Tag Archives: summer

Boys and their balls consume my life

Ya’know…Baseball, Basketball, Football….

….Balls.  Boys love them and we parents get to experience the joy of ushering the man children around to all of their ball activities.

Which is where I’ve been these last two plus months.  On ball duty.  I think I have breathed and bathed in enough dirt and line chalk to make an asthmatic kill themselves.  More nights than not, going home seemed pointless and if I didn’t have to wash a stupid WHITE Baseball uniform Every. Single. Day.  I would’ve camped right on the grounds thus beginning the first occupy Ball field.

But we (ball sports involve the entire family and my youngest began to manifest demons at the mere mention of ball, field or game) survived and the team made history in their undefeated win of 4 straight championships and runner-up in the Pony East Zone tournament.

My teenage baller is an animal and managed to break 7 (I stopped counting after the 7th hit to my bank account) bats this season.  He had a great year and almost made it worth the monetary and kronos investment.

Take a look at the consuming, cheesy posed ball life taken by my convenient cell phone.  I’m not one of those “good mothers” who not only washes but iron starches her son’s uniform with pure joy, brings home-baked snacks for all of the exhausted boys and parents, has her Nikon ready (complete with telescopic lens to capture each bead of sweat), bounces across the field like Tigger amped on the now regulated cough meds, offers to car pool endlessly, dresses her entire family in coordinated team spirit wear, and screams non-stop without suffering any damage to her vocal cords.  Okay, so maybe this exact woman doesn’t exist but I’ve met some that come pretty sickening close.

I hatefully throw the uniform in the machine and pray it comes out partially clean (secretly envisioning the day when it will blaze on my bon fire).  Iron?  My youngest didn’t even recognize one in the store.  I barely bake for my own children and certainly do not plan to torture myself for offspring that are not my own.  My cell phone captures the moment with enough grainy haze that if you felt the need to see a drop of sweat then one could certainly be imagined.  I have to down coffee laced with regulated cough syrup just to function so field bouncing isn’t in my routine.  I can barely get my own DNA to where they need to be and adding others into the mix would be a suicide mission on wheels.  Coordinated team spirit wear?! My family considers themselves fortunate to have daily clean wear and matching socks is a huge bonus (the only coordination they know).  The last time I tried to scream for my son, I choked on my spit and bronchospasmed.

Enjoy!

One of many this season

Yes, I’m a dirtball and we are bringing some of the field home with us but I am too exhausted to care.

Proud Papa poses for yet another championship win.

Score, another one!  They could be twins.

It takes two to hold this so I better help him – Proud Papa  Hey Proud Papa, wanna help me wash that uniform?!?

Aww, she does love him even if we had to bribe and drag her to the game

Proud of their bro even if Tres’ motivation is trophy lust

Oh look, his dedication paid off and he scored one of his own. It pays to be a loyal bat boy a.k.a. little brother

My baller throws a fast 65 and beat the 17yr olds even though he was holding back for the upcoming game.

New bat #7…I think. Sadly I don’t predict a long life span for this guy.

As if we have not experienced enough ball! Seeing how the pros do business.

It was a sadistically fun ride.  Now we are getting ready for the start of school and more ball activities ahead.

Boys and their balls.  The infatuation never ends.

Buffalo Farts. A name too fun not to revisit.

I’m on my way to the landscaping store to get rocks for the chicken coop run and had to look up an older post I wrote.  I did not want to repeat an extremely awkward experience that I had there a couple of years ago and required the correct language for my purchase.

I’ll post more about the coop run update and the rapidly growing mutants (i.e. chickens) but while I’m working on yet another hot and humid day (I seem to have a self torturing pattern of doing this) you can simply….

….Read on.

July 7th 2010

I, with the mandatory assistance of my young helpers, are embarking on a shed clean-out project and it is taking place on the HOTTEST days of the entire year.  Why?  Because when I get an idea I just have to move on it.  Plus, the tale-tale odor of death and decay along with killer African Bees (I’m sure of it) swarming the shed hinted to me that some TLC was in order.

