Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer Camp, Boot Camp and random thoughts

We're childless for another week, and once again she had no trouble sending us off on our way from her old friend (Helen) and her newly found friends with whom she'll share a Kickapoo cabin at FlatRock River Camp.

I know this is a good thing. I've encouraged her indendpendent streak. I even like it. Except when I don't.

Before she went, I asked her if she thought the boy she'd gone on a "date" with to the weekly camp dance would be there and if she thought she'd go with him again and if she thought he'd try to kiss her. She informed me that she didn't know if he'd be there, she has little interest in kissing but if she did, she wouldn't tell me because "You'll just blab it on the Internet."

She doesn't read this blog, but some of her friends do and they tell her about it. I told her that if she tells me it's a secret, I never share -- not here and not anywhere. She seemed to accept it as believable. I'm hoping so because I'm fairly certain her opinion on boys and romance is going to change. She actually brought a skirt and fancy top in anticipation of the dance, and she's lately been interested in shopping.

I've actually been encouraging the "no romance, no how, no way" concept. But I know it's only a matter of time.

I reminded her today that when she gets back from her sleepaway camp, she'll have rock climbing camp at the Jordan Y but on Wednesday she'll skip it to go to Raccoon Lake with Elizabeth and Traci. This on the heels of a week with her cousins in the country and a week in Maine.

"This is the best summer EVER!" she chirped.

Indeed. You could do worse than have the life of Alison Reed.

Next week, I've committed to a boot camp exercise class at work that I couldn't normally take and pick Ali up on time from her day camp. We normally split delivery and pickup, and Jeff's work arrival is later than mine, so he's generally the one who delivers her to wherever she's headed in the morning. I asked our fitness instructor, Kelsey, who is my friend (unless I'm in agony and cursing her) if I should plan on doing my usual Monday strength training as well as the boot camp.

"Um. Probably not," she said.

The Angie's List garden needs more weeding. "Think I'll be in good enough shape to weed after the class?"

"Um. Probably not," she said.

Great. Can't wait for that....

Random stuff:

The heat wave claimed James and David's pool in Maine. If you've ever wondered what it would take to melt super heavy duty plastic, it's several weeks of 90-degree heat in a row. Ali and I, who covet their pool, had a moment of silence.

A hawk has moved into our neighborhood and sometimes hangs out in the trees in our yard. One day, it was playing tag with another hawk from our yard to Debbie's next door, across to Jason's and back again.

I thought perhaps it was a love match, but I haven't seen Hawk No. 2 since then, so now I'm wondering if I witnesses the early stages of raptor-i-cide. Who do you call to report on that?!

Karin and I witnessed a woman yesterday who was wearing black tights that were so wrongly sized that her panties make them look like control top panty hose. Except that you knew they were panties. I've committed my share of fashion sins, and I'm sure there are more to come, but please. Even though they're called "tights" your circulatory system shouldn't be jeopardized. And panties are UNDERwear. They should be under there, not out there.

I had book club Friday and we talked about The Paris Wife -- a book about Ernest Hemmingway's first wife and the craziness that led up to their divorce. It's got me on a Hemmingway kick and I'm being encouraged to read Loving Frank, about his mistress. I'm fairly certain I'm going to need a vampire book in between. They may be biters, the vamps, but they're loyal to their mates once they find them....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hot Child in the City

We have one more week with Alison before she flies off on another trip without us. She's going back to Camp Flatrock with her friend Helen.

When we left her at Jaime's last weekend, she waved us off without a bit of care. I knew the extraction would be difficult, so I jumped at a chance to bring Jenna with me when I picked her up. That may have been the only thing to get her unbarricaded from an upstairs bedroom.

Her time "in the country" as she calls it, was one of the best weeks of her life, she claims. Horseback riding, midnight blockbuster movies, the pool, the trampoline, the lake, even the theatre was all just magnificent. One day they made these super cool tie-dyed shirts. Ali loves hers so much she won't wear it to camp tomorrow because she doesn't want to get it dirty.

She loves the cousins, Jaime and Lee, and she's ready to either have them here or her back there just as soon as it can happen. I just hope they let her come back.

At the last party of the week, Alison was pulled into a conversation with a girl who was a year ahead of me in high school and who is grandmother to the birthday boy. Apparently my little drama queen kept going on and on about how much she loved the country -- it was so quiet and pretty and just so peaceful.

"Where in the world does she live?" Jamie was asked.

While there are few spots in Indianapolis that could be mistaken for the fabled concrete jungle, Jaime explained that while we do live in the geographic middle of the city, we have a yard, trees and even have a park nearby. I think Ali had them thinking she lives in the ghetto and is sung to sleep by the sounds of gunfire and police sirens. Oy!

We hadn't yet gotten out of Jaime's driveway when Alison whispered loudly and somewhat shamefully to her BFF, "My family listens to country music."

Jenna nodded, rolled her eyes and pointed to her iPod, which she'd plugged in when WFMS started playing about an hour into our drive. We'd had quite the discussion before then.

Suffice it to say that their 10 isn't the same 10 as mine was. Um, Amer, you might want to call me. I swear I didn't reveal anything new. Or much of anything new. Or. Uh. Well. Yeah, maybe you'd better call me, Amer.

When I finally got Alison home from her Saturday sleepover (she has quite the social life) she walked in, looked around and said, "I missed my house."

She then sequestered herself for a few hours in her bedroom where she unpacked, spoke to her fish and energized up the laptop. She later found Pink Bunny,. the first stuffed animal in her collection, and snuggled up with her beanbag and family room television

It's been good to have us all home. I'm soaking it up while I can.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Home alone

I'm home alone. Can't remember the last time that happened, but I have to confess that I'm kind of enjoying it.

