Thursday, January 17, 2008

24 hours of freedom!!

This weekend I am going on a short trip with my dear friend Niki. She lives in San Francisco and asked if I wanted to help her drive up since she hasn't been feeling well. I talked to Brent, he could take the day off to watch the kids. The kids are off for the MLK holiday; I'm in.

I can't tell you how excited I am. It's silly, I will be gone for just about 27 hours total, but sometimes that's all I need. And I get to travel, on a plane, and only have to worry about ONE person going through security. I know. I am acting a little nuts. But chances to get away have to be taken advantage of. And I am doing it for purely philanthropic reasons. A friend is in need and what kind of person would I be to deny her help? (I am so glad she asked because it means I can do a completely selfish thing and not feel guilty.)

Also, this made me laugh. I was wondering if knitting needles are allowed on planes. This is what the TSA has to say about it:

Transporting Knitting Needles & Needlepoint

Knitting needles are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage. However, there is a possibility that the needles can be perceived as a possible weapon by one of our Security Officers. Our Security Officers have the authority to determine if an item could be used as a weapon and may not allow said item to pass through security. We recommend the following when bring knitting needles on an airplane:

  • Circular knitting needles are recommended to be less than 31 inches in total length
  • We recommend that the needles be made of bamboo or plastic (Not Metal)
  • Scissors must have blunt points
  • In case a Security Officer does not allow your knitting tools through security it is recommended that you carry a self addressed envelope so that you can mail your tools back to yourself as opposed to surrendering them at the security check point.
  • As a precautionary measure we recommend that you carry a crochet hook with yarn to save the work you have already done in case your knitting tools are surrendered at the checkpoint

Most of the items needed to pursue a Needlepoint project are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage with the exception of circular thread cutters or any cutter with a blade contained inside. These items cannot be taken through a security checkpoint. They must go in your checked baggage.

I don't know why I giggled at that, but I did, especially the part about the crochet hook to save my work and the envelope to mail my tools home to myself.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

What was I thinking?

I am coaching Jake's basketball team. Any of you who know me, know that I don't play basketball, nor do I know anything about it. Brent LOVES basketball and plays any chance he can get. We even found him a used portable basketball stand on Craig's List so he can shoot in the driveway. How did I end up as coach? Basically, it comes down to procrastination. Jacob told me in the middle of soccer season that he wanted to play basketball in the winter months. Last year at this time, he wanted to try karate. I told him he couldn't do both and he still chose basketball. Sounds great. The Lakewood parks have a great rec sports league that is even free. Lets do it.
A few weeks go by. The signs go up informing the community when sign-ups for basketball are and Jake even comes home with a flyer from school. Did I pay attention to any of that? NO. The sign-up dates came and went. Jake asks me, "Hey mom, when do I start having basketball practice?" D'OH!!!
A few days later, I go into the park office and ask if it is too late to sign up. They said he could be put on the waiting list UNLESS, I wanted to coach. UGH. It is my fault for not being on the ball.
I go home and talk to Brent. Did he think I could coach a sport I knew nothing about? Granted, I have had lots of experience teaching kids. All through college, I taught swim lessons and I am not a swimmer. I could do this. Brent thought I could too. We made a deal. I had time to coach, he had the knowledge of the game. We could be a team.
Fast forward to last Tuesday night. Our first practice. Brent is in ROMANIA, and I am on my own. As the kids gather, we get to know everyone's name, talk to the parents, hand out information, etc. I can do this. I am great with kids. We start with some stretching; totally doable, I used to teach water aerobics. I got this. I am animated, silly, having fun. The kids are eating this stuff up. Now, it is time for drills. I had spent hours online, looking for coaching tips and I had made a cheat sheet of drills we could do. I even tried to make many of them into games. It went okay for a few minutes. Then, I tried to introduce the zone defense that the league uses for the smurf age division. This is where it all goes downhill. There are lines one the court showing the kids the different defensive zones. The idea is to tell each kid where to stand and to stay in their zone. Seems simple enough. Not so much.
I was a mess. I told the parents I would need help and they were trying to be so polite, and stay out of the way, but I was making a fool of myself and they came to my rescue. One of the girls on my team is the daughter of a woman I went to high school with. OUR STAR GIRLS' BASKETBALL PLAYER. She played in high school AND college. She steps in. She asks me if it is a 1-2-1 defense or a 2-3. uuuhhhh, HUH? I am clueless. I felt like the stupid cheerleader that knew nothing about the sport, and she knew that I was that stupid cheerleader not that long ago.
Anyway, I survived. It should be an interesting few weeks. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

my kids have MOVES!!!

Elijah got a police SUV from Uncle Keith and Aunt Margaret (thank you guys). It plays the music from C.O.P.S. Bad boys, bad boys, whacha gonna do . . .

Jake got an ambulance. It plays the theme music from E.R.

Do it like me.

what we did for winter break:

We enjoyed a delicious Christmas Eve dinner with the Bousfield's (thank you so much for the invitation). We acted out the Nativity with puppets and then opened our new Christmas Eve pajamas.

On Christmas morning we opened our presents:

And meticulously lined all of them up.

On December 26th, Brent and I spent the evening at Shoreline Village in Long Beach to celebrate our 10th anniversary. LOVE YOU BABE!! (Thanks again for babysitting mom. You're the best.)

Then we spent a few days gallivanting around with the Hart family at Seal Beach and the Pirate Park.

Happy New Year Everyone!!

P.S. Sorry the pictures are so small. You can view them full size by clicking on the photo.