We have made some interesting finds…from old stuff we forgot we had to critters in various stages of anatomical decay.  This project has become a huge biological lesson.  My kids are quite the experts at sniffing out “death” and have been known to loudly shout “I smell death” as soon as they get that familiar whiff.  Although, shouting this sentence truly becomes awkward when the elderly are around.

For the sake of those with weak stomachs I will not post the pix of the maggots having dinner ‘with’ the mouse.  But here are some more appropriate finds…..

The killer African Bees

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
The ‘rat pile’ mouse nest my husband fosters
                                                                                                                                                                                
Awww, now this little baby bunny we can deal with                                                                                                                                                                   

After experiencing heat exhaustion and dehydration I had to make a trip to the local landscaping store.  Mr. Pavlov thought it would be a great idea to lay down a rock floor in the shed to help with moisture and really show some shed TLC.  I was apprehensive when he told me the type of rock I wanted to ask for was called “Buffalo Farts.”

Buffalo Farts? [I echoed].

Yes.  He absolutely assured me that this was indeed their proper name.  But still my gut was twisted…somehow I could not envision the landscaping business advertising Buffalo Farts to the manicured lawns of the rich and famous. I can just picture the conversation:

Hey Bob those are really nice rocks you have there.  What are they called?”  Bob (having great difficulty): “Buffalo Farts.” 

But ok, I get that I am a landscaping ignoramus so Buffalo Farts it is.  I confidently walked up to the counter in my sweat pouring state and declared,

“I need a half ton of Buffalo Farts.” 

As awkward as this may sound, the real humiliation came with the extremely long pause, followed by the quizzical looks, and ultimately the deep belly laughter from big burly, tanned men.  Big burly, tanned men who attempted to repeat my statement but were unable due to their fits of hysterics.

The moment turned into a prolonged comical session of partially spoken sentences – “A half ton…..A half ton of Buff…..Buffa…Buffalo Far….half ton of Buffalo Farts” followed by more hysteria while I stood in fake confidence self consciously soaking the floor with my sweat.  Once they regained their composure and questioned the ignoramus they determined that what I actually required was #3 gravel.

Yes, #3 gravel has a nice ring to it and I can totally see Bob (fictional guy from my imagined conversation above) proudly proclaiming,

“Well, thank-you it is #3 gravel.” 

Buffalo Farts or #3 gravel…same thing yet solid proof that “A good name is more desirable than great riches” Proverbs 21.

Just another brick in the wall, or not.

I know think I keep Snapfish in business.  Yes, just me and me alone.  No one else.  Just me.

I stock pile all of my photos until I have a mother of a picture load to develop.   As I was going through this mother load I came across this fun end of summer concert in the parking lot (yes Parking Lot not Park because we are that raw) that the Botut crew attended.

What? It's our duty to hold up this wall!!

See a lot of people will die if we don't do our wall holding duty!!! People hug walls.

There were other non-wall holding males there.  Well, they were the performers and kind of had to step away from the wall.

Look Ma, No Wall!

And the cook….he couldn’t wall hug.

Bob making perfection on a grill!

Ok, ok so males aren’t the only wall huggers at social events.  I found a female and Mr. Pavlov was all too happy to admit her into the club.

Welcome to my wall young grass hopper!

And once the euphoria wore off Mr. Pavlov was actually able to watch the concert with his new wall buddy.

And still another female keeper of the wall.

ACTUALLY, I'm not really touching the wall....

In addition to all of the bricks in the wall and music there were other things that caught my camera.

Like wild hair.

Check out these quills!

And child torture.

Pull!!

A cute, sweaty, non-wall hugging male.

Got any A/C on you Mom?!?

And somehow it caught this kiss.

Busted!

And since I was already yanked from the safety of behind my lense, I took up a wall spot with my newly recruited baby girl.  However, I was not ready to be just another brick…yet.

Ok, you're beautiful honey but give me back my camera now!

But as I went to get the camera from my cute, sweaty son I caught a whiff of something and my beloved daughter was there to capture the innocence on his face and the contortion in mine.

Whewf! Where's the Axe now???

