dear. Make one wrong comment about the empty saucepan and I will strangle you with my apron. And this wallpaper is driving me crazy.

 

 

 

Well.  Nix the martini.  Sometimes I hand him a glass of water.  It even has ice in it.

And really, not so peaceful here.  Wanna know why? Because Toddler Peace Summit 2014 has taken to the streets.  There’s loud protesting and currently the toddlers have taken the cat hostage and they are all working on their Manifesto.

 

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All of this makes Momsie rather… tense.  The toddlers, being toddlers, have absolutely no clue what “tense” is.  That’s their job.  In fact, I think it’s part of their Cluelessness Manifesto.  Momsie is tense = WE MUST AMP UP THE TODDLERNESS!!!!

And because of this ampage, a terrible, terrible thing happened.  I burnt my biscuits.  My precious, my preshus lovely fluffy little biscuits.  So ready to be smooshed with butter and honey, now huddled on the baking pan like sad hockey pucks.

And I. Had. HAD ENOUGH.

It is precisely at this time that the husband comes sauntering in.  You guessed it.  He is toast. Just like the biscuits.

Transcript of Following Conversation:

Me: ANGER AND RESENTMENT-LADEN SILENCE

Hubs:  Hi!  How are you?

Me: ANGER AND RESENTMENT-LADEN SILENCE.

Hubs: Hey boys! (Boys start freaking out because evidently Daddy walking in the house is like Moses just dropped by to say “Heeeey.”)

Me:   I’m fine.  (Holy cow.  Cue scary music here.)

Hubs: Wow.  Ok.  Really?  Your face is all twitchy. Why are you sitting on the floor turning that light on and off?  Wait, isn’t this a scene from Fatal Attraction?  Can I eat my dinner first?

Me: I burnt the biscuits.

Hubs:  Ohhhhh?  (He then tilts his head to the side just like a Labrador Retriever.)

Me:  I burnt. Them.

Hubs:  Why?

 

Let’s take a bit of a break here.

Really, he is in engineer, so asking “Why?” is not his fault.  It’s not.  That’s part of his job.  Or so he tells me.  I kind of think he must just trot around at work yapping, “Why, WHY?” at everyone within reach.  I wish he would just get it out of his system at work so he would NOT utter it at home. Really, he should know better by now.  When one has dealt with the toddler mosh pit of my day, when one burns the absolute best part of dinner (the rest of dinner was beige and warm, that’s it),

YOU DON’T EVER, EVER ASK, “WHY?”

Here’s what you say instead:

Hubs:  Oh my dear.  Clearly you need a break.  Here’s five thousand dollars.

So it just kept going, this conversation.  If the hubs knew what was best, he woulda hightailed it upstairs to free the cat and find some chocolate. But no.

Hubs:  Are you mad at me?  You’re mad, aren’t you.  Why are you mad at me?

Me:  No.  I’m not mad.  I’m just tired.  (‘Tired” is code for = so mad.  So, so mad.)

Hubs:  Because really, this is a teachable moment!

Me: Ok. Now I’m actually mad at you.

 

I think it’s best to stop here, to remind all you newly married folks,  that conversations like this really do happen when you’ve been married for a while.  For reals.  I do remember once at our premarital counseling (where hubs and the pastor talked BASEBALL for the majority of the time) that we did all come up with at least one tenet about How to Stay Married for a Really Long Time:

We should communicate a lot.

I KNOW, right?  Pretty brilliant.  I am pretty sure no one ever thought of this idea about marriage before.  I should write a book.

At any rate, the rest of the evening was a bit chilly, but by tooth brushing time I had stopped quoting lines from Fatal Attraction.  After all, when you’re married to an engineer, it is likely your darling husband takes literally everything, um, literally.  Thus, “I’m not going to be IGNORED, Dan!” carries little weight when your hubs’ name isn’t actually Dan.

 

 

 

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*Throw Back Thursday: This is code for “I don’t have brainage for new material today. Recycling is good!”

Summer Vacation Plans and Rock the Park!

