navygreen: (Baking)
What do you make when you're invited to a birthday BBQ in the summer?

"Hot Off the Grill Cupcakes," of course!

Hot Off the Grill Cupcakes.


I came across this idea in my latest issue (August/September) of Taste of Home magazine, and I thought it was just the cutest idea! The original decoration is shown on a brownie, rather than a cupcake, and topped with candies. However, I had some buttermilk I wanted to use up, so I opted to go with my Chocolate Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes (minus the icing and cherry buttercream) as the building block instead. I love the springy texture of this chocolate cake, and it's quickly become my go-to recipe for using up leftover buttermilk. I never have complaints when I give away cupcakes to all our neighbors and friends, either! *wink*

To make these oh-so-hot treats, you'll need the following:

  • 2 dozen cupcakes (or brownies, as the original idea suggests)

  • 1 can store-bought chocolate frosting (omit if using brownies)

  • orange icing sugar

  • 72 pieces Hot Tamales candy

  • black royal icing (piping consistency)


Click for more. )

You could jazz these up even more, too. Try some Hershey's Chocolate Drops™ to make tiny burgers, or small bits of red and yellow royal icing for ketchup/mustard accents. I can't wait to do more the next time I make these! :-D


(As an aside, I'm ridiculously proud of the photos in this posting, as every single shot is "SOOC," or "straight-out-of-camera" with no post-processing at all. *squeee*)
navygreen: (HP: Draco - banned books)
The boys really dived into the Summer Reading Program at the base library again this summer. A.J. went to the library on a Saturday with a friend, and he signed up on his own, coming home with log sheets, three new books, and a cool T-shirt (awesome, compared to last year's design!). Philip and I took Jack in the following Monday, and we signed him up as well. He checked out a bunch of books and received a different T-shirt, and I've been logging hours for both of them ever since!

They can pick up prizes when they turn in one log sheet, and both are close to being done. Jack's currently read for 27 hours (of the 32 slots on a sheet). He looks like this often:

Jack reads for his Summer Reading Program.
Jack reads for his Summer Reading Program./


He was reading A Tale Dark & Grimm in that picture, and it was a recommendation from our librarian. He loved it, and I really enjoyed the parts I read here-and-there as well - very funny! It was a new book to our library, so he read it first in his selections so that he could get it back quickly for others to read.

We'll have to return one of his books tomorrow for a different one. He visited the library with Philip a few days ago, and he brought home Fire World. Now, he's read The Fire Within before, and it's the first in the series, so he thought this next book was just a sequel. Turns out, it's the seventh in the series, so he's going to return it and get the second book instead. The books in this series are Harry Potter-huge, but he really likes them.

A.J. has read for 21 hours himself (though he read some this morning that I haven't logged - I'll have to double-check with him again), and he's currently plowing through the Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights series. He checks the storylines against things on the internet in the Star Wars universe too, so it's been very engaging for him as well.

(He won't let me snap a picture while he's reading, though. *wink*)

One of the funny things (I think) that Jack does while he's reading is put his extra hand up under his chin. He always does this, even without a book in his hands, when he's laying on his back, and I think it's so strange. I wouldn't find that comfortable at all, but he sure seems to. If nothing else, I love how it brings out his little chin dimple, too!

Summer Reading Program.
navygreen: (PotC: Commodore - HOT!)
We're becoming so lazy here in summer vacation. Honestly, "lazy" doesn't even cover it. We're averaging bedtimes around midnight-1am, and then getting up in the neighborhood of 10-11am. Lunch is usually around 3-4pm, and then dinner is pushed as well. We've eaten around 10pm the past four nights!

I woke up this morning at 9am, and I absolutely couldn't go back to sleep despite the super-quiet household. I got up, got dressed, started some laundry, and began a list of online to-do's. I got several things squared away, my desk cleaned up, and then finally the boys woke around 11am.

I spent at least TWO HOURS trying to relocate a recipe for blondies I've been wanting to try, and with no success. I remember being astonished that the recipe called for one whole pound of brown sugar, and I picked it up when I was shopping last week. In my uber-frustration, I finally succumbed to the next baking craving on my list: Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars. They were very gooey and very yummy, even if not my first choice.