I quickly forgot about my singed nasal hairs when I saw two cuties splish, splashing away.

Kids are water magnets!

I have a tendency to get into the photo capturing moment and forget about anything else….like say, safety.  I’ve been getting better and actually thought to look around for electrical wires this time after snapping only one, single, solo photo.  Once determining that the coast was clear for these splish, splashing babes to continue with their puddle play, I snapped another photo.

It's ok, that wire is several feet away...we can still have parking lot puddle fun!

Two members of the Botut crew thought they could slip away.  But the camera always knows.

Huh? What? Us? Going somewhere?

They just kept walking….

Go away Mom!

You can't stop this!

I didn’t even try a counter move because I’m at the age where I would likely displace my bladder.

I decided to take a rest. By the wall.

Bra burning and the start of school…embrace who you are!

After screaming and dragging my feet in imaginary dirt, I am (f i n a l l y) in the back to school spirit given that my three departed from our summer loving  abode this week and boarded the big yellow bus.  I was dreading the start of school because I truly love the chilled days of summer where we throw abandonment to any form of schedule.  We stay up late, sleep in late, eat crap and burn our bras (this actually happened when my mom hurled her ill-fitting bra into the bonfire flames late one hot summer night).

It is the raw stuff that makes life fun and provides for interesting conversation when my second grader answers the first day ‘getting to know you’ question of “What did you do or see this summer?”  Sorry Mom.  If you receive odd looks during Grandparents Day, you now know why!

They have been in school a mere three days and in addition to a quiet house, I am beginning to delight in the return of an organized schedule.  There is something to be said for a routine and for once, my descriptive adjectives are positive.

Maybe it is because I have finally embraced who I am.  I know my weakness (my 5:30am wake-up and addiction to the snooze button) and can prepare for success in spite of them (making sure my offspring are awake, fed, sometimes clean, and on the bus).

I no longer feel inadequate or make excuses for what makes me, me. Ok, maybe I lapse into excuse making inadequacy when I spot a super organized, highly polished, morning loving Mama as I stand there with exercise sweat still on my pants wearing the sports bra that (as my youngest so observantly pointed out) my flat chest does not really require. Or worse (yes there are worse things than clothes bearing exercise sweat and sports bras) when I fail to get dressed and hear the surprised greetings of Mr. Pavlov or the kids “You didn’t even change today?!?”  Yeah?  So what? I like my jammies.  But this lapse is short-lived once I (mentally and occasionally physically) slap myself a few times and picture the highly efficient mama in my state.

I am happy that this “embrace who you are” vibe has taken root in my kids given that I’ve only been spewing this point since their birth!!! My youngest shrugged off the five question limit that his teacher imposed upon him the second day of school with a simple,

 “I like to know information and I have a lot of questions. It’s who I am.”

The two older ones are unmoved by social standards or “norms” when usually, at their age(s), these two factors are most important.  If they don’t like it (whatever it may be), it isn’t happening!  They are confident in their skin and are not willing to compromise who they are [insert a big parental YAY!]

It appears as if my brother and sister-in-law have embraced the same ‘be who you are’ parenting theme.  My nephew not only beats to his own drum but has is own music.  He is one highly successful child and makes no excuses for who he is or what makes him tick.

This was taken when my sister-in-law had to visit his school.  She smiled with immediate recognition.  This picture says it all and sums it up……

In a world of followers be unique, be you and burn a bra or two!

I’m curious.  Who besides my Mom has actually burned their bra? The few bras that I own happen to be Victoria’s Secret.  This flat chested wonder needs all the assistance that I can get and the VS miraculous bra does the job nicely.  Miracles are indeed created in the form of a small cleavage appearing on my chest.  Who cares that a bullet could pass through the bra and never penetrate skin or that one could bruise or wound the unfortunate soul who happens to come in contact with the bra weaponry.  Yes, there is THAT much padding and push of which does not come cheap.  So at $49.95 a bra there’s no way they will be seeing flames anytime soon.

All in a year

I am amazed at the difference a year can make in the lives of my little human beings.  Sometimes even in mine (if I’m not in an omigosh this phase is dragging funk).