When I was a kid – in the middle of July, my dad would pack us all into the station wagon and drive through the night to Colorado. Air conditioning was strictly prohibited because it was hard on the engine (which I think is an urban legend he just made up because he is part lizard), thus we would roll down the windows and proceed to blast ourselves with hot air until we got to the mountains. We stuck to the seats. We listened to the Royals on a low roar the whole time, to keep dad awake.

It’s possible we had to pee in a coffee can because stopping the car signaled weakness. I dunno. I might have blocked that memory.

Anyhow, after an hour or so, I would start too look like this:Bridjet-Jones-windswept.jpg

It’s ok. It was the 80’s. I could rock the fluffy hair.

By the time we actually arrived at the sweet cool quiet of the mountains, it was an oasis. The pine-scented majesty all around me would fill my soul and soothe my seat-burned thighs.

And so, because my life is awesome, I recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Jack Steward and Colton Smith, the hosts of Daytime Emmy Award-winning series Rock the Park:

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Rock the Park showcases America’s national parks as nature enthusiasts and hosts Jack Steward and Colton Smith venture off the beaten path to explore some of the most awe-inspiring places on earth. In this series, the two best friends venture into some of the most awe-inspiring locations, treating us with great views, great advice, and great adventures for us to view and, perhaps, plan for our families this summer.

My family has continued the tradition of summer vacations in the mountains, albeit minus the station wagon and its sticky seats. We avid hikers, even my littles. Our boys, ages six and seven, have enthusiasm for all things mountain and adventure-y, so I had lots of questions for Jack and Colton about how to best enjoy our national park experiences.

Here are a few of my questions and Jack and Colton’s helpful responses:

Me:  What are your favorite family hike memories when you were growing up?

Jack:  My favorite hiking memory with my family was our trek up Rendezvous Mountain in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The mountain has an aerial tram that takes people up to the summit and then back down. As an ambitious eight-year-old, I decided that I wanted to climb to the top! So it was settled, we would all hike the 7 miles to the summit and take the tram down. Our hike turned out to be one of the most challenging, yet rewarding experiences I had ever had in my life. All of our heels had blisters and we barely packed enough water. It was really tough! Once we made it to the summit, it opened me up to the endless possibilities that nature provides. We had so much fun that we continue the tradition of hiking up to the summit anytime we’re in Jackson Hole.

Me: I am so grateful for more family entertainment for my kids to view – we are in LOVE w/ all shows about nature (hi there, Wild Kratts) – can you explain briefly why you wanted to create a show that is “family friendly”?

Colton: For me the national parks changed my life. I believe they can do just that for so many others. By creating a family friendly show, it allows us to spread that message to not only adults but children. As we know, children can be pretty impressionable, and if our show can make an impression on a young child- that nature is something they need to explore- I believe one day a profound love of nature can be produced. Our goal is not only to entertain but to educate and inspire. We wanted our show to be family friendly because that’s what our national parks are. They’re for everyone. We want to make sure our show is for everyone as well.

Me: We got a new pet this year – our dog, Hosmer. (Named after Eric Hosmer of the Royals, of course.) Do you have any Do’s and Don’ts for dog lovers who want to take their pets on hikes? We encountered many dogs while hiking, some off leash, and wondered if you had any opinions or advice about this.

Colton: I too got a new pet this year! His name is Junior and he loves to run, and I mean run. As much as I’d love to let him of the leash, I would advise against it. Dogs can be quite curious, and there are a lot of predators in nature. The last thing anybody wants is their dog running out of the woods with a black bear on their tail!

Both Jack and Colton are “Find Your Park” ambassadors, and, as Jack describes it, this is “an invitation to open up your life to the enrichment of nature, history and pride for our country that the national parks provide in abundance.” I was so impressed with these two. Their enthusiasm and love for our nation’s beautiful national parks is endearing, and I love that they are creating intelligent, thoughtful, and trustworthy entertainment that the whole family can watch.

The show is a real treat, and I hope you get a chance to Rock the Park with these two this summer. Click below to see how these two can inspire you to “Find Your Park” and, perhaps, seek your own happy horizon.

“We are curious people, always seeking what lies beyond the horizon.”

 

Rock the Park airs every weekend on ABC stations, check your local listings!