Jack had a friend in and out most of the afternoon. We really enjoy having Riley over - he's exactly Jack's age, and they are just two peas, you know? He's so very polite, too. He only lives four houses away, so they are constantly either in one of our houses or out on the block on scooters.

A.J. puttered around on his laptop for a while. He's been discovering the world of Weird Al Yankovic through videos on Youtube, and he's constantly giggling over the lyrics of one of the tunes. In turn, I've played several of the original songs that Weird Al parodied, and of course - A.J. likes the parodies better. *wink*

Unrelated to any of the above, I've been meaning to mention that, in a fit of boredom one night Philip was at work, I watched the first episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. It ended on a cliffhanger (oh noes! Buffy's trapped under a vampire in a coffin! How will she get to the other seven seasons?!), so I watched the second episode the next afternoon. Philip watched it with me, and once it was over, he flipped to select the third episode (Netflix, instant queue), but I stopped him. The acting is just so, so poor I couldn't imagine watching another second. I'm sure [livejournal.com profile] wendywoowho is gasping, and I know [livejournal.com profile] devi_pavarti may never speak to me again...
navygreen: (Boys: fall guys)
The boys play outside every single minute that they can. On weekdays, this means from about 3:30 (after we've gotten home and they've scarfed down a snack) until dark (or dinner, whichever comes first). There are times that we have to call one of them in for soccer practice, but then they'll happily go right back out as soon as we've gotten home again.

Yesterday, they both quite quite pink from the day's play. *insert Mom guilt* Today, they're outside playing with sunscreen on, as well as wearing hats. They were given choice of their own hat, but it had to be one that covered the face and ears.

A.J. chose his Indy hat. (Of course.)
Jack chose his leprechaun hat, but then promptly switched to his pirate hat. (Both were adorable.)

Such cute guys they are out there, romping around and being the only children in hats. :-)
navygreen: (Jack: swimming)
I've posted about it in passing a handful of times, but I've never made a post specifically for swim lessons. It's among those things I'd been "meaning to" for so, so long, but now I'll just pop in a bit of backstory as relevant to the picture post that I'm wanting to make.

The boys began taking swim lessons over a year ago - on May 1, 2007, in fact. As with every new 'first,' I did take along my camera for the event, and I took over 200 pictures that evening during their first lessons. (Hey, I had to document it well, as I needed to have lots of photographic evidence to email to Philip in Iraq, right?) I had tried to sign them up in March, but by the time I arrived at the Lied Center, all the spots were taken. The same thing happened to me in April, even though I went hours earlier on the special "sign-up day." Finally in May, I was at the Center right when the doors opened, and I secured them spots.

I had asked a few questions about level assignment when I was registering them, but the head swim instructor (Leslie) was not there, and the man who answered my questions wasn't really sure of anything specific. I told him the skills that each of the boys had, and he placed them in levels. As it turned out on the day of their first lesson, both boys were incorrectly placed.

I had enrolled Jack in the Preschool level because, well, he *was* in Preschool in May 2007. Not only that, but he'd never had any swim education before. A.J. had a bit over the summer of 2006, as Philip and I had made concerted efforts to teach him certain things, and so he began in Level 2. By the end of the first lesson, however, Jack was blowing his peers out of the water (no, not literally!), and so he was moved up into Level 1.

And they have made slow, steady progress. During the summer, they had swim lessons two nights as week, and on other days, I took them to the pool 2-3x/week as well. We had a LOT of swimming last year! During those heavily-watered months, the boys made better progress in lessons, having more of an opportunity to practice their skills. Once the school year began in August, we decided to keep them in swim lessons all year. We figured that it would be easier to keep their skills up to par (if they lapsed until summer again this year, they'd probably forget quite a bit), and they would have the opportunity to advance a bit more. During those school months, however, the Lied Center drops their lessons from twice a week down to just once - on Saturday mornings for 30 minutes.

So, after nearly 14 months of swim lessons, Jack and A.J. are now in Levels 3 and 4, respectively. We anticipate Jack passing Level 3 at the end of this month, as he passed his "mock test" on the second-to-last lesson last month, but then decided to goof around during the real test. *shakes head* He was pretty disappointed to learn his results, and I think he learned a valuable lesson in that. We're not sure yet whether A.J. will advance to Level 5 after this month, or whether he'll need another round still. Either way, he absolutely adores swimming lessons, and we're happy that he does.

