Hey Coz!

Big and Little M (hereafter collectively referred to as M&M) are here for the week with Aunt A soaking up the Texas sun and humidity. After hours of swinging at the park and a nap to recover we made our way to the pool to cool off.
Little M's head has been battling various hard objects in the house including the tile floor, the corner of the kitchen island and the stainless steel kitchen table. Bedtime last night was like trying to get fighting, screaming cats to chill out and relax but after the Christmas Special (pomegranate italian soda and vodka) it all seemed OK. Tonight we're chillin' to some Monster Ballads of the 80s and I have to say all those lyrics have come flooding right back to me. I can't believe Skid Row, Poison, and Warrant have never graced my iTunes 'til now, but it's long overdue. I offered to burn them to Bubble Boy's iPod and he DECLINED (a little snootily, I might add). Imagine! He just doesn't appreciate the poetic value and fine music-making associated with the big hair bands of the 80s. I guess it WAS kinda after his time.

I think we'll try to visit the butterfly farm tomorrow before we head to the pool. If there aren't any posts for a while it'll be because I'm busy lip-syncing Don't Know What You've Got ('til It's Gone).


Final Days

2nd grade is history. Big E left her teacher and classmates for the last time today and I have to say it was an emotional day for both of us. She's been with the same group of kids and teacher through 1st and 2nd grade so we've all gotten more than a little attached. I just can't believe she's going to be in 3RD GRADE! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? Someone remarked this afternoon during the traditional end-of-year Chicken Dance that she will probably be taller than me this time next year and they're probably right. That girl has got some crazy tall genes from Bubble boy because they certainly aren't from my side. We're basically a bunch of leprechauns and then there's Big E, who can almost kiss the top of my head when she's sitting on my lap. At least she's still sitting on my lap. Hopefully she won't outgrow THAT for a very long time.

Just like Johnny?

I've got my own Edward Scissorhands right here. Our topiaries will soon be the envy of all the neighborhood and I can't wait for the ice sculptures. Not to worry...I WILL NOT make him wear the creepy, black bondage jumpsuit thingy.


Day 3285

It's been 9 years since Bubble boy and I merged our bubbles and we've been floating happily along on the breeze ever since. Funny how 9 years has always sounded so loooong and significant to me in terms of relationships, but seems like it's gone by like nothing. 9 years is nothing in the grand scheme of things like evolution, the history of earth, the shelf-life of Kool-Aid and condensed soups. But, for me, 9 years represents more than 25% of my life and you really shouldn't count the first 18 years, so it's really more like half of my so-called adult life.

We didn't do anything crazy to celebrate...too many end of school activities and obligations. Little A helped me make shrimp kebobs (he even ATE one!) and Bubble boy brought home the BEST brownies I've ever tasted. Order them, track them down, beat an old lady with your purse for the last bag, do whatever you must because they are THAT good. Beat-An-Old-Lady-Good. Just like this Bubble I live in. That Good.


Hi Ho The Derry-O....

...A-Camping We Will Go. I haven't been able to post much recently as I was Sick-As-A-Dog last week with something akin to avian flu. Putting my own well-being aside, I reached deep into my reserves of Motherly Devotion and was able to summon the strength to pack our car so tightly that only air spaces for breathing were left and drive 3+ hours to Garner State Park along the Frio River for a weekend of camping excitement.

This was our second time camping after joining friends who are camping veterans last November on a trip to Lost Maples. It rained on us that entire weekend but somehow we still managed to have more than a lot of fun. It was an educational trip for me in many ways, including interesting ways to play Loaded Questions. Throw those instructional booklets away and let your imagination run free! I won't get into the details of the "new" way since my parents read this, but it was, ummmm, pretty fun. They call themselves the "Mocha Nudie Sheers" and I had a lot of Wikipedia reading to do when we got home, all due to this game. That's all I'm saying.

Pushing through the illness, I kayaked for the first time and it was fun, fun, fun. Mrs. C and Mrs. S convinced me to jump off a rope swing, and we even climbed a mountain. It probably isn't technically a mountain, but it WAS a really big hill and very steep. We were three girls kayaking down the river and totally looked like we knew what we were doing...except the time Mrs. S and I almost took out a cove of frolicking children who were just watching us, paddles flailing, head straight for them like deer in headlights. A word of advice...warn your children, if a kayak is heading straight at you and is 10 feet and closing fast, you should try to get out of the way.

The kids had non-stop action including swimming, minnow chasing, drifting in the current, hiking to the bathrooms at 5 am, geo-caching, a pinata, an Easter egg hunt, decorating cupcakes, a chili cook-off, s'mores, and riding in the back of a truck just like when I was a kid and no one hassled with seatbelts or silly rules like 'All persons should ride INSIDE the cab of a moving vehicle'. I'm pretty sure this is legal in a state park, so please don't call CPS.

I think everyone else looks pretty darn good in this photo, but next time I'm going to vote for doing the group photo on the FIRST night, not the last morning when I look, feel and smell like Ted Kascynski before the beard got too unruly.


Can you beat him?

We're getting desperate for competition around here.

2 Thumbs Up

I really should have written my official review several days ago so everything would be fresh in my mind, but you know how it goes...laundry, school, laundry again, meals, triathlon training, thousands of other miscellanea that tend to bog me down, and then more laundry. So, here we go, finally.

