Thursday, June 24, 2010

15 Seconds of Fame

I have become something of a celebrity at the kids' day camp. I mean among the youngest, most impressionable campers, not the cool and sophisticated Over 8s. I was signing the kids in earlier this week and a little boy approached and very seriously stated "You work for The District." Um, what? "You work for The District." Uh, yeah, I guess I do. I have to admit that I've never once thought of the park district as "The District." I think The District sounds much cooler and I will use it from here on out!

His younger sister then approached and said "You have giraffe pee on your shirt." I laughed a little and assured her that my shirt was clean. I then made a comment about how if she was still there when I picked up the kids I might have giraffe pee on my shirt. She looked totally confused and the counselor started laughing at me. I looked down and realized the logo on my uniform shirt is the letter P with a giraffe head in place of the hole inside the P. Giraffe P. Ohhhh. Whoops. I made a potty joke and the kid didn't even get it or mean it that way.

The best was today. The District Kid approached me again this morning. He walked up and said "You work at the zoo." I said yes. He stuck out his hand. I was a little confused, but I went ahead and shook it. He looked at his hand, looked me in the eye and said "I'll never wash this hand again." Wow. Dramatic and a little embarrassing, but since it's quite likely I'll never hear those words again, I'm going to go ahead and feel flattered.

THEN, as I was getting into my car, another kid yells "Hey Logan, tell my mom that your mom works at the zoo! Tell her what animals she works with! Lions, right?" So yeah, to a few 6 and 7 year olds, I'm cool. Sweet!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Popcorn Rules

In most situations, Kaylin is well-behaved. She has a tendency to get exuberantly happy and loud when excited, but usually follows rules. She's never been one of the disruptive kids at school. Kaylin's not a daredevil and is careful with knives and stoves and fire and watching for cars while she's playing. However, Kaylin's no little miss priss. She questions authority when she needs to and has always had her own way of doing things. My point is that she doesn't go out of her way to make trouble. That's why we were so surprised to learn of her persistent rule-breaking in one crucial area- microwave popcorn.

I had to work a fundraiser event for a few hours last night and got home around 9pm, tired and hungry. I had a bunch of little tasks to complete so opted for quick and easy microwave popcorn. Kaylin smelled the popcorn and by the time she asked for some, I had already eaten most of it and was tossing the rest to the dog. She made her own bag. It was while she was giving it a moment to cool that we learned about (dum dum dummmmmm) The Popcorn Rules.

There are six Popcorn Rules and she failed to follow five of them! Rule number one is Do Not Use Popcorn Button. Whoops. Rule two is to place bag "this side up." Hurray! She managed that one. Rule three is Set Cooking Time For 1 Minute 45 Seconds. Obviously, she used the popcorn button! Rule four is Don't Leave Microwave Unattended. Whoops. Rule five is Open Bag Carefully Away From Face. She ripped that thing right open and sniffed the steam! And finally rule six- Children Should Not Prepare or Handle. Hmmmmm.

I teased her that in the microwave popcorn making arena she is a persistent rule breaker and that surely one day the Popcorn Police will show up to take her to Popcorn Prison. Logan immediately corrected me- Popcorn Juvy.

Sigh. Yet another parenting failure...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Camp

I've been quite a blog slacker the past several weeks! This week was filled with transitioning from school to day camp. Logan was beyond thrilled to find that his favorite camp counselor from last year, Jimmy, is back! Logan loved Jimmy so much last year that Jimmy "almost" convinced Logan to be a Cubs fan rather than a White Sox fan. Gene might have had to get violent! Or sent Logan to live with Ben :)

Kaylin spent most of the school year whining for me to quit my job solely so she could sleep in later on school mornings. Suddenly she's up and happily dressed, sunblocked, hair brushed, shoes on, teeth brushed, bag packed and in the car five minutes or more before our required leaving time of 7:25am. The exact time she dragged herself to the car for school carrying her breakfast and hair brush. The girl loves camp! This is her 5th year and it isn't getting old. The first week is always the least exciting, but they still went to two movies and one water park. Next week they're scheduled to go to the Riverplex and Splashdown to swim and the Riverfront fountain to play.