Whereas Jack has currently picked soccer as his sport of choice, A.J. has his eyes set on swimming. We've promised him that once he finishes all six levels offered at the Lied Center, we will then enroll him in the Bellevue Swim Club for competitive swimming. He is so stoked for that day to come!

And it has been so very nice this year to know that the boys are fully independent in the water. Last summer, it was tough on me all the many times I took them swimming: Jack wasn't quite good enough to swim unsupervised by me (even with lifeguards all around), which meant that I couldn't really enjoy seeing A.J. swim on his own. Not only that, but our favorite pool has two special waterslides, and Jack was 1/2" too short to ride them on his own. Of course, the waterslides were his favorite part, and because I had to ride with him each and every time (picture about 20 times each swimming day!), I missed so much of what A.J. was doing - I couldn't see *him* go down the slides, I only caught a handful of his jumps from the diving boards (and it was his first summer to attempt the high-dive, too!), and I couldn't really see his "free play" in the shallower ends. And because Philip was deployed, there really was only me most of the time, and I just don't split well enough in two. *sigh*

Not this year, however. For one thing, Philip and I can both be there. For another, the boys are BOTH now fully independent in the water. By the end of Level 2 in swim lessons, children have mastered the concepts of the basic freestyle. A.J. has spent the last two levels working on different strokes and technique perfection, and Jack has done the same and is now almost two levels past that as well. While being able to swim proficiently allows you access to the diving boards, there is still a height requirement for the waterslides. Thankfully, Jack has grown almost 1-1/2" since last summer, so he now can do that on his own as well!

We first went to the pool this past Tuesday night. Jack was a belly full of butterflies as he approached the height-checking pole, but when it became clear that he was plenty tall enough, you could see his HUGE grin from a hundred feet away, I'll bet! He was so proud to sport the new "adult" band on his wrist that we now all get to wear. :-)

And, being that it was a 'first' occasion, I had my camera in tow. I took tons of pictures, including those of Jack's first solo slides, his first jumps off the high-dive, and also playing in the water. I was so proud of him. And the difference is so evident in A.J.'s skill once he's set free in loose waters (the lessons are very controlled, so it's hard to get a good idea of what your child can *really* do) - he's phenomenal! His strokes are spot-on, and it was so amazing to watch him beeline across the pool!

But for now, I'll shut up about the lessons and the swimming and leave you with several pictures. :-)

He has another go on the Curvy slide
Jack at the very end of the 'Curvy Slide.'


And many more! )
navygreen: (Default)
I'm wearing a pretty dress.

We just got done swimming at the pool for a few hours, and while Philip took them to swim lessons directly afterwards, I'm home to grab t-shirts for the boys before meeting them at a restaurant. My swimsuit has a halter top, and as I was dressing just now, I thought, "Why put a bra on now?" So I'm wearing a pretty halter-style dress - one I really love and have only worn once before.

Who says I have to be headed to church to look pretty, right? I'm going out to dinner with my family, and I'm going all girly. :-)
navygreen: (Philip)
The boys picked out a card last week sometime for Philip, and they had each spent some time signing it. Jack was particularly proud of writing and addressing the card to Philip ("Dad") on the front of the envelope by himself. He also stuck the Hallmark seal on the back of the envelope. ;-)

Inside the card, I had printed out two emails detailing my gift to him. I purchased him two tickets to see Alan Jackson at the Mid-America Center on August 1st. I knew he would be stoked. I waited all week, pouncing on the mailbox and hoping that the tickets would arrive so I could pack them into the card. When they didn't, I printed my confirmation information instead - ah, well.

Alan Jackson is easily among Philip's top five favorite singers (country or otherwise). He's also his dad's favorite singer (which is partly why he is so close to Philip's heart, I'm sure). While I would like to see him and I do enjoy most of his songs... well, I've kinda grown a bit tired of him lately. Still, it's no fun to see a concert by yourself, so I bought two tickets (though not three, because yikes - it was already $126 for just two!). We won't tell him yet (because he'd end up gloating before August, I'm sure), but I think A.J. will be going to see the concert with him. That will be a fun, fun time, I'm sure, and it's a "win" situation: Philip will get to share one of his and Papa George's favorites with his own son, A.J. will get special one-on-one time with his dad, he knows a BUNCH of the songs that could be sung at the concert, and hey - it'll be one more "A.J." at the "A.J." concert! (Alan Jackson is frequently referred to as "A.J." in country music.)

