Thursday, July 29, 2010

Every year except...

It is at this time of year that I am usually longing for the start of football season.  Really. Really. Longing.  What's not to love about that special time of year when the shadows grow a little longer, the air a little crisper, the sky a little bluer and the sound of ESPN's GameDay broadcast playing on every television in the house.  Sometimes we turn the tvs down so that we can play our "Pride of West Virginia" Marching Band CD at full blast.

Football is a BIG DEAL at The Wright Place.  Every year.

Every year including the year that Molly was born on the Thursday before the Saturday that marked the season's start.  (The doctor performing the C-section was actually talking football with the nurses in the operating room.  I felt right at home.) We watched football in my hospital room that Saturday.

I simply can't wait for football season to start. Except for maybe this year.

This year is different.  This year my son joins the ranks of tackle football players everywhere.  It is for this reason alone that my eagerness for football season to begin is less than fervent.  The games take place on Saturdays for the next 2 months and though I can't wait to see him playing, I can wait to see him on the bottom of a pile or on the receiving end of a "slobber-knocker".  I'd rather watch someone else's boy on a football field on tv.  In fact, I place quite a lot of import on someone else's boys showing up to entertain me every Saturday on the ole' gridiron while I eat my nachos in front of the tv.  I have no lack of confidence in the ability of someone else's boys to take the physical challenges associated with my favorite sport.

This season it's to be my boy out there on the field and I'm reluctant.  This is my first season as the mother of a tacklee, the mother of the kid at the bottom of the pile, the mother who knows that some of her boy's dreams are on the line this first season.  I really would have preferred this particular football season to have arrived much more slowly.  It didn't and it's here and we've been trying to get ready for it.

My Man has been overseeing Cole's pre-conditioning workouts of push-ups, pull-ups, running sprints, running longer distances, sit-ups and other sweat-inducing exercises.  Cole's sisters have been roughing him up on the sly because they have been getting away with it.  They've been getting away with it because when he complains about their harsh treatment of him, I give him a level look and say, "If you can't handle what your little sisters dish out, how are you going to survive on the football field?" Poor guy.

"Voluntary Conditioning" has begun for the boys on Cole's team.  He had "conditioning" last night.  You may have heard the angels singing last night and didn't know why.  It was because helmets were distributed to each player.  Real helmets. Helmets with "twenty pads in them, Mom!"  (What kind of sport requires 20 pads securing one's skull and its contents???) I was out until after Cole was in bed on helmet distribution night so this morning, first thing, Cole introduced me to his helmet and gave me a tour.  I know about the face mask of the helmet and about the face masks of most of the other player's helmets, I know that the chin strap gives my boy some difficulty, and I know that that helmet made his week.

How do I know?

After breakfast, I asked Cole to unload the dishwasher.  I entered the kitchen a few minutes later to check on his progress and ...

...I'm wondering what will happen when they hand out the shoulder pads??

Monday, July 26, 2010

The 7 Signs of Aging

I recently purchased body wash that actually says on its label "fights 7 signs of aging all over your body". Well, that caused me to wonder how soap that requires a bath poof to even make suds could fight my 7 signs of aging.

Gretchen's 7 Signs of Aging...
  1. Selecting reading material by the size of the print instead of by interest in the plot.
  2. Needing to set aside time each week to fill one's days-of-the-week pill box so that the necessary vitamins and medication will not be forgotten.
  3. "Turn that music DOWN kids!!"
  4. Secretly gritting my teeth as grey hairs appear on my Man's head thinking, "They look better on him than these wrinkles look on me."
  5. While watching TV, noticing that most of the actresses my age are playing mothers of teenagers,  laughing at the poor casting choice, and then becoming painfully aware that in three years, I will be the mother of not one, but two teenagers.
  6. Realizing that there are 5 or 6 other products that have made their way into the shower promising  "age-defying" qualities!
  7. Conversations that go something like this:
          Me: "Honey, what did I come in here to do?"
             Cole: "You were coming to watch this replay with me."
             Meg: "You were looking for some socks for me."
             Kate: "You were getting me some gum from the cabinet."
             Molly: "GIIIIIIIIIINNNK"(drink)
             My Man: "What? Were you talking to me?
                               I couldn't hear what you said." (#8?)

That's way too much to ask of body wash, don't ya think?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

What Does A Good Book Look Like?

Like this...

The Book:

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2)

From the Series: 

Another super series Cole read last year...

Peter and the Starcatchers

Peter and the Shadow Thieves

Peter and the Secret of Rundoon (The Starcatchers)

Peter and the Sword of Mercy (Starcatchers)

Here's a blurb from the publisher:
Follow the adventures of Peter, Molly, Tinker Bell, and the Lost Boys in all three Peter Pan prequels: Peter and the Starcatchers, Peter and the Shadow Thieves, and Peter and the Secret of Rundoon. Don't even think of starting this trilogy unless you're sitting in a comfortable chair and have lots of time. These fast-paced, impossible-to-put-down adventures are action-packed, touching, and tons of fun!
Cole adored this series and recommends it to all who ask!  He's still waiting on me to finish the first one!

I'm waiting on him to spend his next book allowance on this title...