Logan started coach pitch baseball this week. His coach takes his job SERIOUSLY. They practiced twice this week and had warm-up exercises with jumping jacks, push-ups and base running. They practiced hitting and batting. I'm thrilled because it seems like this guy will actually teach them to play the game. Tee ball was adorable and hilarious, but I think Logan's ready to learn the rules of baseball. The coach told the boys at Thursday's practice that Saturday would be their first game. He was mistaken and it's actually a practice. Coach left like a 5 minute message on our answering machine, apologizing for his mistake and making sure the boys all know it's only a practice so they're not too disappointed.

Work's been a crazy blur, keeping up with regular work and neverending weeds. The piglets are two months old now and are getting huge. They are going into the yard with the other hogs and it's incredibly cute. Everyone should come and see them! I have two more weeks of work before our summer vacation to Ohio. We're going back to The Wilds where I did rhino training in February so I can see the place up and running and without 3 feet of snow on the ground. I'm really excited! We're also planning to do a bunch of stuff in the Cincinatti area and will hopefully stay at the Great Wolf Lodge on or around Kaylin's birthday. She wants to spend an entire day at MagiQuest. (Yawn, lol.) Of course, I want to go to The Wilds, Cincinatti Zoo, Newport Aquarium and Indy Zoo. Hee hee, is that sooo much to ask? At least if I go to Indy Zoo (to visit a friend who works with their new cheetahs) Gene and the kids will likely go to the Children's Museum instead.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Ack! It's summer! I am officially the parent of a middle schooler. Yikes!

The kids went to school from 10-11 yesterday. One stupid hour. I suppose the weird late start time was so the middle/high school could go for their hour and still run all of the buses. My neighbor who teaches middle school was already home to drop off her daughter at 10am. Both kids were glad to go because they pretty much spent an hour eating candy and cupcakes. Their desks and classrooms were already cleaned out so it was an hour of fun.

Pawpaw picked them up at 11, took them to lunch and then fishing and (unexpectedly) swimming at his lake. Sadie and I joined them at the lake around 2:30. Sadie LOVES to swim. I'm not sure that she's ever had to jump from the side or a dock to get into the water before because she was really nervous and excited, barking her goofy head off before I'd finally throw her off the dock or else she'd awkwardly jump/fall from the bank and swim and swim. Sadie had a love/hate relationship with Logan's orange life jacket and kept grabbing the "pillow" part of it and trying to drag him to shore. She managed to pull him under for a second, scared him and that was the end of the novelty of swimming with the dog. Dad found him a different life jacket that Sadie wasn't interested in retrieving and the fun (mostly) resumed. Sadie finally jumped off the dock once and learned to gracefully jump from the side. It was suddenly 4:30 and I realized we needed to boogie home because the kids needed to be showered and changed and fed before Logan's baseball meeting that was all the way across town at 6.

Logan is starting coach pitch baseball this year. I'm not completely sure what this entails, but I'm pretty sure they will be learning the actual rules of the game and the various fielding positions rather than the chaos of throwing 20 kids into the field and everyone mobbing every ball that was tee ball. (Sigh. I will miss tee ball!) He will practice TWICE weekly with a game on Saturday. Ugh. His practices start at 5:30 and I'm lucky to have left work by 5:30 during the summer. That means two days of packing both lunch and dinner for the kids. Oh, and remembering the baseball gear in the morning. Fortunately, Gene will meet us at the field so I will be able to skip some of the practices if I'm really disgusting from work.

Camp Zone starts Monday so today I will drag the kids to Walmart and stock up on lunch items and swim gear and sunblock. I also need to try to find breakfast foods they will actually eat. They will be outside running around all day long. Kaylin will need to eat a little more than picking at 1/2 cup of cold cereal. We will leave for camp at the same time we left for school (7:25am) so I have to find something easy and potentially portable for Kaylin who likes to roll out of bed at 7:05. I love three months without homework or school obligations. I hate packing lunches. I'm usually in charge of both dropping off and picking up the kids from school because it's on my way, but Gene can do either if needed. Camp is right in front of the zoo so it's ALWAYS my responsibility. Hmmmm. Summer is crammed with activities. When swimming lessons start in July and baseball hasn't yet ended, we'll have a couple of weeks of Monday-Thursday practices/lessons right after work. Yep, I still prefer summer to school. At least when we're home there are NO homework obligations! All the extras are just fun.