After we all finished up weeding at Runza, Brett left his shift early, and invited us to his apartment pool. I'd been talking about swimming after weeding earlier (I was ROASTING outside in the sun for hours, and a cool pool sounded perfect), but by the time I finished, we'd have only had an hour to swim before the regular pool closed. His apartment pool stayed open until 9pm, though. We dashed home, changed into swimsuits, and hurried over to Brett's apartment. He had said that the pool was always full whenever he saw it, but we must've timed things just right - there were only two other kids in the pool, and they were about the ages of A.J. and Jack. Amazing! We all had a blast playing and swimming for the next two hours, right up until the pool closed. Then we hung out in the apartment for a bit, drying off more fully and snacking on some popcorn and drinks.

We got home late, and the boys went straight to bed. I took a long shower, scrubbing all the sunscreen, sweat and grime off, as well as all the chlorine. Once I got out, I was able to fully see all 19 of my new bug bites. *shakes head* I hope Runza appreciates my work. ;-)

I didn't get to call my dad today. I could have just now, but it was already almost midnight on the East Coast by the time I got out of my shower. That seemed wrong, so I will try to catch him tomorrow on my day off.
navygreen: (Birthday!)
It's a really nice feeling when folks call to RSVP and make sure to completely "Wow!" over how nice the invitations look. It's heartwarming, and it makes me feel good, as I did put a lot of work into the invites.

A.J.'s birthday sleepover will be in two weeks, and his invites will be mailed out today. I've been hard at work, tracking down his intended guest list by phone to snag their home addresses to send the invitations. Because he is having a sleepover, we wanted to keep the list much smaller. And you're not allowed to bring invitations to school unless you're inviting the entire class, so we had to find another way to distribute the cards. He's super-excited about hosting his first big sleepover, and in just talking with the parents, it looks as if we have three definites (including two girls!), plus two that will stay until bedtime, then leave for home.

Jack's birthday party will be in four weeks, and the guest list is enormous! We worked hard at the end of school to get information from all the kiddos in his class, and it has paid off. We've invited his kindergarten classmates (the school year ended about a month ago now) by mail, a few of his indoor soccer buddies, his entire outdoor soccer team (the season ended two weeks ago), his entire summer school class (the program just ended yesterday, so he took these invites to school and handed them out), as well as several other family friends. Most of the invitations will be mailed, but from just the dozen or so he gave out in summer school on Thursday, he now has eight RSVP's already! Good thing I was expecting this party turnout to be BIG, right?!

Their birthday celebrations are being bumped up this year, since both of their birthdays are actually in August. Jack's birthday is the 9th, falling just three days before the first day of school. If we did a party on his birthday (Saturday), it would be hard to catch folks, as that's the last weekend for school shopping, last-minute summer vacations, etc. A.J.'s birthday is the 23rd, and that's no better. School is already in session, and everyone is getting so busy by then, including ourselves. Plus, to give the parents enough notice, we practically have to send home invites on the first day of school. Maybe it's just me, but I consider that kinda tacky. A couple years ago, we waited an extra month into school, having A.J.'s party in mid-September, but I've always felt badly for making him wait so long. So this year, we just decided to bump things up a bit and have true summer birthdays (which both of their birthdays *should* be - stupid school calendar).

But even that was easier said than done. Our high school reunion is the 26th of July, and we'll be in West Virginia for that. We're planning on leaving the 19th, and won't be back until the 31st. A.J. is in summer camp from the 13th-18th, and I really didn't want him to miss Jack's party, either (brothers are supposed to be there, you know?). So Jack's party is the 12th of July (almost a month early). And A.J.'s couldn't be the week prior because 1) it's 4th of July weekend, and people will be all over the place, and 2) it's the weekend of Buglet's birthday, as well as [livejournal.com profile] marshmelococoa's visit. So A.J.'s celebration is the 28th-29th of June instead - almost two full months early!