Last summer you may remember this post where my youngest was apprehensive (and bordering the indications for therapeutic intervention) of our little Tiki Man water toy.

365 days later and wa-la…he discovered the pure joy of Mr. Tiki:

He was content with the quality time he and Mr. Tiki were having

Yes, this is safe but thanks for asking Mr. Tiki

Dancing the Tiki

Drinking the Tiki

Constipating the Tiki

Wait, this constipation is fun....let's put him in the grass and see just how much pressure I can create!

Until….he discovered the raw power he held in his hands….

I'm holding a weapon!

Let's kill some grass

But grass killing is boRRRING!

It all began with this look

And there was not a sibling in sight to “bond” with.  Well, not a human sibling anyway.  He did spot a sibling of sorts. And off he went.

C'mere my sibling!

And our fur child entered into some forced bonding time with the Tiki possessed being.

MOMMY HELP ME! I'm TIED down!!!

I know I'm a water loving Lab but this is grounds for animal cruelty!!

See, sometimes I am just too engrossed in my footage that I forget to intervene.  Happens. all. the. time.

Eventually I came to my senses and called off the Tiki weapon wielding child.  It was this intervention that brought the realization of my interactable human status into the equation. Before this, I was just a camera holding prop.

But no longer…

Ready....

AIM...

SATURATE!!!!

I believe you can even see the splatter on my lens with that one. After he was content with the status of my saturation he went on to the enivitable.  In fact, being a boy, I was surprised that this was not the FIRST and possible ONLY activity he engaged in with Mr. Tiki.

Mr. Tiki, the appendage

Then in true boy fashion he turned proudly to face all of creation (who, after watching what happened to our Lab, screamed and hid in horror).

Look out world. Here my appendage and I come!

I can’t wait to see what happens next year.  Or, maybe I can!

The heat and the power of endorphins!

I caught a quick glimpse of the TV yesterday (while I was vacuuming and dropping sweat that could fill a man-made lake) as the youngest was channel surfing (yes, he is male and inherited this trait from his father’s gene pool).  The quick flash I saw was of the USA pictured on a weather map and the entire country was lit up red with 90’s and 100’s across the board.  A meteorologist was standing in front of the weather map speaking to the camera and wearing a look of concern in addition to his slightly wilted and crumpled suit.

That’s all I got.  I couldn’t hear him and before I could power down the sweeper and make a request that the little TV dictator keep that station on for a minute,  he changed the channel.  I debated on using my rank to overtake him and seize power of the arc of the covenant but decided to continue working and sweating.

Sweating has been a part of daily life.  But I’m not complaining (thank God for A/C).  Although apocalyptic, I love the heat.  Ok, so this might be a bit oppressive (we live in the arm pit of the world) but I’d rather have this heat than the horrid blizzard of a winter we had to endure.  Actually, I’d rather have my butt planted in Arizona where there is zero humidity.  The humidity is what kills us here.

Well some of us more or less than others.  My middle child, Dos, cannot handle humidity in any form and Mr. Pavlov was birthed and raised in the heat ridden, humid, tropical Philippines.

Dos is a big boy and an avid sport player.  By big I do not mean McHeffer, I mean large for his age.  At 12yrs he is 5’7″ and 160#  The boy is solid.  Think hitting a brick wall and you’ll get it about right.  He is also freakishly strong.  I already cut his hair so I know for a fact that we don’t have any Sampson going on here (and he has also taken sips of fermented drink – another non-Sampson trait).

Thanks to his size, power, attitude and natural talent, he is readily accepted into the sport arena and plays just about everything known to mankind.  I have the mileage on my newer Clown Car (the non-affectionate name for our 5 seater downsize after the death of our beloved Honda Minivan) to prove it.  Currently he is on a basketball league.  Outdoors.  An outdoor basketball league. Clear?  Outdoors.  He had a game yesterday in the 100+ degree hot and humid temps.