We spent most of last week in Maine where we climbed a small mountain, went to a beach and, oh, yeah: we helped Auntie Jen get married. (more on that later.)

We got home Sunday afternoon and left from the airport to deliver Alison to her cousins where she could barely be bothered to say goodbye she was happy to be with them, their trampoline and pool. Jeff was most dismayed to see the pool because Ali has been wanting one here and I think he's afraid she won't come home tomorrow.

So it's been date night for us since Sunday. Except for last night when he left me for work and softball and more work after that. Tonight he's with Andy at a Steely Dan concert. I don't know if I'll ever see him again.

Last night, I rode my bike to and back home from work, then decided I had nothing to do so I kept on it past my stop off the Monon Trail and biked up to Nora where I signed Ali up for camp at the Jordan Y next week and then went even further to Justice for Girls and bought a birthday gift for the party she'll go to tomorrow.

All in all it was a little more than 20 miles on the bike. So I was, shall we say, ripe when I finally pedaled into my driveway.

But then, I saw all the weeds in my front yard and decided I was already dirty so I should clear a few and water the parched flowers before I showered and settled in with the Bravo network and whichever housewives were one. My neighbor Mark stopped by and I made the mistake of asking him to identify these really tall plants that were taking up some significant real estate.

"Well, those are weeds," he said, pointing and looking around.

"Are you sure? They're so big," I said, confessing that I don't remember sometimes what I plant in the fall. "I keep waiting for them to flower."

"Nope. They're weeds. And so are those. And those. And these here, too," he said. "And some of those over there."

It was after 8 o'clock before I got to go in and enjoy my night alone. I love Mark. And now I can see him and his wife Jerry if I look East. Two bags of weeds will clear a lot of air space...

So tomorrow I'm to pick Jenna up, go get Ali where I hope she'll be separated from her cousins, and deliver them both to Breanna's sleepover birthday party. Yeah. It's another date night for me and the mister. I can't imagine what we'll do. It won't be yard work, I promise you that.

But back to Maine. It was fabulous. I know it was hot here, but there it was glorious every day, and we got to spend time with almost everyone. Jen and Ali and I had a lot of girl time, and Alison was a wonderful bridesmaid.

When the bridal party was announced to the reception, Alison went first. She walked through those double doors like Heidi Klum on a runway and then channeled Princess Kate, giving a royal wave and grin to the room. Everyone else just tried to keep up.

We're so happy for Jen and Peter. The wedding was lovely and the reception rivaled one I was involved with about 13 years ago. It really was a great party, and Jen was still talking about my friend Amer, who sent her a gift AND a card to celebrate the blessed event. They've met twice, I think, but they were both memorable. How sweet was that?!

I have more photos and hopefully we'll have good ones taken by the pros soon. I'll find a way to share. Meanwhile, I should clear something up.

While en route to the beach, Ali was riding with Jen and Peter and telling them all about her plans post-wedding, which involved the cousins. She apparently felt the need to explain that while the girls are her cousins, Aunt Jaime isn't her aunt at all. She's really a cousin because Aunt Donna (who is really her aunt) was only 17 when she had Jaime and had to get married. And then Jaime was really young when she had her kids. That's why Aunt Jaime (who isn't really an aunt but is really a cousin) has kids so close to Alison's age who are also her cousins.

I'm told the saga took up a lot of the trip but at least everyone's clear on that. Except Donna wasn't an unwed mother; she just married shortly after high school (at 18) and had Jaime about four years later. Donna's 10 years older than me and I just got a late start on the family planning stuff. So. To recap. Donna is an aunt but was never an unwed mother or shotgun bride. Jaime married young too, but also no unwed motherhood or shotguns involved.

(Oh sure I have shotgun stories, but none directly related to these weddings.)

OK. I have more stories and more pictures, but this is my last night home alone. I'm sure there's some fine TV awaiting...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Holey Moley!

We've been having a lazy weekend and it's been great. I'm having technological difficulties with transferring photos, but it's the worst thing that's happened in the last few days so I'm OK with it.

Alison woke us up at 6:40 Saturday morning reminding us that it was finally time for her to be able to take out her starter ear rings. She was soooooo excited. So up I got.

I had forgotten how much gunk and gore gets stuck on those things, and she wasn't prepared for it either. After we got over that, we cleaned them up and tried to put in a pair of earrings she'd bought weeks ago. The holes weren't quite ready.

So we let her ears go unadorned for a few hours and startd to put the originals back in -- not the best idea. It seemed they'd already started to close, but we got them in after only a bit of squeals and groans. That was me. Ali cried a little bit.

But we got through it and today she's been practicing with my Lia Sophia hoops. They don't have backs to stick on -- plus she thinks they're super cool. I figure anything metal holding those tiny holes open is good. Plus, it's practice for when she goes raiding my jewelry box for real.

We're also super excited about this weekend. Jennifer Reed becomes Jennifer Chase on Saturday and Ali and I are as ready to help her down the aisle as we can be. Jeff's figured out (heavy sigh) that he'll have to wear long pants twice -- twice I tell you -- on the trip. But we're all excited to see the family and officially make Peter a part of it.

Send all your good karma to our friend Eric, who's recovering from double transplant surgery this weekend. It's a good thing: he's been on the list for way too long. We'll be anxious to see him when we can.

I'm sure we've all shared good thoughts for our Armed Forces -- wherever they are. It's a good country we have -- we're lucky to be living here.

Cross your fingers that I can figure out the photo issue -- it's kind of a key part of the weekly shoot....

Happy summer!