See, there's reasoning behind my madness. ;-)
navygreen: (Fourth of July)
We've had the same yard toys for YEARS. Not only that, but we've always stored them outside in big buckets like these, and each spring we have to clean out the rainwater that has accumulated (along with mildew/algae) from the toys. We always end up tossing some of our toys. Finally, this year, we've gotten smart, and we shopped around for a bit before purchasing a new, keep-the-toys-dry Deck Box last night - this one. Yay!

I've also been replenishing our outdoor toy supply. Currently, these Sticky Paddles are the boys' favorite new thing! I just bought them yesterday, and they played with them last night in the house, this morning before school, and they were both hounding me to play with them as soon as I picked them up from school... and we were all still in the car! Not too shabby for just $3.99, right?

Among some other toys I've picked up are these items:

- Bocce set
- a new Dodgeball (we'll probably pick up a couple more of these)
- a new Diggin frisbee
- SuperSoaker water guns
- two bright, colorful pinwheels for the yard
- new sand buckets, plus digging toys
- water buckets

And, of course, new sunscreen. ;-)
navygreen: (Jack: tired)
It's not even completely dark outside yet (still a hint of blue, actually), but I'm so ridiculously tired. I'm only staying up long enough for the dark load of swimsuits and towels to finish washing, and then I'll pop them in the dryer, start the light load to washing, and I'm off to dreamland.

After this morning's early episode, StalkerChick came to my work today for the first time ever. I didn't realize it was her until I turned around from popping a lid on her shake (the only thing she ordered) to hand it out the window. Of course, then the snottiness from her ordering beforehand made perfect sense. Purposely hassling someone at work? How low. Such a fake attitude, it just makes me sick. I can't be fake back, so I just spoke as little as possible and then slammed the window shut as soon as I was done. I immediately advised Brett that if someone called back to complain that I hadn't said "Thank you!" I'd know exactly who it was. Then I continued to be my cheery, chatty self with all the rest of my polite, nice customers. :-)

We had a good playdate out at the sprayground. It was very, very warm, and Wendy and I were amazed that the kids could play so easily in the hot sand rather than running through the water. Jack was in the sand almost the entire 2.5 hours we were there, with only a few quick runs through the sprays - craziness! I tatted and chatted with Wendy and her sis-in-law (who was so fun to meet!), and Wendy's kids proceeded to tell her they were STARVING every two minutes. She'd packed an entire cooler full of snacks though, so she was well-prepared. On the other hand, I came to the rescue with my handy "travel toilet tissue" pack from the first aid kit in my car, as the porta-potty on site was out of paper.

Best quip of the afternoon? Jackie (Wendy's eldest daughter), saying, "Mom! I canNOT be expected to go to the bathroom in a place that has SANDALS in the toilet!" And it was true - when I went, I noticed a lone sandal atop the pile of waste - ewwww.

We arrived back home around six o'clock, and we fed the kitties and had a bite to eat before heading off to swim lessons. We'll be there on Friday morning to sign up for the next session (though I'd much rather be sleeping in on my day off!). I can't believe it's almost July already.

On the way home from the Activity Center, I was thinking to myself about how tired I was. We'd discussed how we were all bathing/showering as soon as we got home, and then it was bedtime (the normal routine, but we still "discuss" most things before we do them). I was just barely turned onto Pease Dr. when I heard sirens and looked up to see Security Forces behind me. Since I was the only one on the road, I figured they meant me, and I pulled over. So did the cops.

*sigh*

I've never, ever been pulled over in my life. It took ages (literally, almost ten minutes) for them to walk to my car and ask me for my license, registration, insurance and military ID. In all the time we were waiting, the boys started to panic. I would have probably panicked myself, except I truly, honestly didn't have a clue what I could have done wrong. I was even driving extra slow at the time I was pulled over - going 15mph in a 20mph housing area. I was stumped, and the fact that I didn't know what to tell the boys I had done made them more anxious. A.J. started crying (he has a sensitive spot with cops, given his prior "history," but that's an entry from long, long ago), which in turn worried Jack. Finally, the police approached my vehicle, asked for my documentation, and then asked me if I knew why I'd been pulled over. I replied that I had no clue, actually. The officer in charge then told me they'd caught me ever-so-slightly rolling through the stop sign at the corner of Pease and Kennedy.