My Mama heart was feeling a bit sorry for my big sized baby.  Hey, I still remember the day he was born like it were yesterday.  His head and shoulders are the most vivid of the memories (I will remember them forever!) but he will always be my baby no matter how large he becomes.  So when he came to me all pathetic looking asking if he could sit this game out, I knew my sports crazed kid was suffering from the heat.  Was it truly worth it?  Making a kid who sweats buckets, becomes easily dehydrated and then vomits up the attempts at rehydration play in this dangerous heat index?  The image of him hurling all over the court and the other players sealed the decision for me.  I told him he could remain at home.  Indoors.

Now Mr. Pavlov is a heat eating machine.  I think he possesses a mutant tropical gene that enabled him to live (as in play outdoors) in the Philippines. The man is unphased.  He is also an avid participant in sports and his true love is cycling (think Lance Armstrong as in cycling NOT his true love…just so we’re clear!)

He would sleep with his bike if I permitted her in our bed….but I don’t and she is confined to the garage or on the trainer in our family room.  He cycles 25 miles to work “just cause” and pushes himself regardless of the heat index.  He laughs at the sun and the gnats don’t even attempt to buzz his head, dive bomb his eyes or lodge in his sweat.  They know better.  Mosquitos don’t touch him either (I’m thinkin’ the mutant gene repels them).

He is an outdoor god.  But I’m not quite ready to place an image of him in my garden or erect a totem pole just yet.  Even though these next few pictures are totally statue worthy:

What heat?

Unzipping is my secret for ventilation

Feel the breeze baby!

On basketball day he came home from work wearing similar garb to the above photos.  Yes, he cycled to work, again.  His cycling suit was unzipped (see above)and he was joyfully sweaty.

I wondered how long the joy would last once I informed him that I permitted our heat intolerant child to skip his game.  Without further delay I spit out the information.  Mr. Pavlov looked at me, then glanced at Dos lounging on the couch wearing only his basketball shorts and playing with his ipad (nice presentation Dos!), then glanced back at me.  I waited for the speech about team commitment, keeping kids active and off of brain numbing computer gadgets and TV (Mr. Pavlov is also ex Airborne) but instead he nodded and replied a simple,

“Yea, it is hot.”

I offered Mr. Pavlov a glass of water and told Dos he should be thankful for a little thing called endorphins!

Summer, Hippies and Hoes

I was outside today (exactly one week into our summer vacation) and, as I hit my leg on the hoe, I smiled.  Smiled?  Yes, a big toothy smile.  Why?  Because I was reminded of this post that I posted last year at this exact time.  The next time you see a hoe, I bet you will smile too.

The place of my conception???

Our summer is in full swing and I love it!!  I love the carefree schedule that summer brings.  The chill out, peace, love and be happy days of summer.  The more I think about my emotional make-up I become increasingly convinced that my parents were closet hippies and my conception took place in a flower power van during a make love, not war convention.  I am so chill that reefer could be my middle name…but I’ll stick with Ann.

The clouds part, the heavens open, a light shines forth and a majestic voice is heard saying "I can't believe she is fishing!!"

What have we been doing?  Absolutely nothing yet everything!  We take this time to focus on the important things in our lives which are people.  Our days are filled with family, friends, devotions and of course fun! Fun that is, until I hear the expected words sung throughout our home– the aggravating wails of “I’m BORED” — and just one mere week into summer break too!  So this chilled out person kicked everyone outside equipped with hoes, rakes, diggers and whatever I could find in the shed and told them to go show my garden and yard some love.  I felt proud.  I nipped that boredom in the bud. Yes. I. Did.

Buuut, then I realized this single act of forced labor may come back to haunt me.  Why?  Because my youngest could be heard shouting “c’mon hoe let’s go love on mom’s yard.” 

Yep.  Priceless, I know.  And I even laughed…a little, until I visualized the repercussions of being out in a very public place and…you get it.  He loves to repeat new-found adjectives and has done so before (click to read)…quite well!

Of course these words spoken in innocence caused the older two to burst out into convulsions of uncontrollable laughter which encouraged him to shout even louder…aaannnddd a vicious cycle is born.

Sigh, note to self: NEVER give a 5-year-old a hoe and tell him to love on your yard because he’s likely to form a complete sentence.