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

...and he's waiting on me to break down and buy it, knowing I can't hold out much longer.  It's quite an original book. It is 525 pages in length of which 284 are beautifully illustrated by the author's pencil drawings.  The plot relies both on the pages filled with text as well as those with illustration.  A perfect choice for a reluctant reader as pages will turn faster than a book filled with pure words.  A great choice too for the avid reader who will enjoy the novelty of the story being told through the rich illustrations in addition to the written word. (To find out more about The Invention of Hugo Cabret click here)

Happy Reading!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Laundry, Laundry Everywhere!

Towels,  my recent life feels as if it has been spent folding them.  There have been so many towels to be laundered and folded of late that I suspect each member of my crew has been using one towel per body part per shower!  Over the weekend, I washed three large loads of towels and still had not finished the task!!!
Then there's the folding. I simply couldn't get them folded and to the closets.  The problem may just be with my help...

I turned away for merely a moment and the entire basket of towels was gone. 
"Molly! Where did you go??"

"Hey Molly!"
(Getting warmer...)

"Oh Molly!"
(there's Ethel passed out behind the basket)

"Do you think you can give me the basket back?"

"I really need to finish the laundry."

"Mommy, you can't HANDLE the laundry!"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Frick and Frack

Said William Shakespeare,

"All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;"

The stage at The Wright Place this week has seen the exit each morning of Meg as she departs to Drama Camp.  The same stage has also seen the entrance of two additional players who are finding their way about in their sister's absence.  These little "players" have more than earned the title.

They began the morning with the daily dose of "Mouse".
Then it was upstairs for

...a wardrobe change and story time.

Reading Eric Carle's "The Very Busy Spider"

The Very Busy Spider

must have made for some 
"very hungry little girls"
 because the next event on their agenda was a run on the

After snacks they played a round of
"Monkey See"...

"Monkey Do"!

Next it was off to band practice...
The drummer...

...and the demanding conductor.

The pianist and the lounge singer.

It occurred to photographer sometime during the jam session that a trip outside was in order.  Alas, as they reached the great outdoors, the great outdoors decided to get a bit drippy.
Not to worry.

It turns out that "Monkey See, Monkey Do" can also be played out-of-doors in the rain!  Who knew?

Frick was concerned when it appeared that Frack had been eaten by Quack. 

 All was well, however, and the Adventures of Frick and Frack ended for the day when their keeper announced lunch!

A younger sister is someone to use as a guinea-pig in trying sledges and experimental go-carts. 
Someone to send on messages to Mum. 
But someone who needs you - who comes to you with bumped heads, grazed knees, tales of persecution. 
Someone who trusts you to defend her. 
Someone who thinks you know the answers to almost everything.
~Pam Brown~

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Crib Notes

Well, it's done.  Finally and officially checked off of my To Do List.  The task in and of itself was not a difficult one to accomplish physically, except for the one stubborn knot...
...which just wanted to stay tied, remain attached, hold on tightly, cling to the crib to which it had been tethered for almost two years.  It was the undoing of that knot that almost proved to be my undoing on that muggy morning.

It would have been silly to leave her crib assembled any longer.  Since returning home from our vacation over one month ago, our baby, a toddler really, has spent but one night in the bed that cradled her first on the night her father and I were brave enough to trust her to it.  It was the expectation of her birth that rearranged our home in such a way that for the first time in our lives the children's rooms were on a different floor than our own.  For that very reason, our fourth child was the one to enjoy an extended stay in our room, much, much longer than even her brother, the first-born, had enjoyed.

Even as the nursery was to be little used at first, and though her arrival in our family was many years into our parenthood, the preparation of the little room at the top of the stairs was given an important place on a To Do List two summers ago.  After much remodeling and relocating of most of its residents, our little home was almost ready to welcome our newest little one.

Almost, except for the finishing touches.

Now the little room at the top of the stairs goes through another adjustment and so do I.

I want to stay tied, remain attached, hold on tightly, cling to the baby who was nestled in this crib.

The one who fit snuggly into the single arm that carried her above the fray of her siblings, the same fray of which she is presently the ring leader.  The infant who loved to be rocked to sleep, who, this very night, caught me lingering too long at her bedside and waved me from her room with a dismissive "G'nite Mommy."  The tiny babe who joined us in our bed each morning looking for her breakfast is the one who still joins us each morning in our bed but who now comes looking for the remote control.

It's time, I know...time marches on and all that.  Yet for the ease of this task physically, a few bolts loosened here and there, the emotional toll is great.  The stubborn knot isn't what tugs at me.  All of those frolicking butterflies on the blanket are waiting on something, something I've been meaning to take care of for them ever since I took them from their packaging many months ago.  See this cute little turned up corner?

I've been meaning to clip it so that it lies properly in the crib.  Now the crib is going away and those butterflies are still waiting to have their corner fixed.  It's a little thing for certain, but I was going to take care of it the night before we left for the hospital...and now it reminds me of time's speed and of things left undone, more important things, and it's weighty.

This milestone gives a nod to time's haste indeed, but it should also celebrate future's potential.  The future with all of its promise and challenge begins here for our Miss Molly...

...who was recently awarded the title,"Child who Best Handled the Move to the "Big Bed"" by her appreciative daddy.  During her month in her new bed, she has yet to get up after the goodnights have been uttered, well besting her brother's record 13 times in one night during his season of transition!  Way to go little girl!
Get ready though, we're gonna work on that passy next, 
but until we do, I've decided to keep the butterflies waiting on that little turned up corner.

I think we've all been through enough change for now.

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