Well, I'm certain I've never done it before, but I was so exhausted that I couldn't be sure that I hadn't tonight. I figured, "they're officers - why would they make this up?" As they returned to the police vehicle to check over my paperwork, I resigned myself to the fact that I probably had done just as they said. There wasn't a car in sight as I'd made the turn, and even in my ten minutes' time of waiting, we had *still* not seen another car. It was just a very quiet evening, and maybe my foggy brain had just turned off for a moment.

Which isn't excusable, of course. I was sad that I was pulled over, sad that I'd done something wrong, and even more sad at the thought that I really couldn't even remember it. The officer returned my things to me after just a few minutes, saying, "Well, we're gonna cut you a break this time. But ma'am? Make sure you obey all traffic signs from now on." And though I tried not to let it fall, even as I thanked him and rolled my window back up, a lone tear slid down my cheek. I was so disappointed in myself. :-(

But we arrived home a minute later, unpacked the car, got baths/showers going, and I checked the mail. We received a free full-size sample of Knorr® Sides Plus Veggies today - 'Roasted Chicken Rice with Harvest Veggies' variety. I put the boys to bed after they were clothed again, and now I'm ready to drop.

Summer wears me out.

An early goodnight. I'm sure I'll be up early too, since I'm going to bed at this hour, but I can't keep my eyes open any longer.
navygreen: (R + J: Romeo - cigarette)
I was awakened last night around 4:30am from a very real dream. From that point forward, I had difficulties sleeping, as my stupid cold/allergies would cause me to rasp over dry chokes for no reason when I would inhale.

And you know, inhaling is a rudimentary, albeit necessary, step in BREATHING.

I ran out of sweet tea and cough syrup in the night. Both help to "coat" my throat, so I had only cough drops left as a vice. I hesitate to use cough drops while I'm to be sleeping, for fear of waking up with green, spearminted hair.

Last night, it just didn't even matter. I used 'em anyway.

Today, I am making it through, though only because I am trying not to talk. Or yawn. Or cough, or anything else that possibly would allow fresh, dry-feeling air to hit my throat. And I have to run out for more cough syrup, cough drops, milk and other things very soon. I also need to make a new batch of sweet tea.

I need a swimsuit, too. I don't feel like setting up the waterslide today, as I'm doing it tomorrow (playdate!), so swimming sounds like a better option. But my swimsuit is quite risqué, so I need to shop for a new one first. And it's almost 3pm already. Plus I worry about choking to death over that inevitable wash of chlorine-water going down my throat on the first slide run.

A good, hard boffing sounds great too, but not by myself, and I wouldn't be able to breathe through it anyway. *sigh*
navygreen: (Boys: fall guys)
I'm taking the boys out to a sprayground this afternoon. There was a Parents at Home playdate at one this morning, but I just don't feel comfortable taking the boys out at 11am for a few hours - that's supposed to be some of the "worst" times to be outside, especially in a day that is full sun - like today. So we're heading out there right around 3pm. I'm bringing my chair and my tatting. I'm working on [livejournal.com profile] daphyn's piece, and I should be done with it soon. :-)

I need to mail a few things before then. And afterwards, we've got swimming lessons again tonight. Only two more classes, and then we're done with this second session. It's crazy how fast these swimming lessons make time to seem to fly!
navygreen: ('Affairs:' spitting)
I talked about it before, but I put up the Banzai Falls waterslide for the first time this summer on Friday. It was also the first time since we've lived in this house (we moved here in November), so we had to scout a good location first.


Set-up complete.


I decided on the mostly flat area to the right of our swingset, but not too far from the embankment leading up to the property-line fencing. It was a perfect spot to easily see from the house, too - I took that picture while standing under one of our trees not too far from our picnic table.

Several more of the waterslide fun. )
navygreen: (PotC: Quote - pieces of eight)
I have a headache every morning when I wake up. I think I'm beginning to figure out that this is caused by dehydration. I don't drink hardly anything in the evening, and what I do isn't enough to get me through the night. I don't even have to go to the toilet first thing out of bed anymore - hello, that's a BIG sign!

