Tuesday, July 22, 2008

well of course i talk. what am i, dumb or somethin'?

for those of you who claim elijah is a quiet child, i have documented proof that he is, in fact, able to speak. he just has to have the right motivation. for instance, in the following clips, you will notice that he WILL correct you if you are doing something the wrong way. its the obsessive compulsive in him.

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p.s. there is a special prize if you can name the movie in which the title of this post is found.

Monday, July 21, 2008

july 4th

to celebrate our nation's independence, we spent an evening watching america's pastime. I don't know why baseball has earned this distinction over the years, as it is very boring to watch, but the long beach scout council set up a special deal with the Long Beach Armada, our local minor league team, so we went. the council had made arrangements for local scouts, and their families, to watch the game, see a fireworks show, and watch a movie on the jumbo-tron. Then, we got to camp in the outfield overnight and enjoy a continental breakfast and players' clinic in the morning. that sounded like a lot of fun. so we made plans to go.
cant resist that stadium music!! video
a couple of days before the game, we got word that there wouldn't be a fireworks show due to a permit mix up. no big deal, spencer is a little freaked out by them anyway.
the Armada actually had a really good game, but it did go long, as baseball games are wont to do. so, by the time the game ended, it was 10:30 pm and spencer was out cold.
then, it was time to pitch the tents, so we could watch the movie. but, before we could go anywhere near the field, the grounds crew had to take care of the special red baseball dirt. so we waited, and waited. i was at least lucky enough to have been holding the sleeping spencer; so i didn't have to carry any gear. yay me!!
finally, we get on the field and i watch as all the tents go up. it actually goes surprisingly fast. i guess those scouters kind of know what they are doing.since i had the pleasure of sitting near the bullpen with my sleeping baby, i got to overhear all the big wig scout guys talk about the fact that not only would there not be any fireworks, there would not be a movie either. just as well, it was almost midnight anyway. but man some parents will get very upset if they are not given EVERYTHING posted on a flyer. its funny to watch people complain. or maybe i thought it was funny because i was just so tired and i had never wanted to see the inside of a sleeping bag so badly in my whole life.
we finally get to sleep. next thing i know, its 7 am and mr. peppy-scouter-man-in-the-smokey-the-bear-hat is making his morning rounds. ugh, i can't stand morning people. so, i go brush my teeth, and get in line for the lovely continental breakfast. i grab my mini muffin and juice box and head back to the tent. 15 minutes later, we are being told its time to break camp to get ready for the clinic. wow, the tent was up for a whole 7 hours! sure glad we brought all of this gear.
so brent and the younger boys go home, and shannon, sarah, jake, and i stay for the baseball clinic. i daresay that the clinic was actually worth all the heartache from the night before. 5 players from the team came to work with the kids in their areas of expertise. they had a rotation through infield, outfield, pitching, and hitting. video
then they got to run the bases on the pro size field. the kids had a great time and the players were very patient and kind. they even gave jake an old practice ball and all 5 signed it. i couldn't tell you any of their names, but jake thought it was cool. you can tell these guys are playing because they actually love the game, rather than the money. (i got to talk to them and they laughed pretty loudly when i asked if this was their full-time job. i guess a few of them are fire fighters, or something like that.)
so, that was our fourth of july.

p.s. SPENCER IS POTTY TRAINED!!! imagine in your head; me doing the happiest happy dance ever. YAY!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

garage stowaway

a few weeks ago, while i was taking a shower, jake came running upstairs to tell me something very urgent. as i was a little busy, i asked if it could wait until i was dressed. (i actually find myself asking this question quite a lot. how is it that kids know when to bug you when you are the least available?)

anyway, he said, "no, mom i saw a hedgehog in the garage!"

"a hedgehog!? honey that was just grandma's cat's toy."

"MO-OM, it moved!!!"

"oh. i guess we have a rat. eww."

so i finish my shower, get dressed, and go investigate. i don't see too much evidence of an intruder i.e. droppings, nibbled food box corners, etc. but jake swears he saw something. so over the next few days we kind of keep an eye out for a little critter.

upon further investigation, we notice that the cats seem to be eating A LOT lately. we feel we are constantly refilling their food bowl, and their water dish is really dirty in the mornings. we are also starting to find droppings, yuck. we realize that our little rat friend is living in club med with free food and bath services. once when we returned home, we actually SAW something scramble away from the cat food as we pulled into the garage. now its on. we have got to catch this guy. we decide to take action. we borrow an electronic rat trap from the bousfields and set it up. nothing.

then we got a good look. while in the garage, brent found him, hanging onto a set of metal shelves. we didn't have a large rat, we had a small possum. jake was actually making a good guess by calling it a hedgehog. no wonder the trap hadn't worked, he was too big for it. now we had to figure out what to do. possums still freak me out, and remind me of large rats, but this was a BABY. and any baby animal, is well, a baby. so we pulled out all of the boxes where he had been living and got my mom's grabber tool and set it at the ready.

a few more days go by. its a saturday evening and i am putting some clothes in the dryer when i hear some scratching. i look over and low and behold, our baby house guest is climbing on the shelves again. i quietly call inside to mom and brent, while keeping an eye on the possum.

brent is able to gently get hold of him around the waist with the grabber, and put him in an empty trash barrel. from there, we carried him out and put him on the block wall where we often see larger members of his family. we told ourselves he could go find his mom and dad that way.
the soda can is for scale.

Adventure Playground

Last week we went to Adventure Playground in Huntington Beach Central Park. It was basically a place where kids could just get dirty, live a little dangerously, and have a great time. I think sometimes our kids' childhoods are just too safe and sterile. There is something about being able to make up your own rules that makes childhood fun. So this is as close as we can get to something LIKE that.
The park has a tire swing zip line, a pond with plywood rafts and poles like tom sawyer, a mud slide, a rope bridge, and a building area where the kids can just whack at wood with hammers and nails. The boys had a blast, and so did I.



Tuesday, July 1, 2008