First of all, I'd been anticipating the release of this movie for months. I'm not exactly sure when it happened, but at some point I developed an unhealthy preoccupation with Spiderman. Bubble Boy is aware of this fixation and while he doesn't overtly condone it, he hasn't held it against me too much (unlike my obsession with Gerard Butler, but that's another post for another day). Opening weekend comes and I schedule a sitter for bright and early Sunday morning. Yes, a hot movie date for 9:30 Sunday morning. This seemed like a good idea before we had friends over Saturday night who honored us with pomegranate mojitos (so you can kill free radicals and brain cells simultaneously!) and we ate "white devil" enchiladas. Holy man, those were spicy. 9:30 came very early and we dragged our haggard bodies to the theater. I was disappointed that 2 people made it into the theater before us...just by a few steps, but still....I wanted to be FIRST. Having recovered from that letdown we settled in to get in the right frame of mind for the movie. Bubble Boy and I disagree in which row the "sweet spot" is to be found in a movie theater and he wanted to sit WAY too close. He is quite the expert on All-Things-Electronic, but since it was MY movie I got to decide where we'd sit, which ended up being right in the middle, mid-way up.

I won't get into the details, but what I will say is that basically, I enjoyed the movie. It was definitely entertaining. I just can't help but feel that I could have enjoyed it more. I've decided that 3 villains is just too many for Spiderman to beat the hell out of in one movie. Between Goblin Jr., Sandman, and Venom (who barely squeezes into the last 15 minutes of the movie although he is truly venomous and awfully evil), plus Spidey's own internal demons exacerbated by the mysterious black Moon Goo (love the black suit, though), and Mary Jane's personal problems, it just felt all over the place.

Plus, there were three things that really bothered me. First, Spiderman is swinging through the town rushing to an incident when the gratuitous shot of him jumping in front of a GIGANTIC American flag waving triumphantly across the entire movie screen is thrust in front of me and rammed down my throat. Now, I know I risk being called "unpatriotic" and maybe if someone wants to get really nasty, "liberal". But, please. It was unnecessary and borderline grotesque in it's jingoism.
Second, Spiderman never saves a lot of people. Remember when the Goblin drops the cable car full of screaming people and Mary Jane and Spidey saves them BOTH? Or when he nearly kills himself stopping the speeding train from plummeting over the end of the tracks? I want to see the magnitude of his heroism by him saving large numbers of people from catastrophe. Nothing even close.
Third, WAY TOO MUCH CRYING. Now, I love to see the vulnerable human side of a superhero as much as anyone else, but for the Love of Pete! Between Peter, Harry, Mary Jane and even the Sandman, it was Cryfest '07 and that's just not what I'm hoping for in a superhero comic book movie.

All that said, I still give it 2 thumbs up. I'm not one of those fair-weather fans who will abandon the team when they don't live up to their full potential. No, I'll be there when "4" opens, ready to see what lies in store for Peter Parker, Mary Jane Watson and Spiderman.



This was the oft heard sound during the Girl Scout campout at Camp Champions a couple of weekends ago. Not just due to the obvious reasons like trying to keep up with 9 high energy 2nd grade girls for the weekend. And did I say high energy? Because you put these 9 girls up against any other group of 9 girls and they'd run circles around them. Literally. Running circles, jumping out of trees, wallowing in the volleyball sandpit. They squeeze the most fun humanly possible out of every activity whether it be standing in line for breakfast, climbing the rock wall or swinging on the rope swing out into the lake for the 68th time.

The theme for the weekend was Pirates of the Caribbean, so the girls decorated the cabin with a treasure chest, a map and lots and lots of streamers. I didn't know there were streamers on pirate ships, but apparently there were many hundreds of yards of them. It must've been very festive to be a pirate. Big E had a great time swimming, water sliding, playing, jumping, dancing, roasting s'mores, etc...but I do believe the highlight of the weekend was wearing dangle earrings for the costume dance Saturday night. And I mean those were some dangly earrings.


The Hippos They Are Hungry

About 3 weeks ago, out of nowhere, Little A stated he simply had to have Hungry Hungry Hippos. Remember that game? Brings back memories of Operation, Mystery Date, and hours and hours spent playing Clue. Having no idea where this sudden desire came from it didn't really register at first. We went to Target to spend that Easter money that was burning a hole in his pocket where he happily bought a new sword (I think that makes 18 he has now) and yet another blaster (aka 'gun', but we don't SAY 'gun' in this household...well, we try not to anyway) that can be heard from 2 blocks away. He realized his tragic mistake as we walked out of the store, sword and blaster already in hand, and wailed how he really meant to buy Hungry Hungry Hippos instead of just more weaponry. Being the slacker mom I can sometimes be, I refused to turn around and remedy this mistake.
Fast forward a week to a Boys' Night Out...Bubble Boy and Little A passing time at a local pub/eatery with some friends when the waiter brings over....wait for it.....Hungry Hungry Hippos! The next 2 hours flew by with a marathon HHH Tournament. Little A showed great promise and a natural talent for pounding with just the right amount of force and his timing was sublime. It was clear that he would need his own game in order to hone his skills and whoop all the neighborhood kids brave enough to challenge the newly named South Austin HHH Champ. We made that happen today and the training has begun. Prepare for the Gluttony.
That's a Happy Kid there.



If you are like me and haven't ridden a Big Wheel in the past oh, let's say, 25 years, I want to take this opportunity to encourage you find the tallest hill you can manage and go for it...and don't forget the all-important Spin Out at the bottom.

I have come to accept the self knowledge that I am not what most people would call a Thrill Seeker. Content to meander down the ski slope, drive in the right lane, and wash my hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and WARM water, you are unlikely to find me with a parachute strapped on my back or on the next Discovery channel expedition to Mount Everest. But give me a Big Wheel and a hill and I shall put aside my anti-bacterial gel and be there....even without a helmet.