I finished a bookmark and the Lady last night. That's two shuttles that are (briefly) free at one time. I want to figure out how to block things now, so I'm hoping to find something useful for that today.

Jack has a birthday party to attend this afternoon from 3-6pm. The guest of honor has chosen a pirate theme for his party, and that makes me all kinds of wistful about my Captain Jack's own pirate party last summer. Ahhhh, the memories. He's supposed to arrive in his "best pirate attire" - well, I think we've got that part covered easily!

I've got a couple loads of laundry that need to be put away. I wash so much more in the summertime, between all the extra loads of towels and bathing suits. It's ridiculous!

Speaking of bathing suits, both of the boys have three pairs of swim trunks each, but I have just one suit. And I forgot to mention it earlier, but while we were swimming on Thursday (we headed out to Papio Bay for a couple of hours before swimming lessons later that same evening - insane, I know), the zipper on my suit broke off. This would be the zipper that's not only there just for decoration. No, it's also the fully-functioning zipper that keeps my boobages from the world's viewing pleasure, and it wasn't functioning at all because it was GONE.

Naturally, this catastrophe happened within five minutes in the water. I was a bit panicked, holding my suit together and trying to climb out of the water near the big slides, and I asked the staff for a safety pin. They had none and no other helpful ideas, but I finally asked for even a paperclip, and they were able to produce two different sizes for me. So for the remainder of our two hours there, I was the gal in the blue suit suit with the "ghetto paperclip zipper" holding me in.

And, of course, now I get to go swimsuit shopping - yippee! Or not.
navygreen: (Eeyore)
I told the boys on the way home from their last day of summer school that I thought today was a good day to finally set up the Banzai Falls for the first time.

They heartily agreed, of course.

And it really is. It's fiercely hot, but it's not too windy. And we have no other plans or engagements for the rest of today, so they can be out there until they keel over from exhaustion. Or until it's too dark to see, maybe.

But... *dreads* It's not setting it up that's a problem - that part is quick and easy. It's taking it all down by myself later on that is an issue.

*sigh*

Even so, I'm off to decide on a good location in the backyard (since this is the first time to set this up since we moved here last fall), and there should be waterworks soon.
navygreen: (High)
It's time to go swimming. The family pass out at Papio Bay needs to be bought, and it's finally warm enough that I'll get in the water. And I'm excited for A.J. to be independent in the water, and Jack is close to being there himself.

Swimming lessons have been going great. I forgot to post that they both graduated up to the next levels - A.J. is now in Level 3, and Jack's in Level 2.

I put my hair up in braids this morning before work. It's about the only way to wear it when I plan to swim - no tangles later on!
navygreen: (High)
So the boys are playing in water for the first time this year. They're running around underneath the sprinkler. To use said sprinkler, I first had to find it. When the movers packed us in November, they tossed all our water play stuff into one gigantic box. And of course, the sprinkler was underneath the old baby pool, the two Slip 'n Slides *and* the waterslide. At the very bottom of the box, in other words.

So now the boys are running under the water, and I have a fun task to look forward to: restoring order to my shed now that I've dragged half the contents out just to find the sprinkler.

Oh, and there are pics. :-)
navygreen: (A.J.)
Yeah, you knew it was coming. Or at least, you knew that IF it was coming, it was going to be titled like that. *grins*

Last Saturday, while Jack was out at the birthday party in Siberia (really, the snow was THAT bad, I swear!), I had decided on doing something neat just for A.J.

Early in the morning, I'd made the decision to not attend a third Kenny Chesney concert in favor of signing up and paying for swim lessons for A.J. Over the course of last summer, Philip and I worked very hard at teaching him the basics of swimming, and he's got it for the most part. Even so, we want him to have a class or two of certified training before we consider him "good to go." I know it will be fun for him, but it also will be very helpful to me this summer if I have one child who can be completely independent of me in the water. Everything was easy last year: two boys, two parents. This year, more of my attention in the water will need to be given to Jack. Even if HE learns to swim beforehand, he doesn't yet meet the height requirements in many of the pools for him to be without me. And while I am with Jack, I need the peace of mind that A.J. is safe in the water - whether it's diving, going down waterslides, or just playing in the deeper areas with friends.

But a wrench was thrown into those plans when we learned that lessons for A.J.'s level were already booked up. In fact, the only openings available were in the preschool classes. And while I do want to put Jack in swim classes as well, I can't afford both at the same time, and it is more important that A.J. be certified first in swimming. So I inquired as to when the next series of classes would start, and we're to check back mid-April to find out the exact sign-up date in late-April for registration for the next series of classes.

So we'll wait until then, I suppose. *sigh*
navygreen: (Elvis)
I dropped A.J. off at school this morning and came back home and tried to sleep a bit more. I shouldn't have even tried, as my rest was fitful and filled with sad thoughts instead.

I got up and got dressed. I got Jack dressed, and I woke Philip up. We took him to work, and then we ran a few errands. We ate lunch while we were out, and then we came home again. Jack received another birthday present in the mail - a Cars racetrack. We put that together and raced each other for half an hour or so before it was time to pick up Philip from work. We ran some more errands, and then I dropped him and Jack off at home. Philip began mowing the yard, and I went to pick up A.J. from school.

I dropped A.J. off at home, and he and Jack began racing each other. They haven't stopped since, in fact. :-) I went to Hallmark for some cards and to Nobbies to place the balloon order for A.J.'s party. I found some Hogwarts tattoos while I was there, and that cheered me up immensely. I'm dying to don my new Slytherin tattoo!

We're heading over to Ryan's (Philip's manager and friend from Runza) condo tonight to swim in their pool and cook out. They're grilling hot dogs and such, and we're bringing the ice. After swimming, we're heading out to Chris's house for some 4-wheelin'. The boys have never ridden 4-wheelers before, so I'll be taking the camera.

Speaking of cameras, I have to mail mine good one back to Canon tomorrow. I'm sad about that, but I am glad that they will be able to fix it.

And I've got a friend to see Snakes on a Plane with me on Thursday night now. I'm uber-excited about that. squeak_a_chu Heather2's husband Andy is going to go with me, and she's going to stay here at my house. The showing is at 10pm, and the boys go to bed at 9pm, so she'll have an easy time here, I'm sure. SoaP!

Wow, this entry really has its ups and downs, doesn't it?
navygreen: (Zippy 2 Thunders)
We had a fairly low-key day today. I cleaned most of the afternoon, and then I read scrapbooking magazines outside on the picnic table while the boys played in the Slip 'n Slide. We've still got three of them from last summer (I don't know if they are all intact or not, though), but today is the first time this year that they played on one. They had a decent time playing, but really - after the Banzai Falls waterslide all summer, a regular Slip 'n Slide is a bit tame.

I picked about two dozen cherry tomatoes from the garden, but I left the four or five ripe Better Boy tomatoes out on the vine. I'm eating them as fast as I can, but I still can't keep up! I had a lunch of two large tomatoes today - it made for my fourth meal in a row of just fresh tomatoes! I'll pull those few tomorrow, I'm sure.

While we were outside, hetterrific Heather called and invited me and the boys out to eat. We showered and dressed, and then she picked us up. We headed to La Mesa, of course, and it was pretty packed, even for a Friday night. She also surprised me with a very perfect card and even more perfect gift on the way - it is too much fun being us. :-D

Seriously, everyone needs a Heather. A Heather-type of best friend, at least. No matter where you are in your life, you need a really good, close friend. I've had them everywhere I've lived, even if they come and go once we're apart (though it's hard to see that happening with Heather). I see no point in pushing away relationships locally for the sake of a faraway friend, and I certainly won't spend my life wishing I were back "home" for friends. I make them where I'm at, and I make where I'm at my "home."

We chatted in the garden for a while, and Heather2 and Josie stopped by as well. Jack came out to play with Josie until it became too dark to see, and then we said our goodbyes and came in. A.J. wanted to watch a cartoon movie tonight, and he's enjoying his last night to stay up late (we'll have to push up the earlier bedtimes these next two nights to get ready for school starting again).

The Wedding Crashers and The 40-Year-Old Virgin both arrived in the mail today from Netflix, and I think I'm going to do my best to watch one, if not both, of them tonight.

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